Church Langley is buzzing with excitement this week for the annual Predictorship Donkey Derby.
The hairy beasts are lining up behind a gay selection of the Chairmanâ€™s ties carefully knotted together as moist nostrils steam and flare, ready for the off.
Pushing aside the ample rumps, David Jones Jostles through to the front to dart a sideways glance at Janet Roberts. â€˜Beat me and Motherâ€™s Day ceases to existâ€™ hisses the wayward youth. But Janetâ€™s eyes are fixed on the winning post, and moves only to adjust the blue and white silk cap perched on top of her immaculate beehive.
On her other flank sits a wiry Joe Roberts who has painted a question mark onto the forehead of his beast of burden and dyed the mane a shocking ginger. The Chairman taps his beetroot-stained beast to move up alongside him and casts his eyes over suspiciously.
He looks at his watch. Matt Wayne is overdue and the donkeys have begun to wander off in search of juicy snacks when a scuffle breaks out at the back. Matt has swooped in to jettison James Bradley, Rob Dimery, Tom Roberts and Maziar Sattari from the race. â€˜Iâ€™m taking you to the Chairman after this race,â€™ the Stat man chastises the younger Roberts and wags his finger sternly. â€˜Someoneâ€™s got to talk to you about your disciplinary record…â€™.
â€˜No bet, no race. They know the rulesâ€™. Matt shakes his head as he heads for the start line and takes up the slack on the tie string.
And theyâ€™re off.
The riders are swaying left and right, elbows flying. Only the acid beehive and a mauve topper rise above the dust to show one pitched battle being played out amongst the confusion.
Suddenly a rider in blue and white quarters lunges forward, swiftly followed by a bright red blaze. The Moonerazzi and Saleel Sathe are lobbing beetroots viciously across the racecourse ducking and diving to escape the burgundy blows.
Surging forward from the pack and hot on their tails, Ted Warland manages a vigorous rising trot, squinting hard to keep his monocle in place and kicking sporadically at the Tricky Trees man pulling up along side him. Predictor of the Week, Alex Iskandar Liew (Manchester City 1 Stoke 1) who reaches over to slap the old timer on the back. â€˜Reading and West Brom. Top prediction Ted â€“ a 2 all draw. I would have voted for that oneâ€™ Alex gushes.
David Roberts works his The Stainless steel buy-detox.com/shop/home-test-kits/cocaine-dipstrip-drug-urine-test-detail arrays are durable between around 40-60 uses each. way to the outside of the pack ready to spur his steed forward to see Steve Dunlop racing on foot up besides him. â€˜What are you doing down there?â€™ the Chairman shouts incredulously at the panting Benfica table topper.
â€˜Just finished a 20K run and missed the start … Thanks for the Benfica inclusion by the way, there”s amazingly 35 points between the two teams, so I canâ€™t believe they only won 1â€“0.â€™
Steve Dunlop wheezes to a stop as the Chairman pulls away.
Stirring up the dust behind him, Nick Watson (3 correct scores for Derby, Benfica and Millwall) and this weekâ€™s 8 correct results man, Dave McAleer are neck and neck. Looking like theyâ€™re ready to make a break Nigel Birrell ,frosty from his 3 point haul, vollies an icy blast up the rear of the two unfortunate equines sending them galloping off across the field in the opposite direction, but for all his dirty tricks Birrell is way behind the leaders.
Now third in the table himself, Matt Wayne wings his way to the finish line to commentate on the climax of the race:
â€˜And the Monacled Gunner is striding up on the leaders…
“Don”t look now but there”s a ginger mane nudging in front of a limey beehive which must mean Riddler Roberts will go hungry tonight! And now the Chairman”s passed her. My word. It looks like it”s the chip shop for you two! And it”s a cold shoulder for David Jones too who”s dropped behind, stunned by a well-aimed beetroot.
“But itâ€™s going to be a photo finish with the Blackburn Bullet and the Rampant Red. Oh and theyâ€™ve flashed their jokers. I donâ€™t believe it! Itâ€™s a joker-tastic finish for the Cup-tied riders as they streak over the line with 12 points followed by Ted Warland on a non-joker 9 point high!â€™
Matt Wayne flaps ecstatically as he congratulates the winners. An ill-timed moment to drop his guard: The caped crusader is oblivous as Mark Young”s ignites the tip of his purple umbrella and aims it at through the crowd….