Once a year it was a family tradition to go to the race track on New Years day. A family member was the Chairman of the race club and we always got very well looked after. Food and drinks were part of the perks and you didn't even have to get up from the bar to place your bets as the waiters did everything for you.
That is how the rich live as there are waiters for every menial task and it was a treat for that one day a year. If you one anything it was a bonus as it wasn't about that. Anyway that was my mindset and I have rarely won anything in my life and had no idea how the tote books really worked.
A typical parade ring where you can look at the form of the horse before deciding on who to back. This is normally a few minutes before the race actually starts.
As usual I was in the dog box before the day was out as I was asked to place a bet for the missus which I never did. She had sen a horse take a dump whilst going around the parade ring and saw that as a sign. A sign that he was lighter and now faster maybe I don't know. The horse was a donkey and a total outsider at about 30/1. She then combined it with the favorites for a tri fector and boxed it so in whatever order they come in it didn't matter as long as those three were the first three she was a winner.
This outsider was definitely a diamond in the dust and it would have saved me some hassles if someone had shot it before crossing the line.
You can guess what happened as her horse won and the other two she picked also came in. It was like it was in slow motion and you could see it happening and I knew the result before it even happened. She was jumping around like there was no tomorrow and she was now filthy rich. In those days the winnings weren't huge, but they weren't shabby either. We never had a fortune to put on the horses and her winnings would have been quite considerable. In today's money it was around $2000 and we are going back 25 years or so.
I was moaned at and said that if she wanted to place the bet then she should have done it herself or got one of the waiters. She learnt quickly as I have never placed a bet again or gone back. Money has never been important to me and it was more about the day out and having fun. My thinking is if we had placed the bet the donkey would most likely have run last anyway.