Sunday, September 13, 2009


Channel 4's coverage of the St Leger at Doncaster highlighted the tradition where the town's first-born child on the day of the race is given life membership of the track when reaching the age of sixteen; this year's recipient was Thomas Peter Talbot who entered this world thirteen minutes after midnight on the day in question.

Now I admit I was dozing a little but I'm sure I heard Channel 4's Jim McGrath say something like this during commentary. 'It's a glorious day to be watching horses. Of the four-legged variety, several look [well with the sun on their backs]'. Now, was Jim McGrath trying to make a statement there about the existence of horses with more / less than four legs?

On an altogether more sombre note, following the recent tragic deaths of two apprentice jockeys, Jamie Kyne and Jan Wilson, Julian Muscat wrote an excellent piece in Tuesday's Times that highlighted the spartan existence of the racing apprentice.

If you're a jump jockey, the chances are you won't get a chance to ride in the Derby; that said, the next best thing has to be a ride in the Jump Jockeys' Derby Handicap. Sam Thomas won Thursday's renewal over Epsom's Derby course on the appropriately-named Epsom Salts, the horse carrying the burden of eleven stones and five pounds to victory!

Of some potential interest to some readers - former Southampton player Matt Le Tissier's admission in his recently published autobiography that he was part of a failed betting scam is likely to result in both the FA and the police asking further questions; in South Africa a pigeon has carried 4Gb of data to its destination faster than broadband; and if you want a big win at the races for a small stake, Kevin Knight's experience would suggest you're better off knowing nothing about racing whatsoever...

Finally my junk mail item of the week comes from Virgin Trains. I quote: 'Treat yourself like Royalty with First Class travel... Whether you are attending the unveiling of a stately home's new garden, your brother's birthday, or any other engagement, it's always nicer to have some special treatment on the way.' Attending the unveiling of a stately home's new garden? Where did that come from?

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