Sunday, April 19, 2009

The bottom drawer...

On Saturday the going at Newbury was described as soft while Ayr was on the fast side of good; for a moment I thought the two reports had been inadvertently mixed up! Hello Bud won the Scottish National in some style, managing to successfully make all over four miles. In that race Timmy Murphy was originally booked to ride Merigo, owned by his father-in-law, but the horse was withdrawn on account of the ground. Now I'm sure the thought must have crossed Timmy's mind that perhaps he'd managed to wriggle out of a potentially awkward situation there... None of it. Raymond Green, a big Rangers fan, had Timmy ride another of his runners, King Barry, named after the Rangers midfielder Barry Ferguson. After recent events I'm sure Barry would have appreciated some decent publicity; King Barry did his best to oblige, running up with the pace for much of the race but he faded from five out, finishing a respectable seventh.

A week on the Flat - Fantasia wins the Nell Gwyn impressively, Brian Meehan's Delegator the Craven without breaking sweat. Mr Meehan must have thought he'd bagged the Fred Darling as well with Super Sleuth but Mick Channon's Lahaleeb claimed the spoils in the shadow of the post. Jim Bolger's Vocalised won the Greenham but looks likely to miss the Guineas.

My miserable existence has become that little bit more miserable with the news of the passing of Sir Clement Freud. There have been several tributes in the press. My two favourite Sir Clement stories are his managing to secure payment equal to the Prime Minister's (at that time) for appearing with Henry the basset hound when promoting Minced Morsels in a television advertising campaign, and his placing a bet of £1,000 on himself to win the Isle of Ely by-election in 1973 at the rather rewarding odds of 33/1.

With the Flat about to take centre stage, Mrs Tips has stated that one of my summer jobs is to read Eclipse by Nicholas Clee. I fully intend to do so (and write a comprehensive review to boot) but, as is the case with several married men I know, once my wife has told me to do something, I never quite get around to it...

Finally, it may have escaped your notice that on April 9th Kim Bailey's Max Bygraves won a novices' handicap hurdle at Ludlow. Rumours that the jockey, J M Maguire, dismounted and started his post-race debrief by saying 'I wanna tell ya a little sto-ry' are wide of the mark.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't I know it!

Having said that, I didn't say that Mr Tips HAD to read the book. I had a chance to look over the book, on an occasional visit to 'Borders', I thought it might be a good read for those who know a bit about horse racing and might be interested in the history behind it. Since then Simon Barnes, from 'The Times' has said it is a book horse racing lovers should make an attempt to read, so there you go!