The last 24 hours have been slightly below disappointing …. Ok, maybe marginally below slightly below disappointing. I blame the state of the economy in Europe, it’s simple, when things are going bad what do these countries do, they de-value their currency, things went bad for the Million Pound punt yesterday, so they devalued it ….by 90% !!!
Losing one of the Famous Five to injury before the festival was not the only bad thing to happen yesterday, oh no, something nearly as bad happened. I filled up my car with £75 of fuel at the local supermarket, presented the happy, smiley Mo (obviously not a Million Pound Punt disciple …. He was smiling !) behind the counter with my fuel card …. Only for it to be declined ! Excuse me Mo, but this is not possible, have another go … Still declined, oh for f*ck sake, really? Are you sure ? Yep, Mo was sure, still happy and smiling he gave me proof, in fact he gave me two lots of proof, receipts that were happy and smiley too, that said ‘Card Declined’ ! B*llocks …. In fact, f*cking B*llocks ….. So I had to dip deeply into my pocket and pull out another bit of plastic that wouldn’t be declined and that Mo could say, with a Happy Smile, that is fine, your payment has been accepted. This digging deep for another bit of plastic has taken £75 out of next weeks ‘war chest’, and I am deeply upset about this. Now it’s not definite that this £75 would have been used for an all out assault on the nice bookie chaps at any point, however there is every likelihood that this £75 would have been used to purchase a fine bottle of celebratory champagne from the ‘Swingers Hotel’, which has now become an accustomed ‘apre race’ stop off point on the walk back into Cheltenham from the race course. I use the term ‘Swingers Hotel’ however I have nothing to back this up … apart from the fact that our ‘rowdy racing rabble’ do look slightly out of place in the salubrious surroundings (none of us are swingers … or at least I don’t think any of us are !) so we like to give it this rather fruity nickname. The American manager is always very accommodating, if not slightly wary of us when we pile in to his bar, win, lose or draw, we always order champagne. For the record, we questioned the American manager about his prices for a room last year… £380 per night during the festival, however that does come with breakfast which includes nice juicy locally sourced sausage !!! ….. I bet it does you mucky yank !!!
So, onto the serious stuff for next week …. With this horrendous weather, what outfit is one going to wear. The festival is a funny place when it comes to fashion…and often for all the wrong reasons. Royal Ascot it isn’t (although you will still get a handful of Orange looking things, with goose pimples wearing reasonably expensive looking frocks and high heels…. Why some blokes find the urge to dress like that I’ll never know !!). You do get a mix of race goers from all backgrounds in society however the outfit of choice for many at the festival is a nice bit of Tweed. When I say a bit, I mean anything from a simple jacket, to the full kit and caboodle, trousers (or skirt), waistcoat, jackets, the whole lot. Now far be it for me to criticize the fine tailoring of the country set, some of them can pull it off, however for a simple city boy like me, in my eyes some of them look complete plonkers ! I get Tweed, it can look very smart on some people, both male & female. Some of the old boys in the tweed jackets look the part, those born with the proverbial silver spoon in their chops can also look rather suave and debonair when adorned in the finest country greens….those born within a mile of the local young offenders centre whose second job is a part time joy rider in a stolen Capri Ghia however, should never wear tweed. Those with less than a six figure sum safely stashed in their savings accounts should never wear tweed. Those who usually shop at T K Maxx should never wear tweed.
I get the impression there is a hierarchy amongst tweed wearers….those at the top of the tree are the ones who were born in a tweed baby grow, who wore the finest tweed through school, who have a wardrobe full of the finest tweed robes for every occasion. Those at the bottom of the hierarchy are the ones who’s purchases were made on ebay or from the aforementioned T K Maxx …. Bargain Tweed is not good !!!!!!
I will be attending my first festival whilst in possession of some said tweed. And what mighty fine tweed it is too … proper real tweed, no ebay crap, no T K Maxx sh*t, this is the real deal, this is Harris Tweed. I will carry my tweed with pride in the knowledge that it’s one of the best tweed’s you can get. One thing that won’t happen to me though is any p*ss taking from fellow race goers that this city boy is prancing around in tweed. I’m not daft enough to think that I’m sophisticated enough to pull of the tweed look however when it’s minus whatever on Tuesday at the festival as the weather forecast predicts, I’ll be happy in the knowledge that in my pocket is my Christmas present from my dearly beloved ….. now everybody looks good with a Harris Tweed Hip Flask full of lovely warming Malt Whisky !!!!!!!!!!!
I’m sitting waiting for more bad news about the remaining ‘Fabulous Four’ in my Million Pound Punt – with 90% discount. With the weather still very poor, I have a strong feeling that the next selection to defect from the potential fortune winning punt could well be Get Me Out Of Here. As I mentioned last week, this animal is desperate for good ground, and with all the rain, the ground is going to be testing at best. There are no rumours, nothing to suggest at the moment that Get Me Out Of Here won’t run…I’ve just got one of those hunches that he might not run…let’s hope I’m wrong.
With only two days to go, the final touches are being put to the last selections and tomorrow I’ll put a full list of everything that I’ve either selected or backed so far …. So you can all then avoid them like the plague !!!
Thanks for reading again …. The first day is nearly here.
Twitter – @grahameletts