Last week, Backchat experienced the ruthless professionalism of insurers when he was lucky enough to go to the gee-gees at Goodwood with Zurich Financial Services.

The Swiss insurer wooed Backchat with a first-class ticket down to Chichester, a stretch limo from the station, and £20 to bet on the horses.

But by the end of the day, Backchat had managed to blow that money plus a further £50 on a bunch of old nags.

He felt a pang of envy as the good people of Zurich (all experts in good risk selection, obviously) managed to make modest, sensible profits from their bets.