Monday, August 27, 2012

Afternoon at the Races

Port Mourant Turf Club billed their 6th Guyana Cup as the biggest Horse Racing event in Guyana.
Apparently my family used to own a Racehorse when my mother was a child as she remembers dipping her fingers into the bucket of molasses for the Horse -- she looks normal so I guess they weren't into 'spiking the mix' back in de day. I have vague memories of being dragged to 'The Races' - the crowds in the Stands, the interminable waiting and the Horses thundering past in a cloud of dust.
My neighbours, rapidly gaining confidence with their new car wanted to explore a bit and decided to join me up there as I was attending a Wedding. One couple came with their 8yr and 1yr old and the other couple came by themselves. We aimed to get there for 1pm and that was good timing as there was the inevitable late start, unfortunately this year saw the largest Crowd and the Stand was filled by the time we got there - just in time for the starting of the first Race.

 We ended up standing in front of the Announcers/VIP stand by the fence.
I thought the price was a bit steep (Gy2000=US10) for a mere spectator sport, where you have to stand in the sun to get a view. In fact-- one needed to be elevated to see across the field to see the start- and if the Stand/s were filled what were you paying for?
My neighbours and I are clearly not cut out for the spectator thing - as we weren't into gambling, didn't know the Horses, weren't Local- didn't 'know' people, didn't drink to get drunk and got bored after the second Race and left!
As usual it was the charm of thr Guyanese crowd that made the day as a sweet 13yr old stood back while my neighbours pushed in front of her and her 5yr old sister. Turns out that they were waiting for the 8th Race when their first horse would run, they had a second horse running later. She worked out that we were not Locals and shared a borrowed Program to explain the finer details of Horse-Racing to me - pointing out the jockey on a beautiful grey horse was her cousin and that the top jockey had broken his foot last year when his broken bone punctured his skin and the second Race was his first Race back! There was some sort of Upset for the punters as the favourites did not win either of the first two races- both winners winning unambiguously, the first most appropriately named Saviour!

The horses were magnificent to look at though
And the official Betting booth was crowded:
though the unofficial gambling was also doing a brisk trade:
Apparently after each Race all the unofficial gamblers run onto the Track and do business:
requiring the Police to chase them off the Track
before the next Race and delaying up things considerably:
Of course, the Police themselves need to clear the Track:

No comments:

Post a Comment