Just in case Nicky Henderson was not feeling sufficiently concerned about Binocular's return to action in Saturday's Fighting Fifth, the horse's owner, JP McManus, sent a little reminder yesterday about the standards to which he has been accustomed.
The Australians have been accused of dithering before this series, but captain Ricky Ponting, in front of the press corps for the fourth day in succession, was dither-free.
There are two very nervous teams in Brisbane right now.
This Ashes tour has been like no other in living memory.
Ricky Ponting says that "in all honesty I don't know where the finish line is – it will probably depend just how well I play." But that is the optimistic, self-sufficient talk of an Australia captain who cannot dare to conceive of the possibility that he might lose the Ashes.
The one overriding aspect of Andy Flower's position as the coach of an England cricket team heading into the Ashes is his sense of utter permanence.