Approx no. of meetings
Rail from London Waterloo – about 1 hr 30 mins
Bus from (Railway station)
Taxis. – Journey approx. £10-£20 and 15 mins based on traffic.
One stand on the cheap seats side, and two stands on the other side of the track, of which one is in the Bibury area. A main bar in each area and a high level bar on the roof near the finsih line.
We stayed at the Miford Hall hotel and spa. A last minute choice as the Legacy let us down, but that was our gain i am sure as it was excellent.
Multiple classes, 10% discount in advance, but also on the day we attened it was a family day and so there was a fun fair on the northern side of the track.
(1) Return after challenge complete
May 1st Date– UK Tracks Visited (8))
So this was a day rather like the curates egg; it was good in parts. The course itself is stunning and the layout is both intuitive and effective. When you look from any of the stands down the course, you are presented with a superb aspect and the eye is naturally led to the horses.
The finish line appears just where the less than cheap seats are at their best position. But the clever point of the track is the arrangement of the parade ring. It is above the main grandstand and next to the track so when the parade is over and the jockeys mount, the exit is straight on to the track. This gives excellent opportunities for photographs and to view the horses on the gallop to assess form finally before the line.
The bars all work fairly effectively but I have to admit the crowd did stress the place a little. Having heard from a member of staff that this was one of the busiest days of the year, this made a lot more sense. Which brings us to a conundrum of racing. We know the tracks need to make money and to enourage a new audience. However what of the people that want to attend just to see racing? We are attending Haydock in June and that night the Coors are playing at the track. Although this may add to the crowd, does it detract from the horses? Only time will tell, but i think we will avoid family days in future and possibly bank holiday events too.
We would describe today as fun but chaotic. Fun because there is a real sense of energy about his track and the people who run it. However I would say chaotic as there were some elements of organisation that could be improved. Firstly, only one bus from the station on race day is ridiculous if you are planning a large family event. Also, shame there are no details at the station about the service; the staff were oblivious, not helpful.
Secondly, if you are running your first day of the season event and trying to impress, test your Tote system beforehand. There was a huge amount of grumbling from the crowd that an IT issue had broken the Tote for the entire site until 10 minutes before the first race. This created massive issues at the betfred offices, which were the only places you could place a bet, with queues out of the door.
I don't want you to think i have a downer on the track, as (see first line) i think it is beautful. I just think a bit or organistional improvement and thought would make it better. As for a song for the track, maybe Meatloaf's "two out of three ain't bad".