Just back from the races which truly warrants a note.....
'Royal Randchaiangmaiwick' is a 1600m sand track, the nags run in the Melbourne direction. 30 cents to use the bike park & 70 cents to get on course (almost broke by the time you're there!) The public area is the go, though there's a "members" of sorts where you pay $3 to have some airconditioning & (better) seating near the finish.
Betting is all TAB; all on-course. Heaps of little set-ups selling food, drinks & so on. Its possible to wander about wherever one wants - jockey's room, horse stalls, etc - without any problem. The 'horses' are quite unbelievable! No punter looks at them before the race - here, they bet on names, numbers, buddha..... Half the field have significant bone distortions following injury, some can't even walk freely - they usually start favourite! Its not too hard to slim those likely to win down to one or two horses; BUT, there are no effective stewards in place & anything goes!!!!
Races start up to 40 minutes late each time as the start is dependant on there sufficient funds bet or, more likely, to be sure the 'right' bets are on!. There's usually a horse at around 10/1 on in the field (& wins if the jockey even half tries).
In the first race there was a horse that was "meant to win" (ie 10/1 on). The gates opened & they flew out - all except the bloody favourite! Unbeknown to the other jockeys, they all lobbed around waiting for the "winner" to make his move. The horse in front was 9990/1 & no-one bothered to pass him, as all were waiting on the favourite. He ended up winning at 9990!!!!!
We headed for a beer & met this pommy - he was moving the dud watches from here into England in the 80s & then the cheap soccer jumpers. He's now retired up here, married to a local, speaks the lingo...... What a laugh - within minutes he'd explained how I can 'break' the TV scanners to get free access to all the rugby, the cricket, the AFL, etc. He had me in stitches as he explained the form guide: 'this is the name the horse is racing under today, & this is the name when it races in Bangkok!"
We moved to back one in the next whose name translated to 'Sea Biscuit'. Sea Biscuit won by maybe 30 lengths with every other runner being strangled to death; one jockey almost jumped the outside rail to lose. We had to be confident - they race started immediately we saw Sea Biscuit firm from 4/1 to 10/1 on!
With absolutely no way of being able to apply any logic to our betting we went out to check out the nags before the next started; at least that way we could eliminate the cripples (half the field)! We picked 3, backed them & won the trifecta! It sounds like winners were easy o find...its not really that difficult - simply follow the money, but with such a small pool & winners usually at 10/1 on you'll never be wealthy!
We decided not to have a bet in the last as it was clear that it would be run in total darkness! You may well be laughing but this as despite my pommie mate translating from the official form guide for one runner as follows: 'no idea how it raced last start, as the race was run in the dark'! I can go on forever - the form has no hesitation in telling you how often a given horse is 'hooked' - eg 'has a great chance of winning if you can pick the day it's trying....' So we left the course & headed over to the nearby/adjoining floating rafts - restaurants & bars overlooking the lake, the Tribal Museum, sunset & the mountains......We love it, as you know, & it blew Marc away! 'We're coming back here', he kept saying - what ambiance this place has!
A GREAT day! There's a big meeting set down for 8/12 & we'll definitely be there!