You think I'm kidding? It's 100% true: and I know it because it's the 'Strangest Event' listed in the Racing Almanac given to me this afternoon by its author, Graham Sharpe of William Hill. He was kind enough to invite me out following news of my heading for pastures new ten days ago, and we ended a very agreeable, anecdote-filled, lunch with him signing a copy he had brought along specially. I've been perusing it ever since, and very interesting it is too.
I went from lunch to chew the fat with an old friend in Westminster, who was full of interesting snippets himself. Much of the hour-and-a-half we spent together over a mid-afternoon bottle of wine was split between bemusement and amusement at the latest public offering from the BHA, published yesterday (apparently in a fit of pique) and entertainingly written up in today's Independent by James Moore, who clearly read the press release with an eyebrow raised in the manner of his namesake. The 'it's everyone else's fault!' approach also seemed to be the much-derided subject of most of the discussions I joined last night at Windsor, where many racing stakeholders were the guests of Arena Leisure at their annual world-beating barbecue. Making friends and influencing people, I think it would be fair to say, the BHA is currently not.