Betting on Saffron at Ngong

2003 > Kenya

I put my 50 bob on Saffron to win!

well do you feel luck punk?
May his luck hold
go baby go
Come on Saffron!!!
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 (80ยข) 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.