Saturday, 8th May 2021

How drunk can you get at online Cheltenham?

CHELTENHAM Festival has always been the perfect excuse to get wrecked from 10am while pretending to watch horses. But how can you reproduce that online?

9am: Be up and at your laptop laying bets, discussing odds in a chat window with friends, and keeping it light with a white wine spritzer to take the edge off your hangover. If you are not hungover, you have failed to properly prepare.

10am: Dress up in top hat and tails or, for ladies, a dress with a surrealist hat too large to fit through doors. Look at yourself in the wardrobe mirror. The urge to drink should rise naturally.

11.30am: By this point you should have lost money on several horses and be consuming an entire bottle of Dom Perignon with a wafer-thin slice of smoked salmon on the side to soak up the damage. If you don’t have any, Sheba Classics Salmon in Terrine pouches are just as good.

2.30pm: You’ve won your first bet! Celebrate by falling backwards from your office chair and imagine yourself lying on mud, surrounded by a forest of uncaring legs. Knock back some gin from the hip flask hidden in your fascinator.

5pm: Several hours should have passed without you realising when you step out of the wardrobe and see your friends waiting for you on Zoom. Order another bucket of champagne, chat yourself up while serving it, then realise you’ve been sick down your front.

10pm: Awake with a start to find your monitor no longer showing horseys but the inside of a private club. Discover you are playing online roulette, and have just placed £2,000 on red. Black out again.

2am: It’s time to throw yourself out of your own house, have a little doze on the street, stagger back in through the door before falling unconscious. Congratulations! You’ve recreated Cheltenham in your own home. Now repeat every day this week, hoping you win enough to buy a new liver.