Good evening from the Major who writes from a glorious Derbyshire, under a vast sky of ambitious clouds now stained red in the dying embers of the day…. and what a day.
On a national level we have all shared a momentous event. I do tweet about politics, as is my way. From time to time I deign to bore you with some views, sometimes leading to an investment (Highs: Corbyn Labour Leader 50/1, Lows: lumping on Labour minority at the last general election, ouch).
Our referendum has delivered a stunning moment of change in British politics. Personally I voted for it. It was not an easy decision but as a libertarian, valuing democracy and believing in a more global Britain, it was my judgement. I shall not discredit your intelligence by trying to persuade you differently.
Both campaigns were distasteful. The Farage poster and some of the Jo Cox rhetoric drew the veil on our ugly nature. Speculation was presented as fact. Exaggeration extended to the thinest edge of credibility. The gloves were off, it happens in the democratic process from time to time.
The reaction today to a Brexit is of horror to many of those who voted remain. Dramatic posts talk of the old selling out the young and how one might seek a new life in Scotland or Europe. I am sure time will cool the mood and sober the rages. I have said it before and I will say it again, when faced with a different view, first the protagonist will try to prove their view with facts, if that fails they assume you are not as bright as them, ultimately they decry you as some evil bastard. Seek first to understand my friends, then to be understood.
For my money, while the decision to leave is huge, I am not sure we will leave, or if we do, we might well keep many of the trappings that people fear we will lose. Not that the democratic wishes of a referendum (not binding by the way) will be ignored. Yet, the issue is that all we voted on whether we want to remain in the EU. We got an answer, no, not a resounding no, rather a wispy flaky no, split into two deafening camps. On one side, the unrepresented working class masses in our working towns coupled with the older generations. Agin, the young and the metropolitan.
The issue I see is two-fold – We had a thin leave vote and we did not endorse an alternative. We were not backing a party and a manifesto and as such, how can someone claim the right to implement one? My own vote was for a Brexit light, the implementation of a free trade deal within Europe (with all the inherent threats), ideally with more migration controls (which might be hard to attain) but certainly with restorative sovereignty. I want us to raise our eyes from a protectionist EU and represent ourselves while continuing to embrace our near neighbours. We can do that, in my view and we do not need to become politically subservient.
Plus, what do you expect from someone whose personal motto is Courage, roll the dice! A little chaos is fun.
I am sure some folk were voting leave for very different things, perhaps they envisaged being towed another hundred miles into the Atlantic and to fire up the deportation wagons. Neither I, nor they, voted for a post referendum team or manifesto. There were two boxes on the form, one said leave the EU, we both crossed it.
This is even more pertinent with the fact that we are going to get a prime minister we have not voted for either. I see no other option acceptable to the British public than a general election. Then all deals can be put back on the table, one from a hastily glued together Tory party, one from a hastily glued together Labour party. I am not holding our much hope of high quality stuff!
May you live in interesting times. Oh, I did not expect Leave to win. The 1/10 about Remain pre the first call, was about how I would have priced it too. As they say, scenes.
Anyway, all of this coincides with our moving house. Yes, it finally happened. We have lovingly packed our nic nacs and the men have loaded them and taken them away. All I need now is a house to move to. My current temporary abode is another friends house, in Derbyshire. I am searching the glorious peak district and the flats of North Nottingham and Lincolnshire for a suitable home. I shall let you know. Time is of the essence.
At last though, a more regular rhythm to life. Things have been tiring. At night, dusk I find myself driving home to Worcestershire and my mind is as active as a panther. I cannot fathom why, I feel edgy and alert, my skin is hot and prickly, my thoughts race ahead, awash in a surge of chemicals. These daydreams are dark, veering from terrifying to just depressing. I need a regular routine to anchor myself in, to eat better, more time, my family, less exhaustion, less service stations, less fast food, less 3am bedtimes, less wine. Did I say that? Less wine?
It also means I have spent my last night for the forseeable with the impeccable hospitality of @pieayatollah27. Ah, I had enjoyed his company. I might write a book on the things we discussed, it would be pretty top shelf stuff as it reached depths of outrageous creativity and what more can want than that. He pinned a Remain poster to my door on the last night I was there.
Forgive the political observations. It always seems rude to write about this side of my interests. The boil is lanced and in no way do I intend to influence your own opinion. We all have our agency and that is something only you can relinquish.
Two sermons in two weeks? Is this a comeback? Don’t call it a come back, I was never gone.
I do not know if this is a pattern re-emerging from the fog. I am not pressuring myself for that.
To the sports, leave behind the chaos.
Northumberland Plate Day Tips
Let’s start with the Northumberland Plate.
Seven of the 20 runners have won over the distance and this can be a good factor. Few times are Northumberland Plates run at a crawl, an honest lick and you need that targeted horse, the one laid out and with a furlong in hand.
The issue here is that the race has been switched to the new Newcastle surface. I definitely want one that has polytrack form.
I have reviewed the evidence and make my case for Sunblazer at a generous 66/1 with Paddy Power. The outsider in a field of 20, hear me out.
Sunblazer has put in two appalling runs latest, one at Ascot was in a race in which you might expect to be outclassed, the other I am ready to concede I have little excuse for. I’m not his publicist you know, I’m just trying to argue 66/1 is wrong. What else have I got? Kim Bailey has a decent record at Newcastle with a modest amount of runners. Sun blazer does not mind the all-weather, in fact he is a bit of an all weather journeyman, making 17 appearances in total on the surface, he has won an impressive 6 of them and been placed in a further 4.
He has also won 3 of his 6 races at two miles and up, giving us a horse that we know stays and we know acts on the ground.
Nakeeta is a more sensible option but I am in a ‘full on’ roll the dice mood.
Earlier on the same card is the Group 3 Chipchase Stakes. Chookie Royale, the all-weather veteran has an unfortunate habit of being a tardy starter which is a shame for a horse who is capable of winning off the front.
My horse has to be Buratino at 4/1. He has always stuck in my mind from his juvenile campaign. He has not hit the heights yet this year but seems to be coming back to form. He has some experience (winning) on the surface and with his best foot forward, I see this race as his. Go large.
Tips for The Curragh – The Irish Derby
The horse I want in the Irish Derby is Moonlight Magic at 16/1 (William Hill). I must confess that I fancied him at Epsom where he disappointed greatly but his smart trainer is not going to be throwing him in here if he is out of his league. He won a Derrinstown well and Epsom… well it is Epsom, horrible slopes and cambers and he looked awkward, easily forgiven.
That is it, three tips for glory. May that mothership come in for us soon.
May your dinner be taken in peace. Folk will disagree with you, enjoy and embrace it. Be polite. No riff raff welcome in these parts.
Courage, roll the dice.