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

When a company name sounds too clever, it normally is by half

Capt. Kneesup

Capt. Kneesup


I remember someone years ago, (fortunately not a friend), asking me my opinion of something called the Layeze Betting Syndicate, which was, allegedly the bees’ knees. It was run by a chap called Michael Stanley, and he was making his members a lot of money. (Let me just hasten to add, that he is not a Stanley Stanley, just an ordinary stanley.)

In general, my memory says that I advised against on the grounds that I didn’t like the misspelt name, had got confused by Norman Stanley Fletcher from”Porridge”, and suggested that very few people made money from lazy thinking however it was spelt. This week it transpired I was right, as news emerged that the whole thing had been a gigantic Ponzi scheme. Who would have guessed?

Stan the Man ran this for nine years; had 6000 members, who gave him at least £40.3m. Only a million of that went on actual bets and £27½m on the actual Ponzi scheme. (There you go, Mrs Brown, that’s your dividend this week of £120 from your £10,000 investment the equivalent of an APR of 50% over 3 years – can I reinvest it? – of course – how sensible. You’re a very wise woman Mrs Brown… and if I may so a damned attractive one!). He bought 23 horses for £1.6m and generally lived a high-old life. The creditors have got various claims totalling £53m paid in (no I don’t know why it’s different from the investment unless its reinvestments), and £158.7m on reported profits.

It’s precisely at this moment that I realise I am too stupid and way too lazy to run a Ponzi scheme. Firstly that’s 6000 people Stanley had to juggle and maintain plausibility with – I struggle with just looking after you lot and you’re not even paying me. On top of that, I don’t understand why a creditor thinks that reported profits on a Ponzi scheme actually exist. If I were Stanley I’d be miffed at the thought that I might get done for false accounting! The principal, of course, should be, that if you don’t understand a criminal endeavour in the first place, it’s probably best you don’t get involved. Especially when the crim’s been cute with the name, and even worse when you discover you might lose money!

Talking of the risk of losing money, here are today’s tips for the second day of The Cambridgeshire meeting.

13:15 – Derrinstown Irish EBF Maiden Stakes (Plus 10) (Class 4) (2YO only) 7f

CROSSFORD ran a bit green on debut over 6f at Donny, but ran pleasingly with 1 winner 1 runner coming from the race. He was held up and went forward challenging at the furlong pole. He then hung left and ran out of steam. He’ll come on and is a nice prospect for Charlie Hills.


13:50 – Tasleet British EBF Rosemary Stakes (Listed) (Fillies And Mares) (Class 1) (3YO plus) 1m

I am worried by the prospect of rain this afternoon for UMMALNAR who ran well at Ascot over the distance LTO. She seemed to relish the quicker ground from her race at Ripon before that, admittedly over 2f further. She looked like a Class 1 animal – just a question of ground. BIZZI LIZZI looks a powerhouse and both her runs have shown her capacity for high cruising speed and a set of extra gears.


14:25 – Princess Royal Muhaarar Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies And Mares) (Class 1) (3YO plus) 1m 4f

I noticed that Sir Mark Prescott believes it is near impossible to have fun these days. Having raced, coursed, dined and generally had some very good times with the great man, I fear he is probably right. However, he might be cheered up by ALPINISTA this afternoon, who has already won a Listed race at Salisbury and coming second to Love in the Yorkshire Oaks LTO. Good enough for me and I hope for Sir Mark and his team.


15:00 – Shadwell Rockfel Stakes (Fillies’ Group 2) (Class 1) (2YO only) 7f

All the talk is of MONDAY, but I quite like the look of ISABELLA GILES at better odds. For fans of ALBA ROSE, bear in mind that her stayers bloodline tends to blossom as three-year-olds, so perhaps one for the notebook.


15:35 – Shadwell Joel Stakes (Group 2) (Class 1) (3YO plus) 1m

KAMEKO has shown little since the 2000 Guineas here in June but then he doesn’t get 10f so you can ignore those races. However, even if back on top form, he wil to be in top form to beat BENBATL, who won this race by 5l off the back of an 11-month break last year and will be primed for this. If I could get a third-place about ZABEEL PRINCE or if the heavens open up, then he’s a surprise in waiting.


16:10 – Eqtidaar Godolphin Stakes (Listed) (Class 1) (3YO plus) 1m 4f


16:45 – Shadwell Farm Handicap (Class 3) (3YO plus) 1m 1f



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