Where I back three horses each way, and then do an exacta, and a trifecta, and then another exacta on just two of them as they are both trained by Paul Nicholls and then an exacta including the other Nicholls horse I only just notice is shorter in the betting than the two I'm backing and then a combination forecast in case the exacta paid out less than it should, as it does sometimes. Online tilt isn't loud. It's manic button-pushing.
The race starts. I watch. I choose my lucky seat, but change my mind. I fidget. I stand up. One of my horses is leading coming down the hill, but more to the point my other two are travelling well in behind. There comes an unbidden yelp from my mouth, “take your time, take a pull”. Switching horses I shout “stay there” at Starchitect, but Starchitect is getting tired. I transfer my attentions back onto Qualando - at 25/1 my best price – as he swoops over the last. Up the hill they come to the roars, doubly so when Bouvreuil comes late to throw down the final challenge. “Stay like that, stay like that, stay like that, STAY LIKE THAT...”
And so they do. I run round the front room. I whoop. I do several victory laps of the kitchen island with my t shirt over my head. I run outside and twirl the long-handled axe around whilst wailing like a banshee. I jump halfway up the stairs and then jump back down again. I pause long enough to notice that long-since forgotten Starchitect had just missed out on third – the trifecta snatched away from me - but hey, some more bunce for fourth. Ten minutes waiting for the exacta payout. It would pay well, wouldn't it? And it does. A shade under £500 per unit and I have several units. Plus the winner and the three places. Bags of sand coming back my way. Cheltenham sorted whatever Thursday and Friday brings.
I calm down, for I am a professional. Or was. I make myself a celebratory cup of coffee and turn my attention to the next race. Anne and Bobby return. To still waters - as though nothing has happened. You know that Kit Kat advert where the photographer's waiting for the pandas at the zoo – it was much like that. Anne, who had obviously spent her walk worrying about me, comes up behind me, puts her hand on my shoulder and says “Don't worry, you'll have better luck tomorrow.”