Rice foot perfect as he serves up spicy appetiser; THE DIKLER The talk of racing.
Rice concluded with a piece of advice: "Before you criticise someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, you're a mile away, and you've got their shoes."
A breech too far THE DIKLER was amused to read a 'close-up' comment filed by the on-course reporter for Weatherbys Chase loose-leaf weekly results service for a runner in the restricted race at the Tiverton Staghounds meeting on Exmoor earlier this month. It read: 'held up last to 5; 5 lengths 4th halfway, wknd 4 out; t.o. - rider's voluminous & v. stretchy breeches create huge drag'. The name of the horse? Perfect Speed.
Curley's shaggy dog story BARNEY CURLEY'S movements tend to be swathed in mystery with the fewest number of people knowing his business the better, although he is finding it quite hard to go under the radar at the moment.
The Newmarket trainer prefers to keep a low profile on the local gallops but with his current companion, that is going to be nigh on possible. His family pet is a St Bernard dog who has taken to spending work mornings with his master. The 18-month Arnie certainly can't be hidden away and when seen galloping through the woods near the Al Bahathri polytrack, Curley said: "If keeps on growing the way he has, he'll soon be big enough to jump a hurdle."
Top trainer eyes Lambourn THE DIKLER hears tongues are wagging in Lambourn about a successful trainer from another part of Britain who has supposedly been visiting stables in the "Valley of the Racehorse".
Naming the trainer in question would only cause them grief, but discreet inquiries elicited the response that a shock move was not in the pipeline.
Romania's taxing problem PAUL DIXON and Paul Roy should take note - you can only push bookmakers so far.
All bar 50 of Romania's 1,505 betting shops closed earlier this month in protest at a new 25 per cent tax the government there introduced on gambling profits.
Romania's betting firms feared jobs would be lost and business would go online as a result of the tax - fears that have been realised since the start of the World Cup with internet gambling having doubled.