Lord Miros and other animals

Monday, March 27, 2006

Gold Cup memories

Well, it's a week of celebration in the Mirosian household (not that we need much of an excuse). Last Sunday's 9th in the $200 comp on Stars was a boner in many ways but I couldn't avoid the hand I busted out on (QQ v KK) and at least 9th was $4500 better than 10th. Now if only I could forget that it was also $156000 worse than 1st. Bugger. I keep trying to tell myself 'what difference', but that doesn't really help as actually there's a rather considerable difference. Did I already say bugger?

Quite apart from that, this week is also a celebration due to the much-needed return of the flat season. This jumping lark is for the birds. It's bad enough watching the Inadequate Irishmen and their Cloven-hoofed friends simply running, let alone falling, unseating, refusing and even taking the wrong course, which these clowns seem to manage with frightening regularity. Nuts to it all. The only reason I ever go to Cheltenham is for the Guinness. Seemingly the only reason I ever bet on the Gold Cup is because I hate money. Obviously this year I laid that unproven, overhyped Irish dodgepot War of Attrition, and it pissed up. Same old, same old.

Back in the early days of my career in idleness, my father took me to Cheltenham for Gold Cup day, along with a posse of fellow lawyerly types, who were all merrily lagering themselves up in their hospitality tent and throwing money at me to take to the bookies. As you can imagine, very little of this wedge actually made it within ten paces of a bookie's satchel. By the time the Gold Cup came around I had trousered myself a nice little roll and had, so far, yet to suffer a reverse. Easy game!

Now, that year I had a strong fancy for an unproven, overhyped Irish dodgepot called Florida Pearl, and so much of my new-found wealth did find a home with the layers, along with any other bets that the lawyers had given me for the same horse. One of my dad's friends, who clearly knew considerably less about the Sport of Kings than he did about corporate tax havens, had entrusted me with a few quid on a couple of no-hopers, See More Business and Go Ballistic, both each-way. Obviously it went straight in the back pocket and I thought no more about it, instead readying myself to cheer home Florida Pearl and idly wondering what I should press it up on in the Foxhunter's.

Well, you know what's coming next. Jumping the last it was down to a two-horse race between Go Ballistic and See More Business. I prayed to the gods to bring them both down (Florida was 17 lengths adrift in 3rd), but the gods are tossers and ignored me, as ever. Now I didn't even know which one to funk for. See More was the shorter odds (16-1) but was the bigger bet, while Go Ballistic was a chunky 66-1 shot. See More struggled up the hill in front, which was at least the right result for me. Unfortunately it was a moot point, as I was skint.

My dad's friend was very excited. He kept asking me how much he'd won. For a moment I considered saying "ooh, at least 25 quid" and hoping he would fall for it, but it was a desperate hope. I just had to keep schtum and find some money from somewhere. Happily my father, once he'd stopped laughing, proved amenable to a gentle nipping. I hope he never told the other fella the truth, but I'll take 5-1 on that he did.

As a postscript, the horse that I'd fingered for my Foxhunter's press-up pissed up, and I didn't have a red cent on it. Oh happy day.

Next time I think I'll stay in the Guinness tent and pretend I'm at a conference for recidivist alcoholics. At least it'll be cheaper.


At 10:24 AM, Blogger lionel hutz said...

Top story miros, though it does sound like you bet the flop, turn and weren't prepared to bluff on the river. Reminds me of a certain 'Camel' story he may share with you one day. It's got everything a story needs, greyhounds, toilet attendants, huge wagers etc etc.

At 8:21 AM, Blogger Zonergem said...

Ah yes, Lord Miros and the 1999 Gold Cup. A day that will live in infamy but at least you learnt your lesson, eh? Or are you the same Lord Miros who did it right in at Lingfield on Derby Trial day not two short months later running bets for your father and then standing them yourself.

The wagons think they have it good with Betfair these days but the oldtimers still pine for the days when Miros and Badbeat were doling it out...


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