Mysore has a racecourse on its outskirts which couples up with the golf club but today it was all horses and jockeys and thousands of people intent, not on watching the horses on the track but on the television screens that filled the central area and where the bookies make their money.
There is no alcohol on sale, just snacks and chai but it is the betting that dominates and seems to be all the race-goers are interested in. Opposite the finishing post there are two stands, one for members and one for trainers and owners.
I've paid to be a member for the day.
It is only here that the races are actually watched but even so there is little cheering or people jumping up and down in excitement. It's a muted affair. The going is good and the oval racecourse too. There are eight races on the card, each race with eight or nine horses and riders. The first race starts promptly at 2pm with music announcing the start of the race more suitable to the Raj.
Horses and riders are urged and pushed and pulled into the stalls and they're off!! The race commentator keeps us all up to date and the television screens show the horses coming closer and closer. The favourite is fourth but with a burst of speed takes the lead and wins the race by a nose. Right in front of my nose. From my horse.
I get my revenge. A beautiful, sleek filly with a long mane of hair and fire and life in her eyes called Feel My Heart is in the next race. I watch her as she parades around the ring and she fixes me with her eyes. That's where my money is going. Everything I've brought. I know we'll win together. She canters past the stand I'm watching from on the way to the start and I'm sure she winks. We're ok. We'll do it.
The race starts far away. The commentator makes no mention of her. What has happened? Did she fail to start? She's there. Tucked in on the rails lying fifth. She's moving easily, confidently. Three furlongs to go. Still no move. I yell. FEEL MY HEART!! She responds and surges towards me waiting for her at the winning post. She's ahead, free of the pack, in my arms....oops ok...that last bit wasn't true. But the rest was and the bookie gives me a knowing grin as I take his money.
I'd take her out to dinner tonight with the winnings if only I could.