Alter egos 2 – Jay Kay

As usual there was no win for Jay Kay at Southwell on Tuesday evening. After all, Danielle McCormick’s three-year-old gelding has only had that honour once in his 13 races, although that was earlier this month at Southwell.

On Tuesday, he was up in distance, from seven furlongs to a mile, and up in class, from Class 6 to Class 5. Frankly, it was too far and too difficult for him, and despite the best efforts of Neil Farley, he was never better than mid division. He is a horse that has only raced at that level, and has more often finished nearer last than first. You have to acknowledge that he’s very much a low level performer and unlikely to progress further.

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Jay Kay takes his name from the initials of his owner, John Kenny, and will always have a special place in his heart, as he provided John Kenny with his first win as an owner. There’s a link to his rather better known and more successful alter ego in his breeding, as Jay Kay was sired by a horse called Librettist, one of the roles carried by the other Jay Kay.

The £1,704 prize money might just about pay for a wheel nut on one of the many classic cars owned by Jason Louis Cheetham, or Jay Kay, front man for jazz/funk band Jamiroquai. Their best days may be behind them now, but between 1992 and 2006 he sold over 30 million albums and 162 weeks in the UK singles chart.

Compare the money Jay Kay (equine) picked up at Southwell with the estimated £40 million Jay Kay (musician) is said to be worth and you see the gulf between them, and in truth, there is very little to connect the two. The musician in known, amongst many things, for his range of hats and other headgear, something the horse has not sported in his career.

There’s no evidence of the horse playing up at the start, or creating difficulties with his handlers. Yet the musician has had a number of run ins with photographers.

Perhaps the only other connection, and it’s a tenuous one, is through cars. Despite his wealth and large collection of expensive sports cars, Jay Kay enjoyed one of his proudest moments in clapped out old vehicles. In two series of the BBC2 programme Top Gear, he was the fastest “Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.” In the first series he recorded a time of 1m 48.1 seconds. Some years later, he was invited back, allegedly because the presenters wanted someone to beat the time set by Simon Cowell. Kay duly obliged, taking a Chevrolet Lacetti (who’s heard of that before?) round in 1m 45.83 seconds, a time yet to be beaten.

Two sprinters, one a star, one a journeyman.

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