Virginia Barton

3 June 2017: A flutter on the horses


3 June 2017


It’s Derby Day! Apart from the Grand National and the Gold Cup, this classic flat race is the day when a flutter on the horses may be excused.

My mother once put ten bob on Pearl Diver to win the Derby and he did, and there was exuberant celebrating. How and where she put her bet I don’t know, possibly with the milkman. I can’t see her going into a betting shop, enlightened though she may have been. My mother definitely had second sight as she called it and she had an inkling about Pearl Diver.

“And very dangerous it is girls; if any of you show signs of it stamp it out or ignore it.”




I have had no such inkling about Dubai Thunder but I like the name, and an obliging chum has put a fiver on it for me – the odds are 16/1. But Dubai Thunder romped home at Newbury on his first outing, a good omen I feel.

My previous assays into the racing world have been dismal. Very sure of my knowledge of horseflesh (why?) I put all my holiday money on a horse in Ireland at the Curragh, and even took a photo of it – it was the spit of a toast rack. That should have cured me and it nearly did. But a Betting Shop opened up in our road and it was just too easy to pop in and back one’s hunch in the odd sporting event. Luckily they went bust pretty soon and did a flit. BH had to deal with irate punters who somehow held him to blame!


And the Election next week? Not a penny piece shall I bet on it. It’s enough to have joined a Party without that. (They seem to have spent all the Membership fees on publicity and propaganda, which in this house goes unread, straight into the recycling bin; apart from a modest poster to be affixed in the window on Monday.)

They’re not going to win at any odds but just might “Make a Difference.”

As for Dubai Thunder – if the going is good, if the jockey doesn’t lose a stirrup, if the horse hasn’t been overfed … *

 Oh well, it was only a fiver. I suppose I’ll have to tell BH after the race.



* For the record, Wings of Eagles won the 2017 Epsom Derby, a 40-1 shot!





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