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The Pleasures of Ignorance

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  • #6461
    • Total Posts 4822

    I’ve been reading some really good historical writing on horse racing by an author named Robert Lynd recently. He was a literary critic, a Fleet Street journalist and also a racing man for 40 years. A lot of his work dates from the 1920’s but I think its still amazingly relevant today. Here’s a couple of extracts…

    Our teachers used to apologise for teaching us Latin
    grammar and mathematics by telling us that they were good mental
    gymnastics. If education is only a matter of mental gymnastics,
    however, I should recommend horse-racing as an ideal study for young
    boys and girls. The sole objection to it is that it is so engrossing;
    it might absorb the whole energies of the child. The safety of Latin
    grammar lies in its dullness.

    No child is tempted by it into
    forgetting that there are other duties in life besides mental
    gymnastics. Horse-racing, on the other hand, comes into our lives with
    the effect of a religious conversion. It is the greatest monopolist
    among the pleasures. It affects men’s conversation. It affects their
    entire outlook. The betting man’s is a dedicated life.

    You can read more of his work for free here if your interested

    • Total Posts 8965

    Excellent CR – I’ll be having a good delve (if that is the appropriate expression) later.

    • Total Posts 5676

    Under the tutelage of both grandfathers I adopted the religion of horse racing when I was but 3 years old, did side with the poor down-trodden Mill House against Arkle, and have continued the devotion to this day.


    P.S. Arkle was one step up from brilliant, Mill House was brilliant but around at the wrong time.

    • Total Posts 759

    I had to do Latin grammar and maths as well as horse racing. I should be a top mental gymnast.

    I’m not.

    Fist of Fury 2k8
    • Total Posts 2930

    Amazing the amount of people around that if you asked them to do a cash flow/spreadsheet or some other mathematical task wouldn’t have a clue. Ask them to work out what a 10p super yankee pays at odds of 13/8.13/8, 11/4.11/8 and 0/30 and they will tell you in 3 or 4 minutes. Which goes along way to proving that almost anyone can do anything, if it interests them and they to put their mind to it.

    • Total Posts 772

    Hi Fisty

    i agree we are all capable of being winners. To win at horse racing you have to be very organised, dedictated and driven.

    Punters are losers, they are not capable intelligent people. Their stupidity creates the lusted after pot of Gold.

    Exploiting this opportunity is the difficult part.


    • Total Posts 772

    Hi Cavy

    interesting stuff and a good read mate.


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