The Lincoln Handicap marks the tradition start of the flat racing season – so today seems like a good date to announce our plans for a new flat racing track at Cartmel Racecourse.
idea first surfaced after Chester Racecourse organised a schooling trial over
hurdles in 2012; we thought: if Chester could stage racing over jumps, perhaps
Cartmel could stage racing on the flat… And following the successful
introduction of flat racing at Wetherby last year, we gave the idea serious
consideration. What a great way to supplement the traditional jump racing
course there were a few obvious issues to work through – like the probable draw
bias for all races staged over half a furlong or further. But, with a little
bit of lateral thinking, I’d like to think that we’ve come up with some
suitable solutions. We've plans to create a straight course in the centre of the
track – a bit like the sprint course at Sandown.
would involve displacing a bit of the crowd, as everyone at Cartmel enjoys the
spectacle from the centre of the course – so perhaps we could experiment with a
‘pop-up’ track, a bit like the one on the beach at Laytown. When the time comes
for the sprint races, we’d move the crowd back, delineate the course with white
tape and off we go. Naturally we’d have to ensure that there was a clear
thoroughfare between the funfair rides.
haven’t actually measured the new course yet – it looks as though the horses
might have to start in the woods, where they would also have to negotiate the
River Eea, or more likely the Course Enclosure car park. But we’ve plenty of
space, so we could tape some room off there too.
expect that some trainers might be reluctant to trial the new course with their
relatively inexperienced two-year-olds, so we’ve got a work-around. Instead of
young Thoroughbred horses, we thought we might go back to our roots – and stage
races with donkeys ridden by monks, just like they used to do in the 14th
Century. There is a trend for celebrity amateur jockeys at the moment – so I’m
working on a proposal to see if Betfair might be willing to sponsor the
Archbishop of Canterbury or another prominent member of the clergy to take to
won’t be implementing any of these proposals without a suitable level of
consultation – so please don’t hesitate to send us your thoughts. Be sure to
put today’s date (1st April) at the top of any correspondence.
tip for the Lincoln (and this is not an April Fool) is You’re Fired - which I
suppose I might be, if anyone takes this blog seriously.