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27th May 2024 3:04 am

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

Doncaster St Leger Meeting Day 2

The Dentist calls, and I must be away at O-Crack, so there is no time for chats. The day was a disappointment not because they were rubbish selections but because they were there or thereabouts. The first broke slowly and stayed slow; in the second, the selection was third, but I had mentioned the winner. […]

Doncaster St Leger Meeting Day 1

The Hon has gone to do 3rd lot with Ben Pauling and to take a bacon sarnie off him. I have to find three duvets and a box of linen, all of which seem to have dematerialised but which need to be found because there are house guests tonight and again on Saturday. In between, […]

A theatrical evening before Day 2 of Donny

I went to The Barn Theatre in Cirencester last night to see Driving Miss Daisy. The Barn is a relatively new theatre whose newness was stalled by Covid, but it has survived and without much scarring. The offerings to date have pleased me four times and irritated me twice, which is better than Chichester Festival […]

St Leger Meeting Day 3

I read this morning of The Commonwealth Secretariat, which provided employment to a chisel-jawed Australian-Canadian lawyer, (several boxes ticked there in terms of Commonwealth), called Joshua Brien. I only read it because reporting of his trial was banned by Judge Martin Griffith, but the order was lifted yesterday after an application by the Evening Standard. […]

Time for a good kip – A post about NH horse ratings

As I mentioned briefly the other day, the BHA has – after some dedicated “doing Bugger All” – held a review, had a consultation and discovered that the Irish know how to beat the British handicapping system. With a tiny hint of knee-jerk, the BHA strode into action after the Irish horses smashed up English-trained […]

Doncaster St Leger meeting Day 3

The long and complicated story of Phoenix Thoroughbreds is a million miles from being either understood or fully exposed. It involves a Bulgarian-based crypto-currency Ponzi scheme, the FBI, a man called Amer Abdulaziz Salman, who owns various companies that have the word Phoenix attached to them, a lawyer called Scott, (part of whose testimony ran […]

Donny St Leger Day 2

A poor start to the morning with an unexpected trip to somewhere miles away with an equally unexpected bill; an unplanned detour to another place less far, but as tiresome; the failing computer not improving;  but luckily, I suppose, some resolution to the burning question “Why are we spending £2,000 a day on feeding the […]

Doncaster’s Leger meeting Day 1 TV Races

The twilight of the Flat season is creeping in, with talk about the Arc and Melbourne Cup betting markets, and emails containing the words “Breeders Cup” become increasingly prevalent. The chill draught of a disappearing summer; ground that veers between motorway and bog; handicap marks receiving their annual dusting off, all suggest that “The Sticks” […]

St Leger Day

As many of you racing historians will know, it was not uncommon in days gone by for a horse to run in several races over the length of a meeting, and indeed that some races might have heats or be run as “best of three”. Thus, today of all days, one should bear in mind […]

Donny Day 2

I was reminded of late, about the dreadful old Saturday magazines that contained vast numbers of advertisements for chest expanders, which would ensure that never again would one have sand kicked in one’s face down on the beach. One would be exhorted to try so-and-so’s unrivalled pools selection model that guaranteed a result every 100 […]

Donny, Leger and a proper chap

There are few races that don’t have some history attached to them. A fatal accident, a crowd gone awry, a fortune lost, another gained. The St. Leger, not least because of its age, is one such race. Currently, I’m reading Chris McGrath’s Mr Darley’s Arabian: High Life, Low Life, Sporting Life: A History of Racing […]

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