Whilst we sporting Rusters often prefer TV-watching to attendance, in recent weeks Duggie Heath has reported from the Lord Test, Ivan Conway from the Oval and yesterday I was at Windsor evening races for its most popular meet on the Monday of Royal Ascot week.
Disappointing would be too strong but ‘could do better’ would be how I sign off my report.
I met up with friends on the terrace of the Sir Christopher Wren hotel – which provides a gorgeous view of the Thames, Eton Bridge and Windsor Castle – but incredibly they served neither drinks nor food out on it but only indoors.
This was an interesting take on Daffers’ theory of not trusting restaurants with views.
The charm of the trip is the short boat trip to the course itself. Here you pass a Hurricane and superb homes with river frontages.
After an irritating wait caused by none of the machines at the entrance being capable of scanning tickets on mobiles, we passed to the 1866 restaurants where our table was reserved.
On a previous occasion there was a balcony to watch the racing but now they had shortened the space to accommodate a box, so there was no viewing platform.
The food was indifferent and the wine list expensive.
I did get off to the best possible start with a winner (Terramina) on the first race.
It was no forensic triumph of form but rather, when in doubt, back the third favourite.
Do the best trainers, jockeys and horses win? Is it luck or is it all decided beforehand in the weighing room?
I don’t know, but I factor in betting losses as part of my cost and am there to enjoy the craic not make money.
There is always a happy atmosphere at Windsor of racegoers, dressed up ladies and bonhomie.
After the last race the sun had not set and we enjoyed a splendid boat return.