Showing posts from September, 2011

Forty to Follow: Jumps 2011-12

Forty beasts of burden for the jumps season approaching. Follow at your peril. 1.     Alfie Spinner - Nick Williams                                    Still only a 6 y-o and shaped nicely last year in staying handicap hurdles, albeit without picking up a win. Sure to land a nice prize if, as expected, he keeps ahead of the handicapper. 2.     Ambion Wood - Victor Dartnall                                    Won a Uttoxeter bumper in some style and rates a good prospect if converting that promise to hurdles. 3.     Anychancedave  - Alan Swinbank            Been given a good education by Swinbank in bumpers and stuck on gamely to land a double at Market Rasen. Likely to be seen to best effect in staying novice hurdles. Not picked just for the name. Honest. 4.     Best Lover - James Ewart                                                Injury-prone horse, but with bags of talent. Curtailed season after good chase win. From a canny, careful Scottish yard and has pr

The Breakfast Club

One of the benefits of a working week based mostly at home is the opportunity it affords to pop out for breakfast now and again. I find a good fry-up in a neutral space promotes thinking time, provides reading room…..and encourages Racing Post study. Berkhamsted is surprisingly well endowed with breakfast options, ranging from greasy spoon tradition to gastro pub exuberance. So what is the best breakfast experience in Berko? Which establishment provides the perfect balance between a top fry-up (I consider myself to be an expert) and an honest environment in which to scoff it? I intend to find out. My artery-clogging mission begins at The Crown , a Wetherspoons pub opposite Tesco’s. I’ve had more breakfasts in here than anywhere else in town, so it seems reasonable to begin the odyssey here. This is where I first discovered the delights of lingering over the racing pages in the middle of the morning, feeling like a naughty schoolboy bunking off lessons. I’ve met others down here

Birthday Boy

Little did I know, in tipping up a bunch of losers for Alex’s trip to Newmarket last Saturday, that I’d be there myself. Mrs A had a proper birthday treat in store for me: only a trip to Newmarket Races (the posh enclosure, mind!) and a sleepover in a rather lovely little B&B tucked away in the side streets. I’d never been to the Rowley Mile course before. I’ve been to the July course at the other end of the same track a couple of times. But not to the home of the season’s first two classics and a host of other top class races. Small kerfuffle in trying to get in. We had tickets for the 17 th but the badges accompanying them were wrong. They were for the Cambridgeshire meeting next week. I’d have been happy to come then as well, but sadly, officialdom insisted we must have the correct purple ones instead. Birthday boy But look at me, look at me. I’m at the home of racing!  Me and the legend That’s Eclipse that is. (The one on the left). Legendary sire

Padding Up

I had an interesting conversation with Euston lost property office today. This was as a result of leaving a pair of cricket pads on the 5.05 arrival at Euston last night. I realised I’d left them behind only when I arrived at The Oval (excuse me, The Kia Oval, following on the heels of the Brit Oval and before it the Fosters Oval – where my mate once went up to the bar and said “Hi. What lagers do you do?”) ready for nets and thought something was missing. Ah yes. The pads! This was before the beers that invariably follow a net session. So not even alcohol can be blamed. It took a few calls (and even some tweeting) to find the right phone number. The conversation, eventually, with the lost property office went something like…. “Hello. Euston lost property.” “Hello, I left a pair of cricket pads on the train last night just gone 5 o’clock” “What is this cricket pads?” “You know, a pair of white padded leg guards?” “Leg guards?” “Yes. Do you know crick