Under Starter's Orders.
It will be very hush-hush of course. Mustn't be too previous - at least not seen to be. But you can be sure that the runners in the Succession Stakes are loosening up and shaking their fetlocks. Oh Yes. The favourites may well be carrying on as if nothing has happened - and the stents are still carefully packed in the anti-septic polythene container that they came in. But you can bet a pony that they are under starters orders.
Early favourite is Bridgend Hoggin, a rangy stallion with the same big stride that made Party Politics such a favourite with the punters - simply eating the hurdles. And he has the same Welsh bloodlines too. Second favourite is Slippery Jack, another stallion out of a Swansea stable, with a reputation for reaching the tape first when the going is tricky. And third favourite is The Duchess, a handsome filly with a striking mane, who tends to run through the hurdles, rather than jump them. Not to be discounted if she finds a good line in the slipsteam of the pacesetters.
A couple of pushy stables, with an eye on the future opportunities may enter as make weights. And after all, the favourites may burn out if they set too hot a pace. Expect to see some 'throwaway' betting on Rhondda Rebellious and some 'for the hell of it' betting on Merthyr No Hope.
But this blog wishes First Minister, Rhodri Morgan a full and speedy recovery. None of us would want to see ill health force him into retirement. In passing, Brynle was deeply impressed when I rang him to discuss things this morning. When he had his heart attack last year, he had only one stent. Rhodders had two! Of course there's no medical reason why Rhodri shouldn't be back to top form in a few weeks time. For sure, he will be up shouting on his beloved Cymru in Paris later in the summer. And when Alfie lifts the World Cup, after Hook drops a late goal to pip the All Blacks in the Final, Rhodri Morgan will announce the date of his departure from high office. Well, it would be a good moment.