Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Marx Brothers

...Or a Day at the Races. Never let it be said that the old adage
"Failure to prepare is to prepare to fail"
doesn't apply even when you are trying to have fun.

We had a company Xmas do last week at the Races, and I didn't do any homework beforehand to study the Racing Post or form guides in the dailies. In fact I only really had one plan not to spend more than a certain amount on betting, at which I consider myself to be a complete novice.

So when we sat down for our meal, and the Tote lady came round explaining about the Jackpot and Placepot cards that were conveniently located in front of each placemat, I didn't really think that I would actually need some of my budget for betting on individual races. So when my two accumulator bets had been blown out on the first race, that rather spoilt the excitement of the subsequent races, as I had literally nothing riding on them.

Like all good budgets however, mine was there for the breaking. My will snapped in the seventh race, and I put a minimum bet on a horse to win. It did, and I at least recouped some of the loss from my earlier rashness. Of course, I then wished I had put rather more on it in the first place, but that is the trouble with betting isn't it.

Being of a technical mind however, what impressed and dismayed me in equal measure was the replacement of the bookies 'book' and simple printed cards with the bet number, with snazzily printed betting slips reeled off from their laptops. It was about ten years since I had been racing.

Is there any part of life into which IT hasn't intruded?

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