A day at the races is a rare event in our social calendar. Rare, like once-every-5-or-6-years rare. So when MLP came home suggesting joining a table at the Haweksbury Cup with mates from his work, we donned our best and mixed with the throng.
The Hawkesbury Cup is like a country race day, but only just over an hour from the centre of Sydney. Locals mix with racing aficionados. Those with the inside information mix with those with no information ... like me. Those who can read the Race Form mix with those for whom that little book is filled with an indecipherable language ... like me. You may have guessed I'm no horse racing expert, but I do love the atmosphere of the day. And, as you know from past blog posts, I love a little people watching.
A few interesting characters came out to play for Hawkesbury Cup day.
Nothing like a touch of colour to make you stand out from the crowd.
Hot pink and floral, a brave man's choice.
And what about more than a little colour.
Maybe he was a Prince fan ... I think not.
And this had to be the sad result of a bet gone wrong, a dare he couldn't resist or his buck's day out ... surely!?!
These two men chose hats to be their statement piece.
Head attire was important for women too.
And shoes, glamorous shoes.
Inside the bookies' arena, I love the bookies' tote bags. Typography and leather creased by time and use; imagine the stories they must hold.
Happy to pose for my camera, Garry Clarke was the lucky bookie to score all my money for the day, not that my small change made him a rich man. MLP and Garry came out about even. MLP was a better judge of horse flesh on the day than I was.
And then there are those who appear to know what they're doing.
Some check in at the stables for the latest tips.
Some study the form ... very intently.
It seems that, for some, two set of glasses are better then one.
Some watch races from across the country on the big screen ... race after race after race.
But the day is really about horses and the people who love them.
The Clerks of the Course.
And the jockeys.
And the racing, of course.
I didn't come out a winner, but I had the best time. Maybe I'll go back for another bet ... in another 5 or 6 years time.
Do you love a day at the races?
Horse and jockey watching?
Are you better at picking a winner than I am?
Catch up again soon.