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Published: February 11th 2022
Take a small step towards a goal . This week has been that sort of a week - small steps. England have started to remove all restrictions. Life is slowly returning to normal. Wales will follow albeit slower. Perhaps by the end of the month we will see the end of Covid passes . Another month will be needed before we ditch masks.
So what small step did we take today? It was a cold day . Far colder than we expected . We had an idea . How about a day at the races? Neither of us had been to a race meeting for a number of years. There is a racecourse just up the road from us . It was easy to book our tickets on line . We were looking forward to a bit of freedom to do something different .
It was also easy to get to the racecourse . A short walk from home along the river bank . In the distance we could see the cars parked and were surprised just how many racegoers were at the racecourse on a February Friday . We could see the big screen on the course .
So we knew we would be able to watch the horses as they raced away across the other side of the course and out of our sight .
We were welcomed in . Showed our tickets and I was asked to show what was inside my bag . Looking for bombs the gateman joked . All he found was a plastic bottle of hand sanitiser, a face mask, the phone and my purse . We were surprised at the checks . Not checked for Covid though . We could zap the app for test and trace if we wanted to. We were amazed at how organised everything was. The racecourse was established on 25th February 1859 and is a left handed jumps course set in glorious countryside and overlooked by the hills that surround Wrexham , It is the only racecourse without a grandstand . The course is still the same as it was in 1859. We were attending the Sky Sports Racing Winter meeting . First job buy a racecard . This welcomed us to the first fixture of 2022. We read that today many top trainers send their horses to Bangor as part of their education using
top jockeys along the way. The first race that we were going to see was the John Hewitt Memorial Open Hunters Chase . Whilst we waited for the first race we wandered around finding good places to stand . We passed the Bangor bar full of punters , the Parade ring where we could watch the horses before they were united with their jockeys and moved to course ready to race.
We spotted the coffee shop . An old french van . The coffee was indifferent . Warm but not the best we had ever tasted . We drank the coffees in front of the Stable Door where the horses were housed before moving to the Parade ring .
The first race was almost starting . The horses had been paraded , The jockeys had mounted and were were ready for race . We picked our spot overlooking the course and chose our horses . Another Venture for me - an Irish horse trained by the famous Nicky Henderson . Not a bad choice it should do well . According to the card it was lightly raced and far from discredited in its previous races. It stood a
good chance of winning . Not that I had any money on it . The jockey would be wearing white emerald and green colours . The driver chose Porlock Bay . A Cheltenham Hunt Chase winner . Rated at 5* it was a better bet than my nag. The horses lined up , began to race and the excitement built . Cheering , shouting it was all action . Both our horses were pulled up So neither of us won . But we did get carried away with the race .
Whilst we waited for the next race we headed for food to warm us up. Burger stands , fish and chip stands, executive suites with food thrown in . We decided on a bag of chips . Verdict not the best chips we have ever tasted . We stood for a while and decided that we would come to the races again . We were despite the cold and the dreadful chips enjoying our afternoon out . With camera clicking we got ready for the next race the 2.30 race with the unwieldy title of The Download at the races App handicap steeple chase . A class 4 race - The driver chose the favoured One Forty Seven an Irish horse whilst I chose the Irish Byzantium Lad . The driver chooses form . I choose a nice name . Neither of them won although Glenn got a second in that race.
The last race we watched was the Third race of the day , The 3.05 The SP or better guarenteed with tote EBF Mares Novices Limited Handicap Steeple Chase . A mouthful of a race but interesting in the fact that the best female jockey Bryony Frost was riding against the male jockeys . Glenn chose her ride Fortunes Melody which came in fourth despite our cheering her on . It was not her day today . I chose Allavina another horse that did nothing .
By this time the racing was over for us and we needed to get walking home. Would we go again? Of course we would . The next race is in March and the weather should be warmer . We know to avoid the chips next time too.
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