Charity Mile offers good odds – even for a trepidatious Spurs fan
Nice price will be on offer for whichever horse you back at the Charity Mile.
Turffontein racecourse will host the Charity Mile. Picture: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images
Yet another ripsnorting weekend awaits.
The Rugby World Cup final tops the bill but the supporting ensemble include Saturday’s Charity Mile at Turffontein, Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix and a daily cameo from the Cricket World Cup.
Truth be told the weekend begins on Friday morning with our in-form cricketers facing Pakistan in Chennai. After the Proteas there will be little let-up with a Premier League fixture scheduled for 9pm.
With Tottenham having failed to win any silverware since 2008, demonstrating the patience of Job is a prerequisite trait for every fan. Their Friday night match is a must watch.
I myself have been a Spurs supporter ever since I saw Paul Gascoigne grace the White Hart Lane turf in the late 1980s, as such I have come to accept that there are three certainties in life: death, taxes and Tottenham will let you down.
This season Ange Postecoglou is making me doubt the last of those beliefs. In itself the Lilywhites’ renaissance almost beggars belief, the soft defensive underbelly is nowhere to be found and upfront even without Kane they are Abel.
Week in week out we wait for Spurs to be Spursy. It’s now nine games into the season and with seven Ws and two Ds the club finds itself atop the summit of the Premier League. Even Snoop Dogg hasn’t been this high.
Yet scar tissue and a shot of realism demands us to ask whether unbeaten Ange-Ball will survive a trip to Selhurst Park? The trepidation I already harboured was further stoked by long-time colleague and friend Terry Paine.
The 1966 World Cup winner phoned me this week to find a winner for the Charity Mile and to remind me that ‘away at Crystal Palace’ is a potential banana peel. Terry is only eight years older than the 76-year-old Eagles coach Roy Hodgson, so if he hasn’t forgotten he should know!
It is somewhat of an anomaly that South African horseracing has more Tottenham fans per capita than any other community and with the club going through a real purple patch it’s the perfect time for me to alphabetically out some of my fellow long suffering brethren:
Greg Bortz, Greg Cheyne, Johnny Geroudis, Graeme Hawkins, Paul Lafferty, Lance Michael, Cecil Mthembu, Larry Nestadt, Ken and Jane Truter and even Mike de Kock (who was converted on an actual visit to the old White Hart Lane). All support Spurs. So spare a thought and if you do bump into any of us, for once please talk football.
With regards to the All Blacks vs Springboks I will choose to take the fifth amendment. It goes without saying that my heart would love to see South Africa lift the trophy in Paris this weekend but when you bet it’s imperative you use your head and mine tells me not to follow my heart in Saturday night’s Rugby World Cup final.
I do however have an opinion on the Allied Steelrode – Onamission Charity Mile.
Back in the day this used to be the old November Handicap which was traditionally run at Gosforth Park on the first Saturday in November.
The honour roll for the race includes some greats from the past.
Foreign Agent (1974), Welcome Boy (1979), Foveros (1981), Wolf Power remains the only horse to win the race twice (back to back in ’82 and ’83). Rain Forest (1984) and Jungle Rock (1986).
Some old Capetonian pals of mine have tasted success in the race too, Robert Bloomberg owning the aptly named 1994 winner Quick Wit and then if my memory serves me correctly Paddy Kruyer and Joey Ramsden were the respective trainers of Secretary General (1996) and Taupo Retreat (2001), while the aforementioned Ken and Jane Truter (Come on you Spurs!) won the 2000 renewal with Glamour Boy.
I believe the nature of the race has changed over the years so these days I look for a winner that isn’t prepping for the Summer Cup. The fact that they are betting 6-1 on the field speaks volumes, so whatever you back you’ll be getting a nice price.
Jumping from stall gate 2 and fresh from a well earned break I respect Cousin Casey enormously; he’s a class package on his day and I wouldn’t put you off taking 9-1 about his chances.
But Terence Lionel Paine (MBE) insists on his each-way roughies being at double figure odds so in the end I tipped him two 16-1 shrewdies and ended the call.
What’s the worst that can happen if Eye of the Prophet and Melech run below my expectations? Terry’s going to call me next week anyway, even if it’s to tell me that Tottenham won’t beat Chelsea.