Saturday, 2 August 2014

Under Starter's Orders

Under Starter's Orders

It was my (our...) thirty-fourth wedding anniversary. ( I married when I was two, obviously.) I had cooked a delicious meal, all freshly lifted from the shelves of 'Marks And Spencer', featuring steak pie and chocolate - I was ready for a nap.

'Let's go to the races!' HE said. So we went. To Ludlow. A beautiful April afternoon, and we have given each other £50 each to bet.

I won £10 on the first race by betting on the prettiest horse, then promptly lost it on races two, three and four by believing in this as a system.

It was the fifth, a four miler with a good field. Sentimentally, I sought for a 'themed' horse. The best on offer was, 'Chasing The Bride' that had not, apparently, fallen on his previous outings , and I thought that a plus.

For two miles that horse brought up the rear; not that I was looking, I can't, I just can't. Then, just after the commentator reminded us all, somewhat unnecessarily, that 'Chasing The Bride' had, 'Played no part in this race', the horse began to move steadily frontwards.

By the second hurdle from home he was third, 'I'm in the money! I yelled.

'Not yet.... I backed him to win...'

Of course, he did. 

I don't remember the odds, but the thirty-four pounds that I collected put me ahead in the only competition that counted that afternoon... I couldn't have been smugger if I'd run the race myself.

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