Whether we call them 'redhead' or 'ginger', there seems to be little these people can do to protect themselves from persecution in the public domain
Just for a moment, all eyes are trained on Aintree instead of the Cheltenham Festival with the publication of the John Smith's Grand National entries.
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For the second year running, Donald McCain's lorry took the Champion Hurdle runner-up back to his Cheshire stables – but it also contained a horse that might redress matters next time round. For while Cinders And Ashes had to be driven out to win the William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle by barely a length, with four horses breathing down his neck, McCain has no doubt of his calibre. "If you watch, Jason [Maguire] was taking a pull because he was getting there too soon," he said. "I told Jason to ride him with balls, and that's what he did."
It's happened again. Much of America has got their knickers in a twist over the half-time performance at the Super Bowl, that hallowed 12-minute slot that introduced us to the term "wardrobe malfunction" back in 2004, after Janet Jackson's right nipple made a surprise cameo. And after tame contributions from the likes of Tom Petty and The Rolling Stones in recent years, on Sunday "controversy" returned to America's biggest sporting event when MIA, the English-born singer and rapper, "flipped the bird" at the camera during her guest spot in Madonna's medley.
A lot of people are put off by the thought of ginger – maybe it's the powdered stuff that gives it a bad reputation. But fresh root ginger is quite another story and I always keep a piece in my fridge – it comes in useful for all sorts of things, from making a healing and refreshing tea to creating a fragrant Asian broth. Occasionally, you also see the fresh pink ginger in Asian supermarkets – this is very young ginger, before the skin forms, which is very tender and not too overpowering. This is the stuff that often gets pickled for serving with sushi and sashimi. Then there is crystallised ginger and preserved ginger in syrup, which have their uses in puddings and sweets.
It rather comes under the heading "well, he would say that, wouldn't he?" But Donald McCain, the trainer of last year's Grand National winner Ballabriggs, is nonetheless robust and convincing in his defence of the Aintree marathon. And, like Mandy Rice-Davies, he most certainly speaks from experience.
Herman Cain's bizarre odyssey seemed near an end yesterday as the pizza magnate-turned-White House candidate headed home for discussions with his wife about a woman's claim she had a 13-year affair with him, his former front-runner status in the contest for the Republican nomination no more than a distant memory.
Balloons in the colours of Trevor Hemmings were tied to the stable gates yesterday morning, and it seemed as though the whole Cheshire landscape was conspiring in the celebrations. Yellow daffodils lined the lanes of the Cholmondeley estate; white clouds of blackthorn flared along the hedges; and green swathes of pasture glistened in the warm sunshine. In every direction, horses grazed peacefully; others peered out of their cool stalls across the cobbled yard. And here – his coat and eye unclouded by what he had achieved, and endured, the day before – was the winner of the most famous steeplechase on the planet. God, surely, was in his heaven, and all right with the world.