Sunday, 13 January 2013



 "Up the creek with only a plank for a paddle" as Mark Johnson puts it.
Best explanes delay, tecnical computer problems over last two weeks. JMC
 (12.01. 2013)



a photograph of Sergeant Wilson
"What is the connection between Sergeant Wilson, Bird's custard and Merryman 11?"

DAVID’S MUSINGS this Saturday take up the top half of page 21. One can’t help but notice the other half of this page. A Paddy Power advert, with a large bay horse yawning with his mouth wide open and his eyes tight shut. Clearly this horse does not rate Paddy Power much. David bangs on about names Violets' and Gladys', but Paddy Powers advert does not give the name of the horse on his part of this page, Paddy just bangs on about the treats  he has in store for losers. 
Paddy Power would get given hundreds of horses names probably, in one day taking bets from punters. Have you ever noticed the information contained within every racecard? The first bit of kit you need when you arrive on a racecourse, bar your Racing Post which you will already have with you, and have checked out before leaving home.

David "VIOLET JORDAN. It’s a lovely name and, if you back flowers, your betting will have blossomed recently (Iknow, it’s a terrible joke; hardly a joke at all, really). With Brown Pete winning three times in quick succession for Jordan last month, and Daniel Thomas providing the yard with a rare double at Lingfield two weeks ago. Violet took over when her husband Frank Jordan died just over two years ago, and it’s nice to see her having some winners.
“I don’t suppose Violet was ever like her more famous namesake, Violet Elizabeth Bott, who made her name in Just William books, and, when thwarted, was prone to lisp, “I’ll thcream and thcream ‘til I’m thick.”

“Not that you’ll be able to find a Violet now.   In 1904, as you probably know, Violet was the 17th most popular name  for girls but it has long since disappeared from the top 100, leaving Violet Jordan to fly the flag for a name that surely deserves to become fashionable again.

“If you are about to have a baby, please call it Violet, even if it is a boy. After all, one of Ireland’s top jump jockeys has the 20th most popular Irish name, for girls. That’s Ruby Walsh, Ruby being short for Rupert.

“If Violet has fallen on hard times, it’s worse for Gladys. Can you think of a trainer or even an owner called Gladys, ever? Yet in 1904, as in 1914, Gladys was 11th in the popularity table.
“For along time, most English children had an Auntie called Gladys but not any more, and Gladys may well be illegal now. The last one I knew was Gladys Petty, a next-door neighbour in Bradford. “Yorkshire born and Yorkshire bred ,” Gladys would declare, loudly, “Strong in’t arm and weak in’t head.”
DAVID'’s, Violets’ and Gladys’ will any of them have ever had a day out at the races in 1904 
or in 1914? Charles Dickens powerful and vivid character sketches portray an existence of cruelty within a wicked pecking order of how things where over a century ago. The harsh reality of how the life and times for all Violets’ and all Gladys’ were back then. If you sit down and think about that, it does not seem so long ago, perhaps that is when the fear begins to kick in. How far have David’s Violets’ and Gladys’ come to date?
The brilliant “Dads Army Series”,  David asks “What is the connection between Sergeant Wilson, Bird’s custard and Merryman 11?

David asks "The name game and two tricky questions? Just like “The answer was there all the time.” kind of way. But do you know the answer? Not yet perhaps, there is  more to come.

David continues “She’d go off on a mystery coach tour (Scarborough) and, when asked whether she’d had a good time, invariably replied, “Eee, it were grand. The scones!  You should have seen the size of them. And the cream!”

“Even in her heyday, Gladys probably wasn’t as popular as a girl at school whose name was
Julia Bangs, but I digress. She doesn’t train, unlike Laura Young and Jim Old. I’d like to see them together, then they could be Mr and Mrs Young-Old. Silly, I know, but there’s something fascinating about the names you stumble across when studying racecards, as an alternative to watching the next 46-60 Class 6 handicap at Wolverhampton. Who for instance, is Lady Susan Brooke, who has been training for years, quietly, and ran a horse called Raduis Blue at Chepstow last Saturday?
“And who is Nicholas Pomfrert, who has also been training for years, equally quietly and had a runner at Leicester on Tuesday? (There was no big screen again WHAT ABSOLUTE ROTTERS)

“And another thing. Is Lord Wilson, who owns Isaac’s Warrior, who also ran at Leicester, the same Lord Wilson who is a Justice of the Supreme Court, the highest court in  the UK? Or is he just any old Lord Wilson? Harold, perhaps, the former Prime Minister, owning in a posthumous capacity?

“I only ask because my mate Mart is working on yet another enormous quiz and it seems to have infected me. For instance, which trainer won twice in the same race this week? (Answer below)

“Here’s another, and I bet you don’t get this one. What’s the connection between Sergeant Wilson in Dad’s Army (it’s probably on again tonight, it usually is), Bird’s custard and Merryman 11, who won the 1960 Grand National? (Answer also below)

“Violet Jordan’s got runners at Lingfield today but it’s the Pretemps Hurdle at Warwick, a qualifier for the final at Cheltenham on March 14, that will attract closer scrutiny, not so much to see who wins as to see who doesn’t win, but might at Cheltenham. It’s an interesting system, although it’s never done me any good..

“Answer: 1. Stan Moore, whose Salute To Seville and Amelia Hull dead-heated at Wolverhampton on Monday (Amelia is currently the most popular girl’s name in the UK).

2. John Le Mesurier, who played Sergeant Wilson and was a keen racing fan, was a wartime friend of trainer Neville Crump. Crump married the granddaughter of Sir Alfred Bird, of custard fame, and Merryman 11 was one of Crump’s three Grand National winners.

“Incidentally, Crump didn’t believe in pulling horses and agreed to it only once, with future Grand National winner Teal, at Kelso in 1951. As a pretty unmissable clue, the jockey stopped when a fence ahead, dismounted, pretended to remove a stone from Teal’s foot, remounted and finished second."

JMC Turfcall Comment
Horseracing confusion, for all those just starting out on their very own first horseracing adventure, with no plan. Not knowing quite what to expect. Maybe putting on a posh frock, glam up a bit, and have an away day at Royal Ascot for starters.

The humour found in Dad's Army is a natural humour between a group of men finding themselves placed to defend their country if needs be.


The humour found in British horseracing is also a natural humour between the men and more recently the women as well,  who find themselves placed within a trainers’ team all supposedly professional handler riders’ who’s work everyday behind the scenes to prepare the horses for competition on the racetracks each and every day.  The British Bloodhorse Illiterate horseracing government does not, and has not recognised any sort of Equus Zone at all over the last 6 decades.

On Saturday January 5th the Racing Post sported a bizarre front page making a mockery  of Tony McCoy. But does McCoy deserve to be made a mockery of in this way? Who’s sort of humour exactly is this?


This Sunday January 13th  the Racing Post sported in their RPSunday Alastair Down’s feature “THE BIG READ” A photograph of Nicky Henderson looking worse than one of those garden gnomes. But does Henderson deserve to be made a mockery of in this way? Who’s sort of humour exactly is this?

Friday January 18th
Snow, snow and yet more snow effecting the whole country.and all the people in it, tricky, a day for staying at home. Doesn't look like there will be any racing tomorrow. Trainer Teams'
will be struggling as best they can to keep the horses on the move. Snow can ball up in horses' hooves which is tricky as well. A little bit dangerous.




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