Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Thing 104 Horse Racing

Let's be clear from the word go - I'm not, nor will I ever sit on a horse for the purposes of competing in a contest of speed against another person on a different horse. When I say I went horse racing I mean I went to watch others race horses for my amusement (and massive consternation).

Thorny Wire knows a thing or two about horse racing. But he lives in Detroit now. That's an inconvenience to me. I hope he knows how difficult he's made this experience for me by leaving the country... just kidding. He's alright. I'd never much of an interest until Thorny Wire got me into it a bit. I never knew a whole lot. I picked the occassional winner and more often than not I lost money. Too often I could have just handed the bookies the money and walked out. Save some time.

So I couldn't leave for Galway this time 'round without information. Keano at work knows what he's about when it comes to racing. So he gave me a tutorial. Here's what I learned: Something to do with weights. Form guide. Race card. Going soft, going good. Local trainers. Maiden stakes. Something to do with hay I think...

I'm kidding here too. I learned a lot. I was pretty pleased with myself heading for Galway yesterday. All psyched up to take all the bookies money. Oh yeah. They were going to be cursing my name and I'd be drinking champagne in Taafe's Bar by half nine...

Not to be.

Definitely, definitely not to be.

Stupid bookies. Stupid outsiders. Dermot Weld only won two races. TWO!! "Back the Dermot Weld horses" they said. "Can't go wrong" they told me. Bah humbug. In the first half of the day I lost every bet from race one to four. From race four to seven though... won 'em all.

"Win some, lose some" is an interesting old saying. I did both. But the ones that I won, had an awful less money on them than the ones I lost.

All in all though, you really can't top an experience like this. The buzz, the fashion, the crowds. Bookies shouting over the heads of excited would be experts. Young men in fancy suits pretending they know what they're talking about, operating on pigeon knowledge and guess work. Grizzled veterans with the look of the country winking knowingly at each other across the bar. The shouting and the din. I'm coming back again. In fact... I'm heading there right now.

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