Weblog: What do you mean the Wi-Fi doesn't work? The life of a Racing Post reporter
Rose by any other name would still be McCain's
Funny how some changes of name take time to register, even with those who really ought to know better.
There are still plenty who call the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown the Whitbread Gold Cup. Call the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury the Tote Gold Trophy or even the Schweppes.
And call Cheltenham's Spinal Research Atlantic 4 Chase the Massey Ferguson, the Glen International, the Still Fork Trucks, the Tripleprint, the AF Budge, the Robin Cook Memorial, etc.
It was a new dawn for Haydock today as its big 2m hurdle had a new backer and was consequently retitled the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle.
So I wonder how the new sponsor, who's doubtless paid a tidy sum to earn naming rights for what was the fourth most valuable jumps race of the season when it was launched in 1978, will have felt to open the racecard and read: "Welcome to Swinton Hurdle day".
New ground for Donald McCain too as he became the first trainer to take the Chester Cup and the Swinton/Pertemps/Royal Doulton (its original name) in the same year when Red Merlin came out on top today.
(Peter Easterby and Richard Fahey won both races but never in the same year - thanks heavens I'd done my homework beforehand as scouring the two lists looking for multiple winners as the deadline loomed would have been no fun).
McCain's proud mother Beryl pointed out that her son was 28th in the Flat trainers' championship after his Chester Cup one-two and also admired my prescience in wearing a cerise tie to match Red Merlin's colours (I didn't have the heart to tell her it was the one I'd had on at Chester yesterday and I'd been too lazy to get another one out of the wardrobe this morning).
Red Merlin went off a well-backed 13-2 favourite but not everyone follows Pricewise and in the toilets after the fifth, one first-time racegoer was moaning to his mate: "I've already lost all that I came here to lose. I thought I'd have beginners' luck." "Don't worry, it's a learning curve," replied his surprisingly philosophical colleague.
Early technological problems meant I was on the phone to Haydock's broadband suppliers before racing.
A PC boffin reckoned my laptop had been sent 'in a tizz' as the Wi-Fi had not been working initially and was talking me through various possible remedies. With no success. When I remembered Moss and Roy.
"Shall I just try turning it off and turning it on again?"
"That's just a cliche from the IT Crowd."
"But should I just try it?"
"You could do."
There's clearly plenty of wisdom in Channel 4 sitcoms.