||[Mar. 13th, 2007|09:54 am]
Listen in, listen Ian!
When I was younger, my dad was a big horse racing fan. This meant I got to|
mis-spend my summer holidays being taken round the racecourses of the
north, mostly the small Yorkshire tracks - Ripon, Thirsk, Pontefract,
Beverley and the like. I maintained the interest through University, often
visiting the racecourse in Nottingham while I was there. The thing is
though, it's something that takes a lot of time to follow properly, and
work makes that more difficult.
This clearly wasn't the case when I worked in a betting shop, but
unfortunately that doesn't generally pay very well - and contrary to what
TV dramas with betting shops in them would have you believe, there isn't an
endless supply of wiry men tipping you dead certs there, much like there
aren't people giving me endless inside information at this stockbroker -
and I eventually got a proper job that stopped me watching all the racing
all day long. This is obviously A Good Thing, as apart from anything else
betting shops have gone mad since I worked in them. They're just full of
roulette machines, fruit machines and virtual horse and dog racing now, and
they're open until 6.30 in the middle of winter, which is insane. I can't
imagine working there is anything like as much fun now.
I'm not even sure when I last went to the races. I think it was for a stag
do 2 or 3 years ago. I've pretty much totally stopped paying attention to
racing now, to the extent that it was only this morning that I realised
that the Cheltenham Festival starts today. 15 years ago I'd have been able
to tell you about all the runners in the Champion Hurdle, now, I couldn't
name a single one. As a rule, the big fixtures aren't really for the hard
core racing fans - they're happier at the smaller meetings which aren't
full of people just there to be seen. Cheltenham was always the exception
to this, packed full of people who were there to see the horses rather than
the hats, although I wouldn't be surprised if it's picked up some of the
creeping blandness which seems to take over all major sports events these
days. I've never been to the Festival, but I keep saying I will one of
these years. Why am I at work today? I should be there. Bah.