The Retirees go Abroad – A long Weekend in London – Saturday.

However the feature event was intended to be the races at Royal Ascot on Saturday. We set off at 10.30am for a 1 hour trip to the course only to find that roadworks and traffic was to turn the trip into 2 hours. Even so the day was great. We all had a few wins and met and spoke to a number of different punters some sober and others beyond saving. The trip home was equally lengthy but did not spoil the day. Here are some photos.

On the way from the carpark we saw jockeys and handlers with their horses. These turned out to be ponies which ran in some earlier competition before the main card.

On entering the course we were once again astounded by its size and design, with its beautiful mounting yards and parade in front of the course grandstand. Inside looked like a shopping centre of some 6 floors. We had Premier entry so we got the run of the fourth floor.

The track was a verdant green – pretty as a picture. There were 7 races apart from the ponies and all races were strongly contested. In one case No 16 had thrown his rider before the start and ran back through the finish line only to be caught (very easily – he just walked up to one of the officials) whilst the jockey ran back down the track to get his mount. It ran in the race but had no luck. We travelled all over the grounds taking in the atmosphere.

Here are some pictures of all the action.

Weekend at Slough – Off to the Races

August 16 – 18
Off to the Races

As I said we went back the second day so after completing our visit to the castle we went to a pub and then to Windsor Riverside Railway Station to travel to Royal Ascot. As the Royals always rode to Ascot there is no direct train link but on arriving at Ascot you would swear there was only the racecourse and all roads lead to it.
Truly breathtaking. The first thing you see (apart from the 25,000 other people visiting) is the mounting enclosure and a modern glass and metal stand of huge proportions. Standing room only when we got inside. I bought a beer from a friendly vendor and we settled down (actually we stood up) till the events started.
First there was the fly by from the Red Arrow RAR aerial acrobatics team. That was it – we were left somewhat dumbfounded but then came the Chinook – well what this thing could not do – just amazing. This was followed by the race – time trials across a course where the pilot manoeuvre his plane through various obstacles on a course in propeller driven planes at 300 kph. There was an Aussie competing -Matt Hall and he qualified by beating the favourite Pom. Unfortunately he missed out on the next qualifying round so we went home. My camera battery was flat also and I had not packed my spare battery. NOTE TO TRAVELLERS – BACKPACK WITH ALL NECESSARY SPARES, COATS, UMBRELLAS AND WET ONES NEEDED.
Here are some of the photos I took:
• The pub

the Pub
the Pub

The racecourse the royal box and mounting yard

Buying a beer

• The fly by

• The Chinook

• One of the racers and

• The finish line – we were standing directly in front of the finish line and where they took off – another lucky fluke