Place of speed and memories
We're going back to the races after that brief crossing to the football.
And it couldn't be at a better moment because it is the Scottsville sprint day tomorrow - always a special moment for me as it is in my hometown of Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal.
Generations of my family went racing at Scottsville and I treasure memories of my salad days there - with a convenient veil drawn over the parts where I lost my pocket money to the tote.
If departed kith and kin were to look over my shoulder at the card for tomorrow's meeting, they might feel a stirring of excitement, as it is packed with class.
Star billing goes to Princess Victoria in the SA Fillies Sprint. Racing in the famous Jaffee colours, the filly has won seven of nine starts - including one over tomorrow's course and distance. A price of 18/10 looks generous to me.
The Allan Robertson Championship might provide the most thrills. It is an outstanding renewal of the contest for juvenile fillies, with horses like Franny, Valdivia and King's Temptress, and a battle royal is in prospect.
Scottsville's uphill finishing stretch is the most demanding bit of turf in the land. I call it "The Run of Truth", for only the lion-hearted, in peak condition, can prevail.
The main event is the Golden Horse Casino Sprint, the toughest of the country's six-pack of major dashes. Victory here is highly prized by horsemen.
The Golden Horse used to be the Gilbey's Stakes and tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of the first running.
The Gilbey's was the first horse race in South Africa to be sponsored. Indeed, it was among the first of any sponsored sporting events in the country.
It was 1962 and I remember my father telling his pals how Sandy Christie, the City Sporting Club secretary (what they called a CEO in more modest times), had masterminded the ground-breaking financial backing. Dad used to partake of Gilbey's gin and as an eight-year-old I formed this vague, preposterous idea that his generous patronage of the label had somehow helped clinch the deal.
It seems strange now, but my father wasn't allowed to mention the name Gilbey's in the newspaper he worked for as the National Press Union decreed that sponsorship was an attempt to get free advertising by subterfuge and editorial columns could not be sullied by grubby commerce.
How things change.
Well done West Ham for winning promotion to the English Premier League. And well done all you Hammers fans who came out of the woodwork to show support - and helpfully point out my Cockney Reject cock-up. We're forever blowing bubbles, eh?
Golden Horse (Race 8): 6 Snowdon, 2 Link Man, 3 Deliver The Power, 1 What A Winter
SA Fillies (Race 7): 11 Princess Victoria, 1 Welwitschia, 13 Jackodore, 5 Romantic Moon
Tsogo Sun Medallion (Race 6): 13 Reign As Kings, 10 Ottimo, 3 Contador, 6 Fly Me Over
Allan Robertson (Race 5): 10 Valdivia, 2 All Is Secret, 5 King's Temptress, 4 Franny