Tuesday, 2 July 2013

A day at the races

Salisbury Races Family Day 

Last Sunday a gang of us took the kids to the family fun day at Salisbury race course.  I had never been there before so wasn't quite sure what to expect really, but Rosie had convinced me it was going to be a good day out.

The weather was absolutely fantastic the whole day and suncream was most definitely required, for some more than others though (Jane & Rosie) We managed to get there for about 11.40am and the gates opened at 12.00pm so that wasn't bad, it's only about 25 miles from Lyndhurst.
The entrance fee was a mere £6 per adult, kids under 16 are free, and on top of that all of the kids were given a voucher for a free 99 ice cream each, bonus!!!!
Once we got in we set up our picnic spot in between the toilets, kids entertainment and the big TV screen so most things were covered.  As we were 4 families we took up quite a bit of space compared to everyone else but I think we chose well.  Out came the picnics and the drinks and the men then wondered off to check it all out.  One of us, Graham would say he's a regular horse gambler and likes to give the impression that he knows what he's doing, so he was itching to get betting.
Almost next door to our picnic spot was the children's entertainers that did a bit of Punch & Judy, magic, singing, dancing etc that seemed to be going on all the time.  All the kids stuff was free to use but the craft/activity tent had to be reserved due to limited spaces.  Beyond the craft tent there were bouncy castles and trampolines, and if you were prepared to queue for it there was a face painting tent as well.  So plenty going on all day long to keep the kids busy with the addition of the regular excitement of watching the horses thunder down the track.

During the day there were 7 races and I believe the last one was around about 6pm and as it was such a lovely day it all seemed to go by so quickly, I could have stayed there all evening as well.  From memory I had at least a place in the first 6 races, sadly I missed out completely on the last race but in one of the races I got 1st and 3rd, woohoo! 
All the men decided to follow Graham's lead and go for the accumulator but sadly non of them won on it, Fred & Ty dropped out on the first race and then Tim & Graham lost around about the 5th race.   Graham was very quite really throughout the day so that probably meant that his choice of horses wasn't going so well, especially when in one race his jockey fell off - on a flat, straight track for god sake!!!!! We did all have to laugh - a lot!  I think overall though we all probably either broke even or made a couple of quid, and considering all except Graham were only betting £1 or £2 each way, we didn't do bad.

I have to say that the excitement as you stand near the fence and watch, hear & feel the horses thundering along and then realising that your horse is in with a chance, it really is great.  I thoroughly enjoyed my first day at the races and I would certainly recommend it to anyone, but especially families, as the kids were so well catered for that they didn't ask for anything the whole afternoon and they slept so well that night. 


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