They used to say a week is a long time in politics- well on the basis of where I sit now it is even longer for a sports broadcaster.
A week that’s seen me have the huge pleasure of meeting one of the most personal and charming overseas riders in racing I have ever met, and produced an incident with a Dublin Restaurant waiter about which I am still shaking my head.
I am a very lucky guy in that last Saturday I was handed, for the 15th year(there was one year the whole thing didn’t happen) the role of Racecourse Commentator for the Shergar Cup, the premier team jockeys competition at Ascot. The riders wear team silks so it makes it a great professional challenge- and I have been humbled by some great messages after Saturday, which was played out to a crowd of 30,000.
But the great bonus is I get to meet the overseas riders who fly in from around the globe and at a function the night before got the chance to meet South African ace Gavin Lerena, who went on to ride two winners. Impressive in the saddle and as unassuming, personable, intelligent and decent a human being I have ever had the pleasure- he’s a terrific ambassador for his country.
Then my turn to get airborne, to Dublin for the launch of the Longines Irish Champions weekend on Monday. You get so little down time in this job so I took my partner with me- she understood I had some work to do, but then it would be a decent dinner in a Dublin Restaurant afterwards.
All was going so well- excellent well organised reception with all the right (and in Ireland always very helpful led by the great Aidan O’Brien) people to interview, and then to the hotel and dinner. A friend had recommended me a restaurant and I had booked. Great. Menu looked great. We chatted and decided.
She does not like- and neither do I- me taking my work to an evening out so I was horrified when after I ordered, the waiter said ‘Don’t I recognise your voice?’ I sighed and in an attempt to change the conversation replied ‘not unless you’ve rung the Samaritans lately’. He departed (relief) only to return minutes later with the soup we had ordered to declare
‘I know you’re the voice of that Go Compare ad’!!!
I am off to check my Insurance.
By Mike Vince