We’re all getting poorer, fast – especially here in South Africa. Economies are slipping; ours is sliding. Blame the ANC, Putin and quantitative easing all you like, but the only way out of looming hard times is to find yourself a big splodge of cash. Then you can sit back and tut-tut as misery and mayhem unfold before you.
You could try the Lotto. Someone won R150-mill the other day. But the odds are mightily stacked against you there, many millions to one.
If you have an aged rich relative about to shuffle off this mortal coil and leave you a fortune, you’re a jammy so-and-so and everyone is jealous and loathes you.
For most of us, our best bet of sidestepping hard times is landing a gamble. And the most enjoyable gambling to be had is punting the ponies. Sure, the odds are against us winning big, but they are better than with many other get-rich-quick ventures.
It is often said poker is surest form of gambling for making profits, but the caveat is that you need to have developed high levels of pokering skills over time and have singular self-discipline.
So, the gee-gees it is then. And prospects are good right now. On Saturday, we are offered a World Pools opportunity on the King George VI race meeting at Ascot in the UK.
Punters around the world can bet into World Pools, operated by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, and join global high-rollers in vying for a share of the co-mingled massive aggregates. This can mean higher pay outs than usual as predicted dividends are easily swayed by big bettors.
The following weekend, the World Pools beneficence is bestowed upon our very own Greyville Racecourse, where the Gold Cup meeting rounds off the local racing season. Nine races will be open to punters around the world for a variety of bets, such as Win, Place, Trifecta and Quinella.
The temptation factor at Greyville will he high. The Pick 6 is likely to reach R12-million, while the Quartet pool on the Mercury Sprint will be about R3-million.
The Mercury Sprint is one of four Grade 1 races on the card – bizarrely “supporting” the main event, the Grade 3 Gold Cup, the premier long-distance race in the country.
For pure racing fans, the equine quality of on show will be irresistible. For those of us simply desperate to extricate ourselves from the financial mire, it’s also a lure, because good horses tend to perform up to expectation.
We get a chance to tune up for the World Pools at Kenilworth this Saturday, with the last Western Cape fixture of the season. The headliners are the Grade 3 Final Fling Stakes (over 1800m) and Champagne Stakes (over 1200m), which feature cracking line-ups of fillies and mares striving for a sprinkling of black type glitter on their CVs before they retire to stud farm paddocks.
Final Fling Stakes (Kenilworth Race 6):
10 Young Love, 8 Golden Dah, 3 Musical Glitch, 4 So Flawless
Champagne Stakes (Kenilworth Race 7):
8 Sonic Burst, 3 Major Attraction, 7 Fusillade, 1 Kitty Cat Chat
King George VI (Ascot Race 4)
2 Mishriff, 6 Emily Upjohn, 4 Torquator Tasso, 5 Westover