Flat, Hurdles, Fences
Approx no. of meetings
Rail from London Euston to Newton-le-willows (2 hrs, 1 changes)
Buses from St Helens, Wigan and Liverpool (Specials on race days)
Railway station to Racecourse (1 mile)
Taxis shuttle from hotel
Multiple stands with a plethora of bars, restaurants and several tote offices including stand alone and in bars. Many street food vendor locations outside of stands. A fabulous champagne bar.
Mercure Haydock within stumbling distance.
Three classes of ticket available for this evening event followed by a concert. We picked the club tickets but failed to get Premier lounge as already booked out.
(2) Return before challenge complete
18th June– UK Tracks Visited (12)
Wow, what a surprise Haydock park turned out to be, and in a good way. The place is really friendly, nicely dressed up (the track and the people) and with sufficient space to move about. Why would I say this? Well part of the purpose of our odyssey around the UK and Ireland was to go to smaller tracks on mid-week days to see racing for what it is; with the clothes and money stripped away (not literally in terms of the clothes). When we have visited some larger tracks, they have become a place of loud stags, heavy drinkers and when busy insufficient space to settle. This is not the case with Haydock. We never had to wait or more than five minutes to be served for food or drink. We found somewhere to perch to do out bets and there were an amazing amount of places to view the races from.
This was an evening with music afterwards, but as Madam Hoof is currently sporting a chest infection we had to “Run Away” before the Corrs came on stage (excuse the pun). The reason I mention this is that I don’t know whether the crowd was bigger or smaller than normal due to the band being there. I do know that the sun made a welcome return, but even if it had not, until our recent trip to Stratford, there would have been sufficient covered space had the heavens opened. The only negative aspect of the evening was the queues for the lady’s toilets (for Madam, not me). Several were out of order and this lead to long waits.
The Track itself is set up at around two miles with a fabulous 5-furlong home straight for sprints. What is nice, is that there is sufficient space and view-points to see the finishing line from both the front or from the side and we got some great video because of this. One other feature of the track that impressed was the paddock and parade ring. The paddock is situated at the end of the stands and so avoids the tidal front to back flow we have seen at other tracks. It is also a beautiful setting with mature trees, which on the evening itself afforded stunning photo opportunities of dappled sunlight on riders, grooms and horses (See photo above).
We always try and comment on the staff where ever we go and this again was a highlight of the track. Everyone was incredibly helpful and pleasant. The staff in the Tote were knowledgeable, the bar staff were helpful, friend and efficient and the site was being constantly cleaned up. The stars in all this were the staff of the Moet and Chandon champagne bar. They were helpful enough to look after our champagne bucket in between races, (this shows how ill Madam Hoof is in reality).
In summary, for a big track, on a warm summer evening, we were nothing but impressed, and so encouraged that we would love to return before the end of our challenge. Thank you to all involved.