Friday, October 12, 2012
Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe - The way we Percheevals do it
Quick facts: Scott's Uncle Fred attends this horse racing event every year for the last 27 years and his dad has done is for slightly less but still an impressive streak for the last 17. It is an annual pilgrimage for them - not so much for the soul but more for the food and wine (we are talking Paris for cheese-sake) and the added thrill of potentially winning some moo-lah...which tends to go towards the weekend wine kitty, so it is a big deal!
If we stick to the comparison, Scott and I are way behind with this year's race being our 3rd. So yes...we were in Paris last weekend! We took the Friday afternoon Eurostar train to Paris, got there in time for dinner and stayed until after lunchtime on Monday. Perfect long weekend.
We (or should I say, the way the 'old men' have done it for the last 27 years) tend to attend the race on a Sunday, the big finale where the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe race is on.
The format is always the same...
We get to the race course about an hour earlier than the first race. We find a little quiet nook in the park opposite the race course and toast each other to another year of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, reminiscence about previous races, winnings/losses (these men memories of horses name and corresponding years of winning/losing blows me away - how they can remember such minute details but not where they last left their car keys are beyond me) and discuss the bets we have laid out - who manage to secure better odds - hah!
but it is not all serious business of course, we are on holiday!
but but but then of course it is serious business once we get the info sheet out and re-evaluate our bets and put new ones on!
I mean, the level of concentration for these races...
Scott did well at the race, winning just over 200 euros but the rest of the team are let down by an unexpected win at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe race. One of the Japanese horse (Orfevre) was leading and was very close to finish and the cheering crowd was going mad and the noise was deafening (no Japanese horse has ever won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe) but out of nowhere Solemia came charging by and won the very close race. Immediately you can hear the crowd went silent. But I bet the bookies must be rubbing their hands in glee. I mean the odds of Solemia winning was 33-1 - a surprise win no doubt.
Horse racing is not really my thing but I enjoy it for other reasons: the horses, the adrenaline, the men's banter, watching Scott creating memories with his dad and uncle, ogling chic French women and playing spot the English women in their too-high high heels and too-short dresses (or in one case, "gasp - is she wearing her wedding dress?!") carrying a bottle of white wine/can of beer.
Of course, my main treat for the day was this, I can't do horses all day without something to bite on