There are various ways to enjoy the July day at Greyville. It could be in a suite, the owners & trainers lounges; the restaurant or a tent function if you get an invite, but sometimes the real spirit is felt in the crowds downstairs in the same way that feeling can only be found in the stands of a big rugby, cricket or soccer game. Everybody shares their love for the games with very little restriction.
I have done them all but have also tried the Summer Handicap, Melbourne Cup and now the July Handicap with the crowds. Once again the atmosphere was great…BUT!
I personally hate standing in queues but being with friends, they had no problem doing the queuing, so I took that time study the horses in the parade ring.
Then the great frustration!!!
I backed three different horses for a win in Race 3. Our guys stood in a queue to place the bets downstairs. They never returned back to the pavilion until after the race. About a half hour from the time they left to place the bets. None of my three choices made the winning post. On return from the guys I asked them about my ticket, to be told that they stood in the queue for 30 minutes and by the time they got to the window to place our bets, to be told that the race was already running and they can no longer accept the bets. Great stuff!!! I just saved myself R3,000. A bargain!!
Race # 4 went okay we got our bets placed.
Race # 5. They went to place our bets, well in advance, but not having a Race Card on them they forgot the number for Diva’s Daughter. At the window they asked for Diva’s Daughter for a R1,000 for a win. The lady behind the window asked for a number, which off course they did not know. The lady ran her finger down a list of names on the wall and then again. Eventually spelling the name, D..I..V..A, she eventually found it and issued a ticket for a R1,000 for horse number 2. Giving me my ticket at the parade ring I checked my ticket and asked why I got a ticket for horse number 2 and not 4? The conclusion was that the lady behind the window CANNOT SPELL and can only identify numbers!!!!!! Well I did not win anyway.
When it came to the main race we actually gave up placing our bets as we would miss the parade, jockey introduction, the band, the National Anthem, etc. After the race we went down the back again to collect our winnings and rather meet with our friends at a restaurant in town and enjoy a good meal.
It took a good part of 15 minutes + before most of the windows opened again and to then wait thru the queues to collect our winnings. By the time we had that done the next race was already run.
Who organised this brilliant day??? What an opportunity lost. If we had these frustrations we certainly cannot be the only ones?
This is an INTERNATIONAL event but a shambles of note! Is this how we want to portrait Horse Racing or our precious South Africa?
Horse racing has suffered for many a years and it really looks like it is finding a good balance again and what a wonderful sight, seeing the masses at Greyville or seeing the masses at a South African Race Track as we see them at a great Springbok rugby game, but how it can be messed up for future events thru BAD organising!
We certainly won’t bother going to the July again, definitely not with the masses, but maybe Ascot and Kentucky may be a consideration.
via email – Fred Brons (Boksburg)