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Put AP and Waley-Cohen in charge of BHA.

Byline: Henry Ponsonby

If you had to switch careers, what job would you do? Journalist. What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given? Be a good listener. Which race would you most like to win? The Derby, of course, with First Mohican.

Who would play you in a film of your life? David 'Del Boy' Jason. If there is one thing you could change about your life, what would it be? Be born 30 years earlier.

Who would you really like to meet? Winston Churchill.

If you were taking someone racing for the first time, where would you go? Newbury.

Which is the best racecourse and which could do better? Newbury is best, Kempton could do better.

What's your favourite sport outside racing to watch? And to play? Tennis.

Which sport won't you watch? Darts. Sum yourself up in four words Convivial, controversial, nice guy. What or who really annoys you? Bad losers - in any sport - and some Racing UK commentators who think they invented the game.

What do you watch on TV? The History and Military Channels.

What was the last film you saw? The King's Speech.

And the last book you read? Jump by Jilly Cooper.

Give us a horse or two to keep an eye on Kings Lodge, a bumper horse with Nicky Henderson, and a two-year-old with Michael Bell called Love Grows Wild. Trainer to watch out for? Tom Symonds, Nicky Henderson's assistant, when he starts.

And jockey? Jeremiah McGrath, Nicky Henderson's conditional. What was the best day of your racing life? Riding Desert Hero to win at Sandown for Fulke Walwyn. What's the best bet you've ever had? Winning five figures on a patent at Cheltenham the day after Oregon Trail won the Arkle.

Who's your favourite horse? Arkle. You're forced to have a tattoo, what does it say? Pegasus.

What would be your specialist subject on Mastermind? Second World War Generals, Axis and Allies.

Where would you recommend as a holiday destination, and why? Thailand - charming people and excellent food.

Best/worst subjects at school History/maths.

You're invited to a fancy-dress party, who will you go as? Admiral Lord Nelson. You hear an intruder in the house while you're in bed, what's the first thing you do? Wake up Rupert and Freddy - my dogs - who should see him off. Which team do you support? Yorkshire at cricket.

What would you do with the England team? Appoint Sir Alex Ferguson as manager, if he would accept. What's your favourite restaurant or pub for a night out? Eyston Arms, East Hendred, but lunch is best.

What's your favourite food? And drink? Grouse and good claret. Apart from prize-money, what's the first thing you would change if you took over racing? I would like Sam Waley-Cohen and Tony McCoy to run the BHA. They have the guts and business acumen to take us to the very top of all sports. What is the strangest/funniest thing you have ever seen on a racecourse? Alice Plunkett's face at seeing a certain bit of Charlie Brooks's anatomy in the changing room at Newbury.

Tell us something about yourself that only you know Nothing to hide. You can save one prized possession, what is it? Good health.

What keeps you awake at night? Planning for the horses. Who'd be your four ideal dinner party guests? Jilly Cooper, Robert Gibbons, Jo Winter and Henry Cecil. And one to be marooned with on a desert island? Nigel Baring.

He makes me laugh and is a survivor adept in field craft.


A good day at the office: How Tony McCoy might look commuting to London if he were BHA supremo
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Apr 10, 2011
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