Xpat Review: At The Races In Budapest With Treehugger Dan

  • 9 Sep 2010 8:30 AM
Xpat Review: At The Races In Budapest With Treehugger Dan
"Sunday afternoon I finally went to the horse races at Kincsem Park in Budapest. This venue was built in 1925, and named after the horse Kincsem that won 54 races in the 1870's. It is very easy to get to - just take Metro 2 to the Pillango Ut stop. Go around the station through the tunnel and then follow the path along the white railings (bear left). Amazingly, entry is free and refreshments are cheap, e.g. pints of beer are only 300 ft. You can buy the day's program (Turf) for 350 ft. Being a foreigner and having never been to a horse race, I was nervous going to the window for the first bet, but everyone I spoke to was helpful and patient.

For example, you tell them the race and number of the horse. "Tet" (tate) is to win, "Helyezett" is to show.

In Hungary, you cannot bet to place, but other variations exist. For example the "Befuto" is win-place-show, whereas "befuto boksz" is for 3 horses in any place or combination in the top 3 places (but remember, every variation is a bet, so this might cost you 1200 huf). Minimum bet is 200 huf. The odds are live, but unfortunately, you have no way to know what they are because the big board is turned off.

I do not know how they pack so much info about each horse into the small programs, but with some practice, reading it becomes natural. First in bold caps comes the name of the horse. Under this are the names of the horse's parents and the colors worn by the jockey and horse. Beside this may be the owner's name, and at the bottom is the name of the jockey and something like "esely +30" that indicates the odds but we could not figure it out.

The the right in the same box are 5 numbers, like "3-1-3-6-4," which read right-to-left tells you how the horse placed inhorse race its previous 5 races. In the next area to the right gives you detailed information on the horses last two races. Along the top in italics you can find the distance and the category of race from elite to VI. This is followed by two boxes, each of which has two parallel columns showing where the horse placed in relation to other horses in the race, and the jockeys. A horse may have placed 3rd in an elite race, and is now in a category V, so maybe has a better chance.

Or maybe it won races before with this particular jockey. Or maybe the horse did well at 1600m, but is now running a 2400m race and might not be able to go the distance. Quite a lot to think about, if you really care. At the bottom of the page there is extra info and what the bookmakers think will happen, in bold. Before the start of each race, you can watch the horses parade in a small area in front of the track.

Kincsem Park may be the safest place for kids to roll around in the grass without fear of dog (or horse) shit. So, this is how
I fared:

Race 1:
I bet on Corona Osama to win. Won 1420 huf

Race 2:
I bet on Moliere to win and Quai Brany to show. Quai Brany led for most of the way and then faded. Lost 400 huf.

Race 3:
I picked Pirog (yummy) to win and Brisbaine and Betolakodo (Never-never-land) to show. Pirog came in 3rd, but Brisbaine came in second and I won 360 huf and lost 400 huf.

Race 4:
Morasco to win and Boheme Wango and Ypsilon King to show. Ypsilon King came in third and I won 360 huf and lost 400 huf.

Race 5:
Kekesteto to win. Lost 200 huf.

Race 6:
I bet on Rachel (it was fate: had to be done) to win or show, and she came in second. Won 660 huf. Thanks Rae!

Race 7:
The last race I decided to risk a bit. I bet on Letty to win or show (it seemed like fate with parents Trade Fair and Love is All), and also Garaboncias to win or show. Letty led by several lengths until the last turn and ended up in 4th. Lost 800 huf.

In the end, I won 2740 and lost 2200. Enough for a beer at the end at Bar Ladino ;-) I am definitely going to go again. The next race is September 18th. There are also chariot races (ÜGETŐ) on some weekends, whereas the normal horse races are classified under the Gallop."

Source: Treehugger Dan's Positive Blog

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