Category Archives: Horse Racing

Perfect planning? What?

So, I was just wondering when logic, when arranging fixtures went out of the window, in this case, horse racing. A little while ago, I was making my selections for tomorrow afternoon’s Pick 6 races, and suddenly realized the 2 main meetings tomorrow, are Chester, and Haydock Park, which is near Newton Le Willows. For those not of a geographical, or racing talent, these tracks are about 30 miles apart! Thats right, the race going community for both these tracks, is pretty much the same area! So, by racing at the same time, they are cutting both their neighbours throat, but their own as well.

Because, if you think about it, if they raced on different weekends, there is a good likelihood that many people would support both tracks. But short of cloning, tomorrow, its one, or the other. To add to things, just 80 miles up the road, is Cartmel, and guess what, they race tomorrow too! Slightly further afield, but again, less than 80 miles apart from each other, Beverley, and Catterick both race tomorrow too!

So fine, you’re thinking, the rest of the country, south of that line, will have plenty of options too? Wrong, south of that line, on a Bank holiday weekend, there are 2 meetings, and one of those is in the very west of Wales. The last, Salisbury. And yes, thats it!

Meetings used to be arranged by central planning, and if that was still the case, then the meetings would have a better spread, I’m sure. But no, the glorious greed of bidding for meetings, or simply arranging them regardless, has left us with this ridiculous situation.

I know, I wouldnt be going anyway, but it just all seems crazy, and ill planned, to me. Its not only the small area of England that has more than 1 meeting, its the very large area of England that really has no viable racing option tomorrow, too.

Whereas, with a little bit of sensible planning…Oh, I forgot, sensible planning has gone out of the world, nowadays!

OK, rant over, time for the video, and all that. You could say there are a pair of clues to this, but besides all that…

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Nothing more than a dream

Yes, I’m a bit of a sucker for contests, principally free ones, that might at least give me a bit of joy, if I ever won one. I know, stop laughing, with my record, I’m about as likely to win one, as swimming the Atlantic, but anyway, I give it a go.

So, I admit it, each time there is one, I give the Pick 6 on Channel 4 a go, even though my horse tipping skills were never great, and even less so nowadays. But someone might be going to win £10,000, and if I enter it, well, yes, fine, I enter it, and make a losing entry, for sure! Something went wrong last Saturday, I actually picked the first 2 winners, but it went rapidly downhill from there!

The one sport I do decently on contests on, is Golf. I assume its because there is a major stats element to selections for that sport, aided by the fact there is a major ‘horses for courses’ feel to the game. Hey, there is one running on CBS at present, where I am 52nd overall, out of over 15,000 entries! I know, cant last, but the prizes are only open to US residents, so its just practically for fun. But yes, loving doing it.

About the only other sport I do much fantasy stuff on, is the NFL. Again, I know a bit, and as they only play once a week (a major reason I do not look at baseball games), I can find the time to do my entries. Skill level? Modest, I do decently, but never threaten to win anything, for sure.

So yeah, now I’m going to do a contest on a sport I know little about, and care for even less, football, or soccer, as they call it, depending which side of the pond you’re reading this. In truth, the last few weeks of the season, I was doing some silly game, attempting to pick 6 correct scores on English football, for £250,000, if you got them all right, but lets just say I never got close!

Next month, something that would have driven me nuts, if I was still in a betting industry call center, will happen. Euro 2016, or something like that? Yes, that big a football fan, arent I? Well, one company that I may not ever work for, but have great social media contact with, is The Hager Group. The reason I probably wont work for them? They’re in Europe, and my foreign language skills nowadays wouldnt pass muster. Shame, because they seem a nice set of people to talk to, but anyway…Fine, they’re running a prediction competition for Euro 2016, and I’m going to give it a go. If you want to, the link is http://www.hagergroup.com/en/media/online-prediction-game/1024-783.htm and I’m sure they’ll appreciate your entries. Some nice prizes, by the look of it, for those who like gaming, and things, by the look of it. Yes, again, I’m not a major gamer in the slightest, so I may not be the expert to say things like that, and I certainly dont need a football, at my age. All irrelevant, the chances of me finishing anywhere close, has to be zero, or less!

