Flat, Hurdles, Fences
Approx no. of meetings
Rail: from London (3 hours 16 mins, no changes)
Air: Carlisle Airport is eight miles from the racecourse.
Bus from (On racedays, buses operate from Lonsdale Street)
Railway station to Racecourse (Approx. 2.2 miles)
Taxis – Plentiful, rank at station and at track
A large array of places to stand. There is a main stand which includes the corporate facilities and restaurant, along with smaller older stands and plenty of roof terrace space. There are multiple Tote offices and Betfred is the onsite bookie. Lots of fast food outlets and bars. Lack of electronic payment options in the bars and only an expensive cash machine (2 pound charge).
We stayed at Dalston hall, which is nice but pricey and a bit soul less. Plenty of chain options in town and B&B
We used a reciprocal ticket on this day. Excellent value annual member badge at £190. Student and OAP concessions. Early bird general admission £15, premier entry £30.
(1) Return after challenge complete, due to the distance.
11 May 2017– UK Tracks Visited (29)
Carlisle was the first time we attended a racecourse as visiting members on a reciprocal day, or in this case evening. If Carlisle is anything to go by, then I look forward to these events in future as we were treated incredibly well and even chaperoned for the first race to get our bearings, what a wonderful experience.
So, what about the course? Well, let’s start with the pre-race entertainment, drag racing. A aniseed and paraffin rag is dragged around the track and then 15 or so crazy dogs gets to run around the track. In this case, some tried to follow the jumps course, including going over the hurdles (and 4 faults for the odd refusal). This was an amazing spectacle and doing things like this before racing is what sets forward thinking racetracks apart in my opinion.
After the wonderful amuse bouche of dog racing, we moved on to the main event of the horses. I have to admit the meeting was smaller than we would have wished for due to a number of withdrawn horses. This is a little frustrating when people have travelled long distances and they find two and three runners in a race. We know that horses were withdrawn due to the firm going and illness (the famous horse cough at Clonmel or Stone Hoof at Galway), but tough on the punters if the races are too small for proper sport of betting.
The layout of the stands is such that each offers excellent views of the track, there is just one small dip that cannot be seen from the top of each stand, but the repeater screen large and easy to see, which means no action is missed. It is a track with three distinct rings, flat, hurdles and jumps. Although this is implicit at many national hunt tracks, it is enforced with the use of running rails here, which does create a larger gap between the audience and the horses for the races run on the inner ring. This rather reminds one of the All-weather track at the home course of Lingfield; the horses are just too far away to feel the hoof beats.
This was a very friendly track and a great experience. Evening racing, in the sun, overlooking a beautiful rolling countryside and well-maintained track. Some of the stands might be a little ancient, but there is a charm to this course that makes one wish to return sooner rather than later.