Friday, 28 July 2017

Planning Ahead - The 2018 Fixture List

The BHA fixture allocation process has concluded and Cartmel is set to stage 27 fixtures. I know what you're thinking: what new excuse can you give to your employer / spouse / dog-sitter for bunking off to Cartmel races on more days than ever before?

But relax! In an effort to help racecourses to grow the sport, the BHA have used the fixture allocation process to look further ahead and has attempted to give racecourses greater certainty over a three year period. So while there will still be a small percentage of fixtures that remain to be allocated annually, and there will still be opportunities for tracks to exchange dates, we now have the ability to make plans over a longer period.

At Cartmel, that means that (subject to fulfilling various criteria) we'll be able to stage nine fixtures between May and August for each of the next three years.

While that's still the second smallest number of fixtures staged by any racecourse in Britain, it's a format that works well for us: optimising the use of our track (which has less wide bends than most), while providing plenty of fun for racegoers throughout the Summer holidays.

If you're anything like me, you'll probably struggle to remember what you're doing tomorrow, never mind next next year. So now is the time to put the following dates in your diary...

There could be a few changes to the forecast dates for 2019 and 2020, so the BHA isn't able to publish those dates yet. But I can tell you that in 2018 we shall open the season with the traditional Whit Holiday Meeting on Saturday 26th May, Bank Holiday Monday 28th May and Wednesday 30th May. The June Meeting (no music acts booked at the current time) takes place on Friday 29th June and Sunday 1st July.

We'll be smoking at the Barbecue Meeting on Saturday 21st July and Monday 23rd July, before the season concludes on Saturday 25th August and Bank Holiday Monday 27th August.
Just in case you're wondering where you'll be on 31st August, 2020, that's the date that I've got earmarked for the Cavendish Cup Steeplechase - which will probably be won by the Jimmy Moffatt trained Altruism, who (with five career wins following his victory in the Totepool Cumbria Crystal Hurdle) has a great chance of surpassing Soul Magic's superb record of seven wins at Cartmel.

And for those of you who still don't know what you're doing next week, could I suggest a trip to Perth where Bon Chic is likely to find her required good ground and is our selection on Tuesday evening.

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