Screams echo around the room.
It is incredibly exciting. A horse that may or may not be the one on my betting slip is almost being caught up by another horse that may or may not be the one on my betting slip. Unfortunately it is so exciting that our yells of excitement drown out the commentary, and the jockeys will not keep their arms still for long enough to compare their outfits with the diagrams in the Daily Mail.
My horse wins!!!
We goggle at the television pictures. I am normally rubbish at the Grand National, but this time I have nailed it with my cunning bet. I wave my slip around my head in thrilldom.
“That’s my horse!” says Big A.
The fact that he has very flukily also picked the winner does not diminish my euphoric mood. I scoot back to the cottage with an equine spring in my step.
On the way I take a small diversion through Short Tony’s front garden. I wave the betting slip at them and jump up and down making ‘champions!!!’ gestures.
“We had that as well,” calls out Mrs Short Tony.
I am a bit annoyed by her smug tone, rubbing her good fortune in my face. I pretend to be pleased for them.
Later, I am sitting in the front garden. There is a shout from across the road. Martin the IT Consultant and his wife are on their way to the Village Pub to spend their winnings from the Grand National. I am barely civil at their unkind attempt to render my achievement less unique, and stomp off inside to piss around on the internet.
On the internet, it transpires that this was the most popular rank outsider in the world. In fact, this horse turns out to have been had by more people than the one in Animal Farm (the straight-to-video one, not the film of the book about the pigs that invade Iraq or whatever (I have not read it for ages)).
At the bookies, I join a queue of people who are picking up their winnings. There is probably a bloody Facebook community for people who chose ‘Silver Birch’. But there are a couple of old men in there who clearly go in every day, who don’t bet on the National and who look very resentful of having their gambling retreat invaded by idiots once a year. I conjure up my smuggest look as I hand over the slip.