I don’t officially have a surname, so I hope you don’t mind me using your first name. Yes, in my version of my name there are two parts – Grape Vine – but I’m not a Mr Vine kind of guy (and just imagine answering to the first name, Grape!).
I’m in bit of a situation. Well, if I’m not already in a situation I will be at some point, and I may need your help.
First, a little background. I started my career in Cape Town, where I will admit to being somewhat directionless. However, it all got a lot better when I moved to Port Elizabeth. I won’t say that I found religion, but something certainly shifted.
First time out in PE I ran a close fourth, and it didn’t take long for me to win two on the trot (if you’ll excuse the expression). In total, my PE career has comprised 14 starts. Other than the two wins, I also had five places, and four fourths. There have also been two fifths, which means that only in one start did I not earn money (the less said about the way my jockey rode me that day, the better).
On six occasions I’ve been beaten a length or less.
What I’m getting at, is that this record makes a true servant of the Tote*. I’m sure that your databases could tell you a lot about the role I’ve played as punters’ choice in exotic bets. Consistent chaps like myself, I’m sure, are good for your business. More about that later.
On a scale of unplaced maiden, to Frankel, I am extremely average. I don’t have any delusions of grandeur. However, I would say that my model of consistency makes me anything but average. If you totted up my earnings in PE you’d see that I’ve more-or-less paid my way. In all my averageness I’m a rare racehorse.
Anyway, my pain is your gain. I’m good for your business.
Yesterday, once again, I ran my heart out from a bad draw (what is it about me and wide draws). The best I could do was fifth. The worst is that it was a dead heat for fifth. Apparently there were some ripe comments from one of my owners about sharing a measly R1500 in prize money. Even though my form yesterday was worse than previous form against Naval Intelligence, I can’t see my merit rating getting cut. That’s just not how the handicappers roll.
Vee, something has to give. I get the feeling my owners are getting frustrated by this thing of seeing the handicapper stand between me and the winner’s box.
It’s time for me to get to the point. Considering what I do for your business, in the event that their frustration gets a bit too much, would you consider a contribution to my training fees?
*Tote: The principle of Tote betting is that all bets are pooled. After the government taxes and operator’s share have been deducted, the nett pool is shared amongst the winning tickets. The tote is a more effective funder of the sport than bets struck with bookmakers.
*Merit ratings: Most races run in South Africa are handicaps, which aim to equalise horses’ chances of winning. Better horses carry more weight. Merit ratings are the method for assigning weights to horses. Higher merit ratings indicate better horses. At the basis of handicapping is the measurable drag effect of weight (over 1600m, one length of a horse equates to 2 lbs in weight carried).