We went to the races last  Saturday evening – a Christmas 2016 BuyAGift present from our eldest son and his wife.  We picked Lingfield Park racecourse as we’d never been there before. Sam’s sister and her husband live near there, and we arranged to stay overnight and meet up with them for Sunday lunch.

The instructions said that dress was ‘smart but casual’.  We didn’t quite know what to wear.  It was rather hot, so I plumped for a below-the-knee white dress with some embroidery on that had previously been too small for me but now was a tad on the big side.  Sam wore smart trousers and a shirt and tie, but no jacket.

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When we arrived I could see that some people were in jeans, tee-shirts and trainers.  Others were ‘dressed up to the nines’ and looked like they might be attending a garden party in Buckingham Palace afterwards.  Some of the younger women had unfortunately forgotten to put any trousers or skirts on, and seemed to be wearing only long tops as they tottered about on impossibly high heels in the soft grass.  I thanked my lucky stars for my flat sandals and the strong sense of decorum that Dot had drummed into me from an early age (am I getting old?)!

There were 7 races to bet on, and then a Simply Red tribute band was going to finish off the evening.  I don’t usually bet on horses, but being at Lingfield it would have been rude not to.  I put £2 down on ‘King of Swing’.  It lost.  However, I was luckier in the second race, and ‘Iballisticvin’ boosted the contents of my purse by £10.80.  I decided to put half of my winnings on ‘Mr Frankie’ in the third race, but I think it was only running with three legs that day.

This horse racing business could be addictive for some!  I remember a few years back seeing one of our neighbours, red-faced with anger, scouring the village for her husband who had withdrawn all the money in their savings account and lost the lot on the horses.  He never came home for a week.  Luckily I’m not that way inclined, but considered throwing in the saddle after ‘Diamond Dougal’, similarly lacking in a fourth leg, sauntered home when he felt like it.

Sam reminded me that we only live once.  I gave him a kiss and put £3 on ‘Kiss Me Daily’.  It lost.  However, a win by ‘Getna’ in the 6th race gave me another £8.  In a mad moment I put all the winnings on ‘Sweet Pursuit’ in the last race.  Er…
My grandfather was a gambler for most of his life – horses, dogs, you name it and he’d put a bet on it.  Thankfully I don’t seem to be taking after him, as the visit to Lingfield will keep me going for quite a while!

Do you like to bet on the horses?

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