A Day At The Races

Yesterday I found myself as a late substitute, asked to be part of an all paid for table at Nottingham Racecourse for Construction Day, and an event which was made for mingling with a number of local companies’ bosses swapping business cards with one another.

As Editor of Nottingham Sport, I felt pretty useless in that respect, but enjoyed the occasion which Nottingham Races delightfully offered and wanted to highlight my thoughts for the day, and why racing is a great pastime to enjoy.

After speaking house prices with my Uber driver, I arrived around half an hour before the first race, at the gates of Nottingham Racecourse, where two entrances were signposted ‘general admission’ and ‘hospitality’.

Walking smug through the right-hand entrance, I was given a ticket, my name already on the guestlist, and told where to go, by a very helpful lady.

Directed out to the back of the grandstand you forget just how big the terraced area is, various food stalls including fish and chips on offer with booze trucks out back, the place wasn’t exactly thriving, but then walking through the hospitality bar downstairs it became apparent where everybody were.

Up the stairs to the second level, the Sherwoods Restaurant was already packed, by the time I got there, finding my seat on the table where one of my friends sat firm, already writing down his tote for the day.

The table service firstly was fantastic, a starter of smoked salmon quickly followed by a chicken, chorizo and chickpea main, washed down with enough beer and wine one could handle, a nice bottle of Argentine Merlot, followed by a French Pinot Noir, with the odd Madri for good measure, and some dessert, a lemon cheesecake followed a while after, by some cheese and biscuits.

Checking the website for prices, tables start from £72 per person and include the food whilst drinks are separately paid for at the end of the meal, a great day and a relatively inexpensive corporate affair, now let’s get on to the racing.

We didn’t actually get to go outside and experience the breeze across Colwick, but you could see the full racetrack through the windows of the Sherwoods Restaurant and watch the action in the warmth, with plenty of TV’s also showing the live feed.

With all races, flat sprints, in and around a mile long, a packed race card had eight separate races which started with the 13:10 won by Artistic Star ridden by Rob Hornby. A 16/1 outsider who led after just one furlong.

The second race of the day had our own table in joy having seen ‘King of Steel’ romp home to win. How ironic on construction day? Even more so, I was sitting on the table of Nottingham Steel.

Andrea Atzeni then won on Ashtanga, sitting next to a fella called Ash who I made sure backed his namesake, this was getting quite scary.

Race four saw another win for Rob Hornby on Entrancement, Andrea Atzeni also got his second win on Mr Alan in the 15:30. California Gem at 16/5 came in as the sixth winner of the day, races seven and eight seemed all a blur, the wine well and truly coming into play, Fast Response was (apparently) the winner before Lucky Beggar came from behind to win, for someone, at 66/1, that someone unfortunately wasn’t me, who had more losers than winners, but enjoyed the day nonetheless.

By the time the 6pm curfew had called, we were ousted out by some very pleasant members of staff, on our way after a good day, and an enjoyable meet, with two more remaining in Nottingham this calendar year, you can still get tickets for the afternoon event on October 26th as well as the season finale on November 2nd, prices from £12 for regular admission, hospitality from £72 in the Sherwoods Restaurant, although I would highly recommend opting for a windowed seat, paying a few more quid per person at £85 each. Alternatively you can get your own private boxes from £130pp with a minimum six people needed for purchase. Maybe something to ask the bosses at work?

*Article provided by Daniel Peacock (Editor).

*Main image @NottsRacecourse Artistic Star was the days first winner in Nottingham.

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