Penzance

I’m telling you Johnnie, I’ve got a feeling about this horse, have I ever given you a tip before? I swear to God this horse will win.

He had been looking for one big bet with his inheritance. This horse he had spotted in January. He worked out his big race would be in April. Odds were 20-1, and he put £1000 on.

Do me a favour and just put a hundred on him will you? I haven’t given the tip to anyone else, just do it will you, one hundred.

He didn’t know how much a hundred quid was to me. I hardly had work, we had just moved. What does he know about the costs of having a bloody family anyway?

The day before the race he rung up. Don’t think about it, just do it, Johnnie, £100.

Angela says a hundred, that’s too much.

I go to the bookies. The odds have lengthened from 7 to 9-1. Has someone noticed something? I enter and exit the betting shop – Just do it: £100 is too much – a few times before putting £50 on and hurrying home to watch it on TV.

Penzance explodes at the start and takes a huge lead; four, five, six lengths. It’s a shoe-in! But slowly Paul’s Pardon starts to catch him. A furlong to go and he’s only half a head behind. Our faces just inches from the TV screen now and we are screaming for our lives: “And Penzance takes it by a nose!”

£450 is £450.

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