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Posts by Jonathan

The Weekly Blog

Soft Boiled & Deep Fried

I have a confession. I can’t remember which horse won the County Hurdle on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival this year.

The problem is, after decades of dedicated Festival form study, I have developed a new obsession in the form of scotch eggs. And every time I think about Gold Cup Day, I can’t get beyond the delicious scotch eggs that we enjoyed in the car park before racing.

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The Weekly Blog

Searching for Answers

While browsing the shelves of Waterstones in Carlisle last weekend, I picked up a copy of Tuesdays with Morrie, an account of enlightening conversations between an American journalist (the author Mitch Albom, who portrays himself as a bit of a schmuck) and his former college professor who is dying from a degenerative disease.

First published in 1997, the book offers wisdom on life, death, love, family, work, money, fear and forgiveness. Nowadays of course we don’t have to talk to old men because we have the internet instead…

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The Weekly Blog

The Second Oldest Profession

Next week, representatives of the world’s oldest professions will gather in the company of royalty for one of the world’s most celebrated events. Lawyers, spies, politicians, prostitutes, drug dealers, purveyors of alcohol and racehorse trainers – they’ll all be found among the crowd at Royal Ascot, some probably more welcome than others.

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The Weekly Blog

Resisting Everything But Temptation

The trick, to enjoying the races, is to have just the one drink.

But, as Oscar Wilde wrote, I can resist everything except temptation. Somehow resistance to the second drink is weakened by the first and pretty soon you realise, as you wander from picnic to picnic, that you won’t be driving anywhere later in the day. Probably not anywhere until Sunday…

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The Weekly Blog

Chalk & Cheese

If the European elections proved anything at all, it is that the country is hopelessly divided. There are those who would like to have cheese with their pickle, and others that would prefer chalk.

I can only recall one character who was supposed to have eaten chalk: the wolf, who did so to soften his voice while pretending to be Little Red Riding Hood’s granny. He didn’t meet a good end…

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The Weekly Blog

Can I Bring My Dog?

A consultant surgeon, Rebecca Dunlop, has warned racegoers that they shouldn’t wrap dog-leashes around their fingers for fear that they could incur serious hand injuries. Thousands of people could be at risk from lacerations, friction burns, fractures and ligament injuries. Assuming of course, that they own a dog.

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The Weekly Blog

Get in the Spirit

Good things come to those who wait and the anticipation of good things is the oil that lubricates horseracing’s engine – whether it’s the Frankel foal in the paddock, the novice hurdler that’s destined for Grand National glory or the antepost betting slip for next year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The optimism of racing enthusiasts is what sets them apart from the rest of society. Because, to a racing person, there is as little as no difference between living in hope and basking in the knowledge of a sure-thing. We’re confident; we’re believers; we have a faith that is not easily shaken by failure…

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The Weekly Blog

Money Laundering

The Royal Mint made 213 million twenty-pence pieces in 2016. But when the old one-pound coin was being phased out, the nation went in search of forgotten piggy banks and found so much small change that the Royal Mint didn’t need to make any twenty-pence coins at all in 2017. Not one – look in your pocket, you won’t find any.

Punters are even worse at mislaying their small change. Many of us are so underwhelmed when our ten-pence each-way super-yankee registers just two placed horses (instead of the five winners that we were confidently expecting) that we don’t bother to pick up the resultant winnings of 42p.

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