It’s been a while, but I’ve been locked away in rehab for the past fortnight. When you reach three figures you see, the sheer scale of the finger food on offer means that The Royal Meeting is a tough course to navigate. Not as tough as the six furlongs of the Coventry Stakes you understand, but I’ll let that one lie.
It wasn’t the alcoholism that did for me over the five days though, it was the fog of sandwiches offered up that make it such a hard slog. The sort of week long diet that made you hanker for a wheat allergy.
As I decended into a bread fuelled shambles, I allied myself to that David Evans chap – the one who insists he’s not Welsh. He might be a common type, but at least he didn’t offer me a sandwich.
Indeed, all he offered in the car park throughout the week was a month old pork pie. He became quite attached to it actually and stopped offering it to anyone after Thursday.
It was one of those pork pies with an egg in the middle, so at least he made an effort.
Running the gauntlet of sandwiches reminded me of the good Earl himself. John Montagu was also a man of the turf and he and my father became great friends when he was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty.
They spent many a happy time playing pontoon on Brighton Pier and spent 30 Guineas on a colt called “Rustic Chambers”.
He wasn’t the best put together and not a comfortable ride, in fact he proved to be the most miserable experience the pair had together. Mind you when you think of the stunts you could pull in the company of the 4th Earl of Sandwich in Brighton during the mid 18th century, a disappointing experience on the racecourse was a small price to pay.
In the 21st Century however, Rustic Chambers certainly are not acceptable.
Michael Junior continues to be a source of amusement and The Trainer’s soon to be second tallest son has yet again become the victim of Secretary Susan Harding. Indeed, her moronic inability to book any hotel room that combines a convenient location with a small degree of civilized comfort is reaching proportions of legendary status.
For the past two years The Trainer’s Son has done nothing but complain about the hotels he’s been booked into by Miss Harding. Indeed his two previous visits to the Bosphorus Cup saw him booked into hotels of real distinction.
In 2009, Susan found him a hotel that the cab drivers of Istanbul simply could not find. Having walked for several miles he found it situated next door to Mosque.
In the middle of Ramadan.
With tannoys blaring.
Sleep was not included in the price.
With the entire English racing fraternity staying at the Marriot Hotel overlooking the Bosphorus only 2 miles from the track, the Intrepid Assistant Trainer stressed in no uncertain terms his desire to be in the Marriot ahead of Halicarnassus tilt at retaining the Cup in 2010.
He was in the Marriot Hotel this time, but the one 25 miles away from the track. Which in Turkish road system terms is about 3 hours away.
By coincidence, Newcastle Racecourse also has a Marriot Hotel nearby.
Ahead of last weekend’s Northumberland Plate, Michael Junior was yet again booked in by Susan Harding although not in the Marriot by the track.
This one was a little further away, but that was the least of his issues as the accompanying video makes clear.
I can’t say anything more about that really. Apparently he was found scalped by Apaches the next morning.
Not a single one of Michael’s colleagues at West Ilsley found it funny either.