Jaqui's Daily Blog

Royal Ascot, A Hot Tip and the Story Of Castlereagh

The Youngest of the Darling Daughters, along with Her Majesty The Queen, is living it up at Royal Ascot.

She is having a great time, thank you. The Youngest of the Darling Daughters, that is, I can't speak for Her Maj as, sadly, we are not on Texting Terms. Still she looked pretty happy when her horse won the . The Queen, that is, not the Youngest of the Darling Daughters. This is all getting Way Too Complicated for one such as me. Can I please leave you to use your common-sense for the rest if today's blog?

Mr B tells me that one of two horses is almost certain to win the 5 p.m. Wokingham Stakes and urges me to text our daughter with this priceless piece of information. He would do it himself, you understand, but his new(ish) mobile phone rests, unused, unloved and quite probably unwanted, on the breakfast bar in the kitchen. I comply with his request because if there is any chance my daughter could discover a Winning Way, I want some of the credit.

From the photos she posts on Facebook, she looks very lovely in her new summer dress and headgear, as do her friends, Wendy and Ali who will both be excellent company as well as keeping a weather eye on my girl. As she mourns, an alcohol-fuelled day can have one of two unfortunate effects on her: she will either be nursing a humongous headache by early afternoon or she will be drifting around the Royal Enclosure (or, more likely, its plebeian equivalent) telling everyone she meets how much she "really, really loves" them. Family members always remember the evening when she loved everybody. "It was so special," someone told me afterwards, "I never realised just how much she loved me like..." I couldn't spoil the moment by explaining that she had told just about everybody present how much she loved them, including the DJ, the caretaker and the taxi driver.

Mr B likes to fancy himself as a Canny Picker of Winning Horses though, should he ever seem to be getting too full of himself, all I need to do is to whisper the magic word: "Castlereagh." Back in the days before we were married (just imagine how long ago that is!) Mr B invited me to select a horse running in some big race the name of which I have forgotten, if, indeed, I ever knew it. I studied the runners and riders in my love's Racing Times and selected a horse based solely on its name and the fact that it wasn't the favourite. I didn't want to pick the favourite on the basis that everyone else had and poor Castlereagh appeared not to have too many supporters, the poor, four-legged one.

Being too young to frequent betting shops (I was then, as now, extremely law-abiding) I stayed outside while Mr B disappeared into the smoky depths of the local bookies, leaving me to dream about my winnings when Castlereagh romped home.

Which he did, dear Reader, at excellent odds. Except that when Mr B re-emerged from the Forbidden Realms of the Bookmakers, it was to tell me that he had placed a bet on a far more promising filly, Castlereagh being, in his expert view, a No Hoper. I don't bring this up too often, being one who believes in the Power of Forgiveness. Even where horse racing is concerned.

The Youngest of the Darling Daughters has either never heard this story or has forgotten it. She therefore texts me back to ask me to thank her father for his Hot Tips. An hour later, the race is run and neither of Mr B's predictions has made it into the first five places. Indeed, I was listening hard to the commentator as the race was underway and I can't recall hearing either one of them mentioned even once.

"Well, Dad's advice was rubbish, eh?" the Youngest of the Darling Daughters texts me, finishing her message with a whole row of what I believe are called emojis, grinning between gritted teeth.

It would be tempting to advise her not to listen to her father - but then, it's Father's Day tomorrow so it's really not an appropriate time to be challenging his Paternal Authority.

Besides, like Her Majesty - win or lose today - I reckon it's a safe bet that my Darling Daughter is having a Fine Time...

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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