No luck but you couldn’t call it a day wasted on voyage of self-discovery

One man.

Twenty quid. No sense. The voyage of self-discovery continues.

Half one. The day was progressing like any normal one would; settled down in front of RTÉ for some high drama, occasional outbreaks of nationalist fervour, a few more fatalities than you’d expect and, let’s face it, one or two fancies worth keeping an eye on.

But with Home & Away sidelined, it was back to Cheltenham to turn out my pockets.

! I stuffed a fiver into the murky bowels of the internet and, sure enough, within minutes it might as well have been egested between the gambolling hooves of a loose horse. Allee Garde was down.

There was also the unusual spectacle of an Alex Ferguson challenge falling short at the line. The only surprise being that the camera didn’t pick Fergie out gesturing furiously at his watch before swinging back to find someone had moved the finishing post fifty yards up the track.

The favourite Teafortree took it. “The money was right,” Brian Gleeson told us. Easily known I was wrong.

Stuck in Montrose away from the action, Tracy and Brian were relieving some of the frustration with some serious flirting. Somehow, I was getting a Terry Killeen-Dick Moran vibe from the old Glenroe days. It was time to head down the bookies.

Seeing me hesitate at Cashman’s door like Sergio Garcia over a double break, Mick took pity and supplied my latest sure thing. Double Simonsig with Sizing Europe. His €100 docket made a strong case, but confidence low now, I needed a tap-in, one to go in off my backside. Powder dry, I decided to hold off until Europe in the big one.

As you might expect, that gave Simonsig the green light to romp in. Mick concealed his scorn for my cowardliness and considered my tactics with Henry De Bromhead’s banker. “Go shirt an’ all,” was the verdict.

With €15 left in the day’s pot, I parted with €13, laughing like a madman in superstition’s face. First a wander into Paddy Power for the RSA Chase and a quick study of just what this game is doing to some lads.

The early running. Hands shoved into pockets affecting nonchalance, but the eyes never leave the screen. Bulging veins suggest fists are clenched. Three or four in, a hand creeps subconsciously to the back pocket, cradles investment. All is still relatively calm. Three or four out, the first signs, the feet are going, one then the other, in rhythm with his investment’s stride pattern. Soon the head joins them. Go on. Go on. GO ON. Mrs Doyle normally gives up the ghost at this point. GO ON! GO ON DAVY! EFF’S SAKE, DAVY!

You had to feel for him. Pipped by Bobs Worth. Was it worth it? But I had my own problems.

The Champion Chase didn’t go to plan either but, somehow, for the first time this week, I discovered there might be something here for me after all.

That finish. Like the essence of all sport had been squeezed into a couple of hundred yards. But only the pure stuff.

Stumbling out into the light, I couldn’t find Mick, though there was a topless gentleman far in the distance with a remarkably similar gait.

I had two euro left. Jackies Solitaire — a quid each way in the Fred Winter. It had come to this and it came to nothing. But still, that finish. You couldn’t call it a day wasted.

Running total: Still big fat zero

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