Posts Tagged ‘Malaysia horseracing’

Horseracing at Penang, Saturday 23rd September 2017

November 15, 2017

My memory is getting worse these days and to be honest I can’t remember a great deal about this day out. It’s not that I drank excessively, although I will have had a few Tigers, it’s more that it has taken me a few weeks to write about it and I’ve been to another race meeting in the meantime.

Still, I suppose whatever I can’t remember I can just make up. Right, the facts. It was in Penang, which is less than an hour’s flight from KL. We stayed in Georgetown, which is a very picturesque town with a lot of its historical areas preserved. Our hotel was in the Little India area and we had curry for just about every meal.

So far so good. We took a Grab car (just like Uber) to the racecourse and, I think, paid six ringgits for admission with a further twenty ringgits for access to the air-conditioned lounge.

After that, well, not much comes to mind. We had seats in the lounge, but no table and in addition to betting on the live action we also backed horses in races on the telly from Seoul and Macau. Probably. It‘s hard work betting every ten minutes or so at multiple tracks and for a while it felt more like employment than enjoyment.

The only place to buy beer was a counter out in the main concourse so every few minutes I’d pop out and brave the lack of air-conditioning to get another. There was limited food available but I got bags of peanuts and cashews from a bloke walking around with a tray.

The betting was marginally successful. We’d been behind until the final race but the desperate measure of bumping up the stake and getting a decent priced winner meant that we finished ahead on the day, including admission, beer, air-conditioning and nuts. I’d have needed a much bigger stake if I were to include the flights and hotel in the calculation.

Horse Racing at Selangor, Saturday 26th May 2017

July 14, 2017

Malaysia has three racecourses. There’s one at Penang, another in Ipoh and one at Selangor which is quite close to us and on the road in to Kuala Lumpur. I’m surprised it has taken us as long as it has to have a day at the races as I’m quite partial to the combination of gambling and daytime drinking.

We stayed at a hotel right next to the track. The aptly named Palace of the Golden Horses. It might be considered a bit on the garish side, but there’s a place for that sort of thing and I’d suggest that fifty yards from a racecourse is exactly that place.

It was six ringgits to get in and then another twenty for admission to a lounge on the top floor of the grandstand. I’d hoped that our three quid upgrade would get us air-conditioning, but we had to settle for electric fans that did not much more than help to re-distribute the cigarette smoke.

On the plus side there was a tote window in the lounge and table service from a ten year old kid. Screens above the window overlooking the track were showing Australian and Korean racing which meant that the betting opportunities came fast and furious. There wasn’t a great drink selection, Carlsberg, Heineken or Guinness, but I worked my way through a steady supply of Heineken.

The first of the ten races went off at 12:30. In the second a horse suffered an injury that required it to be shot in front of the main stand. Although a screen provided notional cover we were high enough up and at sufficient an angle to see its demise. I’d expected the stricken equine to just crumple to the ground, but on the firing of the bolt it somersaulted backwards in a ‘best man dead’ for horses sort of way.

Most of the people present watched the races on the tellies inside. That was understandable though as it was pretty hot out in the sun. A few racegoers made the short trip outdoors to view the horses in the parade ring, whilst a handful watched in the open air from lower tier seating. A few even called them home from ground level.

As we approached the penultimate race it started to rain. Proper rain. It was sufficient to cause the early abandonment of the meeting, although nobody had any intention of heading for home until it had eased off a bit. Fortunately there were still a couple of televised races to be run in Australia and so I cracked open another can of Heineken. We hung about until the only thing going on was the sweeping up of the afternoon’s litter.