Sunday, 11 April 2010
Don't Push It........!
Went to a lovely party yesterday afternoon, hosted by two of our best friends, on the theme of 'A Day At The Races'. Everyone dressed up and fully entered into the spirit of the thing... there was a virtual Claire Balding, a couple of stable lads, a lady 'owner' and her trainer, several toffs in top hats, several fillies in stunning hats, and even one plucky person in a horse costume (on the hottest day of the year so far!)
We were all given £100 (monopoly money) and could bet on four actual races, running at Aintree yesterday, culminating in the Grand National.
We also all entered a sweepstake on the final race, each betting £1 (real money) and picking a name from the hat at random.
In between chatting, drinking, laughing, drinking, socialising, drinking, eating, laughing etc we all watched the races live on TV. 'Winnings' were paid out after the end of each race, which meant that we could place further bets if desired.
In the second race, I won a princely £15, which I added as an accumulator to my bet for the Grand National.
To be honest, I don't really like horse racing. I don't mind racing on the flat, but steeplechasing seems a bit barbaric. The Grand National course is famous for its huge jumps and some years several horses have to be euthanized after falling and breaking legs. Jockeys are also often injured but they choose to participate so I don't have much sympathy. The horses have no choice.
At the start of the big race, everyone crowded into the sitting room to watch. A room full of 30 or so women is fairly noisy at the best of times but with the excitement of the big race the noise levels were stratospheric and I couldn't hear a word of the TV commentary.
It was only in the final few furlongs that I thought I heard the name of my horse, "Don't Push It" being mentioned, but assumed that he'd fallen or something equally dire. It was only after the race was finished, and everyone was asking who had won, that someone who had obviously been paying much more attention than the rest of us said 'Don't Push It'.
I 'won' £330.
In play money.
If I'd backed it for real, with genuine coin of the realm, I'd now be £330 better off.
Slippery slope Sandra.