I'll Have Another - and another
I'll have another is a phrase one hears from time to time. I seem to recall it being used by men of my acquaintance as they engaged in earnest, sophisticated conversation in a public house.
It's also the name of a racehorse, but in that case there is no connection with one for the road.
The horse was named after the daily request for an extra cookie that US gent and racehorse owner J Paul Reddam makes to his wife Zillah as they take a cuppa.
The name assumes an entirely new meaning this week though, with the chestnut colt needing one more title to complete the fabled Triple Crown of US racing.
I'll Have Another won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes in recent weeks and just needs a win in tomorrow's Belmont Stakes in New York to become the first horse in 34 years to claim the crown.
The last horse to perform the feat was Affirmed in 1978. And anyone who saw the movie Secretariat will know Big Red did it in 1973 with that mind-bending 31-length Belmont victory.
It's a good job I'll Have Another is unaware of expectations for "another". The hullaballoo surrounding his team is deafening.
His trainer, the affable Doug O'Neill, was last week nailed for the doping of another horse in his stable, even though he was personally exonerated of blame.
He reckons he's being unfairly targeted by the racing fuzz because of an ill-deserved reputation for doping arising from his name rhyming with "drug".
The jockey, Mario Gutierrez, a fresh-faced Mexican virtually unknown before I'll Have Another came along, seems the calmest person in the centre of the storm.
This is good, as he'll need ice in his veins not to push his mount too soon in the Belmont stretch - the trap into which many an aspiring Triple Crown candidate has fallen.
On the other side of the globe, in tranquil Durban, "I'll have another" will be the unsaid request of a horse called Variety Club.
The colt is hailed as the top miler in this country and, having recently claimed the KRA Guineas, will be seeking one more 1600m title in the KwaZulu-Natal winter season before heading back home to Cape Town. Only six runners are carded for the Grade 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge at Clairwood and it looks like Variety Club's burgeoning reputation has scared off much opposition. Another thrashing? No thanks.
Left in the race are good sorts, but they're a mishmash of runners "prepping" for the Durban July, sprinters trying out more distance and horses recovering from injury.
Anyone looking for clues to the July might do better with the 1800m Cup Trial on the same card, which has candidates bidding to either get into the big race field or cement their places.
Watch Solo Traveller, who might be a sly one for the July.
CLAIRWOOD, TOMORROW: Gold Challenge (Race 7) - 6 Variety Club, 3 Tales Of Bravery, 4 Link Man, 2 Pierre Jourdan