A great night out in Sydney is a visit to the trots and/or dogs. The buzz and frenetic action of these racetracks can pep you up no end. I remember many a time I dined at the Harold Park Raceway, in Glebe, with a beautiful woman on my arm and the exciting track lit up beneath us. Sipping Champagne and enjoying a sensational meal, with the added stimulation of a fistful of betting tickets on the table. As the horses pulling their chariots surge down the track, you could be transported back to the Circus Maximus in ancient Rome.
This sport was the one that captured the hearts of the citizens of the Roman Empire. There were factions, the Greens, Blues, Reds and Whites, akin to a mixture of owners/financial backers and football teams; in the tribal allegiance they inspired in the punters. It became highly political and fan passion for the chariot races almost brought down emperors on occasion. Harness racing has a rich tradition and connects us with the forebears of our western civilisation. As you hold your breath and watch your chosen runner head for the finishing line; you can feel the excitement in your blood. Harold Park has sadly gone the way of the Dodo; eaten up by the rapacious love of real estate in Sydney.
The Menangle Park Raceway in south-west Sydney, after many renovations, now hosts the premier harness racing events, including the Miracle Mile. This venue, also, offers a great night out and some great racing. Racing at night is doubly exciting because we all naturally feel more alive at night, the bright lights contrasting the night sky. Work is finished and now we are ready to play, a sexy woman beside you dressed to the nines, and a flutter in your pocket with the promise of riches. Do you feel lucky tonight punk? “He who bets has a better time”, I think Confucius might have said that.
The dogs race at Wentworth Park, again in Glebe (no surprise that Glebe used to be the home of Sydney’s great crime families back in the day), every Saturday and Wednesday nights. Greyhound racing is seriously quick, these animals flash by in their chase for the synthetic bunny. They charge out of their boxes, unmuzzled and hungry for the sweet taste of success. The races are over in more seconds than minutes, and it is high excitement borne of pure animal testosterone and hormones. These dogs love to run, they are born to run and boy do they run. A night at Wentworth Park will get you in the mood for mating and you might just win a few bucks too.