David Cameron has thus far avoided playing on his family's connections to the Sport of Kings, lest it should hinder the Old Etonian's attempts to appear a man of the people. Yet a racehorse named Mountain Pride now seems set to make the Conservative leader choose between protecting his public image and supporting his father.
Dave's dad Ian Cameron, pictured above left, the owner of the two-year-old colt, has entered it into next year's Derby. If Dave wishes to join his father at Epsom in June, he will have to wear morning suit – top hat and tails – to stand in the owners' enclosure. Labour will have a field day playing the "toff" card, particularly if the race coincides with a general election campaign.
Mountain Pride impressed on his debut at Newmarket at the weekend. An €80,000 purchase trained in Arundel, West Sussex, by Derby-winner John Dunlop, he confirmed his high potential by finishing with a flourish in third place. The Racing Post newspaper reports that Mountain Pride "displayed abundant promise to get into the money without being given a hard time" – that is, without his jockey pushing him.
Ian Cameron has a long history of racehorse owning, including Emerging Market, a Royal Ascot winner in 1996. In the 1980s he co-owned a horse with the larger-than-life baronet Sir Reginald Sheffield, papa to none other than David Cameron's wife, Samantha.
No doubt Mr and Mrs Cameron would enjoy a day out at the races, top hat and all, but will Tory spin doctor Andy Coulson allow it?
* Following in the musical footsteps of their Beatle fathers has proved tricky for the assorted offspring of the Fab Four. Were George Harrison alive, we might be treated to choice expletives delivered in a transatlantic-Scouse twang, upon his hearing about the latest venture of son Dhani, 29.
Harrison Junior, pictured with his ma Olivia, has joined the past-it New York hip-hop outfit Wu-Tang Clan to play guitar on their new, unlikely version of his father's famous Beatles ditty "While My Guitar Gently Weeps".
Dhani Harrison is "the biggest Wu-Tang fan in the world", according to Wu-Tang frontman RZA (pronounce it "Riz-zah" when talking to young people, or just call him Robert Diggs). "He knew all the kung fu shit! I told him I'd be honoured if he played his father's song."
Over to George. Asked for his views on rap music before his death, he described it as "computerised crap".
* Four months ago, this column reported that the boyish telly historian Tristram Hunt had joined the bunfight for a Labour seat in Liverpool West Derby. (The sitting MP, "Serbian Bob" Wareing, 77, faces deselection.) I am sad to hear, then, that Hunt's campaign is slumped and bleeding over the ropes.
Friends had suggested that Hunt, 33, take "Scouse elocution lessons" to roughen his mellow accent. Unfortunately, it sounds like he has struggled to strike the right cadence with local Labour activists and is unlikely to appear on the shortlist of candidates this Sunday.
The former Labour minister Stephen Twigg, who lost his old seat in 2005, has romped into the lead in West Derby, backed by three out of five local branches. Twigg tells me: "It's still open, but I've been encouraged by the support so far."
* GMTV presenter Fiona Phillips, "Britain's sexiest vegetarian", uses the word "chav" as a term of abuse.
For instance, in October 2004, she castigated a rude driver: "You foul-mouthed, inconsiderate chav." Then in April the following year, on Wayne Rooney's girlfriend: "Almost overnight, Coleen the innocent A-level student disappeared and Coleen the Queen of Chav arrived. It was disappointing."
Now Fi says that her sons, Nathanial and Mackenzie, eight and five, have embraced chavdom. "My children are the biggest chavs going and always want to wear their football kits," she tells Heat.
No doubt it's the fault of her husband (whom she married in a Las Vegas chapel) and boss, the GMTV editor Martin Frizell.
* Forget the creaky old Russian bombers heading into British airspace, and spare a thought for employees at our embassy in Moscow. The FSB (successor to the KGB) likes to cultivate close relations with members of the UK mission. Two alleged incidents are brought to my attention.
In one, a British diplomat sat in his Moscow apartment, complaining about his rat and cockroach infestations. The next day, apparently, he found a pile of dead 'roaches neatly piled on his doormat. In the second "visit", a young FCO vegan came home to find a huge side of beef pendulous in her fridge. "The FSB don't have a clue who the spooks are at the embassy," says my mole, "so they intimidate anyone."
The Foreign Office is keen to play it down: "It's nonsense. Certainly nothing has happened recently that we're aware of, nothing has happened for a long time." Behave yourself, Vlad!Reuse content