The dirt at the MCG has barely settled after that wonderful day at the ‘G’ barely two weeks ago and here I am treading the luscious green turf of the Caulfield racecourse.
Gone are the earthy jeans, puffer jacket, tiger scarf and runners.
In with the flowers, the frills, the pashmina and the punishing heels.
Gone is the glossy footy record curled neatly, and clasped within the grip of my hand.
Instead, the Ladbrokes race book with its biblical wad of minutely inscribed pages is sandwiched into a soft leather clutch.
The race book fights for some space amongst an odd assortment of things like the lippy, the mobile phone and a prudent collection of pineapples… several crisp notes belatedly sought, as I rarely carry cash.
The clutch is over stuffed and not as demure as it should be.
When it comes to racing form I am without clues today. Unlike other members of my household who sprawl their broadsheet lift-out guides across the length of the long timber refectory table, I give scant attention to the form guide before I depart for the track.
Instead, I head over to my favourite sports writing website on my phone where one of their regular columnists has done some investigation. I screenshot Sals’ column Guinness Day Preview: Is it Good for You? for his considered words.
At least I will have a reference point, something to go by.
Before I depart the house for the short walk to the track I shoot a friend a quick text… got your tips in? I ask her.
I quick call back reveals yes, she certainly has.. Super Sleuth, I hear her say .. voices in the background at my place call out… tell her to back Super Set,… Super Set?.. or Super Sleuth. There’s some confusion.
I correct the conflicting voices… ‘I think it’s Super Seth,’… like I would know.
Trackside, I meet up with friends and begin by placing $10 each way bets. I pick no winners in the first couple and my prudent stash of pineapples dwindles.
I recoup a few lost dollars in the fourth on a Flit placing, thanks to Sal who suggested the horse was in with a show.
GB, (one of the above mentioned household members) sends me a text, he’s trackside too, but buried deeper inside racing’s inner sanctum and milling about a bar with a greater selection of screens, probably searching for a chance elsewhere…
My phone pings.
‘All good?’ GB enquires by text.
I have dissolved into the sunny crowd.
‘Yes, all is good. Back shortly.’ I reply.
‘Super Seth in the next.’ he adds and reminds me without embellishment. This backs up Sals suggestion that the horse is nicely drawn.
And, Yes, I have a winner!
I am glad, as are lots in the whooping crowd around me. Some are ecstatic.
With a replenished supply of pineapples back in my overstuffed clutch I decide to head home shortly after the last.
GB is not too far behind.
With feet weary from a day in heels and minds a bit worn from bubbles and beer, cooking dinner was a thought not even conceived upon.
Instead H (the youngest member of the above mentioned household), and his friend make dinner arrangements via an app on my phone.
Within no time there’s a knock at the door and I have to extract one of my crisp, fresh pineapples to pay the young helmeted delivery person.
The day ends around the family room dining table where it began. The pages of this mornings lift-out form guide have been replaced with an oversized paper bag containing a KFC family size variety bucket, a tub of coleslaw and a tub of something that looks like mash and gravy. And a bottle of soft drink.
And, thanks to Super Seth a couple of my prudent pineapples remain in the soft leather clutch for dinner tomorrow night.
All is good.