The Grand National: Betting Odds for Life

I wonder how you got interested in horse racing?

My father, Colin, was my inspiration. If it hadn't been for him, the odds of me writing this post would be 1000/1. Life and our relationships make us who we are today. 

My childhood was everything it should be. I didn't realise at the time I had a wonderful mother, father, brothers, relatives and friends. I got lucky at the game of life. Sure, there have been a few lessons to learn. You often hear how gambling is a derogatory word. It is akin to dicing with the devil. He can throw six six six without any fuss. You feel the heat of the situation as another bet crashes and burns.

I wonder if you like a bet? 

Because we all need to be philosophical when considering the best betting odds for any given horse race. It may be the Grand National or the Nunthorpe Stakes over a flying five furlongs at York. There will always be winners and losers. But sometimes there is no logic to the result. 

If your life was defined by a winner of the Grand National which horse would you be? 

Be honest. 

I guess everyone wants to be Red Rum. The three-time winner of the Grand National in days where the fences were hard, deceiving and cruel. You needed to be as cunning as a fox, as strong as a bear and jump like a gazelle. Red Rum raced over both codes: Flat & National Hunt. Funny how he was ridden by Lester Piggott at Aintree over five-furlong and dead-heated. It doesn't sound possible, hey? Then we went on to run in 100 national hunt races and never fell. 

I'm sure in those days, if we had colour television we would have noticed he wore a red cape and pants over his trousers. That's Red Rum, not Lester Piggott, although I'm pretty sure they both came from the same primordial soup. A mixture of stardust and long-tailed comets that caught the eye. 

While some are known for greatness others just got lucky. Which is better? I guess it depends on your perspective. A winner is a winner, hey. So many times life is about circumstance. The odds of you or me being born to our parents more remote than anything we could imagine. As fascinating as it is mundane. It simply happened. 

I always watch the Grand National. My first thoughts being that all horses return home safe and sound. 

This year's Grand National will be a year for many to remember. If anyone has ever backed a winner in the greatest steeplechase in the world they are likely to remember the horse's name. For some, it was Red Rum. Others it was Foinavon. Many taken their answers to their graves or told in stories by future generations. 


How Flo, down the street, won £100 when Red Alligator romped home in 1968, with the song In The Year 2525 sang by Zager And Evans playing in the background.