Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hard Day at the Track

Coming out of my work-based bubble, I'm slowly re-emerging in the real world and socialising again.

This weekend it included a day at the races as a guest of the Queen.


The girlfried of a friend is PA to someone or other at Buckingham Palace and she was offered tickets for Ascot through her work. I went because it was a day out, a chance to dress up and most importantly, it was free.

The Premier Enclosure was rather disappointing - nowhere near as exclusive as I had hoped - in fact more people seemed to have the special pink badges than didn't. And more than a few people flauted the dresscode - there was many a man in a pink shirt sans tie.

I had what is termed a small flutter on the races. I know next to nothing about horse racing, odds or gambling, but you have to indulge a little I feel. Of the seven races, I gambled on just three, using equally unscientific methods in choosing my horse each time.

In the first race, I went with number 3 as number 3 has always been my lucky number, although I've never lucky and have no idea where the notiion came from that this was my lucky number. It failed to place.

In another race, I backed "Roker Park" drawn to the name as it was the name of Sunderland football team's old ground. Not that I'm a diehard football fan - I'm rather a typical fair weather supporter and supporting Sunderland an accident of birth rather than any great loyalty to them. In typical Sunderland fashion, the horse ran an unspectualar race, finishing second last.

But I did have a win. Ever cautious, I placed the minimum each way bet on a horse called Joshua Tree. I was thinking about Gram Parsons, rather than U2. It came from behind to win, and I went home £48 richer. Not enough to change my life, but it covered the cost of Pimms and the train ticket there and then some.

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