16 March 2009
The bosses of the ‘News’ have always been very good to The Shadow.
I sit down every week and write about this and that, mostly connected with the Sport of Kings - thoroughbred hoss racing - but not always.
I have never had anything I have ever written changed or criticised in any way. I am very lucky to work with such people and I know it.
However, this week I have had a number of sleepless nights worrying about what I am going to write and how it will be received by my friends and readers of the ‘News’. I want to write something about Jade Goody.
I cannot add to the millions of words and countless photographs of Jade appearing in the media daily but that does not prevent me from expressing my feelings about a terrible tragedy which is being played out hour by hour.
If Jade happened to be from Yorkshire or Wales or Timbuktoo I would be deeply moved and saddened by her plight
but she is a young woman who has lived on the streets we all have lived on and who take the Southwark News as our very own cherished local newspaper. In a phrase, she is one of us.
We must put aside all the media circus as best we can. We know that Jade has deliberately given access to her suffering to secure the future of her children. In my book that is a very courageous thing to do.
I think in the same circumstances I would take the easy way out and lock myself away from the world and I am sure I am not alone in thinking that is the way most people would face their end.
Jade is Jade - loud, tough and very, very human and she had met it all full on.
I started to turn these things over in my mind because I thought a suitable tribute to her would be to incorporate her name or her initials in the name of our Racing Club foal due to be born any day now.
That poses certain difficulties because we must continue to incorporate the name of the News in our hosses because we are the Southwark News Racing Club but it would not prevent me from buying or leasing an unnamed hoss which could be named in honour of Jade.
That way we could pay tribute to her with a name like Brave Girl or Bermondsey Battler.
If you have any ideas or suggestions perhaps you could contact the News.
I would also like to hear from you if you think I am wrong and acting in bad taste.
You can be sure I shall do nothing which would mar her memory or invite criticism of the News.
On a much less sad note I have been spending a lot of time backwards and forwards to see if there has been any sign of our new foal being born. It is due any day now but being a first baby it will probably come late.
Our trainer has CCTV cameras in all the mares' boxes so we spend the time sitting with one eye watching the telly and the other eye on the closed circuit screens. I have forgotten what a good night's sleep is like but I want to be there when Flash's baby makes her entrance into the world so who cares about a bit of missed shut eye.
The other thing we have beeen doing is getting little Thumberlina ready for her first race over five furlongs at Kempton at ten to eight on Thursday night. The papers show her probably going off at 33-1 or bigger and you can take it from me that is a very generous price.
For the weekend my two bets are Kauto Star to return to winning ways in the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday and Venetia William's Mon Mome to win the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter on Saturday. The big danger to Kauto Star is Neptune de Collonges so have a saver on him in the big race.
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TEA TRADE WHARF SE1, £1,295,000 , For Sale
TOWER BRIDGE WHARF E1W, £550 , per week, For Sale
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