Visitors to the Olympic Games in Moscow have been enjoying a rate opportunity to watch and wager their money at a much smaller centre of sport -- the Moscow City Racecourse.
SV Jockey PULL OUT As he enters starting gate and cutaway of spectators at Moscow City Racecourse, USSR (2 shots)
GV Horses leave starting gates at beginning of race and LS As horses enter main straight.
GV PAN ACROSS Elaborate building, the entrance to the track, the totalisator and SV Statue of four horses on top of building (2 shots)
SV Ornamental ceiling and chandeliers inside the totalisator building and ornamental relief of group of people in ceiling (2 shots)
GV People entering main entrance of the betting area
SV People buying betting tickets from the cashiers and cashier paying out money (2 shots)
GV PAN DOWN From ceiling to restaurant
SV PULL OUT TO GV Of patrons eating and drinking at tables in restaurant.
GV EXT Stands and TV PAN FROM The judges' box TO Stand, racetrack and enclosure. Spectators looking through binoculars (3 shots)
GV Trotting race in progress
GV PAN Judges box with judge looking through binoculars TO Course
SV Row of stopwatches in judges box and GVs of spectators in stands (3 shots)
GV PAN FROM Trotting race TO Horses trotting past camera and GVs of anxious punters (3 shots)
GV Horses trotting to finish line. Two break into gallop
GV Judge pushing button of photo finish camera as horses pass line in background. Judge looking at photo finish picture (2 shots)
GV Horses and riders trotting over the finish line
SPORT: HORSE RACING
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Background: Visitors to the Olympic Games in Moscow have been enjoying a rate opportunity to watch and wager their money at a much smaller centre of sport -- the Moscow City Racecourse. Sports fans gather three times a week in this small pocket of State-run capitalism to watch some of the finest horses in the Soviet Union competing in trotting and flat racing.
SYNOPSIS: The racecourse dates from Czarist times, but was largely destroyed by fire during World War Two. The flat racing is held on an outer circuit, and the race over the dirt course is very fast, with quite a gap opening up between the first and last horse in the process. The slightly smaller than average horses, which seem to be bred for sprinting, are ridden by jockeys wearing the type of silks familiar to racing fans throughout the world.
The Moscow track has one of the most ornate entrances of any course in the world. Inside, the crowd is divided by the admission charges to various sections. The exclusive "silver ring", situated opposite the finishing line, has small private boxes and a beautifully-decorated ceiling.
The totalisator betting facilities are used by enthusiasts who have studied the race cards, considered the form and have watched the parade of horses with great care.
Inside the silver ring, patrons can watch the racing in a luxurious restaurant, and be fortified by local champagne and caviar at the same time. These special surroundings cost, the Soviet racing fan an entry fee of eighty kopeks (nearly 3 U.S. dollars).
The judges' box is complete with stained glass windows and a magnificent bell tolled by hand to mark the start and finish of each race. The judges use the usual photofinish equipment, but some of their methods are from the past. The chief judge, for instance, has to shout as the runners cross the starting line. This gives the man with the manual stopwatches the cue to start them going. It also warns a young lady to ring the bell.
Trotting races provide most of the programme and they're held on an inner circuit, about one-thousand-and-sixty metres long. As they race round the circuit, there are the usual anxious face of those who have placed a bet on the horse of their choice. This race developed into a duel between two runners which kept the crowd on their feet ...
The Moscow racecourse, a striking contrast to other world tracks, brings even more of a sporting flavour to the Soviet capital during the Olympic 1980 Games.