I went to one of the world's great race meetings this year and embarrassed myself.
It was Royal Ascot, where to enter the magnificent Royal Enclosure you have to wear a morning suit and top hat, which guarantees the embarrassment starts early in the day because first you have to get from central London to Ascot an hour away.
You will rarely feel more over-dressed in your life than when buying a snack from Pret A Manger dressed like Willy Wonka. But that wasn't the most embarrassing part of the day.
That came hours later as I waited for the start of the King Stand Stakes which included New Zealand galloper Enzo's Lad.
I stood in the palatial Ascot stand, straining to see the horses 1000m away and hoping against reality would be suspended for just under a minute and Enzo's Lad would provide a miracle.
The bookies odds and everything I have ever learned about horse racing told me he had no chance.
But I wanted him to win. I wanted to be there to witness the fairytale.
There was no fairy and the tale was one of brave but comprehensive loss, as it was always going to be. Enzo's Lad was racing better horses and they beat him. Which is how racing, how most sport, plays out.
What embarrassed me was that I swallowed the pill of parochialism and let it pump out my chest. I have been analysing race horses my entire adult life and the truest thing I have learnt is that emotion is the enemy of analysis.
Top galloper Magnum enjoying a dual role
If you bet with your heart you will win some battles but you will lose the war.
After all, in those golden moments when you use your punting winnings to pay some money off your credit card or buy that new washing machine, nobody ever asks you whether you won that money backing a Kiwi horse.
Money is the coldest substance known to man and at its core horse racing is, for most people, about money.
But there are exceptions and one of those starts tonight at Alexandra Park, Auckland's home of harness racing.
In the thoroughbred world that exception is the Melbourne Cup, a race most Kiwi punters would be happy enough to lose their $5 on if a New Zealand horse won. Cup winners become national sporting heroes, their names never forgotten.
The other racing carnival at which the late, great Prince could have sung Money Don't Matter 2 Night is the Inter Dominions.
It is harness racing's annual transtasman clash, moving from city to city with up to 50 horses doing battle for two trophies.
The fundamentals are the same, you lay your bets, yell at the television and if you win you get paid.
There is no official team aspect, the horses, trainers and drivers all compete as separate entities but the Kiwis and Aussies involved love it when their country wins.
Seemingly sane people will be happy enough to lose their own money if they can puff out their chests and say "we were too good for them" come Finals night on December 14.
It is sheer and utter madness. Horses don't wear national team colours, sing anthems and I am pretty sure they don't have accents.
Yet at Inter Dominion time racing people want our non-existent team to win so we can be better than them.
It is one of the rare times when the scales of racing tip toward sport and away from business. It is also what will make the next two weeks at Alexandra Park so special.