Friday, April 04, 2014

the national

hello there

well yes i suppose it is commonly or correctly known as the grand national, but that name has never made much sense to me. as far as i am aware there is no such thing as a race called 'the national', so why call a specific race the "grand" national? is there a lesser, national race called just the national? using the word "grand" makes sense in this respect in the world of the humble piano, and that is about it.

i had forgotten, really, just how much betting and having a gamble is quite a big part of life in England for some, if not many. it is not something i have ever been all that bothered about, to tell the truth. nice one for them that like it and that, really, but it's never really been something i have held much interest in.

this changed somewhat dramatically during the week, however, dear reader. i was presented with these fine "betting slips" you see here by my Uncle Peter. i was further advised that he expected them completed, and the money to place the bets with, this afternoon.

well, "everyone" has a bet, or if you like "flutter", on the national, do they not? a clever bit of marketing, that, spreading this idea that all and sundry should indeed have a go at what in fairness is the biggest race of the year. it has been like that for years, though. i remember in the 80s the newspapers - even some of the actual, proper newspapers, look you see - hauled in a whole load of "celebrity pundits" to advise their readers on who they would be having a "cheeky bet" on. granted most of them are now long forgotten soap stars or registered sex offenders, but at the time they were quite prominent for entirely legal reasons.

it was not for me to be either unreasonable or to displease my Uncle Peter, so i took the slips and conducted a bit of research into this whole national business. to this end, i was as surprised as i was pleased to discover that there are all sorts of gambling and betting things on the internet. i had no idea.

how does one go about selecting a potential winner from a whole lot of horses? well, you do all sorts of things. have a gander at the weight of the horses, their form, age and things like that. that fella that sits on the horse, the proper name for which escapes me for the moment, is also probably important. also weather conditions and that.

pretty much how you would bet on a boat race, really, except you are looking for the qualities of the horse rather than the boat, and indeed you are looking at the general ground conditions of the race course rather than what sea or body of water the race is in. and yes, just as in the world of betting on boat races i would place a wager on "whatever boat that him out of Duran Duran is doing", so mostly with selecting a horse - or as it transpired horses - i just went on all of that stuff and what the names were.

this might be a bit late from a practical level, although i imagine any avid gamblers will be on the google and in the bookies tomorrow, but if for some reason you believe i am a kind of voice of guidance in respect of who to bet on in the grand national, here be my tips or my selections.

i picked five (5) because that is what my Uncle Peter told me to do. here they are.

Tea For Three (8/1) - other than that being a really nice name for a horse, or anything, this one seems to be the favourite. that one with the funny hair and "boogie boogie pop pop" eyes and look, John McCririck i think, was on Talk Sport radio at around midnight saying what a good idea it would be to bet on that horse. as far as i know he is quite an expert on horses, and his lavish wardrobe suggests he does quite well on them, so that will do.

Burton Port (18/1) - my Uncle Peter suggested this horse in passing as a good one to have a go on. not have a go in riding it, i am assuming, but have a go on it in regards of putting down some money and hoping that it will finish in the top four. my Uncle Peter knows an awful lot more about horses than i do, so i have no problem at all in following his wisdom, guidance and advise in respect of laying down some notes (coins) on the basis of his words.

Double Seven (14/1) - yeah, you get the feeling that they wanted to call this horse "double 0 seven", don't you? well, why would you not bet on James Bond. he tends to win. and it's quite clever that the odds on double seven are indeed double the number seven. sort of one of them symmetry things.

also my Gramps, who like me does not have all that much to do with horse racing or betting, said that he thought that this one would win. that was good enough for me; that is why i threw some money at it.

my Gramps also says hello, by the way. here is the video.

and he was well impressed, too, to learn that there is a theme song for our family, thanks to the talents of my good friend Jonathan. he quite liked what he heard when my phone went off playing it. you can in fact enjoy it yourself by following this link, i think.

but yes, back to the ponies.

Big Shu (20/1) - this horse sounds a bit like it is called "Big Shoe", does it not? i wear big shoes as i have big feet. it's basically like this horse was born, trained to race and entered into the (grand) national just to entice me to bet on it. so i did, look you see.

