Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Keeping on keeping on

Busy week.  Two runners coming up, plus my VAT return is due no later than Friday.  The runners ought to be quite straightforward.  Both of them (Cottesloe at Nottingham tomorrow, Roy at Brighton - where else? - on Thursday) are fit and well and ought to run creditably, but both are high enough in the weights and have been in work a long time, so might be vulnerable to less exposed and/or fresher horses.  So, as always, we'll hope for the best and expect nothing.  John Egan rides Cottesloe but won't be on his and my faithful steed Roy: he has to ride in an early race at the Chelmsford evening meeting, so the 4.30 at Brighton isn't feasible.  This means that we'll have Dan Muscutt on board.  Dan is a very good jockey who always rides them well, so that's fine.  (And Roy, whose ears this morning on Long Hill can be seen in the second paragraph, has again managed to draw an even-numbered stall, so that's one worry out of the way as he won't be in the gates for too long, which is always a major concern with him).

Those trips ought, fingers crossed, to be enjoyable.  I wish I could say the same about the preparation and lodging of a VAT return, but I can't.  Still, I've been doing one four times a year for over 21 years now, so at least familiarity has made them relatively undaunting.  It won't ever breed contempt, though, as the thought of being audited again is enough to keep one on one's mettle.  Still, they come with compensations.  The compensation in this case was the amusement which I gained from reviewing my veterinary accounts during the compilation.  One myth is that all Newmarket-based horses are sick, and another is that Newmarket trainers run up huge veterinary bills on their owners' behalves.  Anyway, I found myself chuckling today when taking on board the fact the entire veterinary bill for the stable for the month of August was £67.95 + VAT.  That wouldn't even buy the paper that a Therapeutic Use Exemption is written on.

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