Does a few hours matter in preparing for a game of football? Undoubtedly on the common, Sunday morning, if the time was misspent on Saturday night. Even with impeccable post-match discipline, the clock is certainly against Tottenham on Sunday. They play Manchester United at midday after turning out in the Europa League just three days earlier. This adds to the case for making United and a win the centerpiece of your weekend Yankee.
Both sides are still in the Capital One Cup. This competition has had a multitude of names. By comparison, the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup has been unchanged for decades, back now over half a century. In this, the weekend’s big racing event, sometimes you have to see the signs and back an emotional win. David Pipe saddles a horse called Our Father for the late David Johnson, who died this year. If this wasn’t enough of an omen the gelding’s jockey Tim Murphy boasts a strike rate of 45% for the last fortnight. The odds of around 10-1 are worth a prayer.
Pipe’s own old man, Martin, farmed the Welsh National at Chepstow in December on many occasions before handing over the stable keys to his son. Pipe Minor has Amigo at 25-1 for the race this year on December 28th. Friendly odds.
New Year’s Eve three days later will have added significance in Scotland, as potentially the last as part of the union. The odds on a “Yes” vote for independence are 5-1, reflecting the current two-to-one against opinion polls. But this difference will narrow as the difficulties of mounting a positive “No” campaign become increasingly apparent. Likewise the odds will shorten. If Question Time this week was a reliable barometer, Hadrian’s Wall could have to become higher.