Saturday, January 27, 2007

A Night at the Races

Given the current penchant for recycling, it is surprising that no one thought of it sooner. Some capitalistic minded individuals have come up with way of reusing something way beyond its sell by date: the humble horse race. Yes, at a Race Night, you can place your bets on a steeplechase that has already been run. It sounds like a sure fire winner doesn't it, except that when you lay down that hard earned cash, no one knows which DVD will get stashed in the slot and consequently which equine will come out on top.

It's the latest money spinning idea for your favourite good cause, and last Friday, we were there in aid of the school PTA. 'Mr T' was in town, with his smooth DJ patter and box of yesteryears nags outings. Basically any race with eight horses will do. The identities on the video are suitably anonymised and simply replaced with their numbers, to allow for maximum flexibility and re-usability. The commentary has been re-voiced to use their numerical classifications and helpful banners are super-imposed to show race order and the eventual winner.

All you as the casual punter have to do is to make your selection from the race card with its innuendo-laden sobriquets and make your way to the Tote table, where you purchase the requisite number of one pound tickets for your chosen steed. When all have taken their fill at the table of betting plenty, Mr T selects a disc, puts it in the player, and they are off and running on the big screen.

Five minutes of screaming by the assembled baying crowd later and you have lost your money, or at least that's what happened to me. My selections, using the blunt pin of good fortune in the race card of destiny, rose, shone briefly, if I was lucky, before fading away to end the race a few lengths shy of the winner. At least it was all in a good cause: fifty percent of the pot went to the PTA, and it was a highly entertaining way of spending an evening in the company of like minded individuals, or 'other parents' as we like to call them.

Just call me 'lucky' eh?

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