Freud on Course, by Clement Freud

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The Independent Culture

"I started gambling at the age of eight, at a bent roulette table in my Devon boarding school." And Clement Freud never stopped, while pursuing careers as, variously, a chef, nightclub owner, journalist, MP, purveyor of dog food and radio and television panellist.

The Turf was his punting preference, and naming a race after him on Derby day following his recent death at 83 was a fitting tribute. As is this collection of his 'Racing Post' articles, which he helped compile. Many admirers of P. G. Wodehouse's golf tales wouldn't know a dogleg from a chair leg, and Freud's wit likewise transcends the confines of his sport.

"I learnt a number of four-letter words the existence of which I had only suspected," he writes of the jockeys' changing-room on his foray into riding, while in an open letter to an over-frisky stallion about to be gelded he muses: "If it were I whose thoughts strayed... I would be sent to a shrink; I would probably get a discount because my paternal grandfather invented the racket."

Anyone unamused by this book should consider therapy themselves.

Published in hardback by Racing Post Books, £18.99

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