November 12, 2017 by writehandman.com.au
A few months ago we had a brilliant races day. Nine great mates, my awesome old man, all (except one bloke) won big and it ended in drunken kelly-pool at my place, much to the chagrin of my lovely wife (whose annoyance was fully justified! – in case she decides this will be the first blog of mine she actually reads).
My brother-in-law “Carrot” was the “except one bloke”.
We come from a long line of gamblers, bookies and owners. We grew up at the track, so we know the races language and tactics better than most. My dad had printed his tips for us all. Carrot kept it quiet that he’d never been to the races before, which led to humorous (hopefully for non-punters also) moments.
The next day, Carrot was complaining to my sister Doc, that I hadn’t looked after him.
Carrot – “Doc the first race all the boys start cheering for French Bastion, which wins! But I’ve followed the sheet and backed Reddish Devil!”
Doc looked at me like a disappointed school teacher.
Me – “Carrot, we were at the bookies and I said, Devil’s on the blow, watch if Bastion firms. Reddish Devil blew out from $2.50 to $5.50, French Bastion firmed to $3.00, so we got on.”
Doc (nodding understandingly) – “Jeez that’s quite a blow. Did it throw a shoe in the stall?”
Carrot – “I didn’t know what the hell that meant! Then twenty minutes later they’re all cheering for a winner in Melbourne paying $11.00. Turns out the second page of the tip sheet has an M for Melbourne in the corner, but with my sunnies on I missed it.”
He throws up his hands.
Carrot – “Then I’m queuing to back Romeo’s Lust and as he walks past Jase says, Quinella with five.”
Me – “Exactly. Annnnd, the five won and Romeo’s Lust came in second. All the boys were collecting again.”
Carrot – “I had no idea what a Quinella was!”
He hadn’t had the best day.
Carrot – “And when I had my first winner, I queued up, gave him my ticket and the bookmaker says that’s not us, he’s over there. So I went to the right bookie, queued again and he says that’s us, but you collect over there. So I went and queued over there and the lady says we don’t have correct weight yet. Your brother had a good old laugh.”
Carrot – “And I won a Trifecta, so all the boys said I had to shout. I did, then went to collect and I got back $27. FOR A $20 BET.”
Me – “Yeah, you really stuffed up that one. God knows what you did. Then I got a call from a mate, whose horse’s racing against Winx in the next, saying he can get us all in to the mounting yard. We raced off, unfortunately without Carrot and Oracle (my real brother’s self-ascribed poker call-sign) who’d gone to the betting-ring. It was amazing, because we also snuck into the owners circle! We’re cheering for Australia’s greatest ever horse, standing right next to the owners! Brilliant moment.”
Carrot – “However, Oracle and I hadn’t both gone to the betting-ring. I’d gone to the toilet! I came back, everybody was gone. It’s packed and I had to mind our enormous table. Then Oracle comes back for the race, having backed this other starter, paying $33. As the horses turn the corner, it’s twenty lengths in front of Winx! He starts cheering and yelling his head off and all the lads in the massive buck’s party behind us are getting the shits that he’s bet against Winx, who they’ve all backed. Oracle’s going berserk with his one still ten lengths ahead, bellowing and using his rolled up race form to whip me like he’s a jockey. Shouting to the buck’s blokes, UP YOURS MOTHER FUCKERS, 33 TO 1.”
“They’re hurling abuse at us and of course, Winx starts to wind in the 33 to 1 shot. Oracle’s volume get lower and lower and thankfully the race form whipping lightened up. The lads reach a crescendo of insults as Winx eventually made Oracle’s look like it was standing in mud and flew past to win. Oracle, having become silent, goes for a piss and the lads start giving me crap.”
“One at the back of the bucks threw ice and I had to duck under a flying race form. I was hit with a chicken leg which stuck on my coat. When, Oracle returned, I told him I was actually happy that one of the bets I missed, didn’t actually win. Especially a 33 to 1 shot. And he tells me he went Each Way, so he still made a fortune! WHAT THE FUCK IS EACH WAY??”
Me – “We return high-fiving and hugging after such an emotional moment with a champion.”
Carrot – “The crowd was enormous when we were leaving-”
Me (interjecting) – “In a Jesus-turning-water-to-wine miracle, two empty cabs miraculously pulled up in front of us. All the lads piled in. A cop had forced Carrot to wait for the green walk signal to cross and made the two cabs leave. He had to wait forty minutes and get one by himself. Once he got to my place, he thought oh shit, where are my sunnies.”
If you haven’t read it before, check out my previous blog about my poor Pommy brother-in-law’s first day in Oz https://writehandman.com.au/2017/02/13/pommy-welcome-to-oz-a-blog-by-jason-gram-write-hand-man/
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