Despite the entire thoroughbred-pursued obsessive cruelty & knackers’ yard mentality that it endorses, I can’t help but be swept up by the Grand National & it’s ‘everyman having a cheeky flutter’ spirit; seeing myself as something of a one-day-a-year casual gambler. Even though I should be able to just say ‘neigh’ it’s almost become customary to whack a fiver on the most novelty value name in the 40 running then roar with anticipation as you find the best atmospheric boozer to pretend you take no part in any such non-working class ‘sports’. I mean that last word in the vaguest of terms due to the fact you need several grand & a tiny malnourished Irishman borrower before you can even compete.
Yep it’s a disgusting national past time sponsored by a tasteless parody of a ‘smooth’ bitter & yep those ladies look ridiculous in elaborate headwear flanking windswept Merseyside drizzle dressed up like purses from a sow’s ear (don’t hear that expression enough anymore). Apparently there’s a section of the race named the ‘John Smith’s Daily Mirror Punter’s Club Handicap Hurdle’ which makes you almost pity the commentators. I guess they didn’t know just when to stop accepting corporate funding investments.
Alas in the spirit of some excellently named horses – Shakalakaboomboom (my personal choice at 14-1), Swing Bill, According to Pete, Rare Bob & Organised Confusion being probably the most appropriate, I thought it sensible to devise a loosely related playlist. This may well help spruce up the BBC’s 3 & a quarter hours of build up coverage which otherwise would be like watching the steam rise from a brick of baked horses’ shite.
Compulsive Gamblers – Stop & Think It Over
The Osmonds – Crazy Horses (compulsory I’m afraid, though allegedly about car pollution which is still relevant)
Yello – The Race (generally applicable to all major racing events)
Tom Waits – Jockey Full of Bourbon
Aphex Twin – Funny Little Man (That’d be jockeys again)
Mastodon – Trampled Underhoof (Oh the crushing riffs, from early album Remission)
Manic Street Preachers – Faster (Not strictly written with this subject matter in mind)
Pogues – A Bottle of Smoke
Sample lyric: “20 feckin’ 5 to 1, me gambling days are done. I bet on a horse called A Bottle of Smoke & my horse won!”
Dubliners – Galway Races (Beardy ‘Banjo’ Barney RIP you dear old twanging diamond)
Devo – Whip It!
Randy – Win or Lose
Rival Schools – Used for Glue (Equestrian free vid unfortunately)
And this classic Alan Partridge Day Today clip;
Bookies be damned. Suggestions as ever duly noted & appreciated…