Friday, 14 August 2015

The Cartmel 2016 Fixture List - An Ennead

The British Horseracing Authority published the 2016 fixture list this week and we’re delighted that Cartmel has been allocated an “ennead” of race-meetings.

You might say that we’re sitting on the last (in a line) of enneadic clouds. We hope that many of our customers will go the whole ennead of yards - and come to them all. If you’re tempted, do consider purchasing an annual membership, you’ll find that it provides the best value.

An ennead is a collection of nine – so cats have an ennead of lives and Cartmel stages an ennead of fixtures. It's not a word I've ever used before - but then we've never had nine race-days before, so there is a first time for everything. Not that the additional race-date is new to us; for 2016 we've managed to retain the 2-day June meeting (run for the first time this year), while reinstating the traditional Saturday afternoon fixture on May (Whit) Bank Holiday weekend.

First run in 1947, the ‘Whit Saturday’ afternoon meeting was an instant success, attracting 179 entries and 52 runners. The horses had to negotiate a ploughed section on the north bend of the track; it wasn’t until 1948 that Mr Rigg (who rented the top field to the Steeplechase company) agreed to put his land back to grass, following a period of crop rotation during the war.  

Among the winners on that day was Rumpworthy, ridden by Dick Francis – famous in later life as a crime novelist. Coincidentally, Dick’s son Felix Francis will be coming to afternoon tea at the Cartmel Grandstand, on Wednesday 30th September, when he will be signing copies of his very own best seller: Front Runner. Tickets for the event, which includes a copy of the book to take home, cost £25.

In 2002, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations forced the movement of the Whit Bank Holiday into the first week in June. The fixture list became too congested and Cartmel’s Saturday fixture became an evening for the next thirteen years. We are now delighted to have it back in its rightful position and hope that you’ll come and enjoy it with us.

The announcement of this welcome news came as a bit of a surprise, following the publication of the 2016 fixture list about a month ahead of schedule. But that's not all the BHA have achieved. The new fixture list accommodates: 1,482 fixtures in total (11 more than last year); 37 all-weather fixtures on the new track at Newcastle; and a small number of self-funded fixtures targeted at growing both racegoer attendance and the horse population. The BHA have also attempted to eliminate some of the more frustrating geographical clashes between racecourses racing on the same day. 

So the 2016 fixture list has been Stitched In Time (which happens to be the name of our selection at Market Rasen on Saturday - 8.15pm) - meaning that the BHA has almost certainly saved an ennead of stitches.

2016 Fixtures
Saturday 28th May
Bank Holiday Monday 30th May
Wednesday 1st June

Friday 24th June
Sunday 26th June

Saturday 16th July
Monday 18th July

Saturday 27th August
Bank Holiday Monday 29th August

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