Sports Book Of The Week: Racing Crazy, by David Ashforth
Sunday 16 September 2012
David Ashforth's dedication sets the tone of this collection of his writing for The Sporting Life and Racing Post over the past twenty years or so: "This book is dedicated to the wonderfully strange bunch of characters, human and equine, who make horse racing so much fun. Thank you for all your help, over many years. Bookmakers might like to thank me for all my help."
And we ought to thank the publishers for bringing him to a wider audience, because his brand of wry, forgiving humour effortlessly transcends the confines of his subject matter. On the anxieties of watching a horse he part-owns play up in the parade ring, he writes: "Petomi has been sweating. She's worried. What's she worried about? Bosnia? All she's got to do is run as fast as she can for a minute, then she can go home and have dinner. I think it's oats again." On the lifestyle of his fellow scribe Jeffrey Bernard, he observes of the raddled roué: "Having graduated to two bottles of whisky a day, Bernard entered an addiction clinic, where a fellow patient advised him that, if he ever resorted to surgical spirit, 'for God's sake drink Boots' and not Timothy White's. It's got a better-looking label and doesn't look as sordid on the sideboard'. Sods I Have Cut On The Turf, the memoirs of another journalist, Jack Leach, still wins my prize for best racing title, but when it comes to content, Ashforth is right up there with the best of breed.
Published in hardback by Racing Post, £18.99
Actress isn't a fan of Ed Miliband
Latest in Sport
Phil Hughes injury: Cricket world reels as Australian opener fights for his life
Phil Hughes: Batsman had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him
Manchester City vs Bayern Munich comment: Frank Lampard's part in City win shows folly of letting him leave
This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Schalke vs Chelsea: Roberto Di Matteo admits thrashing by former side was most painful defeat of his career
- 1 I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp
- 2 Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, PC World, GAME and Argos
- 3 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 4 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 5 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
£25000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent, growing Sales...
£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Multi-skilled graphic designer ...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: Court of Protection Solic...
£17000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...