Lingfield (East Sussex) – ARC
A/W, Flat, Hurdles, Fences
Approx no. of meetings
Rail from London Victoria or London Bridge (50 minutes)
Bus from East Grinstead (15 minutes)
Town to Racecourse (0.5 miles)
Three bars, entertainment suites and multiple tote.
Hotel and spa as part of track complex. 5 star hotels with 5 miles.
Single class, discount in advance, student and concessions on the day. Free car parks.
(2) Return before challenge complete
December 31st – UK Tracks Visited (3)
It is admittedly odd to go and do an event like horse racing on New Year’s Eve you might think, well you might not, but the masses might. What with the huge party to organise that night, oh no that’s your birthday. Oh well, what about the presents and the kids, nope Christmas. Well what about all those pints you have to sink (normally this is an enjoyable part of racing but today I am driving). No the beauty of this sport is that we brought my eighty year old father in law to the track for his first visit and he loved it.
The fact that it is only 25 minutes in the car including parking (free, bonus) is one of the reasons I was the designated driver, the other being the ongoing saga of Madam’s broken shoulder. So anyway we find ourselves at the track. We weather is overcast and cold but the rain Is holding off and manages to until we leave, but it did create the most wonderful coloured skies as the day wore on.
The facilities, yes, getting to that. As you come in you will see the track is laid out in what I would called plan B fashion. Plan A is wear the parade ring is near the track, in this case, it was the other side of the stands and the betting facilities. Now although this is efficient, see the horse, putting the money on, watch the races and repeat, it does come with two minor issues.
Firstly, there is a tidal flow of people after the race pouring from the track to the winning circle to the parade ring and then back
15 minutes later. This can be a bit wearing on the feet and uncomfortable if you don’t like crowds. The second problem is there is not enough time to get a drink in this scheme of things, (it obviously bothered me less at this meeting but Madam Hoof and Major Ron were restless). There were also very long queues at the bar. I can see when this track gets busy, a hip flask is a boon.
This was an all-weather meeting and as such, although fun and still wonderful to see the horses, the races were both short and a little too far away from the rails as the all weather surface is inside the grass circuit. But on the positive side, the Christmas present from MH came in handy as it was a spiffing new pair of binoculars. Honestly, you might not think it worthwhile but so not the case. The difference it makes to the excitement even on a short race is tremendous.
Racing over, we needed to get the Major back for a spot of R&R before the big feast that evening. The weather turned as we left, as it should. Getting back out of the car park was piece of cake and it almost makes me think of coming by car more often. But then again I realise I am an old sot and so that is not going to happen.
We shall return as this is firstly close to home and secondly have non- all weather racing later in the year. I would like to get back to hearing the thunder of hooves and the shaking of the ground a little closer to me in future. Madam Hoof was especially pleased to win her first place pot and the first one that either of us had won at an actual track. She was slightly deflated when she found out it was only £14, (still, better luck next time).