Our newsletters are tops! Highlights of 2021
We mailed our first IRC Newsletter to subscribers on Wednesday, 23 December 2020 and we’ve come a long way since with a number of expert writers joining us – Jonny Gould on baseball and other sports, Kangaroo Jack on racing and life’s spiritual mysteries, Jonathan Quayle Higgins on controversial racing issues, Liam Botham on rugby and Nick Gordon who writes the popular Saturday column, ‘Nick In Newmarket’.
We’ve had 52 weeks of punchy excitement since, as our writers brought you exclusive stories from around the world. We’ll be taking a short break over Christmas and New Year and we’ll be back with more good stuff in 2021, when we’ll be streamlining our offerings and bringing you more of the best from our band of first-class writers.
Last month, James Mulligan joined as our golfing expert – his columns go out to a list of golfing fans once a week, but with its punchiness and exclusivity will appeal to all lovers of good reading. Here is a typical Mulligan column, containing a free subscription within.
We’ll look back today at some of the best quotes from our letters in 2021. Which ones did you enjoy most? Let us know.
IRC Mondays: The Parallels between Golf and Betting
“The age-old betting principles apply today: DISCIPLINE, SELECTIVE BETTING and, perhaps most importantly, NOT DWELLING ON LOSERS! Betting is about ebb and flow, like the tides in poet Mathew Arnold’s Dover Beach. We, and you, will have winning runs, losing runs and “so-so” runs. In the end, it’s all about accepting, and enjoying, the gamblers’ lifestyle. We keep going, we celebrate the wins and take the knocks on the chin. The legendary Arnold Palmer said about golf: “It deceptively simple and endlessly complicated; it satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening – and it is without a doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented.” We love that quote, except that we’ll side with thoroughbred racing as the best sport on earth and expert Steve Davidowitz’s assertion that, “(Betting horses) is the most intellectually challenging pastime man has ever invented!”
IRC Mondays: The roaring ups and downs of Nascar
“It was rumoured at the time that Biden was given a two-lap ‘spin’ in one of the fastest cars, during which he is alleged to have suffered a sudden and embarrassing bowel movement, not due to fear, but apparent age-related incontinence. (Trump, last year, survived several laps with no reported loo-break). Seriously, readers, following that unconfirmed Biden incident, the second-most asked NASCAR question on Google became, ‘Do NASCAR drivers wear diapers?’ ”
IRC Mondays: Farewell to Sheikh Hamdan
“So many horses to choose from so I won’t mention any of the many champions Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum gave us the pleasure of enjoying. We saw decades of those famous colours all over the world. He was a man who liked his horses brought along, not punished on debut. A man who truly loved the horse.” – Joao Da Mata, tribute to Sheikh Hamdan of Dubai.
Liam Botham: Club Rugby Power is Shifting To France
“It’s an interesting scenario to discuss. I suspect the notable shift in power from UK clubs to the French has something to do with salary caps and the ability of the French to attract more, quality international players at club level. You see, the Welsh and Scottish have the smallest salary caps. Ireland and England have similar salary caps. It’s all up for discussion…”
Johnny Gould: Unbreakable record, steroids and wannabe athletes
“If you look close enough (at the photo) you’ll also see a small dark object in the top corner of the photo. That was a Mars Bar I’d won for coming runner-up in the House Tug-of-War. Though I was good at most sports, I wasn’t special at any of them – except perhaps blagging my way onto a team sheet. My gift was always my gob. I have kissed the Blarney Stone (in Ireland) not once but twice, and have lived my life by the motto, “Why use one word when ten will do?”
IRC Mondays: How To Be A Daily Winner Without Backing One
“If the wave of life crashes unexpectedly over you in a sad and destructive way, like it did for Jack (B) and Nooresh (Juglall), or if you’re overwhelmed with unexpected grace and glory, make sure that you choose to be a “Winner”, as many times over as you can, and in as many ways as you can, before Alisson Becker’s ‘inexplicable’ occurrence comes flying in your direction. Understand there are no patterns, no rules and no limits, but no safeguards either. Give of yourself to others. Today may be your last chance to do so!” – Joao Da Mata.
