NOT everyone will love Kim Bailey, and not everyone will love David Bass.
I think they are both fantastic people and great for the Sport of Kings. I’ve been saying this for a long time.
Some might say Bailey is a typical public schoolboy who has become a horse race trainer.
But there is a little bit of Sir Henry Cecil about Bailey. And by that, I mean he is very much a normal people’s person.
He swears, he is brash, he’s got a naughty Hugh Grant-like grin, and you just feel back in the day – maybe even now! – Bailey would be a bit of fun on a night out.
Most importantly, Bailey has always been able to train racehorses through good and bad times.
Now, in the brilliant Clarence House winner First Flow, Bailey has a real Champion Chase contender.
And this is a man who has already won the Grand National, Champion Hurdle, and Gold Cup, so to get a horse with so much speed over fences I’m sure will please him. What it tells us is Bailey can train anything.
Now what about Bass. Over the last few months I have mentioned Bass in glowing terms in this column and on TV.
To be honest, I’ve only really got to know him a little bit over the last few years, and I’ve been lucky to have done so.
You see, for all Bass might get many headlines for his aggression in the saddle, his unique outlook on politics and for being a nutty vegan there’s something about Bass that not everyone knows.
I’m not going to reveal all the secrets right here it’s not my place to do so, and trust me I have enough secrets myself that I wouldn’t want out in the big wide world, but what you need to know is that it’s not always been easy for Bass.
And through my conversations with him I found that on issues like mental health in the weighing room there is no one who cares more in the business than the Bass man.
That’s enough to make Bass a thoroughly decent man. But the fact he’s turned into a swashbuckling rider who excites one every time he gets in the saddle is an added bonus.
Bass does things his way. He’s come of age. And he’s admirable.
I don’t know all the ins and outs of the Charles Byrnes doping case, indeed no one does as some many questions are not being answered with clarity.
However, it’s fairly clear that was is needed is a clear audit trail from the lay bet being placed into a betting exchange abroad and the person who actually coughed up the cash to lay the horse.
As far as I know – and I’m happy to correct myself should I be wrong – there is an audit trail to an agent somewhere in the world, probably India, who placed the bet.
However that person/people was merely acting on behalf of someone else or other people.
The latter person or group is the one we need the audit trail to lead to. If that happens then the exchange system has worked, if it doesn’t then the system failed everyone. Only time will tell.
One reason I love horse racing is the passion, and that’s never more evident than when you fail to praise someone else’s favourite horse to the extent the latter feels appropriate.
It all got ugly for me on social media at the weekend over Politologue.
Now I love the Paul Nicholls grey, whose a dashing front-runner – just like Desert Orchid and One Man – and has also been incredibly trained by the Ditcheat team as he’s not been the easiest in any sense of the meaning.
That said, I pointed out on Saturday that while he’s a fine beast he’s nothing compared to the likes of Badsworth Boy, Moscow Flyer, Master Minded, Sprinter Sacre and a peak Altior.
Oh my you would have thought I’d let off an atom bomb, or indeed said an untruth.
The general complaint was that the comment has no relevance. But of course it had EVERY relevance.
Politologue was priced up as if he was as good as those horses for a hugely competitive Clarence House. The fact we all knew he’s not a legend of the turf – albeit a terrific horse – told us the price was wrong.
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Remember to gamble responsibly
A responsible gambler is someone who:
- Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
- Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
- Never chase their losses
- Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry or depressed
- Gamcare – www.gamcare.org.uk
- Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org
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