It’s been a long time since I placed a bet on a horse. I was quite a punter in my time, having been reared in Co Kildare, (where they would bet on two flies crawling up a wall). nurtured on Naas Races and Punchestown and weaned painfully off the gambling by a severe shortage of money when I moved into my first flat. Luckily I preferred eating & drinking more than the excitement of the chase and found that if I didn’t buy a newspaper and read the runners of the day, I wasn’t tempted.
But I have this friend, you see, who simply loves Cheltenham. His pleasure in the famous festival is infections and yes, I fell at the first fence. I badgered him for tips and he duly obliged with a list for day one. My consort was agreeable enough to go to the Bookies for me. Being royal, I don’t carry money, of course so he wasn’t surprised to have to foot the bill.
Somehow or other my tipster friend made quite a few bob on the day, but it cost me lots. I suspect he did more serious research after parting with information to me. Nothing daunted, I harassed him again for the second day – this time I made sure not to get the list till just before the ‘off’ for the 1.30 and sent His Majesty the King off again – protesting this time, but I waved my sceptre at him so he quickly put his crown in his pocket along with some small change.
I had a wonderful afternoon watching the wonderful animals pounding on the green turf, seeing Ruby Walsh stand in the stirrups in celebration of yet another win, imagining the pop of champagne corks as owners and trainers bubbled with excitement.
But there’ll be no champagne in my kingdom tonight. Only one of the recipients of my regal approval showed in the first three – and he was doubled with an even slower equine specimen. The contents of the Royal Exchequer are sadly depleted and I may have to declare a recession.
I wonder has my friend any tips for tomorrow? Must send him a royal text……