Royal Ascot Reviews
Royal Ascot Dec 07, 2015
One week a year in June is a famous horse racing event at Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire England.
I am a resident of Ascot and its what defines our town.
Apart from the fact my road is closed, I can't park my car in its usual place, my local watering hole won't let me in without a ticket and I have to chase away people with a broom when they urinate in the bushes of my front garden, I find it no inconvenience at all.
It's known as Royal Ascot as the Queen of England attends each and every day. She makes the journey from her weekend retreat, Windsor Castle, by a horse drawn carriage along private roads, it avoids riding on the thoroughfares used by the hoi polloi.
Now unfortunately the carriage has to cross a couple of minor public roads on its journey. This is where I come in. Being a neighbour of Phil and Liz for over 20 years I get the nod regarding the time that she has cross these obstacles. Her Maj asks me to round up the neighbours, especially those from the colonies and dominions to give her a "yip yip, hoorah, and a hearty three cheers" as she gallops on her way. HRH as always is wonderful and regal and waves and smiles during the unavoidable road obstacle. Phil just shouts and tells everyone to get the fuck out of the way.
Betting on the colour of HRH's bonnet is a national pastime, being a stockbroker for many years my insider trading experience has held me in good stead. From my advanced position I telephone my bookmaker chums and advise them of the colour so they can close the book on this particular shade. But only after my Eton Alumni pals stick a few quid on for me first. For this I am doubly rewarded with libations of my choice at a local hostelry later that evening.
Royal Ascot week was shown exclusively on the marvellous BBC back in the day. Now with the advent of Independent and Satellite television those frightful people from the North of England, Essex and even Bracknell have got to hear about it. They have organised themselves too, by saving £1 each week from their benefits they organise charabancs and have enough left over for a crate of Pomagne for the journey down. "It wor 'ard at ferst" said Chantelle from Bilston, "Oi ad to giyup smokin foive fags a wick to manidge"
The most iconic day during the event is Thursday known as "ladies day" because all the races are run by fillies. Unfortunately most race goers didn't get that particular memo. Predatory males and ladies dressed in all their finery descend en masse.
Royal Ascot has a strict dress code, top hat and tails for gentlemen, obviously, it is June. Ladies must wear a stupid hat and obligatory 7 inch stiletto heels particularly when the going is good to soft.
I'm afraid dress standards have slipped recently particularly amongst the ladies. The frocks they buy from Top Shop and Primark are frankly inappropriate. They are too short, show far too much flesh and cleavage, their misspelt tattoos are there for all to see. Now this attire is quite acceptable when a visiting head of state is here, in fact it is encouraged particularly when those strange talking fellows from Australia and the President from the country of Africa attend. But not at Royal Ascot please, it's just not cricket.
The Jockey Club has had to intervene and now the hemline has to be a certain height above the knee. This is strictly enforced and each ladies hem is measured from above the knee with a tape before entry into the enclosure. Being a public spirited resident I have volunteered to help with this task. I am currently 12,769th on the waiting list which I find strange as Ascot only has 8,000 residents. They must allow people from the Ascot diaspora living in Windsor, Sunningdale and Virginia Water to apply.
The most fun of the day is usually reserved for when the day's racing is over. The ladies now holding their shoes over one shoulder and their hat on a random blokes head who they were snogging earlier, pile into the local bars for liquid refreshment. They have only had the 4 bottles of champers, or was it Prosecco or Cava , it's doesn't matter they can't taste the difference anyway.
Money isn't usually a problem. They only had a 50p each whip round on a 5 horse accumulator with all the horses odds at 250/1. That's because they liked the names of the horses or the jockey had a nice coloured silk blouse on and "look how much we will win if they all come in". After the first race they stop caring. The blokes all stuck a tenner each way on any horse Frankie Dettori was on because he always wins at Ascot, it's the law.
At 6.00pm the bars are rocking. The ladies are singing along to Bohemian Rhapsody at the top of their voices "bearded bob put a devil on a sideboard for me,for mee, for meeeee" Eventually for those still standing it's time to go.
Those enterprising little cheeky chappies from the Indian subcontinent of Slough have set up roadside stalls. Ladies Poundland flip flops on sale for £5. As nightfall descends the cries can be heard away in the distance. "I know he's a bastard Tracey, but I luv im".
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