This week I’ve had at least a dozen phone calls from people wanting to know whether the 2014 fixture list has been published yet. It seems that they are trying to book their accommodation for next year’s races and some of the local hotels are already filling up!
often asked why Cartmel doesn’t have more fixtures and whether we couldn’t
simply schedule a few extra. Unfortunately, the fixture process, which is
administered by the British Horseracing Authority, isn’t quite so simple and
Cartmel is obliged to fit into an annual programme of events alongside
fifty-seven other racecourses. History plays a part with major meetings such as
the Cheltenham Festival and the Epsom Derby taking place at the same time every
time, each racecourse has built up a number of fixtures which it can consider
to be its own – and these have been recognised by the BHA as ‘Racecourse
Fixtures’. Historically, racing at Cartmel centred on just two weekends, the
Whitsun Holiday in May and the Bank Holiday in August; as a result Cartmel has
just five recognised Racecourse Fixtures, the smallest number of any track in
order to increase the number of days on which we have raced in recent years,
Cartmel has succeeded in bidding for additional fixtures which are sanctioned
by the BHA – although these have to be funded to a greater degree by the
racecourse, with little or no funding available from central industry sources.
We’ll be making the final round of applications for the 2014 fixture list this
week and I hope that we’ll be able to announce the results early in October.
current fixture policies, a newly-built racecourse would be treated slightly
differently to Cartmel. A new racecourse could be allocated two or three times
as many fixtures as Cartmel on a temporary basis, while being allowed to
convert these fixtures to Racecourse Fixtures over a period of years. The
disparity appears to be anti-competitive and I am hoping that, one day soon,
with cooperation from the rest of the racing industry, we’ll be able to give
Cartmel customers greater certainty over our race-dates from year to year.
the meantime, while you’re waiting for the fixture list to be published, why
not book in to one of our local hotels for an Autumn break?
I’m going to
recommend three of our race sponsors, each of whom contribute all-important
prize money to our fixtures. The Cartmel Priory Hotel is on our door-step and
very comfortable. The Swan Hotel & Spa, at Newby Bridge, is one of the most
popular destinations on this peninsula. Meanwhile, I visited the Miller Howe a
couple of weeks ago – following in the footsteps of Her Majesty The Queen and
The Princess Royal during July – and enjoyed the best meal I have had in
Pay for a visit, to any of the above, with your winnings from Jack
Dexter in Saturday’s Ayr Gold Cup.