Racing has had its fair share of great events and wonderful stories, over the years, but to counterbalance this it has, over recent terms, also produced a multitude of farces. By definition a farce is ‘an event or situation that is absurd, unfair or disorganized’. Which ones stand out in your memory as being either absurd or completely and utterly ridiculous??? Narrowly missing out on inclusion in my list are the Kauto Star / Denman duel that neither animal won! And Elizabeth Kelly’s infamous ‘poor little rich girl rant’ after winning a Grade 1. Here in reverse order are, in my view, the biggest farces our sport has had to endure in recent times. 5. Cheltenham naming their Grandstand after a minor Royal I’m sure we could all name a countless number of human and equine heroes who would have been worthy of having the new £45 million Grandstand at Cheltenham named after them. It isn’t hard as our sport has produced so many people and horses who should be celebrated in such a manner. Cheltenham Racecourse though choose to ignore them all and opted instead to name their new wonder structure after some minor Royal who has never achieved anything at the professed ‘Home of NH Racing’. Illogical, insulting and, quite frankly an obscene decision. At least the name will be swiftly changed if old boy Jerry Corbyn ever gets in (not that I’m advocated that however). 4. Victoria Pendleton’s amateur riding career Victoria Pendleton apparently once rode a bicycle and I’m told, by my mole at the velodrome, that the old girl did so rather well. However, when anno domini ruled that it was time to pursue an alternative career she opted not to do what the rest of us have to do and go down the old ‘Labour Exchange’ but try to remain in the public eye. She bombed out early on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ before turning her attentions to becoming a noted amateur rider in the NH sphere (albeit a noted amateur rider in the NH sphere who was, according to reports, being paid between £250k and £300k, by Betfair, to take part in their ‘ switching saddles’ promotion). A number of failures were punctuated with the odd half decent performance and even win but Pendleton arrived at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival and the Foxhunters with not the greatest of expectations. In the run up to this event we had Ms Pendleton melt down in the media and amazingly in the run-up to the race and on the day this exposure exceeded even that given to the Cheltenham Gold Cup run on the same day. In the event the old girl finished 5th after giving her mount, to put it mildly, extremely tender handling. After this the fuss died down somewhat and without Betfair’s money behind her she’s rarely been heard from since re NH racing. A total farce which simmered out almost as soon as it begun! 3. Colin Tizzard’s actions re Thistlecrack’s run on 26 December 2016 I know that I get shouted at every time that I mention this farce but I still find the whole thing baffling and quite simply ridiculous! In the 2 weeks leading up to the final decs for the 2016 ‘King George VI Chase’ Colin Tizzard could be observed or read about, in ever gee-gee media outlet going, mulling over whether he was going to run Thistlecrack in the big ‘un on St Stephen’s Day or alternatively the novice equivalent run earlier on the card. Why he did this I’ve no idea as the decision was never going to be his (he after all is merely the ‘hired hand’) and ultimately wasn’t as Thistlecrack’s owners made the final call. Why was he so keen to give the impression he had full control??? I really don’t know but contrast this behaviour with that of Lieutenant Henderson, the forum’s favourite Lieutenant, a couple of months, or so, later when quizzed where one of his animals was going at the Cheltenham Festival. ‘I’ve no idea’, snorted the great man, ‘But the owner will tell me!’ I still regular pontificate on the question, ‘Why Colin did you behave like this?!?’ 2. Lieutenant Henderson banned for 3 months It was the vet. End of. How could a National Institution be treated like the Lieutenant was?!? ‘The Lambourn One’ is purer than the driven snow and has the straightest bat in racing. Disgraceful treatment of a legend! It was akin to old boy Poirot calling all the country house guests into the library at the conclusion of the novel and then accusing the pure and innocent Lady Georgina rather than the correct dour old murdering rogue. And Number 1, by a million miles, A.P. McCoy’s Final Day riding Before this day I’d never heard of this chap but apparently he won a lot of novice, selling and claiming hurdles in his time. Also, regularly won a Championship that during his duration of holding it only 2 other people ever tried to win – the real stars of his generation, Barry Geraghty and the Ruby boy, never showed even the slightest interest in competing for it. Anyway, back to the day itself and, in the words of a Chav, it was a ‘total cringfest’. McCoy was put on some sort of pedestal, during the proceedings, which he was never entitled to be on when in reality he was merely a journeyman who got extremely lucky not once but twice – the first when given the ‘Daddy’ Martin job and the second time when employed by a chap who had the undoubted hots for him and seemed to think he was the second coming. In the interests of balance what should have happened was the 3 Champion Hurdles he stuffed up in, during the period 2009-14, be played to those assembled. I was never a big fan of Richard Hughes when he rode but have to say that the way he and his wife handled his ‘final day’ at Goodwood was Class with a capital ‘C’. McCoy’s fiasco though was a complete and utter farce.