Don’t Blame ‘They’

'Hard Hats' Harrison is back with a July thought

hot-to-trot-mainThe July is a different horserace. It’s the race all want to win – owners, trainers and jockeys, not to mention boasting rights should you back the winner. It is the one race where you can guarantee all runners are out trying even if it is only a forlorn hope that the favourites get lost in the moment, suggests Andrew Harrison.

It is a race of rumours.

Not a day passes without a friend who knows a cousin of a girlfriend of a jockey who knows what’s going to win. The catch here is that the ‘friends’ of all the connections have heard the same story about different horses.

Seasoned punters, who should know better, often fall for what in reality is hearsay, just because this is the July.

Owners, trainers and jockeys by their very nature are optimists otherwise they would be train drivers or undertakers.

And if per chance you happen to luck the right source, you spread it around post-race as if you had ridden the winner.

The galling part of all this is that the July is just another horserace. You may be fortunate and catch the right information but in finality it is best not to fall for the infamous “They said!”

Forget that it’s the July and analyse  it as if it were another horse race. You may still find in your post-mortem that you missed the obvious and misled yourself but is it not better to have followed your instincts than to blame the mythical “They” for your loss.

To misquote Thomas McGuane, “The best racing is always a respite from burden. Good punters should lead useful lives, and useful lives are marked by struggle, and difficulty, and even pain. Perhaps the agony of simple mortality should be enough. But probably it is not. As they say in South America, everyone knows that they are going to die; yet nobody believes it. Human lapses of this kind enable us to fish, fornicate, overeat, and bet on the horses.”

“Therefore, bow your back and go racing when you can. When you get to the track you will be renewed. Leave as much behind as possible. Those motives to screw your boss or employees, cheat on your spouse, rob the state or humiliate your companions will not serve you well if you expect to be restored in the eyes of God, the horse, or the racecourse, which will reward you with hollow waste if you don’t behave. You may be cursed. You may be shriven. You may be drowned. At the very least you may back a winner.”

2015-Vodacom-Durban-July (2)

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