Tuesday, July 31, 2007

York Horse Races

This weekend, I traveled to the old Viking/Roman town of York to visit my cousin Lara and her boyfriend James. It was a wonderful weekend hanging out with them and James' parents and brother and girlfriend. Highlights included a huge curry (where we guessed the amount of food needed dead on!) and a huge tapas lunch in a Spanish Restaurant in the town center (to get me ready for my visit to Spain: T-17 days and counting!!!)

But the real treat was going to the annual York Horse Races, where we all participated in a spot of horse betting! The following photos will illustrate how posh the afternoon was - men in suits and ties, women in dresses and big hats. BIG HATS! The hilarity of the attire was brought out with the weather, which was sunny but windy! All the hats and dresses sailed off and billowed like yachts in a gale.

At 2 pounds a bet, it wasn't an expensive affair. As a newbie to horse betting, I needed to know how to choose the winning horse. We scrutinized the horses in the parade ring (looking for that 'fast look' and a heart-shaped bum, apparently), we studied the jockeys as they mounted their beast (jockeys are short!), and we compared statistics of past races and horse performance.

In the end, I just picked the horse with the name I liked best.

First Race: my money was on Nevada Desert... and it won! 10 pounds!

Second Race: I looked for a natural sounding name - Gull Wing... and it won!! 10 pounds!

Third Race: No way will I win again. I choose another nature/flying named horse - Wing Collar... and it won!!! Amazing! Another 10 pounds!!

I was on a roll of a lifetime! Up 30 quid, there was no stopping me!

Fourth Race: Continue the trend - Eagle Mountain... and it wo... lost. In fact, I think it came last.

Fifth Race : Lost. Sixth: Lost. Seventh and Eighth: Lost as well...

Oh well, my three win winning streak still rocked (3/8), and I took home 20 pounds! James probably had the worst luck, were one of his horses stayed in the starting gate, not to race at all. The horses must wonder why they are being made to run... perhaps James' horse had an epiphany and took a stand. Or perhaps it's just a bad racehorse.

Click on any photo to enlarge it!

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