Sunday, February 05, 2012

A Night at the Races

After a hearty buffet, and good company, Saturday night at the Petrofac Aberdeen City Open was all about horses, or more accurately, the jockeys.

Chief Steward Albert Middler was in charge.

The course was inspected and pronounced 'firm'!

The punters assembled ...

The fashions checked out ... here, birthday girl Barbara Wood remembers Elvis singing about these Blue Suede Shoes!

The tote was readied ...

The horses were paraded ...

All that were needed were the jockeys. Each team supplied one jockey for each of the first four races. All put their heart and soul into twiddling their wrists. For example ...

Looks easy, doesn't it. Don't be fooled.

Pick your horse and jockey, place your bets, the odds are displayed, and the race is on!

Pick the winner, you get a return, but the biggest winners were the two charities, Ucan (the urological cancer charity), and the Aberdeen junior curlers.

Not everything went smoothly. There were protests about the size of spurs this jockey was wearing!

What was the highlight of the evening? Well, I think there were three, among many.

The first was the Ladies Race!

Here are the jockeys on the start line! Come on now, which one of these would you have picked?

We're off! Lots of encouragement!

A photo finish! (I forget who won.)

Then there was the Novice Handicap Allcomers Gold Cup. I started badly, and fell away. Despite my best efforts. More training necessary. What exercises build up wrist strength and flexibility?

The final brought together all the previous winners. One got the opportunity to study the jockeys at close quarters before placing bets. Not having had a winner all night, I plumped for Douglas Baxter who was obviously taking his pre-race preparations seriously, and had strong wrists, or so his team assured me.

And would you believe he came home the winner with odds of 3/1! Result! Here he receives his prize from the Chief Steward.

Great night. Well done to everyone. Over £800 raised. The curling continues later today!

Photos © Skip Cottage