Sports dreamers had a lot to take away from Friday. Get their horse racing Cheltenham Gold Cup bets by 3.30pm, sort their Fantasy Premier League squad by 6.30pm, send in their offers for Chelsea by 9pm.
The first and last item on this list have a lot in common: big field, lots of obstacles, huge price. You must love the sports calendar – it never lets you down when you need a metaphor.
So who is in the race to replace Roman Abramovich? Who should Chelsea fans root for? Where should casual observers place their punts?
These are not easy questions to answer, as this is a contest that seems to have more in common with the gloriously unpredictable race of attrition that is the Grand National – Britain’s other great steeplechase – than with the more refined connoisseur affair that is the Gold Cup. .
But there’s no fun in sitting on the fence – no pun intended racing – so let’s continue with our rundown of Trivago runners and runners (they’re still sponsoring Chelsea, right?) Stamford Bridge Stakes.
First fallers and rank underdogs
We’ll start with the names you should ignore or, if you get them in a draw, tear up.
Turkish businessman Muhsin Bayrak was one of the first to join in a bid for Chelsea, telling local media “the world thinks we have a 90 per cent chance of getting the deal – Abramovich thinks the same thing”. This led some to wonder if Bayrak was simply going to keep the Premier League club warm for Abramovich while the sanctioned Russian waited for the war in Ukraine to end and normal duty to return to Londongrad.
This, however, was pure speculation. Unfortunately, so is Bayrak’s offer.