Updated: 16/04/18 : 05:26:33
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Pinstickers, pure science needed for ‘National’

By Eugene McGloin

THE TRICK with triskaidekaphobia is to avoid the fear of the fear.

Oh, and avoid the avoidance, too, if you want to see past the number thirteen.

Triskaidekaphobia is the official term for avoidance of, or fear of, the number thirteen.

Having 13 letters in my name helps avoid the avoidance, if you follow the drift.

Outer Space

True story: Chelsea legend Bobby Tambling once scored a great FÁI Cup goal for Cork Celtic against Sligo Rovers in the Showgrounds.

He scored it coming up to my 21st in March 1975, in the 21st minute of the game.

The referee timed the goal at precisely 21 minutes and 13 seconds, the exact sealed ticket I’d purchased on the way in, 21-13.

The odds on that incredible sequence probably belong in Outer Space, or even beyond that place.

‘The National’ has always been an equally happy hunting ground, with pots of ‘placings’ money over the years. Oh, and winners too.

Romped Home

In April 1978 Lucius romped home at 14/1 in the same week I went to work for a new  employer named Lucius. The win was equal to a few pay packets.

Fourteen years later Party Politics, in his 13th year with broken windpipe and all, did the honours at Aintree as John Major lined up a general election.

Twelve years on again and Amberleigh House was a super bonanza at 16/1.

That day saw “Ginger” McCain take the big prize for the first time since Red Rum, the greatest ‘National’ nag of them all.

1978, 1992, 2004 — all the specifics listed and remembered as if they were saints’ and their first class relics. Add 2018.

Big Heart

Which is where the 13 comes back into play: horse number 13 in 2018, ridden by jockey who’d failed to land the big prize 13 times, whose age was approaching multiples of 13.

Oh, and luckiest of all, the chance to back him on the 13th, Friday the 13th to be exact.

Triskaidekaphobia all right and winner all right, Tiger Roll, the small guy with the big heart and all that. ‘‘Twas the thirteen wot did it for him. Really. 

You see, pInstickers can take a hike. You need the purest of pure science to pick ‘National’ winners!

Swerved Cutely

Now, when will Mayo next win the senior football title, the Sam Maguire, like.

God, in his best imitation of Gerry Adams, replied: “I’m glad you asked me that question.....” 

Like Gerry, he swerved cutely and neatly sidestepped the answer.....