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Old Friends

We have a large carbuncular library within walking distance and I seem to spend a lot of time there for one thing and another (usually work-related).  Helpfully, someone has the task of picking out new publications and sticking them facing forwards on a shelf near the exit.  This means I can grab a book as I leave without having to take a turn round and up and down the library.

I was very pleased to find “Freud On Course” by Clement Freud on the shelf yesterday, so I snaffled it up and am really enjoying it.  His column in the Racing Post on a Saturday was, without fail, funny and I miss reading it.  I was once in love with Brazilian, coke-snorting riding instructor (not the one who sent me to my doom on Spider!) and, as a Freud family friend, he was in possession of a racehorse that Clement had given him in a fit of generosity.  I never made it down to Epsom to see the horse as the affair never really got off the ground (just as well all things considered, although I did not think so at the time), but I wish I had, because it would have been nice to have patted the nose of a Freud horse and got some more back story.

Anyhow, if there is anything that a prospective or current gambler should consider it is this pearl on page 15 of the book:

“Do you mind losing more than you enjoy winning?  If the answer is in the affirmative, find another hobby.”

I don’t mind losing (mainly) but I will say this lad on the left tested the maxim to the very limit in that Champion Hurdle a few years back.  Nonetheless I have a grudging fondness for the old monkey and wish Harchibald a long and happy retirement.  Word is he may tip up at the Dublin Horse Show with his old mucker Brave Inca.  Rudi’s Irish mates saw the spectacle last year and said the racehorses stole the show – now that might be worth getting on a plane for (after a handful of Valium and a couple of Jamesons).

Harchibald following Clement Freud's advice