It’s a big day – Cromwell’s Christmas race meeting. Lots of marques and dressing up. Some workplaces use it as their Christmas staff function. We got invited to one such marque – for the company we’d been stacking wine bottles for. We were hoping for a warm day but it started cool and windy with sun – hopefully the wind would drop and it’d be a lovely day. We were picked up by a bus – good responsible hosts – and taken to the racecourse. We got there not long before the first race. I’d picked a few horses so managed to stop at a tote window on the way to the tent. I needn’t have bothered, it turned out there was a tote in the tent anyway! The first race was soon under way. We had $1 each way on a couple of horses – something we did on all 10 races. We started well on the first race, picking 1st and 2nd. They didn’t pay much but we covered our investment. Maybe we had a good system :-).
The company put on great nibbles and excellent wine and the day passed well. Except that the wind didn’t drop and it gradually got cooler. And our horses didn’t do quite so well from then on. From $16 bet on the first 4 races we won $16.20 – not a huge profit but still better than most. We stuck with my system but the next 4 races only netted $9.30 for our $16 investment. However we had a result on each race – our horses were thereabouts but not quite at the front. My system was to eliminate horses with descriptions like “roughie” or “outclassed here” or “needs a run”. Then I eliminated horses with silly names, It seemed a good system but it’s effectiveness diminished as the day went on. By race 9 neither of our two horses placed and it was won by a horse called Tappy. I mean, who’d call a proper racehorse Tappy? Wyn’s horse came second in the final 10th race and paid a paltry dividend but at least we were still collecting. In the end we lost only $13 of our $40, not bad overall.
We all missed the real pattern. Next morning discussing the races with my dentist’s assistant she said she got there in time for the 9th race and noticed that one jockey had already won 4 of the races and placed in at least one other. She backed him for the last two races and I think he won both.
It was definitely cold by the end of the races. The bus home was going to have to make about three trips and we were probably going to be last. So we waited and we waited. Eventually it dawned on us that I hadn’t had a drink since lunch, so was in the sober driver category. We declared a willingness to get home and there was a car and three others needing to get back to Pisa Moorings. It was good to just get in the car, it was nice and warm. Back there we collected our car – also nice and warm – and were soon back at Lowburn and our home by the lake. We’d had enough food for the day, so had a cup of tea and watched Mucking In before retiring for the night after a big day – at the races.