OK, if anyone wants to give me any helpful tips for selections, feel free, I havent a clue! But fine, it should be good for a giggle, if nothing else. And hey, someone has to come bottom, it might as well be me!

Right, the video. What I might have for about 5 minutes of the first game, just maybe?

Dress you up?

Alright, fine, given that I didnt want to do another passport office, or weather related blog, I thought I’d give this a whirl. Neither situation is great at the moment, but thats beside the point. Though in a sense, this came about because of the weather in the US, but anyway…

It seems this video has pretty much gone viral, so you’ve probably seen it before, so I’ve pinched one of the shorter sections

Yes, absolutely adorable, but people do forget that parts of China do get well below freezing in winter (Harbin has an ice festival), so this may not have been as much of a shock for this panda, as some might have thought. He had probably never seen anything quite like it in Washington, mind.

So fine, someone decided to play along with it, and this morning, I saw this,

Yes, great fun, and probably not a bad way to stay warm in some parts of the US at present, safely inside of that outfit, even when rolling in the snow. And yes, most definitely I would, given the chance. Which leads me on to…

I’m actually putting up tips for a site, on Facebook. No, not anything I dont like, like football, or stuff I dont think I know enough about, like horse racing, but on the sports I think I do, like American Football, and Golf. And fine, I’m doing a decent job on it, even more so after posting a number of winning selections for the Carolina game on Sunday. Not getting paid, but at least its keeping the mind ticking over, if not assisting the ever decreasing bank balance! There is a very good subscription service there too, I might add. Any gamblers who want details, ask at any of my many routes of contact (Here, Facebook, Twitter), and I’ll provide you with them.

But at the moment at least, I’m just posting on the non subscription board, along with a few others. What happened last week was that someone posted suggestions for one of the all weather meetings, and they didnt do very well. Someone else took note of them, backed them, and lost money, and then proceeded to call the whole thing a group of muppets, or something like that. At which point silliness abounded, and the Miss Piggy jokes started to flow, and developing into a few other muppet characters for other regulars. The trouble is, both us ladies fancied being Miss Piggy, but anyway…a few photos went up about it, great fun.

Oh, and me, I love the whole dress up idea, whether you call it cosplay, or just dressing up, take your pick. So yes, fine, I commented that I’d happily dress up in any of those type of suits, given the outfit, and given the chance. But fine, especially at the moment, I’m in no position to buy any for myself! But if anyone wants to get me something, I’ll definitely provide photos, though I cant guarantee playing in the snow, around here!

I know, not going to happen, but it would be fun! Oh, and one last photo before I sign off, this got posted on one of the many vintage type boards I inhabit on Facebook today, a couple at the races, about a century ago.

Day at the races

Not quite what I’d normally wear to go to Doncaster races on Saturday (if invited), but I would if the outfit was provided, you bet I would!

Lastly, the video. Well, as so often, the clue is in the title, though its not one of Madonna’s greatest musical moments, I must say

A day at the races?

Well, I had a couple of options lined up for tonight, but given the seeming popularity of the last post, maybe I should follow up in the same style? I may come back to the other matter, if I lack for ideas on Saturday, but for now… more of the joys of womanhood.

When I was a guy, a very, very long time ago, I used to go horse racing. No, I never gambled great sums of money, it was more of a fun day out, though if I could win a few pennies into the bargain, then great. But otherwise…

Most of the meetings I went to, back then, were humble affairs. The like of Taunton, Wincanton, Newton Abbot and Exeter in the 80’s never had dozens of women dressing up in style. Some would dress nicely, but a good percentage, well, they were just there for the racing.

