Everywhere I go, I’m asked the same question. Oddly, it’s never, “Jonathan, what’s your racing tip this week?” It’s always, “Are you ready?”
Of course they’re talking about being prepared for
our forthcoming events – because ‘ready’, etymologically speaking, is derived
from the Old English word ræde which meant to ready your horse. The word ready therefore shares its origins with the word ride
– but I won’t be riding at the races on Saturday 28th May, I’ll be helping
to make preparations for everyone else.
The word prepare originates from the Latin: pre
or prae meaning before and parare which means to
furnish, order or design. Parare also means to pare down –
which is what Gary Sharp (Cartmel’s Head Groundsman) and his team have been
doing to the birch obstacles on the race-track. Only when Gary is at work, we
say that he is repairing the fences – re meaning again or anew.
But what about you: are you prepared? Advance
bookings for tickets must be made on the racecourse website by midnight on
Sunday 22nd May, or on Ticketline by Tuesday 24th May. If you haven’t purchased
your tickets yet for the Simply Red Raceday, it might be wise to log on now, as
they are disappearing fast. Tickets are also available for Jools Holland and
his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra (playing on Sunday when we’re not racing) and
the traditional Bank Holiday Monday race-meeting on 3oth May.
We can help you to prepare in other ways too – in
addition to tickets, visitors to the racecourse website can purchase vouchers
for packs of raw meat to place on their barbecues. The BBQ packs are collected
from the Furness Fish & Game trade-stand in the Tented Village. We’ve also
got vouchers for the funfair (£15 worth of rides cost just £10), Tote betting
and glasses of Champagne.
There are still a few spaces remaining for tents in
the racecourse campsite, but not campervans or caravans. A pitch for a two-man
tent costs £30 for Friday evening to Sunday morning; separate camping tickets
are required for Sunday evening to Tuesday morning. So, if you’ve yet to
find somewhere to stay, don’t despair.
Incidentally, the word despair has nothing
to do with repair, prepare or even parare. Despair is
derived from the Latin words: de meaning without and sperare
meaning to hope. So a literal meaning might be without hope – a
bit like Venturous in the 4.10 at Newmarket, my selection for