First this month, a disclaimer. Highlander is as patriotic a Scot as his name suggests, but at the same time considers himself very much a citizen of the United Kingdom, with the greatest admiration for all of its members. Now, after getting that off my chest, perhaps I can tell my joke. God was in the middle of his work of creating the world, and when he finished one night he had a little chat with the Archangel Gabriel. "Gabe," he said, "I'm knackered. I've had a hard day, but a good one. I've just created a wonderful country with beautiful mountains, forests with deer, rivers full of salmon, lochs and beaches."
"Sounds great, boss," said Gabriel. "A fortunate country." "But that's not all," went on the Big Fellow. "I've also decided to give the people a drink to enjoy called Malt Whisky. Here, I've brought you a drop to try it. He poured Gabriel a bumper which the Archangel tossed back in a oner and said, "Whew! That was good. Enough to knock your halo off." When he got his breath back, Gabriel asked, "And what are you calling this lucky land?" "Scotland," said God. There was a pause while Gabriel considered his next words. "I don't want to criticise, but boss, do you not think," he said at last, "that perhaps you've been over generous to this new creation?" God gave him a strange little smile before replying. "No," he said, "I haven't. Just wait till you see the neighbours I'm giving them." O.K., O.K. it's only a joke!
One of the funniest lines in literature concerning horses, I think, (and no doubt many of you will have others to back against it) is one I came across again the other day and which raised a smile once more. I thought I might share it with you. Here it is. "He flung himself from the room, flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in all directions." Question. Who was he? And who was the humorist who wrote it? And no, the horseman wasn't a confused Frankie Dettori getting his silks in a twist and doing a reverse flying dismount! Real answers later.
Have you ever tried this one on somebody, preferably a mug, or even had it tried on yourself? It goes like this. Say to somebody (perhaps your same mug) "I'll bet you £5 that if you give me a tenner, I'll give you £20." It sounds a very good bet, and hopefully your mug will take it on. He hands over his tenner and awaits his £20 in return. Instead, you say," O.K. You win the bet. Here's your £5." So, you're £5 up on the transaction. Depending on the company you can use proportionate stakes to suit.
The system for this month is called Scrutineer, and quite a few factors come under scrutiny in it in the eternal quest for our elusive winners. But there's one thing about it that slightly bothers me. Look at Rule 4. "The horse must be running in a similar class race to its last race." Fair enough. Many systems say that and it's perfectly good advice. But then Rule 4 goes on to turn penalty values into ratings. Again, fair enough for comparison. And finally at the end of Rule 4 there's a little sum that increases the value of the last race by 50% and that is the figure that has to be the same as or higher than the figure of the present race. It's all a bit confusing when the words "similar class" are used at the start of Rule 4. For myself, I'd be quite happy for "similar class" to mean just that - the present race to be of the same value or less than the last race. It makes it simpler, and I believe better.
Finally, race values have obviously increased since the system was published some years ago, so in Rule 1 for the Flat I'd suggest a figure of £9,000 instead of £6,000, and in Rule 11 for N.H., £6,000 instead of £4,000. Answers. The mad mountie in our question was called Lord Ronald Nosh, and the humorist was the great Canadian Stephen Leacock.

This is a method that requires the use of the Racing Post. Minimum number of runners is 5 and the maximum 14. Flat Rules. Only consider: -
1. Races with a penalty value of £6000 or more.
2. Won last time out or was second beaten by 3/4 length or less. For 2 yearolds it can be 2.5 lengths or less.
3. Ridden by one of the current top fifteen jockeys. The jockeys table can be found in the pages of the Racing Post.
4. The horse must be running in a similar class race to its last race. To work this out the penalty value for each race is turned into a rating by moving the decimal point twice to the left of the penalty value. This gives the rating. I.e.£7551 = 76 as the figure is rounded to the nearest 100. £7550 = 75, £12021 = 120. To work out whether the horse ran in a similar class race on its last run, divide the penalty value rating by 2 and add that number to the penalty value rating. I.e.80 divided by 2 = 40 added on to the 80 = 120. If the final total is the same or higher than the penalty value rating of today's race, then the horse is still a possible selection.
5. The horse must have been fancied in the market the last time it ran. To work this out use the following price guide. It gives the number of horses running in its last race and the maximum odds the horse's starting price could be. For example, if the horse ran in a six horse race on its last run, the horse must have had a starting price of 7-2 or less.
Price Guide
Number of Runners in Last Race Maximum Starting Price
4 or less 3-1
5 or 6 7-2
7 or 8 9-2
9 or 10 6-1
11, 12 or 13 8-1
14 or more 10-1
6. If only one horse in the race being analysed qualifies through rules 1 – 5 then proceed to the next section. If more than one horse qualifies then that race is no good for betting purposes and there is no need to proceed further.
Section B
Certain aspects of the horse's form are to be taken into consideration before it can become a selection.
7. The horse must be able to handle the ground. Use the following chart to determine whether the horse can handle the ground. Use the reported going in the Racing Post. Reported Going in Racing Post Going horse has won on or been beaten ¾ length or 2.5 lengths for 2 year-old or N.H. Flat.
Heavy Soft/Heavy
Soft Heavy, soft, good to soft
Good to Soft Soft, Good to Soft
Good Good, good to firm
Good to Firm Good, good to firm, firm
Firm Good to firm, firm
Hard Firm, hard

8. The horse's last run was within 28 days, except for the classics where 56 days is allowed.
9. Maximum distance for Flat racing is 2 miles. Races of 2 miles and a few yards are allowable, but races of 2 miles and 1 furlong plus are not.
10. No bet on Flat until May 1st. No bet at Chester. No bet on Bank Holidays.
National Hunt Rules
11. Only consider races with a penalty value of £4000 or more.
12. Won last time out or was second beaten by 2.5 lengths or less.
13. Ridden by one of the top 15 jockeys or a jockey who has ridden the horse at least twice in the horse's last three runs.
14. Same as Rule 4 in Flat rules.
15. Same as Rule 5 in Flat rules.
16. Same as Rule 6 in Flat rules.
Section B
17. Same as Rule 7 in Flat rules.
18. The horse's last run to be within 42 days.
19. The maximum distance is four miles 4 furlongs.
20. No bet in Juvenile Hurdle races. No bet on National Hunt until September 15th.
Foreign jockeys can be used, provided they are amongst the top five in their respective riding countries. If unsure, do not use.

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