But even back then, when the big meetings came along, the men would be nicely dressed, the women dressed up even more so, but to be honest, those werent generally the meetings I went to. Besides which, most of those were on a Saturday, and in the betting industry, even more so back then, you never got the day off.

Now to be fair, I havent been racing in this country since 2001, when I left Newbury. I dont know, even when I worked at Blue Square, and William Hill again, I didnt show interest in going, no idea why? But yes, many a time, at Huddersfield station, on race day, principally at York, I would see the ladies dressed up, in dress, and heels, heading off to the races. Maybe its a flat racing thing, thinking about it? And yes, just maybe, I have wondered what fun it would be, to square that circle, and go racing as a woman?

No, I dont think I’m ever likely to do it on my own. It either seems a couple thing, or a group of girls thing, if its not just men heading to the races. But yes, maybe one day, I will have to get to the races, in a dress, and high heels (eek), and see what its like, to see it from the ‘other side’ of life. But given I’m unlikely to get such an invite…ah well…

As for Royal Ascot, I dont think so! But I suppose nowadays, with the right hat…just maybe…?

The video, a slight connection. One of those Monkees songs that doesnt get remembered as much as others

Could be the last time

Well, given that the next time I will get chance to write will be Wednesday, if I’m going to do this before the big meeting starts, it has to be tonight.

Yes, starting next Tuesday, for 4 glorious days, is the Cheltenham Festival, the biggest jump racing meeting of the year. And though, in theory, it might not be my last one working in the betting industry, it would seem quite possible that it will be. Mind, I wont be alone, as it will also be the last festival for someone who is one of the greatest jump jockeys of all time, A P (Tony) McCoy. He’s retiring, whereas for me, it will just be a different workplace, hopefully.

It will be about my 25th Cheltenham Festival, but dont quote me on an exact number. All I know is, that I’ve seen, and going back to the very early days, heard a few of them. Yes, back when I started in the betting industry, in the late 70’s, we had no live pictures in the shop. My, havent things changed?

Equally, back then, we opened at 10.00, shut at 5.00 in winter, the latest of 6.30 in the summer, so that has changed too.

But the first Cheltenham memories I have, go back a lot further than that. Yes, I remember in the mid 60’s seeing a horse called Arkle galloping triumphantly around the track. Yes, as I say, I’ll be 57, a few days after the meeting is over. Normally my birthday falls within Cheltenham, but this year, its the week after.

I cant imagine it will be the last time I see racing from the Cheltenham festival, just be the last time I’m taking phone calls at work about it. My favourite race nowadays? None of the quality stuff, its the cross country race! I just love something a little different, thats all.

And though I wont be gambling strictly on the racing, I’m pretty sure I will be risking a tenner in the office competition held over the meeting. It would be nice to win something, especially this year, but I will be up against shrewd tipsters, so I doubt it very much.

So yes, I have one more working Cheltenham festival to ‘look forward to’ at least, but this may well be the last one.

The racing? Tips? You have to be joking, dont you?

So fine, the video is about as old as my first Cheltenham memories

Rainy Days And Mondays

Are supposed to always get you down, and yes, that is a huge clue as to what the video is lol!

But given summertime is now over, on both sides of the pond, its pretty clear that very soon, winter will be on its way. Indeed, just about an hour ago, they showed the view from Foxboro, where the New England Patriots play, and it was snowing! Hopefully there wont be too much of that in Albany, in 3 weeks time, but at the same time, I wouldnt be shocked if there was.

The biggest change at work, is the horse racing. It now starts much earlier, and in terms of the non floodlit meetings at least, it has to end earlier too. Lets face it, most sports nowadays pretty much take place under lights at all times anyway. Flat racing does, though for obvious safety reasons, jump racing doesnt.

