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Dreamed late May 1908 by Alfred Douglas

While I was editing The Academy in 1908, I dreamt the winner of the Derby...

At that time I was immersed in my paper, and I never went near a race-course or took any interest in racing. In fact when I had the dream, I did not even know the name of the Derby favourite of that year. I simply dreamt that I saw a grey filly winning the Derby. "But Signorinetta was not grey," any racing man would reply. I know she was not grey, but my dream made me back her in the following way.

At lunch-time on the day after I had the dream I was lunching by myself in a little restaurant.... This was just a week before the Derby.

At another table, also lunching by himself, I saw a friend of mine, Charlie Owen, a racing man, and I called over to him to come and lunch with me. He came over at once and I said, "Charlie, is there a grey filly running in the Derby, because last night I dreamt that I saw a grey filly win the Derby?"

He replied, "I'm sorry, your dream is a wash-out. Not only is there no grey filly running in the Derby this year, but there is no filly at all of any colour running."

I laughed and said, "Well, there goes my chance of backing the winner."

I thought no more about it till that day week, Derby Day, when I was once more lunching by myself at the same restaurant, and there again was Charlie Owen.... I got a paper and began looking through the horses and their performances, and after a minute I said, "Look here, you distinctly told me last week that there was no filly in the race, and here I see there is one, Signorinetta."

He said, "Yes, quite right. I forgot all about her when you asked me, but she isn't grey and she hasn't got a million to one chance."

"I don't care," I replied; "you said there was no filly and there is one, and I am going to have a fiver on her."

He said, "Don't be a bloody fool."

Well, to cut a long story short, I went out directly after lunch and put a 'fiver' on her, and she won at 100 to 1 [perhaps $50,000 today].

From Alfred Douglas's Witbout Apology, 1938, quoted in The Oxford Book of Dreams (ed. Stephen Brook; 1983)

LISTS AND LINKS: races and competitions - horses - money - financial-advice dreams - dream advice in general - bets and dares - opportunities grasped - assertiveness, perseverance and stubbornness - predictive dreams - psychic dreams in general - 20 years later Edith Willis has a drastically simpler method for choosing the Derby winner, Trigo

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