Bitch on the Blog

April 14, 2012

Horses for courses

Filed under: Fortune — bitchontheblog @ 13:50

As both Renee and my diary brought to my attention – yesterday was another Friday, 13th. Which is why it’s a good job that the “Grand National”, the horse betting event for the Great British Masses, is always run on a Saturday. This year’s taking place today.

I don’t know anything about horse racing, I don’t think about the ethics of it. It’s years since I last bet on anything. So time for a touch of reckless abandon. The amount I set on six horses so small you may wonder why I bothered. Well, you know: It’s not how much you win, it’s the thrill of the race. And if you wish to receive any insider tips on how to spot a winner do look no further:

Forget the intricacies of past performance, odds and predictions. There is only one foolproof way, and that is to go by name. Preferably with all the odds (say 200:1) stacked against you. Forget track records. Believe in the outsider.

The horses I have chosen and please do draw your own conclusions as to my current disposition:






– and in honour of my son and his long locks (just don’t tell him I put a bet or he’ll raise a brow) VIKING BLOND.

I checked the papers as to odds about 9 am this morning. Annoyingly, by the time I put my stake on, just after midday, the odds for Postmaster had fallen from 150/1 to 80/1. Organised Confusion which was 18/1 is now at a reassuring 20/1. Fish clearly in plenty supply this morning ‘Seabass’ has gone from 20-1 to 9-1. Wish I could say the same for my fishmonger’s prices.

With Viking Blond at a continued and unrealistic 100/1 worst case scenario I will be up £3.00 on my whole stake. and at best I’ll be £94 better off.

And yes, I did bet ‘one way’, no return. Go the whole hog.

Before you condemn me for squandering money better employed buying toilet paper let me remind you that we all need a thrill every so often. And at £6.00 that’s cheap compared to say … I don’t know, what?

Two hours to kick off and my adrenaline is heading for the starter box.




  1. Grilled Seabass….lurvely!
    Good luck! I might just have a reason to watch…to see how you get on!

    Comment by David (magpie) — April 14, 2012 @ 15:34 | Reply

    • How I got on? I didn’t! Blond Viking was most gratifyingly hyped in the run up as being ‘lively’ which raised my hopes. Seabass with a bloody good chance at the beginning I think came in third. Well, shows you: I should have gone “win four ways” or whatever it’s called. However, my theory has not been disproved: The horse with the MOST unlikely name did win. Next year I might enter my own named “Bob’s your uncle”.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — April 14, 2012 @ 16:38 | Reply

  2. I’ll have to give you the slate of horses lined for the Kentucky Derby, which will be run in a few weeks here in the States. I will gladly place a small wager on your behalf in exchange for your sage advice on name selection, all other factors be damned. Do find an appropriate hat to wear during the race.

    Comment by Phil — April 14, 2012 @ 15:45 | Reply

    • Yes, please do. The worst thing that can happen it won’t win. And, by proxy, neither will you. On the other hand… the one who doesn’t stick his neck out won’t be beheaded.

      Yes, hats. You have been most inspiring. Following your suggestion of a (very) wide brim I promptly stumbled on the hat from hell. I mean it’s good. It covers everything: You hair, your face. casting a long shadow over the rest of you. The only accessory you need in order to cross a road is a guide dog for the blind.

      Comment by bitchontheblog — April 14, 2012 @ 16:47 | Reply

  3. You know I love all things horses Ursula, even the crazy names. My Kentucky Derby posts last year are still the top ‘hit’ winners. Maybe we should have a hat contest to see who has the most outrageously appropriate one.

    Comment by writingfeemail — April 16, 2012 @ 10:32 | Reply

    • You “love all things horses”? So do my two sisters and their respective daughters. With my fear of heights and falling off anything I treat them with the respect they deserve [horses that is, not my sisters]. I think them magnificent creatures. In the run up to the Grand National the BBC featured a visually stunning piece on both the front and the hind leg muscles of a horse; how they work when moving. A masterpiece of engineering.

      My son took up riding when he was quite young (say, eight or so). What sparked his interest I can’t remember. Maybe I’d read him some novel involving horses. Unfortunately, and it was most odd, after every riding lesson he’d have a headache from hell. Literally eyewatering. And he has a high pain threshold. At first I thought maybe the helmet we borrowed from the stable was too tight a fit so I bought him one the size to fit his circumference exactly. Made no difference. In the end he traded not so much horses as his headaches against not riding any longer. In one way a pity since he looked so very elegant in the saddle, on the other (mother’s sigh of relief) I knew that if ever he does break his neck it wouldn’t be on a horse.

      I will dig out your last year’s Kentucky Derby posts and take your challenge as to “the most outrageously appropriate” hat Or should that be the more coveted inappropriate one?


      Comment by bitchontheblog — April 16, 2012 @ 13:26 | Reply

  4. A few years back I looked at the line-up for the Kentucky Derby (I love horses, but don’t follow racing and never bet). On a whim, I declared a 50-1 odds horse, Mine That Bird to win. He did.

    Mind you, I’m no mastermind at this thing. It happened exactly once. My psychic abilities are quite accurate, but come and go as they please (emphasis on the “go” more than the “come”). 😐

    I Like the name Viking Blonde…

    Comment by Lorna's Voice — April 16, 2012 @ 15:15 | Reply

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