Wednesday, 7 March 2012

QPR documentary, an option for writing a book, rumours of Gold Cup fav, preview nights.

One of the most compelling pieces of television was shown on the BBC on Sunday QPR: The Four Year Plan. It was an amazing documentary of basically rich men buying a football club and trying to take it into the Promised Land.

It also showed that having money doesn’t necessarily mean you have manners as Chairman Flavio Briatore and sporting director Gianni Paladini (probably the vilest man seen on TV since Dirty Den) so ably demonstrated.

Iain Dowie, manager when the super-rich consortium took over in the 2008-2009 season, was ditched after 15 games – Briatore didn’t like him - caretaker Gareth Ainsworth ( “the prick in the dugout “) after losing a game, Paulo De Sousa (a F****** idiot) and Jim Magilton (useless prick) “for revealing club secrets” before eventually Neil Warnock took them into the “promised land”

By the time the Premiership was reached last season – and it was only confirmed on the final day after the threat of a point’s deduction – Briatore has taken a back seat (given updates by gofer Paladini) and left the day-to-day running of the club to Vice-chairman Amit Bhatia, probably the only likeable character.

I would strongly suggest, if you haven’t seen it, to catch it on the BBC I-Player. It is superb television and shows the pressures of running and even managing a football club.

There are two gems amongst a cluster of diamonds in the programme. Watch out for Briatore’s encounter with a fan outside the ground after he has been booed, it wouldn’t do justice to a seven-year-old, and Paladini’s reaction to a loss in the Directors’ Box. Priceless.

It has been a difficult week but there have been a few amusing incidents along the way. I had a marriage proposal on Monday (which I presumed was serious), an offer to work as a form analyst and to set up my own website, but the most intriguing one was the offer from a publisher to write a book about my life as an jockeys’ agent.

Would people really want to hear the story about Jason Weaver and an incident in a Wolverhampton nightclub, Kevin Darley and the eventful time in Melbourne or the real reason that Darryl Holland got the sack from Luca Cumani? Or Paul Carberry's antics with a broken leg?

Would that make a good read? ____________________________________________________________________________

I did find it amusing the panic that set in after Long Run began to drift in the market for the Gold Cup. Akin to news that there was going to be a bread shortage, people were trying desperately to glean information whether ‘rumours’ were true and even Ladbrokes stopped betting overnight.

Surely the only reason for the drift was the market re-adjusting itself with the news that Kauto Star, as seems likely given the upbeat bulletins coming from Ditcheat, is increasingly likely to take his place in the Gold Cup line-up. No?

Cheltenham preview nights? Do people actually learn anything from them? I’m quite sure that they are a good craic but even as I’m writing this piece many trainers haven’t finalised plans for next week, many of their runners have numerous options.

I’m sure it’s a lucrative project for those on the circuit but most of the news tends to come out the day after a preview night, as was with Simonsig and Peddlers Cross. The Betfair market is more of a guide, as seems the case with Grands Crus.

David Pipe’s grey shortened to as low 6.8 for the Gold Cup but yesterday afternoon was back out to 11. Pipe has still to mention at any preview night what is the intended target is but the market is suggesting it will be the RSA, likely to be confirmed after Kauto Star works at Wincanton on Friday.`

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