A night out at Meydan racecourse
The Meydan racecourse arose from the previous Nad al Sheba racecourse within a year. The grandstand houses 60,000 people and their is a lovely lawn at the front. Two racetracks, one on grass the other on a new material tafeta, invented by Michael Dickinson, trainer of Silver Buck, Badsworth Boy and Wayward Lad, amongst many others.
I am not eaxctly a fan of modern racetracks (what a surprise) as they tend to hode the horses away and concentrate on issues such as hospitality and so on. There is never any access to the pre-paddock and the view into the paddock is never so good, not to mention the winner's enclosure.
They totally ruined the ambience of The Derby when they made the change about 15 years ago, a change I have countered by sopending my afternoon on the Downs.
Here at Meydan, I spent my time with the enthusiastic Pakistanis, Gulf Arabs, Indians, Sudanese etc on the lawn areas. Here is a photo of some very enthusiastic Pakistani guys at the races. They were writing little slips and calling on a walkie-talkie type phone and got very excited when a certain horse won. I had a strong feeling they maight have found a way to gamble (which is not allowed in Dubai) but didn't dare to ask them. Anyway, I have sort-of stopped gambling on horses myself, having virtually not been close to winning anything for about three years.... I had a punt on the first race, through a colleague in Birmingham, with whom I was communicating through the blackberry, but this horse started off 6th and ended up 6th after a brief spell at 3rd coming into the straight, which did not encourage me to try another time...
The Eurovision Song Contest is coming up in three months time, so maybe a flutter n that, although the sings I have heard so far sound pretty terrible, favourite being Albania (again!), I suppose. Maybe Serbia, Russia or UK will come up with something good. Ukraine and Macedonia (two old favourites) are really rubbish this time around.