A traditional and enjoyable way of spending the Easter Monday bank holiday in the United Kingdom is a day at the races. I live very near to the racecourse at Plumpton in East Sussex and , as I’ve always enjoyed horse racing, I try to go to their Spring meetings. Yesterday was family day so it seemed like a good reason for going along. I decided to bet on the first race and see if Madam Luck was on my side. I liked the look of Dollar Bill, neat, perfectly proportioned and just ever so slightly frisky. He ridden by a jockey called Tom Cannon and wore the prophetic number One. I thought my luck was in.
It is meaningless, I know, but sometimes I just get a good feeling about a horse, so I put my money, as they say, on the nose.
It was thrilling to watch Dollar Bill in the middle of the huddle of horses but then in the final straight rush through the centre to come out in front.
He might have been called Dollar Bill but for me he meant pounds sterling and I was fired up for the day.
Plumpton is a small racecourse but it attracts real racing enthusiasts and, being small, you can always get a good view of the action.
You can retreat to the bar too to study form for the next race.
In my case, I was unsure which one to go for, Venetian Lad or Risk. I dithered, but settled on Venetian Lad.
Venetian Lad is a handsome grey and he caused a flurry of interest…
..and, if the race had been just a little bit longer, he might just have won but, as you can see, he just didn’t quite get there in time after leaving his final acceleration just a bit too late.
Some money was lust on Venetian Lad but I was not disheartened because i had so nearly won again.
Next time round I was also unsure which horse to go for. Should it be the frisky little Madame Jasmine or the lively Irish horse Credit for Life? I settled for Madame Jasmine.
She led right from the beginning and I couldn’t believe I had another winner riding out there but, sadly, she faded towards the end and disappeared into a huddle of also-rans.
It was exciting enough though being so near to the horses even when I decided not to put any money on them. Maybe I should celebrate my win with Dollar Bill and leave it at that.
I didn’t bet on the next race and the horse I was tempted by never got anywhere near the front.
I returned to study seriously for the final race thinking it would be nice to have another winner. This is how you lose money of course – never knowing when to give up.
I was drawn to Gilded Age – an older horse, wise with experience, I hoped.
It had an outside chance with odds at 9/1 but it was ridden by the same jockey as Dollar Bill, the excellent Tom Cannon. When I saw it in the paddock, my decision was made. Gilded Age gave me that feeling again.
He led from the beginning, just like Madame Jasmine. Please don’t fade away at the end, I thought, scarcely believing my chances when he fought his way past me with just another lap to go.
Well, my readers, he did it! Well done Gilden Age and Tom Cannon. It was a truly exciting finish with the horse fighting to get out of second place, fell, harmlessly, at the final jump, leacving my horse to gallop home in style.
All I had to do now was to celebrate and, oh yes, collect my winnings. It’s nothing to do with the money really but, well, it felt great when I counted it out.
If you doubted my judgement in betting on two horses ridden by the amazing jockey Tom Cannon then look at this now historically memorable recovery that he made to win at Plumpton at a previous meeting.