Friday, 7 June 2013

Getting Blinkered About My Asparagus

When you live your life through horseracing, you can become "blinkered" – if you’ll excuse the first of many puns. Everything you do, everywhere you go and whatever you say has a direct connection to the sport.

I’d say “everything, across the board”, but that would be a cliché - being a phrase derived from the bookmakers odds boards. Anyway, I’m "chomping at the bit"  to get this week’s column "under starter's orders". 

According to an old adage, you should stop picking your asparagus on Derby Day. This enables the later spears to grow to their full potential throughout the summer, replenishing the roots and enabling the plant to get a "leg up" for the following year. After one of the coldest Springs on record, this has given me a problem – my asparagus patch hasn't produced anything yet.

Even allowing for the movement of the Derby to a slightly earlier date (falling on the first Saturday in June instead of the first Wednesday), the garden has failed to sprout anything much other than tulips. I'm now "pinning my hopes" on seeing some asparagus spears emerge from the earth before Sunday's Spanish Derby, in which Frankie Dettori hopes to gain his first come-back win. 

Another piece of racing wisdom offers advice on the stock market. The "clever money" used to say “Sell in May and go away, come back on St Leger Day”. The theory was that, during the Summer months, all the city investors would be too busy "jockeying for position" at the Derby, Royal Ascot, Henley, Wimbledon and the like. The markets would become thin, under-invested and volatile, creating tricky trading conditions.

After the St Leger, the last of the British Classics in September, the traders would return and the market would be ripe again for investment. I love advice like this, it ensures you get a "run for your money" (agh). Sadly though, following my national plunge on Ballabriggs, there's nothing left in the locker (just thought I'd throw one in for the sailors out there!) 

So, what is this week's tip? It's a bit of a stab in the dark actually; you could call it a "dark horse". Full Of Joy at Stratford's Saturday evening fixture.

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