Blonk 6OTB

6 of the Best: SEM Global’s Philip Canavan

This week’s instalment of 6 of the Best comes from Philip Canavan, Director of SEM Global, who tells us why he did the conga through the club enclosure at Cheltenham racecourse and which Manchester band produced his favourite album.

Best Holiday

The Algarve is our most regular holiday destination and I love it every time we visit. The food, beaches, golf and weather are all great. Further afield I’d say Bali is the best place I’ve been – had a phenomenal week there and would love to go back again should I ever get the chance. The whole atmosphere on the island was friendly and welcoming, so relaxing. It’s also packed with awesome restaurants and beach bars and is all really good value for money.

Best Book

I’m sorry to say that I’ve never been a particularly big reader, and since having kids that has diminished even further! If I do read I prefer non-fiction. Biographies or true stories. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain or The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson are probably my top 2 books. Both were fascinating and I finished them in a couple of days which for me is really going some. I’ll go with Kitchen Confidential. Anthony Bourdain becasme a bit of a hero of mine after I read that book and I love his subsequent TV travel shows Parts Unknown, No reservations and The Layover. They are such good viewing. He very sadly committed suicide last year and is a huge loss to writing and broadcasting given his inspiring and genuinely interesting outlook on the world.

Best Album

Lots of albums I love – The Stone Roses debut and a few of the Beatles albums are close…but Definitely Maybe by Oasis is my favourite by a distance. It doesn’t have a single dud track and I don’t think a week goes by without me listening to at least a handful of songs from it.

Best Sporting Experience

Football is my favourite sport but it’s hard to pick out a single experience. Ashes Test matches in Australia are a pretty special atmosphere – I was lucky enough to do 2 days at both the GABBA and the SCG in the 10/11 Ashes that England won over in Oz which was a top experience. However, I’m going to say that my favourite sporting experience is the Cheltenham Festival. Champions Day and the opening day Cheltenham roar is just incredible and I look forward to it months in advance. Bring on March 10th 2020…

Best Film

Impossible to pick just one – maybe a toss-up between HEAT, Goodfellas, The Usual suspects, The Dark Knight, Cable Guy and Home Alone. Christmas doesn’t start until Home Alone 1 and 2 have been watched. I love the Rocky and Indiana Jones movies too. Too many good films to pick a single favourite, I could probably list 50!

Best Bet

I’ve had some satisfying ante post Cheltenham bets in the past – Thistlecrack in the 2016 World Hurdle and a Walsh/Mullins double on Yorkhill and Un de Sceaux in 2017 stand out in my mind. Thistlecrack in particular was great – a group of my oldest mates and I backed him a few months in advance at a decent price and ended up doing the conga through the club enclosure down to the Quevega’s bar when he came in…

In terms of pure unexpected joy though there is only one I could pick – I had a £1 Tricast at the Hove Greyhound track when I was 18 and it paid back £102. Total guesswork, and I couldn’t believe I had won that much from such a small stake. I’m pretty sure I didn’t even know the prices!

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