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19th June 2024 4:35 pm

“A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries."

Valentine’s Day and Ascot’s Common Dress Sense

This relentless outpouring of love and affection is doing my head in! My world is divided into 300 days of relative calm, sunny uplands where the green shoots etc etc… It is often a time of relative prosperity, if not in fact, then certainly in the impressions surrounding one. A day at Ascot, a trip […]

ROYAL ASCOT 2023 DAY 5

Another delicious lunch, another day of near misses, this time followed by a dinner with a brace of Norwegian Colonels. The attrition rate on my liver must stop soon. After today, I think I might take a week off and will maybe post a few tips by email if so inspired.

ROYAL ASCOT 2023 DAY 4

A lunch party in Lambourn for a dozen or so; a TV on the blink thanks to the WiFi failing to connect correctly to the Sky Mini. This small box is theoretically attached to the Sky Q. This is attached in every sense, to my wallet on a permanent, albeit only half-working, but always charging […]

ROYAL ASCOT 2023 DAY 2

The Golf was a bit disappointing – and especially for Rory McIlroy who lost by one stroke to Wyndham Clark who was also investigated for an alleged infraction of Rule 14.7a. You know the one surely… it forbids a ball from being played from the wrong spot. Sitting in the rough off the back nine, […]

ROYAL ASCOT 2023 DAY 1

Loins girded, Titfer polished, socks found, and monocular hung, I am ready. I think I am on top of everything including the wretched ticketing system. Do they really think the Duchess of Fotheringay aged 80 knows whether her phone is Android or Google Pay or even on? Then the email advertising I swear has doubled! […]

As promised John Reid MBE’s tips for Royal Ascot Saturday

These were John Reid’s tips for Ascot today, as given to the customers at The Royal Foresters. It looks like a very sensible placepot list! The Royal Foresters’ motto for Royal Ascot week has been A Friend to Racing. With John’s tips record over the first four days, I think the Royal Foresters has more […]

Too Hot for fun

Apart from drinking tea, when the temperature heads this far north, we deploy the electric fan, my last punkah wallah having disappeared back to Wolverhampton to join a train strike. With the tea and the fan, I recommend a trawl through any collection of Rudyard Kipling’s poems, which will remind you instantly of the miserable […]

The Aga Can’t.

For a brief and glorious moment, I truly thought I was home free. Arriving back last night to Camp Tamarkan, the temperature was slightly north of melted engine block territory but I brushed it aside knowing that I had less than a week to go before The Aga was switched off and removed. The financial […]

I might have taken too many steps – Ascot Day 3

A CORRECTION: The Cousin of Capt Smyly isn’t. She’s his Niece! Nice. He’ll be able to invite her to The Derby Dinner. I must admit I did think she looked more like young Beaujolais and less vintage Claret. The Hon. took me around the No 1 car park yesterday, on what she described as a […]

Smiles for Day 1 and onto Royal Ascot Day 2

What a marvellous day. I spent the morning in the company of one of the best jockeys of the last quarter of the 20th century John  Reid, and his brother Noel, having breakfast and chatting about the day’s racing and various mutual chums in the Vale of the White Horse. Then running slightly late, onto […]

Bad Manners, The US Open and Royal Ascot Day 1.

In the midst of all the Ascot preparations, the thinking, the calculations, the decisiveness and confidence, sadly coupled with the loss of all value perceptions and risk management, I managed to scramble home from The Derby crash, by dint of good fortune and the bond of friendship.  I cannot recall a more topsy-turvy year when […]

Ascot Day Sank

How went your day at the bio-secure experiment that was Ascot’s Day 4? I hear you ask. Well, my dears, there was horrendous traffic thanks to a collapsed road which cut off the M4 J14. The road closure resulted in our late arrival at a very delicious breakfast at The Royal Foresters, a highly recommended […]

Ascot Day 4

It was a day when the Shortlist produced 3 winners and the final selections looked like after-thoughts. Mark you, much of the day was lost to trying to decipher a set of NHS instructions in order to take two tests, in order to gain access to Ascot. What is it about all Government communications that […]

Ascot Day 3

Work raises its ugly head and delays matters, while winking at me from the sideboard are the 227 tests I have to take before Friday’s big adventure. But first, we must continue our labours against the bookies and, as labours go, yesterday went pretty well. We’re showing a 30pt profit for the meeting so far, […]

Ascot Day 2

Sometimes you have days when God leaps out of bed and says “Here I am – and because you have recently been less of an arse than normal, I have decided you shall have a good day.” So you go for lunch with old friends and see a chum you haven’t seen for five years […]

For a brief moment we all became Christians

Thanks to the Welsh, the first score draw arrived on Saturday, while I travelled back from Newmarket, having spent the morning with William Knight and the boys from Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds. We were taking pictures of their new branded racing kit, KVT having secured a decent sponsorship deal with the fast-growing pub company, Oakman Group […]

Royal Ascot: Saturday 19th June 2020 – Day Five

Our Literary correspondent, High Rise, sent me a brusque note today about my curmudgeonly criticism of ITV and specifically Francesca Cumani’s hats. He pointed out that the poor girl needs to keep her face free because she is on TV and thus, the wide-brimmed hat a la Ms Eliza Doolittle would not cut it for […]

Royal Ascot: Friday 18th June 2020 – Day Four

Really tricky on Thursday, despite the 14 hours notice of impending rain and likely going changes. I was already struggling when I got tucked up by Roger Varian and his observations on Molatham’s last outing on Soft ground. “He’ll hate it” he said or words to that effect. Lumme, it turns out Roger, old darling, […]

Royal Ascot: Thursday 18th June 2020 – Day Three

Well, what a cracker for all the Sir Busker owners! Madame had a small wedge on it and we spoke to the rightfully incoherent shareholder afterwards. We might try to speak again tomorrow. We continued our policy of bringing comfort to those more fortunate than us today, by delivering vital supplies to a family in […]

Royal Ascot: Wednesday 17th June 2020 – Day Two

With hindsight, the last Magnum of AIX yesterday was possibly a step too far. Suffice it to say, that I was so drunk, I only backed Pyledriver on the grounds that he was being ridden by Sylvestre de Souza. I remember nothing after 9:00 pm, and this morning the idea of solids is too much […]

Royal Ascot: Tuesday 16th June 2020 – Day One

No preliminaries, we all know why we’re here…… Kick On! 1:15 pm – Buckingham Palace Handicap (Handicap) “Cripes” as Bunter might say. Tricky or what? I have cogitated about this field for almost 40 minutes and only managed to narrow it down to a dozen. I don’t think the draw is going to matter much, […]

Royal Ascot news! 120 races over two weeks!

Exciting news from HM Vineyards, where Her Majesty’s loyal advisers have produced an exciting programme of more. There are now six extra races, (Sorry about the Fake News headline) including consolation races for the Royal Hunt Cup and Wokingham. This year – and only this year – there will be three new races; the 14f  […]

Finally. A proper Sunday and a chance to catch up on some news.

Much like the Monkees 4th hit, “Pleasant Valley Sunday”, the Charcoal was burning everywhere last Sunday – not least at Raceweb Towers. Some delicious Lamb cutlets from a whole carcass purchased from my neighbours, butchered and wrapped sensibly at the local abattoir, some Tabbouleh, some homemade Treacle Tart, a bottle of delicious Antinori, and the […]

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