Sunday, 21 June 2015

Royal Ascot - This is the life ...

So, I cracked an invite to a box at Royal Ascot, Day 4.

This is a big deal .. u need to wear a suit/tie/decent shoes .. which, takes some preparation, and then try to actually get there, as the other 60-70k people, are also trying to reach a similar destination, at roughly the same time.

Ascot has been re-built/modernised, over the last 6 yrs, and, its still the biggest wind-tunnel in the world - (not my fav racecourse), but, as I say, a box is a box, and some yrs, having worked in the silver rings, thought it would be nice, to have a day off, and watch from the good seats.

We set-off, for the 1hr 45 min journey, 4 hr 30 mins, before the first race - I wanted to talk to my host etc, and we know all the short-cuts in to the track, so, traffic was unlikely  to be a major problem.

Unfortunately, 30 mins from the track, the motorway, was gridlocked .. an accident up ahead, caused a 90 min delay ... not fun :

 Anyway, we finally got to the track, 20 mins before the first race, and walked into the box, that was absolutely rammed with people, listening to John Mccricick, talk/tip the assembled throng through the card. He was v good .. my host doesn't spare any expense, but, am a trifle uneasy, about all the money he spends promoting his business.

Anyway, had a quick selfie with John, the food had largely been scoffed, so, we had some left-overs, and ambled down to the ring.

I say ambled, the place is rammed, u can barely move :

Looking from the outside in, its hard to say, if Ascot during Royal Ascot week, is a place with racing and people meet, or, just a place people meet, which happens to have some racing going on.

Bookmakers have to purchase a 'right' to bet at this course, just for those 5 days. The best pitch, is about £150k, for which u get the right to bet, for 40 yrs, (thou u still have to pay the racecourse about £5k per yr, ontop) - a middle of the road right, might cost £6k.

The expenses of betting, with staff etc, mean the bookies have to bet to a decent margin to win .. I have always found it unfair, the number 1 right, pays the racecourse the same, as the worst right .. obviously, trap 1, will hold, probably 50x as much, as the guy betting in trap 100 .. but, the Trap 1 right holder will say, he has invested £150k .. which holds some merit - but, I still feel, its a bit inequitable - I would prefer a sliding scale.

Anyway, we looked at the overall business for 2 races, and decided the place was just too packed, to be anything remotely like fun, and decided to leave.

I am not sure if its worth buying a lower number to actually bet, during these 5 days. Its a lot of work .. sure, if u invest £10k, u might be guaranteed £4k per yr - but, u need to organise a LOT, to achieve this.

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