Betting on Saffron at Ngong
I put my 50 bob on Saffron to win!
|The day didn’t start out all that promising, when I paid 700 Ks ($10) for a taxi ride to the racecourse four hours too early, but that all changed after lunch. With a full belly and two random traveler recruits, I was ready to make a second run at Nairobi’s Ngong Racecourse’s Nakumatt Kenya Guineas 2003 horserace.
Yep, it was a day at the races for me!
Running a bit late, I bought a race book and went straight to the tote to place my bets on the first race. With 50ks (80¢) each on Millenium Spirit & Croesus to win, and Chams-Kar & La traviata to place, I was ready to watch my riches roll in. Well that was before Chams-Kar broke ranks and went for a pre-race sprint.
With none of my horses making a dime, I altered my betting on the next round, using a mixture of race book numbers, winning odds, and blind luck, I started to pick winners. I won 65Ks in the next race, then 315Ks the race after, before the winnings started to shrink.
The last two races won me 125Ks each, but since I spent 400Ks on each race, by the end of the day, I was behind by 375Ks. As that is about $4.80, it was all in good fun. Especially when I though my 100 to 1 long shot was gonna win the last race.
When I saw Saffron, my 100 to 1 long shot sprinting to neck in neck with Vatican City towards the finish line, I was beside myself with excitement. All the Kenyans around me were staring in wonder at the crazy mzungu, while I yelled on encouragement to my horse.
Unfortunatly, Saffron was second, and I had bet on her to win, not place, so my 5,000Ks dream stayed just that, a dream. Nuladna, it was so worth the money to have that moment of pure joy and enthesuasm.
I love days at the races. Well days you can bet $2.60 a race, I do.