Jockeys, geegees, winners, losers, photo finishes, multi-gazillionaires, bookies - the glamorous world of horse racing is one of sport's most exhilarating diversions.
digital finish line
But just imagine how preposterously exciting it must be to actually own a racehorse; overseeing its training, having a quick flutter and, of course, yelling yourself hoarse as your finely-tuned, four-legged investment races around the track.
Unfortunately, horses don't come cheap and neither do racetracks. But now you can be the proud owner of both, without winning a four-horse accumulator, via the wonderful Horse Racing Game. In fact, you won't even have to leave home! This fantastic home racecourse includes everything you need to conduct thrill-packed meets, and is so realistic you can almost smell the turf, dung and champers.
First you need to pick your jockey. Each is a different weight, introducing a level of handicapping into the game. But all is not lost if you get the guy who has eaten too many pies since your horse will be less likely to buck if you 'tune' him to go fast. In order to minimise fistfights the handy spinner allows you to allocate jockeys and lanes in a random fashion.
feed your nag...
Before racing you will have to 'feed' (or, more accurately, charge) your trusty steed, which is where the catchily-named "Charging Horse Barn Station" comes in. Simply place your mount in his stall, plug him in for a few minutes and he will be all set to gallop his little legs off. One charge should be good for several laps and you can charge two horses at a time.
Okay, you have picked your lane and your jockey, fed your gee-gees and are nearly ready to race. But wait! Before race time you will be wanting to 'tune' your horse (think of it as 'training' if you prefer, we know we do). Simply lower your nags tail so that his legs start frantically pawing the air and adjust the gallop speed by inserting the adjusting key into the small hole in your horse's thigh, turning it slowly until you have reached the optimum speed. You might think that speed would be 'as fast as possible', but you would be sadly mistaken!
lookit him go!
You see, the faster you set your mount to run, the more likely he is to topple over backwards, front legs flailing hopelessly in thin air, going nowhere fast, much to the amusement of your friends and rivals! This is where a real element of skill and judgement comes into the game. The weight of your jockey is also a factor, since if you have the portly gent you can counterbalance your disadvantage by setting your steed to run faster, since he is less likely to topple back. Genius, we think you will agree!
At last it is race time! Put your horse in its lane behind his barrier and set his little legs whirring by lowering his tail. Press the start button and they're off! The entire meet is accompanied by realistic sound effects but if you're anything like us they will be completely drowned out by a cacophony of expletive-littered yelps, bellows and girly shrieks of excitement. And the best thing is, if you shout too exuberantly and lose your voice you can say "I'm sorry, I am a little hoarse". Sorry.
Screaming at your geegee as it gallops around its lane, neck and neck with the leaders, is the perfect post-pub or party pursuit, and we guarantee you'll be clenching and crossing every available extremity in sheer, adrenaline-soaked excitement. Better still, the horses race differently every time, so picking a winner is never a dead cert, even if you think you know the form.
We'd be willing to wager a pony that this ingenious game moves off our shelves faster than Red Rum on steroids, so saddle up now before other punters beat you to the finishing post.