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30 May, 2009 10:20

The Royal kind of entertainment

You may have heard of Royal Ascot. Now Moscow joins the upper-class elite with the finest in racing and style.

The most significant event for the Moscow beau monde, organized by Moscow’s Radio Monte-Carlo, is a horse race at Moscow's Central Racecourse, the Hippodrome. Some 23 racers on thoroughbred horses are taking part in the Grand Prix, fighting for prize money, which has increased this season since the previous one.

Radio Monte-Carlo’s Grand Prix is a place where style and luxury are combined with the traditions of the English races. Tickets to this event are fairly expensive: prices vary from $250 to $2,500.

The Monte-Carlo races were first held in 2003 and ever since have become a traditional event for Russian high society. Among race regulars are the most well-known representatives of the business elite, musicians, actors, sportsmen and politicians.

All of them without exception prepare in advance for the event, as it is a chance to show off their status, taste and style. Essential to the races is the dress code: elegant dresses and hats for ladies, formal jackets and trousers for gentlemen.

The Moscow Hippodrome, where the event is being held, is not as well-known as Great Britain’s Royal Ascot or Epsom Downs, or America’s Kentucky Derby, but it is a significant historical spot of the capital.

The history of racing sports in Russia dates back three centuries to the times of Catherine the Third. The Hippodrome itself was built in 1834 and has been hosting races ever since.