Our first day there we headed straight from Dublin airport down to Kilkenny...you know, 6 am, jetlagged, what else would you do but rent a car and drive off into the misty dawn- on the wrong side of the road? Andy had the entire day mapped out and have to say he did a perfect job not only with itinerary and events, but also behind the wheel. I'd forgotten that he took a Mario Andretti road course somewhere once and he was all set up for this. The Irish roads are terrifyingly thin and the speeds are insanely fast. (The racetrack was a fitting place to begin our adventurous week.)
Me? I took the back seat counting crows and sheep out the window and Mo rode shotgun. FYI- a GPS is essential...worth every euro even when she ditches you on a bog cliff road in the middle of scenic nowhere. Eventually she gets you back on the route after a bit of sidetracking. We became very accustomed to her curt though calm British voice announcing, "Recalculating." We learned to love Roundabouts.
Wish I'd known that this would be the only sunny day for the next 6. It was blustery, as they say, and dramatic and very exciting at the racetrack way out in the countryside. Gowran Park, Kilkenny.
The betting stations were perplexing and intimidating. I finally figured out that these big carpetbags were "purses" - the betting cash goes in there and the winner gets the "purse". The contents anyway.
We put our money on The Pride of the Yankees. Naturally- he sports a number 1 on his saddle blanket.
These horses don't just run around a track and call it a day. They have to jump over hedge fences- about 6 times!
Our horse came in last. He looks kind of bummed I think.
We didn't see the inside of any purses.
Watched the scene, felt the track buzz, enjoyed the local color, froze my hands in the wind, but it was very thrilling. Something about horses- always does that to me. Cooler than rock stars.
As we headed to the car, a smiling man asked Andy if Mo was his daughter. Yes, she is. Is she a princess? Yes, of course. An Outlaw Princess? Sure. Okay then, I'm placing a bet on that horse next race. Um, you know our girl's a winner, but our horse just came in last, so I wouldn't go betting the ranch on it. Oh. Well then, thanks.
And I have no idea how Outlaw Princess did in the next race. With a name like that, she sure had a lot to live up to. I bet she ran as fast as she could. Good enough for me.