As stock markets become more volatile and interest rates remain pitifully low, George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, is looking for lucrative alternatives to invest the nation's surplus income, and has discovered a genuine money-spinner. Osborne is staking the country's future success on equine and canine fortune to bolster British revenue. Out go futures trading and hedge dealings, and in come greyhounds along with Market Rasen.
"Shares are too dodgy at the moment," said Osborne, "we've decided to set up Exchequer branches at Chepstow, Market Rasen, Goodwood and Pontefract to invest the nation's deposits and gain 'honest money' for the British public. I've always enjoyed a flutter, and the odds are often iressistible."
The government put half of Scotland's pension reserve on a rank outsider at Chepstow yesterday. 'The Buckled Bridle' came in at 20-1 and pocketed a handsome return, sprinting to an impressive victory by three furlongs.
"I'd rather put my cash on The Buckled Bridle than on wind energy", bemoaned Osborne, "I know it sounds strange, but we're betting for Britain."
The government is to enhance its portfolio to include greyhound racing, though such a move would involve considerable risks, as one civil servant explained: "Before races, staff stroke the horses and make it clear to jockeys why it might be favourable for them if our horse were to win.......theoretically of course... . It's difficult to communicate with greyhounds, they often run as fast as they want. We're currently looking to introduce jockeys to dog racing and are in negotiations with local nursery schools for candidates. Parents are enthusiastic, but the stupid kids keep falling off. Firmer strapping equipment is now being tested."
Meanwhile, Osborne could be found placing a combo straight wager on the Welsh stallion, Ivor the Nimble, in the 2:30 at Kempton Park. "It's well invested money (two thirds of the annual Higher Education budget). I am familiar with getting around jockeys. They all know what I want." Needless to say, Ivor the Nimble won by a neck.