Monthly Archives: July 2009

Farewell Sir Bobby Robson

Today the news broke that we have lost Bobby Robson after a long battle against cancer.  At first I could not take it in.  He was only out on Sunday watching a charity game, football truly was his life.

Now I am forced to think about it, and I really rather would not have to, it seems Bobby Robson epitomised the role of football manager to me.  I was brought up in a non-football home.  I never went to a game or watched a brother, dad or boyfriend on the pitch.  I had a vague remembrance of Nottingham Forest on MOTD in the 70s and my best friend’s brother had a Liverpool poster but that was it for me as a child.  Then England came to town under Bobby and suddenly as a young adult with my own tv in my own home I was watching the match – for pleasure.  That was what Bobby Robson’s England side meant to me and that is what it patently meant to him.  Those lads played for him in a way we seem to have lost sometimes these days and despite the dodgy hairdos and random pop tunes, Bobby Robson and his England side were for me (too young for ’66) the glory days.

Practice makes permanent

"Practice makes permanent"

They call it the Audi Stakes @ 2.45 Goodwood

The Racing Post Spotlight verdict says: “Hard to imagine many stronger Group 3 sprints with a host of Group 1 winners in the field, all escaping a penalty.”

I call it a bleeding nightmare (in impeccable flat vowels naturally).

The going remains good after 5mm of overnight rain, I wonder if it might ride on the dead side myself, although the Going Stick (strange contraption IMO) disagrees.  If so, that won’t entirely suit the Greek Freak Ialysos and I would hazard a guess that he might be wondering a bit about the undulations too.  Of course it’s all guess work and supposition if I don’t throw the kids in the car and speed down there right now (it’s not too late after all) but devoted as I am to the sport, a trip to Glorious Goodwood takes a tad more planning than that, if only on the picnic front.  Plus this has guessers’ race (I assume there will be more than one of us) written all over it so it wouldn’t be worth the bother.

Nonetheless it is quite interesting to pick over some of the contenders in this 5f dash.  I have ruled out Kingsgate Native before on account of his brain being fried as a 2yo but I will be looking at him closely today.  He has some good course form behind July Cup winner Fleeting Spirit and I have a little feeling that the wide open spaces of Goodwood might just help him to swallow that chill pill Sir Michael must have been offering him all season. If the terrier that is the Native can win again I will abandon my Stoute embargo henceforth, such would be my admiration for the achievement/

We all know about Borderlescott and it will, once again, be about how the cards drop for him.  A nicer horse/trainer combo it’s hard to find but I never followed this lad over a cliff and I won’t be starting today at the forecast prices.  Dandy Man promised so much but has never quite delivered.  I think it is fair to say that sprinters are not Goldophin’s forte.  Reverence is a lovely lad (and if any of these three hosed in I would be quite happy) but it is fair to say he does best on a softer surface and his fastest days may now be behind him – not unlike mine 😉

So my pin, tarnished from lack of use, hovers over Kingsgate Native (depending on whether he can pop his eyes back in their sockets) and two others who come to the race on the back of some uninspiring form.  Moorhouse Lad has all the speed if he can turn it on and he has a nice bit of CD to his name too.  Smart’s string have not been quite at their best recently so I am putting his last run down to that.  The other is Fat Boy.  Aptly named he will have needed it the first time in the Palace Stakes and with better ground I would hope to see a quite radical improvement this afternoon.  He too, has some interesting pieces of form at the track.  There will be others much better backed this afternoon and with sprints there will alway be a bit of luck in running to pray for but  am happy to have a guesser’s dabble on these three later.

Kingsgate Native - hell be in the Cheveley Park silks later

Kingsgate Native - he'll be in the Cheveley Park silks later

How to Speak Estuary English

I’m feeling indolent – the following was emailed to me today and it raised a smile.  I have put the first in bold for obvious reasons!

This is an invaluable guide……for those of you that are planning to venture into darkest depths of Essex .
A task not for the faint-hearted

awss – A four legged animal, on which money is won, or more likely lost (“That awss ya tipped cost me a fiver t’day”)
alma chizzit – A request to find the cost of an item
amant – Quantity; sum total (“Thez a yuge amant of mud inSaffend”)
assband – Unable to leave the house because of illness, disability
branna – More brown than on a previous occasion (“Ere, Trace, ya look branna today, ave you been on sunbed?”)
cort a panda – A rather large hamburger
Dan in the maff – Unhappy (“Wossmatta, Trace, ya look a bit Dan in the maff”)
eye-eels – Women’s shoes
Furrock – The location of Lakeside Shopping Centre
garrij – A building where a car is kept or repaired(Trace: “Oi,Darren, I fink the motah needs at go in the garrij cos it aint working proper”)
Ibeefa – Balaeric holiday island
lafarjik – Lacking in energy (“I feel all lafarjik”)
OI OI! – Traditional greeting. Often heard from the doorway of pubs or during banging dance tunes at clubs
paipa – The Sun, The Mirror or The Sport
reband – The period of recovery and emotional turmoil after rejection by a lover (“I couldn’t elp it, I wuz on the reband from Craig”)
Saffend – Essex coastal resort boasting the longest pleasure pier in the world. The place where the characters from TV’s, popular soap
Eastenders go on holiday
tan – The city of London , the big smoke
webbats – Querying the location something or someone is. (“Webbats is me dole card Trace? I’ve gotta sign on in arf hour”)
wonnid – 1. Desired, needed. 2. Wanted by the police
zaggerate – To suggest that something is bigger or better than it actually is. (“I told ya a fazzand times already”)

Aint all that bad

Ain't all that bad

Definitely Racing! Sussex Stakes Consideration…

This has been brief I admit.  If we get a downpour as per the Met Office’s “Weather Warning” the goalposts will move considerably in any case so I don’t see much point in death by preview.

