Royal Ascot 2017 Sights and Sounds - Video

June 25, 2017 09:31am
Royal Ascot 2017 Sights and Sounds - Video
Photo: Ascot Racecourse

I agree with my mate, Brian Zipse, that Ascot, and Royal Ascot in particular, is a place unto itself. 

Yes, there’s horses going round a track, but that’s where the similarities to most American racing ends. First there’s the history of the track going  back to its creation in 1711, well before a rowdy bunch of Patriots decided to air their complaints with the Crown. There’s the course itself, a rounded triangle with a tail, allowing for “straight away” racing from five furlongs to one mile, as well as serving as a chute for 2 1/2 mile races. There’s the fact that upwards of 30 horses can be entered into straight away races with jockeys often breaking off into two herds, one along each rail leaving a huge gap in the middle of the track. Of course, horses run clockwise, opposite to our American custom. Finally, where else do you get a chance to view the royal monarchy parade past the commoners on the various lawns before ending in the parade ring in the aristocracy of the Royal Enclosure? 

Clicking on the brief video below, you’ll get the opportunity to catch some of the sights and sounds from two days of Royal Ascot’s just finished five-day meet for 2017. In addition to what I’ve described there are some other notable differences for racing across the Atlantic. The shear size and breath of Ascot’s structure dwarfs anything from our sea to shining sea of Thoroughbred racing. Stepping inside clubhouse, I thought I might have stepped into a grand hotel meeting or even a modern airport. It’s hard to direct your attention to anything in particular with escalators taking the well off to viewing boxes five stories up and thousands of people moving in every direction. (On Thursday there were 68,000 in attendance.) 

With the structure in the background of our seats on the farthest area of lawn, the grass seating to the upper crust viewing boxes past the finish line stretches almost five furlongs with no clubhouse turn in site. Modern amenities abound as well as some stiff prices for food and drink. You can grab a pint of Pimm’s and lemonade for £10, about $13 American, a pitcher for £32,  or a gin and tonic from £8 - £12 depending on the gin with about 20 to choose from. While I consumed a few cocktails, I did not eat from the various food stands either inside or out. 

There’s a few twists and turns to Royal Ascot betting as you can choose from using the Tote that determines odds on a parimutuel basis or visit various bookmakers found throughout grounds. Here, you can shop for the best odds, if you like a horse and don’t like the odds the public has decided for you. Some bookmakers will even move the odds a point to get your business. Playing with bookmakers gives you just two ways to play - Win and/or Win Each Way. Playing the Win Each Way is the same as our across the board betting, but it only pays out in two spots equivalent to our Win and Show. 

At Tote’s stationed both inside and out, you can play various exotics, if you can figure out how to place them. I only ventured as far as our exacta wheels and boxes with a little added explanation on my part and some understanding from the mutuel clerks. With only six races to wager on, picking your spots to bet is important, as there are not many opportunities. If you’re looking for who the stars were from really a star-studded five days, please see ZATT’s roundup here.

Overall the experience from immaculately groomed parading ring to stopping at the Goldikova Bar for the aforementioned Pimm’s to even experiencing both the Under and Overground trains traversing from Ascot and back, the two days of racing was spectacular and beyond my expectations. And heck, I even cashed on a bet, I’ll likely never make again - the ole £1, 12-15-32 exacta box. The winning combination of 32-12 paid £682.50 or almost $900 American!

Chip, chip and cheerio, for sure.


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Tony Bada Bing began his lifelong quest of finding winners more than 35 years ago as a fifth grade student. This is when his grandfather first took him to the many Off Track Betting facilities sprinkled throughout Long Island, NY. While many kids his age were clamoring to hit the beach or an amusement park during summer vacation, Bada Bing was spending it in stuffy, smoked-filled rooms filled with retirees and reprobates listening to Marshall Cassidy on tape delay calling Saratoga.

This passion was further lit by his father, who took Bada Bing to East Boston's Suffolk Downs, only after Bada Bing learned to read the Racing Form. For most of his young adult life a summer rotation of NY OTB, Suffolk, and the now shuddered Rockingham Park in Salem, NH filled his betting days. 

Notable winners along the way: Willow Hour's and Runaway Groom's Travers wins as well as Derby winners Grindstone, Thunder Gulch (which he called in print the day before) and Super Saver. His latest quest is to hit the Kentucky Derby superfecta.

Bada Bing plays tournaments at Derby Wars, bets through several account wagering sites and has blogged about Thoroughbred racing for the past four years. He prefers the bigger meets of NYRA and California as well as seasonal meets of Gulfstream, Churchill and Oaklawn. He likes vertical, multirace wagers like Pick 4s.

He has produced several Horse Racing Nation videos, in addition to blogging. He can be found at Twitter @tonycbadabing. While away from the track Bada Bing enjoys time with his wife, who tolerates and supports his passion, and his two children.


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