There’s a massive Saturday to look forward to, with great action from no less than 7 British racecourses.
The curtain comes down at York and the Ebor Handicap (3:35pm) is the feature race. Flymetothestars, Magic Circle, Dubka and Ivan Grozny have all been heavily backed to win. The G3 Strensall Stakes (1:55pm) and the Listed Roses Stakes (4:10pm) are also highlights.
Goodwood has a typically strong Saturday card and the G3 Prestige Stakes (2:10pm) will feature Verandah, Billesdon Brook and Izzy Bizu. The G2 Celebration Mile (3:20pm) tops the bill, with Lightning Spear taking on Hathal and Zonderland. That’s followed by the Listed March Stakes (3:55pm).
There’s also Listed action at Newmarket and this season’s renewal of the Hopeful Stakes (4:25pm) looks competitive. The likes of Ornate, Tupi, Gifted Master, Steady Pace and Polybius all seem capable of landing the spoils.
Windsor‘s evening card is short, but sweet. The Listed August Stakes (6:10pm) brings together Second Step, Across The Stars and King Bolete, while the G3 Winter Hill Stakes (6:40pm) is another chance to see Brian Meehan’s Spark Plug light-up the track.
There’s further action to be found at Chester, Redcar and also Cartmel, where the first race takes place at 2:15pm.
Racing At Cartmel
Cartmel Racecourse is in the village of Cartmel and is one of the smaller courses that are currently operating in Great Britain. Cartmel is in the county of Cumbria, which is in the north of England.
There are only 7 race days a year at this little course. All take place in the warmer months, with the last day of racing falling on the August Bank Holiday weekend.
In the month of May, there is a 3-day meeting that actual takes 5 days to complete. This is because there is a one-day gap between each of the 3 race days. The racecourse has always maintained that this is to allow visitors some time off to enjoy the beautiful surrounding countryside!
Whether that is the main reason, or not, the fact of the matter is that the management team are unable to offer three consecutive days racing anyway. This is because the spectators arrive very early and leave the course late in the evening. There simply isn’t time to clean-up and prepare the course in time for the following day.
The most important race to be held at Cartmel is the Cumbria Crystal Hurdle Race, which has a purse of over £25,000. This race is the highlight of the July meeting, which is is only for two days but, again, there is a one-day break between the first and second day. The Cartmel Cup and the Cavendish Cup are key August Meeting encounters.
Despite being small, Cartmel is extremely popular with the racing public and the course enjoys much higher levels of attendance, compared with other British National Hunt racecourses. In fact, only the huge festivals at Aintree and Cheltenham have higher aggregate attendances. It is not unusual for 20,000 spectators to show up.
The spectators gather in the middle of the racecourse which is either side of the finishing straight. On one side is a very large funfair and on the other you will find the Parade Ring and the Winners’ Enclosure.
Seating is quite limited, as are good viewing positions. A lot of temporary facilities have to be used, but this does not seem to detract from the enjoyment had by those who attend. A large number of the spectators will also leave the course for a short period and explore the local village. This has become something of a tradition and the tiny village shops can become rather overwhelmed on busy days.
Cartmel Racecourse is known for having a very long run-in – 4 furlongs, to be precise, and this makes it the furthest in Great Britain. Another Cartmel tradition is to give all winning connections a pudding made out of local toffee.
Betting With RaceBets
Remember that there will be crowds and congestion, if you are planning to visit the course. This will be the case at the on-course bookmakers as well, so why not open a RaceBets account and get your money on before you arrive? Your welcome bonus awaits!