Sunday Supplement: Big Numbers

Tony Stafford

Tony Stafford

Sunday supplement

By Tony Stafford

I like world records. I think we may have had a couple of contenders yesterday when one trainer sent out 30 runners in a single day, and one owner had 22 representatives. In each case trainer Richard Fahey and his most bountiful owner Dr Marwan Koukash, struck only once, Fahey with narrow York winner Spirit of the Law and the good doctor with Leicester claimer winner Gabriel the Duke.

The pair teamed up with 14 runners, but none of them was at York, Fahey’s favourite track. The trainer had 14 runners there yesterday and eight of his 12 Friday runners were also on the Knavesmere. Friday was a better day for Fahey as he had three winners.

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These statistics are truly gargantuan, to such an extent that Fahey has actually sent out a couple more individual horses than the sprawling Hannon empire, according to the Racing Post list which runs from early November.

To put the Fahey team’s level of activity in context it is worth noting that while he has had 42 runners over the past two days, Jeremy Noseda has had just 64 runners this year and Lady Cecil only 56. Who says it’s a level playing field?

The oddity in the Koukash stats is that he seems to have fallen out of love totally with York where he has run barely a third as many runners as at his favourite track Chester over the past five years. I wonder why.

Talking of wondering why: why were there so few Cross of St George flags around the place before yesterday’s brave showing by Liverpool (and Everton) United in our World Cup warm-up game last night.

I read Roy (of the wovers?) is still confident we’ll qualify. In previous World Cups, the flags were everywhere. On the way back from Sandown we actually saw a display of half a dozen Union Flags in one window –hedging bets with Rory in the US Open? – but little else.

Did you know that BBC’s half of the coverage, with their mini team of experts and back-up members, is costing you each a pint of milk. Ah, but is that from Aldi or from the expensive all-night Turkish emporium down the road?

The official figure – before Lineker, Shearer, Savage and the rest submit their exes, is a paltry £12 million. And as the Corporation proudly said, at 272 people, it’s less than the 290 that went to South Africa – the other 18 had to buy the vuvuzelas, I suppose.

The final indication that they are doing it on the cheap to protect your licence fee – hang on mine’s due soon – is that there will be more (300 indeed) needed to “do” Glastonbury. So there!

I missed seeing part of the Costa Rica game, spending the second half in a supermarket car park. I couldn’t understand afterwards why pundits reckoned it was a good result for us – but apparently Joel Campbell played quite well. It’s nice, in these days of ridiculous transfer fees, for example David Luiz £50 million, that Arsenal have one freebie coming, and they can have Carlos Vela back for £3million thanks to a prudent contract when he left for Spain three years ago. I can see Arsene grinning at the thought.

Royal Ascot beckons, but first I’ll be at Kensington Palace for Goffs pre-Ascot sale tomorrow night. I wonder do we need morning dress, or as at now-defunct Keeneland July, will we see a few people dressed for dinner. I’ve got a nice white jacket, aired the other day at the Dorchester that might fit the occasion.

Today it’s Father’s Day, part two. My son took me out on Thursday night to the Spice Café in Aldgate, fabulous, and now my two daughters are in the chair for lunch today. Got to dash.

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