Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Kieren's rides at Meydan, a trainer's battle against addiction, an amazing gesture....

Meydan stages it's best days racing of the carnival so far on Thursday. Kieren has rides in all six races and he will particularly be pleased to be back on board Alkimos.

He was bought by Goldolphin after finishing second to Pisco Sour (also now owned by Goldolphin) at Royal Ascot. Frankie had the choice of the Goldolphin runners but Kieren is a big fan of Alkimos, who ran well on his comeback run.

He also rides Fiery Lad for Luca, has his first ride in a while for Brian Meehan on Mehdi and continues his partnership with Navajo Chief for Alan Jarvis.

Kieren will then hot foot it back to Lingfield for Saturday. He looks likely to have at least three strong rides, including a really nice filly for James Tate in the maiden.

An addiction to anything can have worrying effects on those closest to you. Gambling can give you a natural thrill before costing you most of what you own and value.

Drinking provides a different kind of euphoria, normally followed by fighting and then your liver packing up. Then there is smoking. Smoking?

A habit that seems to me to give the least amount of pleasure of the three mentioned. The side-effects are obvious, poison in your lungs, and, from what I've seen, most people that smoke are rarely happy.

A case-in-point is Lambourn-based trainer Jamie Osborne. He is on day three of giving up and already he is like a woman going through the menopause. He is more grumpy than usual and the 48-year-old (sic) has been seen standing in the company of 100-a-day John Hills in the hope of picking up secondary smoke.

It's a commendable effort by Osborne who, if you see scurrying around on the floor looking for something, is more likely to be on the search for a discarded butt-end from one of the work riders than either lost money or keys. Be strong Jamie, be strong.

When it comes to gestures most of us, I suspect, would be prepared to help family or friends, but how many would help a stranger?

Therefore, the news, and I know it was mentioned in the press a few weeks back, that ATR presenter Richard Pitman is donating a kidney to a complete stranger is beyond words.

Pitman, who will always be remembered for defeat on Crisp in the first of Red Rum's National wins, is one of the nicest people you could meet. He is also a very talented writer.

Could I do what Pitman, who is 69, is intending? Not sure, but the way he shrugs it off with the prose of "I have another one", sums up this amazingly generous man.

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