How Do You Bet?

My dear old Dad was a bit of a gambling man. It was one of his hobbies. He would go down to the local betting agency/pub on the weekend and spend many a happy hour, analysing the form guide with his mates – over a few bourbon and cokes – placing a few bets and having a generally blokey time. I remember, as a teenager, being bored to distraction by his explanations of which betting strategies helped him win, and which caused him to lose; and he could talk for hours about it!

The interesting thing, in hindsight, is that even with his mass of knowledge on the subject of horseracing and betting, most of his decent wins actually came as a result of sheer luck! So it was not the meticulous gathering of weather and track condition info, the scrutiny of the running field – their past performance and suitability to the current race, or the experience of the jockeys or trainers that won him his bounties, although, these strategies certainly helped him achieve more wins than an amateur. The truth is, he had his best wins by gut feeling or coincidence. He would occasionally choose a horse based on its name being the same or similar to my brothers and I (or his grandchildren), or he would base it on recent events he was experiencing in his life, and he even based it on a hunch, at times, and he almost always won on these occasions. Amazing, don’t you think?

I, on the other hand, have never had much luck with luck itself, and when I do make the odd bet, I rely heavily on strategy. I have tried too; there have been quite a few occasions where a horses name has been similar to a loved ones’ name, or where a name or jersey number has just ‘jumped out at me’, but alas, I usually end up a few quid short when I hold the hand of lady luck. Mores the pity, because it seems like it would be a lot more fun to bet, based on sheer instinct or intuition. Instead, I analyse the form guide, check the weather and track conditions, and look at which barrier has been most successful, and as I don’t bet too often, I do have the luxury of saying that this has been very successful for me personally, as my little win-rate far outweighs my loss-rate. Lucky me!

How do you bet?

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