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24th July 2024 11:49 am

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

Too Hot for fun

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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 heat of an Indian summer and how cool you actually are.

This small rhyme seems apt.

Pagett, M.P., was a liar, and a fluent liar therewith –
He spoke of the heat of India as the “Asian Solar Myth”;
Came on a four months’ visit, to “study the East,” in November,
And I got him to sign an agreement vowing to stay till September.

March came in with the koil. Pagett was cool and gay,
Called me a “bloated Brahmin,” talked of my “princely pay.”
March went out with the roses. “Where is your heat?” said he.
“Coming,” said I to Pagett, “Skittles!” said Pagett, M.P.

April began with the punkah, coolies, and prickly-heat, –
Pagett was dear to mosquitoes, sandflies found him a treat.
He grew speckled and lumpy—hammered I grieve to say,
Aryan brothers who fanned him, in an illiberal way.

May set in with a dust-storm, – Pagett went down with the sun.
All the delights of the season tickled him one by one.
Imprimis—ten day’s “liver”—due to his drinking beer;
Later, a dose of fever – slight, but he called it severe.

Dysent’ry touched him in June, after the Chota Bursat –
Lowered his portly person – made him yearn to depart.
He didn’t call me a “Brahmin,” or “bloated,” or “overpaid,”
But seemed to think it a wonder that any one ever stayed.

July was a trifle unhealthy, – Pagett was ill with fear.
‘Called it the “Cholera Morbus,” hinted that life was dear.
He babbled of “Eastern Exile,” and mentioned his home with tears;
But I hadn’t seen my children for close upon seven years.

We reached a hundred and twenty once in the Court at noon,
(I’ve mentioned Pagett was portly) Pagett, went off in a swoon.
That was an end to the business; Pagett, the perjured, fled
With a practical, working knowledge of “Solar Myths” in his head.

And I laughed as I drove from the station, but the mirth died out on my lips
As I thought of the fools like Pagett who write of their “Eastern trips,”
And the sneers of the travelled idiots who duly misgovern the land,
And I prayed to the Lord to deliver another one into my hand.

It would be nice if we could turn the heat up on the bookies – as my old friend John Reid has been doing this past week. He has been providing tips to racegoers at Ascot’s local, The Royal Foresters over their excellent breakfast. Yesterday he had a six-timer and has been in sparkling form this week. If I find out his selections for tomorrow, I shall pass them on in an instant. Two of my golfers have missed the cut – Sung Jae Im,  whose chance I especially liked, and Corey Conners. I have 4 players within 4 shots of the leader, making Sunday look promising. Also lest we forget we have Trebles and a fourfold riding on Hurrican Lane and Alfred Munnings. Fingers crossed.


CHESHAM STAKES – Listed, 7f, 2yo (4p Bet365)

ALFRED MUNNINGS 5 pts Win – THE FOXES 2 pts e/w

JERSEY STAKES – Group 3, 7f, 3yo (5p Skybet W Hill)

NOBLE TRUTH 3 pts Win – ROCCCIGIANI 2 pts e/w – ALFLALIA with the other two in a ½ pt CFC

HARDWICKE STAKES – Group 2, 1m4f, 4yo+


PLATINUM JUBILEE STAKES – Group 1, 6f, 4yo+ (6p)

ARTORIUS 3 pts e/w – A CASE OF YOU 2 pts e/w – CAMPANELLE 2 pts e/w

WOKINGHAM STAKES – Heritage Handicap, 6f, 3yo+ (8p Skybet 7p generally)


GOLDEN GATES STAKES – Handicap, 1m2f, 3y (6p Skybet)


QUEEN ALEXANDRA STAKES – 2m6f, 4yo+ (4p)

TRUESHAN 5 pts win – STRATUM 2 pts e/w – CALLING THE WIND 2 pts e/w

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