David Thompson had been used to making money out of meat that was, well, a little less mobile: the Hillsdown Group, his share in which Thompson sold for £300 million, began life as a small butchery outfit in Smithfield. But Britain's most reclusive millionaire knows his horseflesh on or off hoof. His Grand National entry, Party Politics, romped home at 14-1, just 72 hours after Thompson had bought it for his wife for a knock-down £80,000. Thompson's response was typical: he didn't turn up. In all the year when he was building Hillsdown, Thompson was neither interviewed nor photographed. So Fleet Street was out in force at Aintree: the depression when Patrician Thompson turned up to collect the trophy was palpable. Things like this get under Toady's skin. So today's offer, boys and girls, is this: supply me with a picture of Thompson, and I will supply you with a bottle of finest champagne.
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