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.Continue reading
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…Continue reading →
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…Continue reading →
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.Continue reading →
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…Continue reading →
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.Continue reading →
According to Gallup’s Global Emotions report, we’ve never been happier than we were last year. We’ve also never been so tense, angry of fretful – which just goes to show that the majority of people are never happy unless they have something to moan about.
The British were marginally happier than average, scoring 75 out of 100 in the ‘happiness index’ compared to a global score of 71. The French, always a step behind the British, scored only 73 in a ranking system which appears to show that nations with a significant horseracing industry are at an advantage. The Greeks were the least happy of all – probably because they don’t have enough racing.Continue reading →
The Stone Age didn’t come to an end because we ran out of rocks.
But by the same token, we didn’t stop using rocks just because the Stone Age came to an end. We might have stopped throwing pointy bits of flint at each other, but we continued to use stone for more constructive purposes – like the new parade ring viewing terraces at Kelso, fashioned out of sandstone from the nearby quarry at Swinton.Continue reading →
Just as Parisians will have looked across the night sky on Monday evening and hoped that the bright light in the distance wasn’t really the blazing roof of Notre-Dame, so it is that sometimes we catch a glimpse of a light at the end of the tunnel and hope that it isn’t the headlights of an oncoming train.Continue reading →
I don’t think Laleh Shahravesh was being complimentary when she responded to a photograph of her ex-husband and his new wife by posting, “You left me for this horse?”
I doubt she was making a comment about his bride’s glossy mane, sleek body or elegant poise. More likely that she was trying to say that his new partner had a big nose, swivelling ears and eyes positioned on the sides of her head.Continue reading →