My heart has been broken on a racecourse, more than once in fact, and after a while I just couldn’t take it any longer, so I took a break from the turf. I’ve only kept an eye on proceedings because of the wonder horse Frankel who I saw hack up at the Dewhurst nearly two years ago now. Frankel moves the heart and soul like very few other horses do, but I confess there have been a few . I won’t name them now. Those who know me might remember some of them. Probably they won’t. It doesn’t matter – no need to make the heart hurt more than it needs to on a sunny October morning.
All that’s a rather long way of saying, today, I logged into one of my long idle gambling acounts. One has been run down to a balance of zero thanks to ‘inactive adminstrative fees’. Because it costs you money to be my bank Mr Ladbroke? Another remains intact with a sum in the magnificence of eleven pence. Still, Paddy Power has at least left the paltry amount in my name, rather than helping himself to it in disgust at my giving up the gambling life.
It turns out I am not ready to place a bet. I think I will close the accounts. I have others elsewhere, but I can’t remember who with, or indeed the log-ins. I have a vague idea that there is some money in one of them, somewhere. I was thinking I might have a bet on Meandre today, but the ground has gone in Longchamp and it will not be coming back in time for this afternoon’s race. Even worse, I find I do not care who wins the Arc. What is wrong with me? It only seems like yesterday I ran the Southend 10K on Arc Day morning and then watched when Sea the Stars confirmed his place in the glittering firmament later that afternoon. It seems like yesterday, but in truth it is three whole years ago. The further truth is that I don’t run any more and I don’t go racing.
Where has the time gone?
Where are all the horses that used to live in my head?
Someone tweeted today that this is the most joyously named raced in the whole of the year’s racing fixture list, if not the entire global sporting calendar. Well they probably didn’t tweet exactly that because there would be too many characters to make it tweet length.
Better then, for today, to the use the French term jouissance – the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is a race full of jouissance.
For those involved with the winner the jouissance will presumably know no bounds.
I don’t know if my friend Jamie has made it over to Longchamp in his car today but, if he has, I hopes he finds the winner in the flesh. I’ve been too busy making origami frog astronauts to do the horses this weekend.
*******Arc Day update*******
Trainer John Gosden & jockey William Buick were arrested as they got off their private plane in France this morning as they had flown over a secret base and were suspected of being spies… Their runner is the St Leger winner Masked Marvel. Is it a sign? To whit, two unmasked Chinese men seen at Longchamp putting £2000 on said horse. This is how rumours start.