Goodwood is said to be glorious, but Cheltenham is truly a festival. For 3 days in March it is acceptable to watch horses, meet friends and drink the occasional glass of Guinness.
Whether it was the additives from the Liffey or the general ambience, but some years ago I selected Hairy Molly.
It was a nice enough day and I was being entertained by some clients. Tweed jacket, county shirt and of course, cufflinks. As it was a day out, I opted for a pair of blue and yellow enamels which have always brought me luck. Enamelling has always fascinated me as it a technique that dates back to the pharaohs, they knew a thing or two about engineering.
Arriving at Cheltenham we settled into the racing spirit and enjoyed placing bets with different Tote men. My other half works on the theory that you only back a horse with the letters ‘E’ and ‘V’ something to do with Eve being the first woman.
I didn’t quite subscribe to this notion and just work on the odds, the longer the better. And that was how I found Hairy Molly. Although named for a woman, Hairy Molly, was a man and had demonstrated energy and perseverene in winning two of his four previous races. The odds were 33/1 and the horse was older than the average for the race.
The race began and he took the lead going well coming down the hill and stayed on strongly to repel the late challenges of Pressgang (second) and Kicks For Free (third). The favourite, with a ‘E’ in the name, but no ‘V’ (Equus Maximus) was nowhere to be seen.
My small wager resulted in a rare occurance, leaving Cheltenham with significant additional funds. The enamel cufflinks worked again.
This year the festival starts on 16th and runs until 18th March. I shall be there on the 17th drinking a toast to long odds and wearing my enamels.