Saturday, April 05, 2008

Grand Nationals 1968 and 2008

My older brother at a Jesuit boarding school years
ago 1967/8 (Beaumont College) long since closed,
backed a 50/1 outsider to win the Grand National.

Leaving the school premises without permission
let alone to place a bet was an offence
and corporal punishment - the Jesuits used their ferula - was legal and
common in those days. His horse romped home a winner

When the Jesuits learned of his breaches of the
rules and successes the alternatives offered were to keep his winnings
and take the punishment for breaking bounds etc
or to give the winnings to their missions Africa.

In the end some deal was brokered of a mix and match kind
which seemed to leave big bro rich enough and relatively
unscathed. Interesting to reflect too as an aside
how nearly everyone from those school days talks with great affection
about those school times and about the SJs.

I rarely bet on horses but in view of that childhood experience
am often tempted to do so in the Grand National.

EDIT: Having failed to resist the temptation for the 2008 race, I backed
Comply or Die to Win at 9/1. Great 33rd Wedding Anniversary celebration
ensued when Comply or Die won by four lengths.
Evoked memories
of Irish wedding 33 years ago during the Naas races.
Also weather-wise. On the 4th April 33 years ago on the eve of wedding
when climbing Dublin Hills a blizzard swept in. On 6th April 2008
when jogging over Wimbledon Common at 8am blizzard-like conditions swept in.

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