HEADING FOR THE (KNAVES)MIRE! It’s serious stuff from tomorrow, with the great Ebor meeting at York, so Daqman today lightens the mood with comment on the racing news that is and was (or has never been). Read his Racing Terminology and Lost In Translation. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
AINTREE AND THE SOUND OF MUSIC
There is a Utopia of which politicians and bureaucrats dream, in which everything is the same and easy to control; everyone behaves the same and doesn’t answer back.
We all do well at school and go into a file marked: Safe and Sanitized. For all who can afford university, there is a job afterwards as a barista in Starbucks.
In this Distopia, every town will be the same; the same high streets of banks and chain stores, from which everyone will eat the same and wear the same clothes, advertised on the same old same old TV shows. We will be told that it’s for our own good, and that this is prosperity. Every rebel will be ‘dealt with’.
Softening up the Grand National is for our own good and the fact that almost the entire racing fraternity rebels against it will be ignored, which is the English way of being ‘dealt with’.
Sports authorities have long ago learned Septic Blatter, a new language to describe what they want to do and explain to everyone else why it’s a ‘good thing’ or prevent anything worthwhile by labeling it a ‘bad thing.’
So it is that we have a glut of meaningless fixtures, while our major races plummet below the top 20 in the league tables of the world and our jockeys get stood down for waving sticks of thin cardboard at a horse’s ass.
I think they should go the whole hog with the National. Shorten the distance so the horses don’t get tired. Lower the fences so they all get round. Reduce the number of runners so they don’t knock into each other. Jockeys could wear American-football gear in case they fall off.
To make it absolutely fair, each horse must be paced so as to take the same number of strides between fences. Here is graceful unison in time and tempo to music from the stands.
Amazing variation can be created by a race-by-race choice between the Beeb Slowmo Suite in which horses try not to touch the ground, and the Channel 4 theme, Burlington Bertie, in which a hairy fat man and a thin lady leap up and down to such tunes as Driftinallawhilemac and Flipfloppingfavourites.
LOST IN TRANSLATION
* QUOTE ‘We were all as surprised as everyone else when Knacker’s Boy won by 20 lengths at 1,000-1.’ TRANSLATION: It took 40 men six hours to spread the bets from Grimsby to Gibraltar but it was worth it.
* QUOTE ‘Big-race winners don’t come along all that often; I only wish they did.’ TRANSLATION: My stable got lucky so I’ve been able to spend the rest of the century complaining about the virus and the cold winters and drinking Pimms with Lady Fiannula Horseface.
* QUOTE ‘I know he’s been off the course 943 days but I think we’ve got him back to his old self at last.’ TRANSLATION: It took us years to get the recipe right so that he passes every known drug test without rolling his eyeballs and sweating like a detergent.
* QUOTE ‘All I want is one good horse.’ TRANSLATION: I’ve inherited a load of old codswallop and I need the owners more than I need these horses.
* QUOTE ‘Overrounds are down to the lowest since World War 1.’ TRANSLATION: We’ve found a way to hedge everything on the exchanges and still make a profit at SP.
FESTIVAL: Any race meeting of more than one day.
ANNUAL FESTIVAL: A former festival now extended to five days by adding a ladies’ race, a veterans’ Derby and an all-greys sprint.
BAD PUBLICITY FOR RACING: When the authorities didn’t know what to say or do about something they didn’t anticipate but should have.
A GOSDEN: A man who speaks commonsense when the authorities didn’t know what to say or do about something they didn’t anticipate but should have.
BOY BAND: Tom Segal, Kieren Fallon, Simon Holt, Nick Mordin and Paul Kealy sing Every Weak End Is The Same.
COMMENTATOR: Man with sound apparatus who is giving them all a start.
GRAND PRIX DE PARIS: A French plan to destroy the Derby by converting English prix to two huge prizes, the Grand Prix and the Arc, and so make France the thoroughbred centre of the racing world.
FRENCH DERBY: A former Classic race over 1m 2f open to all ages after 2012 to attract the remaining English and Irish horses that would normally run in the Eclipse.
PRICEWISE: A bet at a price that was only available to wise guys.
101 DALMATIANS: The number of feature writers spotted on the Racing Post. (For definition of ‘feature’ see ‘Newtonian Theory’).
RACE OF THE CENTURY: Run once a month on average.
RADICAL OVERHAUL: No change.
TITLE RACE: When one jockey is 22 winners clear but there’s nothing else to write about.
WONDER HORSE: Frankle. Kato Star. Seever Stars. Camphor Cliffs. Big Mac.
BET 2pts win and place MARYS PET (5.00 Brighton)
LAY to win 10pts NEW RACKHEATH (5.40 Worcester)
BET 12pts win (nap) BILLLY BUTTONS (6.20 Kempton)
BET 1pt win and place GREEN AGENDA (7.50 Kempton)