Approx no. of meetings
Rail from London (1 hour 57 minutes, change at Stoke on Trent)
Railway station to Racecourse (200 yards)
Taxis seems busy but this was a major race day, worth booking.
Premium stand, Granstand and paddock areas. Champagne bar and also bistro and restaurant. Many food concessions from burgers to curry. Multiple bars and tote offices including stand alone and within bar areas.
Stayed at the Hare and Hounds in Stramshall, fabulous little B&B and far nicer than yet another plastic budget hotel, highly recommended.
Thee ticket classes, Premium, Grandstand and centre of the course. Discount in advance, student and concessions on the day. (22, 17 and 12 on an average day, may vary)
(1) Return after challenge complete
12th November 2016– UK Tracks Visited (21), Irish tracks visited (3)
The weather on the morning on our day at Uttoxeter did not bode well, but madam Hoof has been up to her usual tricks with the BBC weather forecast and predicted a cessation of hostilities around 1pm, (half an hour after the first race). We were attending with another offspring (the Baroness Cassie and her husband the Lieutenant Adam) who were newbies to racing, but this was probably not the best way to do it. With approximately 7000 people attending, it was busy and boisterous.
The two grandstands, premium and standard offer great views of the entire track and the action is really easy to follow from everywhere, except maybe the centre of the track or the champagne bars which happen to be out of sight of action. On the subject of champagne bars, a point of learning, not accepting plastic for bottles that cost in excess of fifty pounds and often much more is somewhat short sighted and sending people around the corner to a cash dispenser is not really a solution; luckily I had cash and so did Madam.
Actually rolling the clock back to our arrival, the only other learning point would be the fact that there was rather a long queue to get in to scan the pre-purchased tickets. Honestly, this did seem to really slow down entry and made putting on a placepot quite difficult if you got to the track half an hour before the first race.
But now, on to the positives, and there were there in abundance. This is a classic racetrack with the feel of tradition and real racing values. The low slung buildings around the parade ring remind me of Pontefract and some of the longer lived courses we have visited. Another wonderful aspect of Uttoxeter is the track itself. Well two tracks, a smaller hurdles and a taller jumps track. The course has a curious kink in the back straight giving it more of a kidney shape, with a wicked hill to climb. On several laps I got the feeling this told the men from the boys in terms of the horses’ fitness. Rather like the figure of eight at Fontwell or the finishing straight at Cartmel, these are the features that make racing interesting and each track special.
Although due to location we would probably wait until the end of our challenge of visiting all tracks in the UK and Ireland before returning, we would most certainly look to visit to this graceful lady of the Midlands again.
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