So, the baseball season is finally over, after about 7 months of non stop play, I’m sure the players will be grateful for the break. Kansas City fell at the last step, a shame, but after 29 years of nothing post season, pretty awesome all the same. I must admit, Ice Hockey and Basketball dont have much interest for me, though I do plan to take in an Ice Hockey game in Albany, while away.

Yes, 3 weeks from now, you’ll be getting blogs from there, the next big event in my seemingly growing social schedule. 2 weeks later, the works Christmas dinner, for which I booked my hotel room earlier today. I will probably wear the new dress, though the mischievous Harlow element in me wants to wear the much shorter, sexier, blue sparkly dress instead, and show off some leg! I’m sure sanity will prevail, the longer dress, but we will see… 😉

The other thing I did today, was to book the rail tickets for Newbury, for January, after which I will definitely have the Harlow look, in style! Not that I’m as shy as I used to be, but I suspect that once I have the full look (including beauty spot) I might be even more confident in my new self. As far as I know, Paula has no way to make me think I’m actually Jean, but…

Oh, and the boring winter thing, I need to get sorted in the New Year, an eye test, and new glasses, I suspect. If I can find an optician, offering 30’s style frames…they might get some business! if anyone knows one, in the UK, let me know!

Yes, you should have worked out what the video is, at least I hope you have

Horse racing matters

Well, now the baseball season is over, I’d better get back to other issues! Please, its very hard to talk about transgender issues, without knowing what people would like to know about, so feel free to give me ideas in the comments section, and I will see what I can do.

In the good old days, this week would have marked the end of the flat season, in horse racing. In terms of turf racing, it still is, but nowadays we have all year around all weather racing, so the cut off point has got totally lost in the process. To be fair, with summer jump racing too, its even harder to spot where that starts and ends, but anyway…

But in a sense, the working week starts tomorrow, and a great deal of the interest will not revolve around a race in this country, or indeed this hemisphere. Early Tuesday morning our time, we will have the race that supposedly stops Australia for the afternoon, the Melbourne Cup. But because of the time difference, all betting shop bets will need to be placed tomorrow. Beyond the year that Dermot Weld won the race with Vintage Crop, and indeed started the UK and Ireland invasion of the race, it hasnt really crossed my concious that much.

But I’m told that its a combination of Cheltenham Festival (though on the flat), and Royal Ascot rolled into 1 day! No, I doubt I will ever see it, far too far away for my elderly body to go visit. And yes, too early in the morning to worry about getting up and watching it!

So the video, well, its an Aussie, singing about ‘That Day’, seems rather apt.

How much!

Yes, its one of the big meetings at York next week, so if I travel at the ‘right time’ next week, between Wednesday and Saturday, I will get to see the people dressed up to the nines, returning from the races. Well, Friday and Saturday at least, thats for sure. Wednesday, I finish at 5, so should be through before they return, and Thursday I’m off, so will go nowhere near York, unless some beau is offering to escort this ‘lady’ to the races at least, lol!

No? Thought not! 😛

And seriously, if you did, how rich are you? To be fair, you can get into the Course enclosure for £8 a day, but thats the basic deal, and I do mean basic. The Grandstand (pretty decent) is £29 each, and the County Stand (posh level) is an eye watering £54 each! And thats just the admission price! Add in travel costs, food and drink, and of course, if you’re a gambler, betting money, and hey, wow, a lot of money!

May I add that there is another level, the Melrose Club, at an incredible £123 per person!!! And the frightening thing, its sold out, and I thought there was a recession on?

Do you really want to hear some more news, the last time I went racing, admittedly a few years ago, how much was entry to the main stand? Err, nothing…free of charge, and all that. You’re right, it wasnt in this country, it was Philadelphia Park, in the US, and agreed, they have a tote system, not bookmakers, but…And equally, it wasnt high class racing, but…free! And not only was the entry free, the food and drink was very reasonably priced too, more than York will be next week! And no, dont get me started on the train fares to get there!

