Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

February 18, 2008

Sir Clement's Feud

from The Daily Mail

His reputation for being cantankerous is legendary. And at the age of 83, Sir Clement Freud shows no sign of mellowing.

The former Liberal MP, who hasn't spoken to his painter brother Lucian for more than half a century, has now managed to fall out with one of the most popular and easygoing figures in National Hunt Racing.

Turf-loving Sir Clement - likened to the bloodhound he co-starred with in his Sixties dog food commercials - has abruptly removed two of his horses from the Lambourn stables of trainer Brendan Powell.

The former Grand National-winning jockey, who has more than 80 horses in training including numerous runners owned by billionaire Irish gambler and businessman JP McManus, had been handling Freud's mounts Eau Good and Santo Subito.

Both were showing promise. But Sir Clement, who famously severed his links with the Royal Ascot Racing Club in 2006 after failing to get a cash bonus from his share of Derby winner Motivator, has decided to take his horses elsewhere.

He claims that when he went to collect his horses, one had suffered a back injury, was short of a shoe and that his racing colours were torn.

In his newspaper racing column, he complained about a £1,000 operation needed by one of the animals, saying: "As I had paid a training bill of £20,000 since June, I sent a note stating that I thought his action was that of a smallminded shit."

Last night, Powell expressed the hope that he was still on speaking terms with the irascible Sir Clement.

"All I can say is that jockey Sam Thomas told me after riding Eau Good that he needed a wind operation," he tells me. "I told Sir Clement and he said go ahead and have it done.

"As regards the torn racing colours, jockey Mick Fitzgerald is quite big and had to make a hole in the arm to get Freud's colours to fit."

He adds: "Sir Clement is a very rude man. I have yet to receive the note calling me small-minded."

When I called Freud, he replied that he had "absolutely not" fallen out with his former trainer, but terminated the conversation when asked about the note.


Blogger Keith Matthews said...

The person who wrote this should be working for The Sun - publishing such twaddle about one of the wittiest men on radio. Clement obviously loves his horses and knows what's best for them, so he uses his canny business head to ensure that they get the best of care.So a prestigious stable loses the patronage of 'a name' from their list of celebrity horse owners - tough ! Clement has always been a man of few words and those he uses are chosen wisely .Good on yer Clem for putting the money grabbers in their place .I only have a lush and verdant window box underneath the lounge window of my flat on a vibrant council estate but Clement is welcome to stable his horses there rather than be taken for a ride elsewhere.
The only proviso is that the horses like listening to re-runs of JUST A MINUTE !

12:47 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. Good on ya Clemmie!

5:45 am  

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