Alter Egos

Before I ramble off towards this weeks main theme let me first congratulate Ryan Moore on winning the Oaks / Derby double. Whilst not a unique achievement, it takes some doing nonetheless. Also the rides were contrasting in style, with the Oaks win on Snow Fairy being a perfect example of the equine equivalent of threading a needle, the Derby win was a case of not panicking in the face of unusual tactics.

In the past I have been critical of Moore and his poor PR image. Yesterday I spent some time in his company and I think his “communication problems” are more a matter of shyness than bloody mindedness. Anyway we would soon tire if every rider had the ebullience of Dettori.

At the end of the day I would rather a jockey did the talking with his riding and, in the case of Moore, that is an area in which he speaks loudly and clearly.

Talking of communication, I had an unsolicited e-mail from the USA this week. Unusually is wasn’t an abusive mail telling me I was talking out of my posterior.

This one was from a chap saying it was a long time since he had seen me  and was asking if I was planning to tour again? The giveaway though was, how long had I been living in the UK?

It was then the penny dropped. He had Googled my name and had confused me with my namesake, who is, by all accounts, an excellent jazz saxophonist.

To confuse the pair of us would greatly amuse anybody who knows me well, as it is an indisputable fact I am tone deaf, have no musical ability and cannot hold a note of any kind.

Indeed I cannot even whistle in tune.

I am to singing or music what Les Dawson was to piano playing.

Anyway I wrote back to this chap pointing out his mistake and commenting on my lack of musical ability. It emerges he is a music teacher and he wrote back with a lovely response saying everyone has a latent musical talent, it just needs the right person to bring it out.

This confusion made me think about racing commentators and their namesakes.

I suppose I ought to deal with the most obvious racing example, namely Jim McGrath.

One is the former Timeform guru, stalwart of Channel Four Racing, and BHA director, known for making his astute observations with his eyes half closed. The other is the Australian born commentator, a breath of fresh air when he first arrived in the UK, but a commentator who some may, unfairly, say commentates with his eyes half closed on occasion.

Derek Thompson is a name to provoke strong reactions. The marmite man of racing and the racing broadcaster (along with Matt Chapman) who really polarises opinion. Either the most irritating thing to be found on the racecourse, even more irritating than those blessed flying beetles at Epsom, or the sort of person who can entertain or engage with the crowds and have them eating out of his hand.   Or is Derek Thompson the actor who has been in Casualty since the first episode, playing Charlie Fairhead?

Perhaps, next time he is treating a patient, Charlie Fairhead could be given the line, “don’t worry, you’ll be OK big fella.”

Is Lee McKenzie the very sexy former presenter on the original At The Races or the racecourse commentator? Have they been seen in the same room together? (sorry Lee!!)

Fortunately the only thing I only have one thing in common with point-to-point expert and sometimes commentator Iain MacKenzie is that his namesake, like mine, is also a jazz musician. His being a UK based jazz /swing singer.

Continuing the musical theme Simon Holt’s alter-ego  is a UK composer of contemporary classical music, whilst Mark Slater is also a contemporary British composer.

When I Googled Mark Johnson the first listing stated, “Mark Johnson was eight years old when he started to see a psychiatrist about his violent tendencies. That was the same year he first got drunk. ...” and I thought I was on to something really interesting, only to discover the article was about Mark Johnson the author of Wasted.

Perhaps he needs to visit Mark Johnson who is professor of philosophy at the University of Oregon, or is he also be Mark Johnson former top ice hockey star and now coach?

If you are into hot cars then Graham Goode is the man for you as Graham Goode Racing will hot tune your car for you, especially if it is a Subaru or Mitsubishi.

Finally Malcolm Tomlinson, another soap actor, star of Emmerdale, Eastenders and Hollyoaks.

Oh hang on – he really is the same one!!!!  

Right I’m now off to find out just how good a saxophonist I really am.

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