The sport of kings
Trip Start Oct 23, 2006
26Trip End Oct 25, 2007
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You never go to the races back home. Maybe you would if the authorities that be in Australia used catchy slogans such as "Life and Love With KRA" (Korea Racing Association). In your mind this phrase conjures images of well-dressed people enjoying a day at the pony's. Drinking, betting, laughing - winning. The reality is quite different. You scan the betting floor for young, well-to-do types, but you only see aging, poorly dressed types, for whom a day at the races is a day at work
You peruse the form guide from your huge, comfortablr chair in the foreigners lounge. From your seat you have an uninterrupted view of the entire course. You remark that at home this seat would be in the premium area - reserved for dignatries or life-long track members, not a bum like you. But you'll take it. Happily.
You dig the crazy horse names. The first thing you do when you get the form guide is scan each race for hilarious, silly names. Last time you were here you marvelled at names the calibre of "Fast Cat", "Lilt Cat" (what the hell is lilt?) and "Super Cat". Indeed, most of your betting choices are centred around these names. The sillier the better. You weren't let down this time either. "Rabbits", "Again Chance", "Convoy Commando" (your favourite) and "Wig", all get you chuckling to yourself. You wish that a funny name meant a fast horse.
One thing you have learnt about horse races in Korea is that the favourite almost constantly wins
You're not at all confident. No wins for the day, and this is the last race. You bit the bullet and put your cash on No 10, "Panera". The fact that number 10 is your lucky number inevitably decided the matter. That plus the fact Chris had already out his cash on the other horse you had in mind. No point thinking about it anymore, the race has begun. You wonder if you should really care anyway, you only bet a couple of bucks on the race. "As long as Chris' horse doesn't beat mine..." you say to yourself.