Ghanaati won’t want rain.  She also might improve but the course is an unknown as is her fairer sex form.  I still love her miler’s pedigree with a passion but the ifs and buts are tempering my usual enthusiasm for a filly against the colts.  Look Here hasn’t helped either to be truthful.

Rip Van Winkle has apparently had a minor setback, some suspect ramping, frankly I don’t care.  He may be putatively the “best horse in the race” but I don’t think this mile will see him at his very best anyway.  Dangerous but discounted nonetheless.

I like Lord Shanakill and I like Paco Boy.  It seems silly to write, the horse that wins finishes his race off best, but at Goodwood it does often seem to me to be about the finish and I can rely on Paco Boy in that respect in spades.  He also has the all-important course form and when I last looked the 11/4 seemed a touch generous.  Noseda’s Forgotten Voice is going to be an each-way price and is not without a chance for a place, but realistically I suppose we are looking at the three market leaders to fill the places in some order or another.  I am concerned about Ghanaati, I am a big, big fan but I am worried about rain, the course and the colts so I won’t back her today. 

My money is on the Boy.  I’m going to be tempted by the Lord.  Let’s hope the rain stays away 🙂

Lord Shanakills - undoubtedly tough

Lord Shanakill - undoubtedly tough

Cycling, Racing or Neither?

Day one of Glorious Goodwood and my head is still full of cycling thoughts cycling… I’ve read the Balding yard think a lot SWINDLER in the Gordon Stakes at 2.45 today and I was shocked to read that Masterofthehorse is with Miss D Mountain now.  No disrespect to her, but not where I thought he would be come the summer season.  I must have been on another planet for that piece of info to pass me by and that is rather how it feels.  As if I am halfway between the biggest organic chemical comedown I’ve ever experienced, courtesy of the bike, and my own life. 

Seems I have some reinterpretation of daily routine to organise.  I’ll have to take the dog for a run and think about it.



I’m back from a joyful and somewhat painful event!

When you spend about ten hours a day on the bike, pedalling away like a nutter, the mind plays tricks on you. At least mine did. I was busy trying to stay in the moment; not think ahead too much and certainly not beyond the next refreshment stop and my preoccupations became slightly bizarre to say the least. One was this –  had Saeed Manana (an Arab owner of racehorses) been strongly influenced in his choice of racing silks by French roadsigns?

The other recurring theme became a list. A never-ending list of pointless items that seem to get manufactured in some mysterious and warped factory despite there being perfectly good and sensible alternatives made anyway. For example – white hotel kettles that boil in their own time, orange juice that comes out of a bottle and tastes nothing like orange juice, railway signs that say “Kensal Rise – Temporary Sign” (actually that was when I was on the train with the bike but I was thinking about cycling) and finally the design of public places and transport’s soft furnishings and upholstery, which I consider to be the products of truly disturbed minds.

Je ne comprends pas!

Je ne comprends pas!

More on the actual cycling later…

Oh and don’t forget I am chez

It’s a good cause – honest.


Toodle Pip Mes Amis…

The makemeadiva blog is off to catch Mr Wiggins et al in Paris – full blog service to resume next week with exciting tales of the Tour and derring-do over the South Downs and in Normandy.

In the meantime I will leave you with a few more of the the “Pure Gold Search Terms” so you can fill in the mind-boggling blanks for me.

1) “and the fire that breaks from me then, a” – not “a” not “an” so it’s not explosion!

2) “he achieved a notable first in 1982” – who and what?

I hope that is an accurate depiction of the weather...

I hope that is an accurate depiction of the weather...

Look Here

at the trainer Ralph Beckett talking about his King George contender and Oaks winner – Look Here.

I’m going to miss the race being otherwise occupied pedalling somewhere west of Paris, but I shall be thinking about her as I have backed her each-way.  She will need things to drop right for her, and that includes no rain please, but I think Mr Beckett’s summation of her chances is fair enough and although I like and respect market leader Conduit my stakes are riding on the filly and it would not be a huge shock should she be thereabouts this Saturday at Ascot.

Oaks, what Oaks?

Oaks, what Oaks?

Carb-loading starts

Regretfully without the burrata cheese which sounded a bit disgusting frankly, described as being like mozzarella with buttery cream/creamy butter inside, and not worth the effort of sourcing.

So I made do with broad bean, asparagus and smoked salmon pasta with a lemon and dill sauce. Perfectly acceptable and the children had fun with the broad beans.

I spent the morning surrounded by cakes and biscuits in a day-long and terribly dull meeting for a database but I have learned you can’t carb-load a)in public b) before lunch. At least I can’t.

Actually carb-loading makes me feel a bit sick but I think it may be a necessity if I am not to topple off the ferry mid-crossing to Caen in a fit of exhaustion.

I think nerves and carbs are making me, if not quite monosyllabic, a bit less blogvoluble than usual.

Carbs spookily arranged as a dead deer (protein)

Carbs spookily arranged as a dead deer (protein)