Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Guest blogger - FirstTimeRacegoer

Last week a work colleague, who had never been to the races before, asked me what I thought of going to Warwick on a Bank Holiday Monday. I tried to dissuade him, but to no avail. Here's his account of the day's events...
For years the other half has been trying to persuade me to attend a race meeting - her interest goes back to previous employment working for a racing yard and travelling the country to attend meetings. My interest was well.... non existent! I seem to have decided that horse racing is simply not a spectator sport and definitely is a participant sport ie strictly for the gambling community only. So why did I give in?

Does anyone recognise "partner pestering syndrome"? Anyone else simply given in to it just for a quiet life? Well there's your answer, plus the little matter of 2 for the price of one admission and special free "Family Fun Day Attractions". The latter point was a major selling point too, anyone with a 4 year old will know they have the attention span of... well a 4 year old and this has to be factored into any family day out particularly a sporting event.

First impressions of Warwick racecourse were pretty positive, we got there early to take advantage of bouncy inflatable, face painting, fun bus etc and there was certainly enough to amuse the toddlers. We had tickets for the Main enclosure. The family fun stuff was in the "other enclosure". I don't recall it's real name but if you wanted to cross over it was an extra tenner. However it created an interesting segregation in that the family funners were on one side of the track having family fun, you know the stuff, crying, falling out, getting tipsy, getting separated, getting sun stroke etc, whilst on the other side it was all a little more civilised; binoculars, wine, smart clothes, properly formed vowel sounds etc. I couldn't help wishing the Family Funners would revolt and storm the main enclosure en masse in a kind of class war, believe me some of that face painting looked pretty scary.

Oh yes, I nearly forgot the racing. I actually thoroughly enjoyed it. The first race started, or should I say didn't start, with a loose horse (see pic). Quite a spectacle really, it just went round and round for ages until it simply collapsed on the far side and was taken away by a horse ambulance. The missus told me it was because it was racing for the first time with "blinkers", and it was only its second race; by her tone of voice it was very much to be expected, so there. And therein lies the rub, there was a distinct impression that the race card was not of the absolute highest order, there were several non starters and some horses who simply decided they didn't want to go into starting gate thing. Also lots of races with horses that hadn't raced before and seemed to be very young. And yes, I did have a flutter, and yes I was right - you do really need to do so to get a proper buzz from the racing. Sadly choosing horses with nice names and colourful racejackets really doesn't work so I was slightly out of pocket overall but nothing serious. I would definitely do it all again and can highly recommend it and it's also worth remembering that next time your partner pesters you with a good idea they might just be right!


Anonymous said...

I'm a bit worried about Mr Punch…I think he should of opted for the factor 50 on such a hot day…or has he been ‘BURNT’ by the bookies!

Anonymous said...

Boys,don't you know by now that your partner is *always* correct!

She who knows