Shakalakaboomboom (25/1) - picked for the excellent name. and it is excellent. my gang of chums from my former verk would not have forgiven me if i had the chance to bet on a horse of the name of Shakalakaboomboom. Zama and Jayson, amongst others, would argue and state that i had learned absolutely nothing from them if i had not wagered a significant and princely sum of money on this one. so go, i say, go Shakalakaboomboom, run your heart out, or indeed your hearts if for some reason a horse usually has more than one.

so there you have it. not one, not two, not three, not four, but five (5) potential winners i have selected and five that you can consider and pick from. it would be awesome, unexpected and i suspect precedent setting if all five somehow won the race, but mostly it would be awesome.

with the slips, as you can see above, completed, i did as i was instructed to do and took the completed slips, and the money, to my Uncle Peter so that he could go and put the bet/s on in the morning. here i am handing him the requisite funds as he stares at the slips i somehow managed to complete with the most minimal level of errors.

yes, our friend the humble fiver, as highlighted in an earlier post, has returned for the purposes of this exercise. 5 x 25p each way equals 2.50 Sterling, look you see, and x2 that and you have the appearance of our friend the humble fiver. i think once, in the 80s maybe, you could buy a bunch of flowers from one of the blokes at Covent Garden in London (innit). probably charge more, now.

why double the bet thing? because my (considerably) better half opted to have a go too, lest she displease Uncle Peter by declining the opportunity. what did my (considerably) better half select? well, Tea For Three and Double Seven are her choices, along with three that are different from mine. which other three, you ask?

Balthazar King (18/1) - chosen, i imagine, because my (considerably) better half really likes whoever is presently the king of all the Balthazars. they are probably called Balthazar. i think one of the characters in the proper, original 70s Battlestar Galactica was called Balthazar. or maybe it was one of the actors that played one of the characters. or Buck Rogers.

Rose Of The Moon (G) (50/1) - the (G) thing represents a grey or gray horse on that betting slip thing. why? no idea. not sure why they distinguish that colour horse from all the others. maybe some people really like betting on grey horses, maybe some refuse to bet on a grey horse, ever. anyway. probably selected because Rose is an excellent name, and anyone who says it isn't is a twat and should be ignored. also it mentions Moon, and the Moon is pretty smart. one of them Twilight films and books referenced it, as did Duran Duran. also some Americans went there. and Clint Eastwood's mate in that film.

Mr Moonshine (33/1) - moonshine is, as we are all aware, a rather more independently produced variant of an alcoholic drink, preferred to stuff in shops by people in Kentucky, Alabama and places like that. Mr Moonshine, as a person, was probably someone who was so commonly associated with moonshine that they christened him "Mr Moonshine". or perhaps it was done because he did not like or could not make moonshine at all and thus was dubbed that for ironic, slightly derogatory reasons, much how one would refer to, for instance, John Terry as "Mr Ambassador". anyway, whoever Mr Moonshine was, this horse was probably named after him.

with all bets selected and money handed over - Uncle Peter was most insistent on the money aspect of it all - i asked Uncle Peter if he would care to hold it all up and smile for a picture. this is what i got.

how do i, or more importantly how does Uncle Peter, expect all these class bets to get on? he is a bit upset that one of the ones we selected, to be honest, was Balthazar King, as he indicated that this means i have now gone and jinxed it. that's some pretty impressive powers i have without even knowing of them or appreciating them, then.

as for me, well, if any of them finish in the top four then so much the better. if they all finish the race that would be nice. Tea For Three winning would be a bit of a poor result due to the low odds, but there is more than money to it. if i won on that one then it is thanks to the wisdom of that John McCririck bloke, who now that i think of it seems to have been partially based on a Womble, and if i coin it in via his wisdom then perhaps i am on the path to obtaining the sensational kind of wardrobe that he has.

as my efforts to "cut down" on smoking partially continue, maybe i should replace the dangerous vice of smoking with the harmless, fun for all the family and nothing at all could go wrong hobby of gambling?

anyway, i really hope that this has been of some use to you as you select horses to bet on in this race that is, apparently, national and grand. and yes, Dad, i know, i am really very sorry that i never got the hang of all this betting and horse racing stuff.

best of bets luck to you all, then.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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