Friday, 26 May 2017

Ready for the Races?

We’re almost ready for the races. The track’s been watered and is in excellent condition (tick). The funfair’s arrived with some massive rides (tick). I’ve taken delivery of several new shirts from Marks & Spencer in an effort to ensure that I’m not too scruffy come race-day.

Having announced a major slump in profits this week, I dare say Marks & Spencer will have been grateful for my annual buying spree which included a bottle of orange juice, some scotch eggs and one of their delicious chicken pies – easy meals for consumption in a busy racecourse office.

But enough about my preparation. Are you ready for the races? Here’s a quick check-list to make sure you’ve got it all covered...

Have you set an alarm clock? It’s a good idea, especially if you’ve a sleepy teenager as part of your party (remember: children aged 17 years old and younger are admitted free of charge). Apart from those that are camping at the track, we don’t allow admission to the racecourse until after seven in the morning. While there’s usually a queue outside the gate at that time, we don’t recommend that you join it. We’ve lots of car parking space and there are plenty of tickets available to purchase on the gate – so arriving from 10am is generally recommended. The first race is at 2.10pm on Saturday and 2.15pm on Bank Holiday Monday.

Did you remember to pack a lead for the dog? We do allow dogs within the enclosures at Cartmel, but they must be kept on a lead at all times. The weather is going to be very warm, so it’ll be far too hot to leave them in the car and you might want to consider packing a bowl for some water – you can get some of that, free of charge, from a tap at the racecourse.

Have you got a corkscrew? If you’re not booked in to one of the restaurants, the chances are that you’re planning to bring a picnic – it’s the Cartmel way, everyone should do it at least once a year. We like responsible drinkers at the racecourse, which means that you’re welcome to bring alcoholic beverages as part of a picnic – although we frown on customers who load up with booze but forget the food altogether.

Have you studied the runners and riders? It’s not really essential, because you can buy a race programme when you get to the races. The form summaries of each horse are very helpful and the tips are much better than those contained within this weekly column. But there’s also another simple system. Over the last two years it’s been a simple and effective strategy to back any horse trained by James Moffatt. Especially if its name happens to be Altrusim, which happens (coincidentally) to be my selection this week – in whichever race he turns up for on Saturday or Bank Holiday Monday.
Good luck!

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