The Royal Calcutta Turf Club

It’s here, right behind Fort William

For years my daughters and I have gone to the races at Hastings Park In Vancouver. It’s a tradition going back to when they were underage for gambling and I rationed them $20 each for the day’s racing and placed their bets for them. We don’t know much, but my youngest is an accomplished rider and the family owns a thoroughbred.

Our routine at Hastings Park is systematic. We carefully inspect the horses before each race in the paddock, discuss the horses, read the program and horse history, the current odds, and then bet individually with reasonably sound judgement on win, place or show for our picks. We never go YOLO. Sometimes there’s consensus, but mostly not. Clearly we’re lucky because we always come out break-even or net ahead, as a group.

So here I am at one of the best tracks in the world. In 1930 the world’s biggest purse was awarded here. For more, go to the RCTC wiki.

Anyway, here’s the arrival point. But we find out it’s general admission and for 200 rupees (about $3.80 CDN) we can drive around to the VIP entrance

Which is here

Walking in, we walk past the magnificent members only clubhouse

To the ‘member’s guests’ buildings, equally grand. Show paddock in the foreground

The plebs area, which is normally where I prefer to be, and I’m not sure why I wasn’t…

VIP seating. Those Indian girls in smart traditional race attire are from New York!

Nice and tech. The track is turf, wow

So, pretending I’m with my kids, I head off to the saddling enclosure (I admit to being bit sad and homesick at this point)

Then to the show paddock to inspect the ponies

So here’s the thing: they are way more high-performance beasts than at home. All of them look like winners. I scale down the wager size in my mind at this point

They’re very serious

Betting time. This program to the right. My wager on the ticket to the left: Race number 6, horse number 10, to win, for 100 rupees ($1.95 LOL!)

And they’re off!

Man it was hot.


4 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Miss G,

    Oh my gosh… what I wouldn’t do to have been there with you! Nostalgic even from over here.. looks so amazing~ hope you saved me a program!

  2. Imma,

    Wow! Nice tracks!

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