Flat, Hurdles, Fences
Approx no. of meetings
Rail from London (2 hours, 29 minutes from Paddington)
Railway station to Racecourse (5-minute walk)
Taxis not required
A single stand with a restaurant on top. Several food outlets and a reasonably large bar area under the main stand.
We stayed at the Whitehouse, which is cheap and close, but is a hotel that is tired and really needs an update badly. The insulation is substandard, so don’t be surprised if noisy.
We bought tickets for dining but also could have got in on our ARC tickets. There is a cheaper option in the centre course enclosure.
(2) Return before challenge complete.
12 October 2017– UK Tracks Visited (37), Irish Tracks Visited (3)
Madam Hoof and I dined in the Seven Restaurant, and were mightily impressed. The walk from our hotel (The Whitehouse) was no more than ten minutes. The town itself is an eclectic mix of 18/19th century and modern-day student architecture. It is dominated by the railway viaduct across the centre of the river valley, which is both a focal point for the track but also a clue to the history of the area. Madam Hoof and I guessed it was probably Brunel, but you really should check with your own Portillo.
We approached the track through the car park and had the first view of the single stand atop of which is the Seven Restaurant and three boxes. There is also a centre course area, from which you can have cheaper tickets and, also run picnics. The layout of the track is such that the parade ring and winner’s enclosure are both in line with the grandstand.
I am going to focus mostly on the dining today as this was the centre of Madam Hoof and my day. We were greeted by Kel and served by him and Georgia for the afternoon. The service was excellent, but the food was even better. The courses were Michelin star quality and the food was adult without being too filling. The fact we booked afternoon tea as well had my stomach and Madam Hoof’s eye bulging. The restaurant has a superb view of the course with a number of repeater screens, these screens however could be bigger as we had to go up close to see what was going on.
The biggest frustration of our day, was similar to that at Carlisle and that was the number of non-runners. Two races, which were back to back, were down to 2 runners, even though they had 10 or 11 runners originally. This is not only a shame for the racing itself, but also for the betting situation in terms of the bets that are viable and the multiple bets such as placepots. Tracks need to work with trainers and understand why such mass withdrawals are being made, even on flat races.
Overall, an enjoyable day and certainly a track we would return to in a heartbeat, thank you all