SIMON NOTT: Humble Pie

There’s been a lot of stuff been said recently, on racecourses, and of course on social media. Where do we start? Well, Oisin Murphy would be a good place. His much-publicised breath test failure, under the drink drive limit but not to race, resulting in an enforced day off. Of course, racing journalists not covering the story would have been a dereliction of duty so they have had their say. But did all the pious and indignant have to wade in and give the guy an on-line twitter kicking?

Not really did they. He who is without sin cast the first stone and all that. Who can hand on heart say that they haven’t had a few too many the night before work and gone in feeling a bit groggy, especially at 26? I remember at a similar age taking a chance that Cheltenham would indeed be off on New Year’s Day as widely predicted. The next morning, teletext gleefully announced ‘Cheltenham Survives Deluge’. Luckily, I was getting a lift but spent a miserable day trying not to throw up in the hod. I know I wasn’t champion jockey, but I was young. Did those that queued up to pillory Oisin on twitter think he’d gain anything from their ‘advice’ or was it merely a trumpet blowing exercise for their own benefit?

Next up, a well-known wind-up merchant on twitter who decided to have an unnamed but thinly veiled pop at a member of the press. His crime? For often being seen in the background of live TV interviews. So, no crime at all. OK some might find his silent cameo roles humorous or even annoying, but was there anything to be gained from trying to humiliate him? Even if it was seen in ‘fun’ by the tweet’s author. Ultimately for whose benefit was the tweet? Certainly not the target of it, maybe it would have been better left unposted especially if it was just for the entertainment the author and others?

Then there’s Frankie Dettori, he’s a legend of the turf but probably could have done without giving a young rider that he thought had hindered him in a race a slating on the TV. Heat of the moment stuff is often the worse and better left unsaid.

This will surprise at least one friend of mine. I too have been wrong, yes me wrong. I made an outburst that in hindsight should have stayed just a thought. There was a bit of give and take banter at Ascot but when I was told that I’d once said, in the context of my work, ‘I’m an artist’ that I bristled. No, more incensed, I’d never say anything so pretentious would I. I replied without even thinking properly, that if the person who told him that actually said it, he was a ‘lying – insert very rude expletives that weren’t very nice – here’.

I was still stewing about that when I got back into the carpark. My wife called me, and I told her. You could have knocked me over with a feather, she replied, ‘But Si, you did say that’ and then landed a knockout blow, ‘I remember because I thought it was a bit cringe’. She had a habit of listening to my Zoom calls that tended to get a bit fraught, through the office wall. Even more disturbingly, I genuinely don’t remember saying it. I can’t even imagine saying it, after all it is bloody cringe. That really does prove the point, things said in the heat of the moment are the most dangerous, at least when spoken by me.

I was mortified when I found out, so immediately told the person who had been ribbing me that I’d been wrong and quite rightly ate a huge slice of humble pie. I feel bad about my outburst. I’ve made a new life choice that I’m going to do my best to implement. If someone upsets me, I’m going imagine eating at big chewy piece of humble pie before replying, especially in anger. Is the fact that people were having a laugh at me the worst thing that’s going to happen all day? Do I really need to respond with any sort of anger? The answer to both of those is always no.

Life really is too short.


Views of authors do not necessarily represent views of Star Sports Bookmakers.

Simon Nott is author of: Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting Ring
available on Kindle