Jonny Gould: Bizarre Sports Injuries
“Other notable mentions include the nastiest injury of all. That happened to Clint Malrchuk who in 1989 severed a Carotid Artery from a flying ice skate when playing for the Buffalo Sabres. Clint lost about a third of the blood in his body and barely survived the incident.”
IRC Q&A: Sir Ian Botham
17. Most embarrassing moment? “Walking out to bat in Perth without a bat!”
Jonathan Quayle Higgins: I’m Going Slightly Mad…
“Tokyo Olympics. Within minutes I was stunned. Thousands of athletes were entering a large arena in traditional dress, all smiling and earnestly waving at a crowd of, well, zero! Was it possible that we, as a worldwide collective of individuals, have accepted the new Covid lifestyle to the extent that we now wave and smile at absolutely non-existent entities?”
IRC Mondays: Who will die first, Lewis or Max?
“Following Saturday’s sensational crash of the pair of ferocious rivals at Monza, in which Lewis came within inches of having his head taken off by a flying Red Bull Honda, we’d like to ask, however deeply disturbing it may sound: Will bookmakers be dark enough to price up on who will die first, Hamilton or Verstappen?”
Kangaroo Jack: Spurs need “Espirited’ Rejuvenation
“There’s an ancient curse in operation, I suspect, with wicked bones of a former player lying beneath our retractable football pitch at the ‘New White Hart Lane’. I suggest we send Espirito Santo down there with a priest to dig them up and perform a symbolic exorcism. Our Jewish chairman, Daniel Levy, might not see the appeal of this bold foray into spiritually contaminated territory, but I think it’s worth a try.”
Kangaroo Jack: Superman’s Gayness Helps Punters: Anything Is Possible!
“Many punters were wounded last Saturday after building exotic bets around Zaaki, who went off 2-7 favourite in the Might and Power Stakes (Gr. 1) at Caulfield and – shock, horror – finished third of five runners. It was an existential blow to see our latest turf hero bite the dust – a bit like seeing DC Comics’ new Superman kissing blokes and fondling their buttocks. But Zaaki got nailed, the new Superman is gay, and that means anything is possible in life and betting!”
From Jonathan Quayle Higgins: Why Drunk Sports Writers Become Immortal
“Sports reporting and alcohol go together, much like award-winning fiction goes with drugs and alcohol. Faulkner, O’Neill, Hemingway and Steinbeck loved a pot with their breakfast, and renowned drug experimenter Hunter S. Thompson never had a sober moment from the age of 21 until his self-inflicted death by gunshot at age 67. Stephen King, the great horror writer, has admitted that he was so high on cocaine in parts of his career he can’t remember one word of certain best-selling novels that flowed from his pen!”
Jonathan Quayle Higgins: Movers and Shakers
“The ‘shaking’ part is unclear, however, and arguably has a bearing on the severity of this particular charge. Frost should be saying exactly what the male jockey is alleged to have… dunne. Did Robbie try to shake himself dry like a dog jumping out of a swimming pool (perhaps he was stepping out of the shower); did he merely adjust his equipment as men tend to do; or did he actually shake his appendage in a lewd and inviting fashion, like the late John Holmes did in the acclaimed 1976 classic Tell Them Johnny Wadd is Here?”
Nick In Newmarket: For Inner Peace and Betting Profits, Don’t Push The River
“With no real new blood to speak of in the game it’s become very generational. I like racing because my dad, uncle and grandfather all like racing. But what 20 something is going to be happy to part with their cash on the tote when they’ve heard their old man moan about the service when trying to place a bet. No chance. Not with today’s generation who are so focused on instant gratification and being able to Instagram their experience. No, they need a slick product and a way for them to become immersed in the experience. That’s just one part of the puzzle. It should also be noted that we can never lose sight of the reason we all return day after day and that’s for the appreciation of the horse.” – IRC.