Thursday, January 15, 2009
A Night at the Races
Hong Kong is famous for many things, its political history, SARS, its international business reputation, but one of my best experiences in the big lychee was a night at the races. Happy Valley racecourse is just near to Lola's flat, and so it was just a short walk to all the excitement. This racecourse is one the few (if not the only one) racecourses in the world to be situated inside a city on prime real estate. At Happy Valley races you can admire the city skyline and watch the horses at the same time.
We arrived in time for the second race, and I insisted on placing a bet for it. Checking out the stats in a rather clueless manner, I decided to place a 200HK $ bet (about 20€) on the favourite to come in 1st, 2nd or 3rd place. As it happened, my horse won, and I would have raked in a lot more than my 650HK$ if I had backed him to win. Still, horses for courses, I was very happy with my first time bet and first time win!
My luck ran out after that, and my two subsequent 100HK$ bets didn't come out winners or placed in the top three. I stopped before I broke even, so I came away on top and very pleased with myself. Lola had a conf call to take later, so I stayed on and enjoyed a bowl of pork and noodles that was more delicious than I expected.
Hong Kong races proved to be really exciting and the evening was packed full of interesting things, watching the Chinese place their bets for horse after horse and coming away with literally hundreds of betting slips was unbelievable. It didn't seem to be a social occasion for them, not like the gathering of ex-pats (mostly Brits) round the beer tents next to the track. I could have been at Ascot (minus the funny hats).
It's amazing to think I spent 18 years living in Doncaster and never once set foot at the St Leger, and I travel 6000 miles to back my first horse...the brown one is my winner!