A day at the races

“Smart casual dress only”  a phrase which always makes me groan, being perpetually in a state of scruffiness and bestubbled I begin to email round friends and find the suitable attire to allow me entry.  Today was an invite to the horse racing, for some reason you have to be smart to gamble, they allow alcoholics into betting shops but in the racing ground you just need a shower, shave and some smart threads.   Being drunk is actively encouraged though, people get completely trashed at the races and you get a slap on the back and another glass of Pimms. See this event at Royal Ascot recently, all they got was a slap on the wrist.

After I procured some shoes and a sweater to cover my polo shirt and donned in my funeral trousers I was ready to attend the races at Epsom Downs courtesy of an invite from my suppliers at work.

After a rollercoaster like journey to Epsom Downs we rolled out of the minibus and filed into the Duchess suite to our box, relief was swift in that there was a free bar for the next 6 hours, a dangerous prospect, with drinks in hand we ventured onto the balcony and were met with panoramic views across the Surrey countryside, in a corner of the ground a stage was erected who would host the Beach Boys after the racing, well, whichever ones were still alive anyway.

The racing went by quickly but it was easy to make the connection between heavy gambling and heavy drinking, the more we drank, the more we bet, and lost, so bet again.    This vicious circle ceased once the Beach Boys took to the stage, they proceeded to play out all their hits, or at least I thought they did in my haze.

Once it all died down, we filtered out through the exit, suited men staggering around shirts hanging out, one had a girl thrown over her shoulder who was blabbering incoherently.  This was apparently a civilised night out, but to my eyes no different to any weekend in a town centre come closing time, but if you pay £190 to get drunk in a middle class environment it’s acceptable drunkeness.

The journey home was twice as long and it was with great relief when I crossed the Thames back into civilisation, it was then I struck upon the idea of a Regents Park race course, they could even employ animals from London Zoo to participate, I made a mental note to write to the major with my suggestion the next day.

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