18th August 2014

When driving to Nottingham last Tuesday, I was listening to an interview with comedian Ricky Gervais on Radio 2. He said that strangers have a habit of asking him to ‘tell us a joke’. He seemed to think that this was completely ridiculous and pointed out that you wouldn’t meet a builder in the street and say, ‘build us a wall, will you?’

He should try being a racehorse trainer. ‘Give us a winner’ – I get that ridiculous request, without fail, every single time I go racing. And others ask, in all seriousness, ‘will it win?’. When I try to explain, as politely as possible, that I don’t actually know and, if I did, I would be mega-rich and there would be no bookmaking industry to speak of, they invariably laugh.

It gets wearing as do the countless text messages and e mails claiming that I am a cheat and wishing all manner of ills on me, my family, the jockeys, and their families. They usually come when favourites get beaten but, on Saturday, I actually got one when a favourite, Bizzario, won at Chester.
It came from some idiot calling himself ‘Head Gate’ (‘Head Case’ would be a better name if you ask me), e mail address gathot@live.co.uk, and it claimed that Bizzario had either been doped or we have been cheating and had prevented Bizzario from running up to his best on his last two starts. If you know him, tell him what a plonker he is.

On the same trip to Nottingham I came up behind a white van of ‘tranny’ size and shape but this one was not the ubiquitous Ford Transit. This one was a Renault and the model, highlighted by the chrome plated badge on the back, was a Renault Trafic (yes, one f) Sport. ‘Sport’? What’s that all about?

On checking their website I found that the ‘sport’ model has a number of extras including alloy wheels, leather covered steering wheel and fog lights. There was no mention of what type of sport it is equipped for. The mind boggles!

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