If Rebekah Brooks took a flyer on a few horse-racing bets yesterday there were some stand-out options to choose from.
"No Secrets" in the 1.00 at Exeter, "Newsdesk" in the 1.10 at Lingfield and "Double Trouble" in the 6.40 at Wolverhampton; all might have tempted the former News International chief executive.
With a rumoured £1.7m payoff from Rupert Murdoch in the wake of the continuing phone-hacking scandal, Ms Brooks can afford the odd flutter or two. But since last month she also has a new inside-track on the best runners and riders.
After a break of 13 years, her husband Charlie Brooks will no longer be referred to as a "former race-horse trainer". He has been reinstated as a licensed trainer by the British Horseracing Association, and he simultaneously paid £100 to join the National Trainers Federation. Mr Brooks, a friend and Oxfordshire neighbour of the Prime Minister, David Cameron, has had two winners in the Hennessy Gold Cup and two runners-up in the Grand National.
The pressure to get back in the game, if not quite back in the saddle, came from Ms Brooks herself. After 4,745 days away from the race track, the Old Etonian's first come-back resulted in his steed coming seventh out of 10 runners. To help the family through the current austerity period, he may have to do better in the new year. The birth of their surrogate baby is due in February.
Ms Brooks is on police bail following her arrest in July in connection with conspiring to intercept communications and on suspicion of corruption.Mr Brooks admits he might not be the ideal candidate to comfort his wife, should the prospect of a court case increase in the coming months. On his decision to return to horse-racing, he writes: "The consequences of that decision dictate that I will now be depressed for 10 months of the year and spend more time talking to my vet than my wife."
Since he left race training in 1998, Mr Brooks has written novels, as well as being involved in sports marketing, sports betting, sports television, the mail-order sex toy trade and was a political correspondent for the men's magazine GQ.
A lot of his creative work was on his computer, which is currently still in the hands of Scotland Yard after it was found three months ago in a bin in the underground car park of his home in Chelsea, west London, shortly after his wife was arrested.
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