Thats not to say it wouldnt be fun to go to my first race meeting as a lady, all dressed up, but not at those prices! Go racing they say, if you can afford it!

The video, well alright, its about Ascot, not York, but close enough, an Audrey Hepburn gem.

Is it really about the racing?

Yes, that so called big meeting that starts tomorrow, Royal Ascot.

Agreed, to some degree, it is about the racing. High class animals racing for huge prize money over the next 5 days, and punters, and bookies hoping to make their fortunes over that period. But lets face it, for most of those folk there, especially in the Royal Enclosure, the racing is a sideshow.

Yes, its that time of year when people shell out fortunes on suits, hats, and dresses, so they can be seen, somewhere in the proximity of the Queen, or other associated members of royalty. Thats on top of the highly inflated figures to get into the racetrack, and the food and drink when they get there. And thats before they even place a bet!

But its being seen, darling, and thats all that seemingly counts!

Thankfully, at work we dont have to dress up in a similar fashion, even if it might be fun seeing certain workmates dressed up to the nines. No, I dont think Leeds is ready for me in a posh dress, high heels, and a flouncy hat lol! Correct that, I’m pretty sure they arent, and I certainly would want to commute in the rush hour dressed like that anyway!

So, yes, it will be a crazy week at work, though for me, not until Wednesday, as I’m off tomorrow. Me, I might have a trip out tomorrow, but it will only be locally if I do, and I certainly wont be dressing up in style to do so.

Oh, the video, its not strictly related, but it certainly fits in, of sorts.

York Races

Well yes, we’ve come to that point in time of the year, the first big race meeting at York. To be honest, its about 20-25 years since I last went there, so have no idea what its like now, I only know it was a lovely place to go racing back then. The funny thing is, despite my job, my main concern about it over the next three days will be all the extra people on the trains, heading to and from York. Lets face it, they are crowded enough at the best of times, and it will be even worse then! Fortunately tomorrow, I’ll miss it all, as I’m on an early shift, so the only crowding I will face either way is of the commuting type, because I finish at 5, the same time as the last race, so will be gone by the time they come through. Friday will be the same, only less so, as I’m finishing at 4. Thursday might be ‘more fun’, not going into Leeds, they will all be through by then, but I will catch up with the stragglers at 9.00 in Leeds, thats for sure, far worse for drink by then, I’m sure.

No, no tips, havent a clue.

The thing that amuses me though, is all the dressing up that will be done, by the ‘fine folk’, and ‘less fine folk’ heading for the races. Yes, all the lasses wear dresses, and heels, and probably a hat too, and put on a fine show. Well, most of them do, at least until the alcohol kicks in, and then for some at least, all bets are off!

But yes, you’ve guessed it, what really tickles me, is the thought of what would happen if I turned up dressed suitably for the races. Yes, I could put on a dress, you’ve seen the evidence in pictures before, and I could certainly wear heels too, if I had to, though more likely wedge than high, especially as my knee is a bit tender at present, having given way for a few moments last night. No, its fine now, just a few scrapes really, thats all, but…

Would they let a transgendered woman into York, in a dress, with not a word? I guess it would depend on the ‘test’, and the persons attitude, wouldnt it? In a way, I suspect the greater challenge would be the other folk in the stand, especially when they’ve had a bit too much to drink, or lost a bit too much money? I have no idea whether any trans folk have gone to Royal Ascot or not, and what the reaction was. I suspect not in the Royal Enclosure somehow, but I suppose it might have happened, someone young, and very convincing…?

No, I have no plans to find out anyway, as you’ve already gathered, I’m working the next 3 days, so not going to get there anyway. I havent actually been racing in this country in about 12 years, and its not likely to change soon, unless I get invited by someone. Might actually be fun, getting dressed up and going to the races I guess, but for now I’ll settle for watching it at work.

The video, absolutely no relevance to the blog at all, just simply a video you must watch if you havent seen it already