One of horse racing's most trasured prizes, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, has been stolen from the house of Raymond Mould, the owner of Charter Party, the horse that won the race in 1988.
The Cup was one of three trophies that were taken during the burglary from Mould's house at Wormington, Gloucestershire early on Wednesday morning. The others were a Challenge Cup trophy and a Britannia Handicap Cup trophy.
Bronze ornaments in the shape of a hare, a spaniel with a pheasant in its mouth and two horses being ridden by jockeys were also stolen, along with a dark wooden clock with gold sides and a gold mechanism, two silver trophies, a silver fisherman ornament and a cigarette case, police said, although quite why they bothered, I don't really know. All you need to know is that the total value of the haul was put at £150,000.
This afternoon though, the oddly-named Mr Nigel Twiston-Davies, an associate of Mr Mould, had the bright idea - seeing as it's been World Cup time recently - to employ the services of Pickleson, the son of Pickles, the doggy who found the World Cup when it was stolen in London in 1966.
Pickleson is 'a chip off the old block' at finding things, apparently, and his owner David Corbett - who also owned Pickles - is keen for his 'best friend' to get involved and find the Gold Cup for the burgled Mr Mould. He told me:
"Pickleson is always finding things. He brings me sticks, bones, crisp packets, the odd coin and so on. If you want something finding, just ask Pickleson!"
But Corbett gave a start warning:
"Everyone should know, however, there is a curse attached to getting dogs to look for cups made out of gold. The aftermath of the 1966 'unearthing' was that the then-FA and Chelsea chairman, Joe Mears, who was being swindled, Edward Bletchley, the guy who stole it, and Pickles, himself, were all dead within two years of the incident. Pickles choked to death during a cat chase. Horrible! Sometimes it's better to let things go."