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Eighty +: A plan t o k eep the wheels of for tune turning in your favour.

Byline: Sir Clement Freud

ON TUESDAY evening, I went to the casino situated in a village on the far side of a lake I overlook. In a casino you can witness the disappearance of your money as it occurs, glean the outcome of your investment without having to read old newspapers.

The sound of a rolling roulette ball instils in a man rare courage and bravery; while it spins you are in with as good a chance as anyone - unlike when you back the sprinter who mooches out of the starting stalls. As Sir Isaac Newton foretold, the attraction of Earth causes an unsupported object to acquire virtual velocity and drop . . . in a numbered resting place.

While the ball slows, you who have backed a number or segment put your destiny in the hands of the gods of chance, unlike at a racetrack when your selection is pursued by one ridden by Kieren Fallon, who articulates in the saddle like a garden gnome, and you have to await the outcome of a photo finish that invariably goes to the Irishman.

I back numbers, which pay at odds of 35-1 on a 36-1 chance of winning - a house percentage of just under three per cent. What you have going for you is that you can leave when you want; 'they' have to stay and take bets until closing time.

I go with a plan to which I adhere: not for me a rash chip on number 19 as the ball slows and the croupier calls "no more bets".

I back 24, which is my date and year of birth. Half that stake goes on 11, 28 and 29, which have served me well in the past. And the same amount on the last number to have come up, plus those on either side of it. As a saver, a quarter of that stake goes on zero and its four neighbours. I back 21 units per spin, 12 numbers going for me, some more lucratively than others, while 25 go for the house. Odds of 2-1 a result and unlike 'them' who wear dinner jackets and manoeuvre the plastic, I go home when I like. I did when 24 came up twice running.

H T HISman went to a hotel, stood in the queue at reception, caught the eye of an attractive woman sitting in the lobby and he smiled at her and she smiled back. When he reached the desk, he gave his name and offered his credit card; the receptionist said: "A single room?"

He turned towards the woman in the lobby and she smiled again; he raised a questioning eyebrow, she answered with a well-bred imperceptible nod of acquiescence and he said: "Actually a double room, my wife and I."

In the morning he went down to pay the bill which the cashier handed to him: it came to just over pounds 5,000 and he said: "This is a mistake I've only stayed one night." To which the cashier replied: "That is quite right sir, but your wife has been here for over three weeks."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Oct 5, 2005
Previous Article:Racing & The Tax Man: So how much mot ivat ion do owner s need?
Next Article:Eighty +: Its never too late t o have a bet - even in the post-P aget er a.

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