Tuesday, 11 September 2018


Listowel Races are on at the moment and tips are flying around like confetti. Fellows are congregating on street corners and in doorways, whispering to each other and letting on they know something. It is all very cloak and dagger like some second rate spy movie.

“Did you hear anything?” a lad stacking the shelves in Tesco’s wanted to know yesterday.

“Not a thing,” I replied “except that SuperValu are starting to give out the Christmas Vouchers already.”

He looked around to make sure nobody was listening.

“Astronomer won’t be beaten in the 3.50 this afternoon.” he whispered as if revealing the third secret of Fatima “I have it from the horse’s mouth.”

“Thanks for the tip,” I said “but I think I’d prefer the vouchers.”

I ignored the information, of course, believing that trainers and owners do not run their horses for the benefit of the general public. Betting is a mug’s game.

However, Astronomer romped home at odds of 2/1 and the lad stacking the shelves at Tesco’s was over the moon when I returned to buy a tin of beans later that evening.

“I have the winner of the Kerry National on Wednesday!” he beamed. “And the vouchers will be out next week.” he added, before I got the chance to ask.

“Every little helps.” I repeated the Tesco motto. It seemed appropriate.

On the way home I called in to Paddy Power and had a few bob on Blazer at 8/1.

Gambling may be a mug’s game but one should never look the same gift horse in the mouth twice.

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