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Monday, February 09, 2009

Amelie's gone to the dogs!

She looks as tired as I feel.
She might look like she's falling asleep, but she's actually going into a deep clairvoyant trance to enable her to pick the winner of the next race. In the end she went for number 5. Just as it was walking past. No wonder it lost.

But fortunately for Amelie, her Daddy knows a thing or two about high-stakes gambling. And when he says he's going to win big on the dogs and buy her a soundproof room with 24-hour dental care and all the Bonjela she can eat, he means it. Kind of. Feast your eyes on this winning ticket...

Golden Ticket
Yes, I know I only bet a pound, but with property prices falling faster than Lisa in high heels, I thought it might be enough for a two-bedroom flat. And I wasn't far wrong.

Bearing in mind that this trip to Hove Greyhound Stadium involved not only me, but also Lisa, her mother and Amelie, it will come as no surprise to learn that we got there late and missed the first race. But as luck would have it, we arrived just in time for race 2, which happened to be the first leg of the 'Straight 4 Jackpot', which challenges fools to part with their money by trying to predict the winners of four consecutive races.

With only five minutes to find four dogs and a pound coin, I went for Ashby's Hawk in the first, followed by Comeonthehawk (can you see a pattern developing here?), Smoking John in the third, and finally Naty Jon (who's given up the fags and dropped the H). Lisa had wandered off to the Co-op by this point, so I was forced to go up to the counter with Amelie in my arms. The lady on the desk asked how old she was, and I admitted that she's under 18, but despite that, the Tote agreed to take our money.

I was so confident that Ashby's Hawk would swoop to victory, I put an extra couple of quid on him to win, so within ten minutes of walking through the door, I was already six pounds up. And Lisa wasn't even back from the Co-op. Dogs two and three duly (and miraculously) obliged, which meant it was all down to Naty Jon in leg four.

Unfortunately Jon was up against Cushie San, owned by Channel 4 Racing presenter and TV sports pundit extraordinaire, Tanya Stevenson. I wheeled Amelie outside to watch the race, and spotted Tanya sitting in the grandstand, so I considered going over to her, pleading poverty, and asking her to nobble her own dog for the sake of my baby's teeth. Or failing that, to give me an autograph I can sell on Ebay. But unfortunately she was at the top of the steps, and I couldn't get up there with the buggy.

Every dog has its day.As it transpired, however, I didn't need her help. Naty Jon took the lead at the final corner and romped to a famous victory. The bloke on the P.A. announced that there were four winning ticket-holders, each of whom would take home a quarter of the Straight 4 Jackpot, but until I approached the counter I had no idea how much I'd won. So when the lady on the Tote desk told me she might not have enough money in her till to pay me out, I nearly fainted. It turned out to be...


That's more than the winning dog got. Frankly it's the best quid I've ever spent. With the possible exception of the time I bought a pregnancy test from the pound shop. I got a baby out of that one.