Faking It At The Race Course
February 5, 2013 2 Comments
Of course its possible to be the Millionaire Next Door and live a totally low key life,but if you want to use your money to buy excitement or a glamourous lifestyle or if you just want to manage an entree into High Society or if you wish to network to grow your wealth,you might need to get yourself to the race course.And if you don’t know the first thing about managing at the races,here are some basics to help you get started and to fake it till you make it.
The first thing to buy is the race book. You will see these small booklets in the hands of people who go racing. There are many, but the leading ones are Cole, BOL and Lucky Spinner. They all cost Rs 20 each, and they give you all the information about the races, horses and their past performance statistics, information about jockeys and trainers, and even recommendations of who they think will win. But, remember racing is not an easy game and even the best strike rate is about only 35 per cent. The free source to get all this information is by logging on to the Turf club’s official website here.
If you are visiting the VIP enclosure (known as the members’ enclosure, entry will be Rs 350 per person), you have to follow the dress code. For gentlemen, the acceptable dress code is a suit or a safari, or a full-sleeved shirt with tie or a jacket/blazer (shoes are a MUST). Else national dress like dhoti, or churidar with appropriate footwear is allowed. Ladies can wear anything except beachwear. So you will be able to find something in your wardrobe no matter how hard up for money you are.Also, no specific dress code is required if you are planning to visit the public enclosure (entry fee Rs 30).
Races on a day’s card are conducted every half hour and about 20 minutes before the race time, horses are brought into the paddock (an oval area between the jockeys’ weighing room and the race track), which is impossible to miss. You can see horse owners and trainers planning their strategy and giving instructions to jockeys who then mount the horses and take them to the starting gates. Viewing the horses in the paddock can be a great piece of education for the beginner.
Regulars try to lip-read the instructions, some judge the owner and trainer’s level of confidence by the way they are dressed. Their thinking is simple: If they are nattily dressed, they are possibly expecting to be photographed leading in a winner! Not a bad piece of logic, eh? But basically, everyone is there to look up the horses. Because horses talk; and it pays to listen. Even first-timers can attempt to assess a horse’s condition if they know what to look for. The secret is to watch a horse’s coat (or skin-tone), ears, eyes, neck and tail.
The coat means the tone of the skin. If it reflects light, it is a good sign. If it does not, the horse may be rusty.Rolling eyes indicate too much excitement or fright. Sleepy eyes may signify a dull horse. A focused, steady and curious gaze in the direction of the sound indicates an alert and ready horse.Ears pricked forward generally means the horse is ready and alert. Ears pinned back indicate fear, sometimes anger. A ready-to-win horse will always flick ears towards the jockey when he is mounting.An arched neck signifies a well-tuned horse, but generally for a sprint (short-distance) race. It may not be a great sign for trips of more than a mile like the derby. Ready-to-strike horses generally have a high (meaning ‘raised’) tail. They may lightly swish it when walking with springy steps. A kinked tail is a sign of genuine fear.
When horses leave the paddock to go to the starting gates, it’s time to make betting decisions, and the action shifts to tote windows and the bookmakers’ ring. As a newbie, you would be better off betting small (Rs 10 is a minimum bet) on the tote, those small windows you will see everywhere.Keep your betting simple. Bet a horse either to win (come first) or place (finish anywhere in 1-2-3). If you like, say horse #4, go to any window marked ‘Sell’ or ‘Sell/Pay’ and say these words: “Number 4, WIN, rupees 10”. Collect your ticket and change, and if your horse wins, go to any window marked ‘Pay’ or ‘Sell/Pay’, and encash your winnings.
Do take the following advice very seriously if you choose to speculate or even just follow the crowd at the races.You wish to come out with the bulk of your net-worth intact if not increased by your trip to the races.So:
1.Keep your betting small.
2.Remember, statistically only one in three races are won by the favourite horse.
3.Never be too sure about your bet. Remember, the only certainty in racing is uncertainty.
4.Never chase losses.
5.Remember it is NOT compulsory to bet. Also, it is not wise to bet in every race.