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After returning from the exhausting Irish visit it was back to a more mundane trip to the North of England, and to see some of my friends at some of the Yorkshire racecourses. Every year I arrange a three day trip to Yorkshire to take in Sponsorships at Thirsk, Ripon and Beverley on consecutive days, this always gives me an opportunity to catch up with the various racecourse executives and to make sure we are continuing to provide them with an excellent racecard product.
Whilst in Yorkshire it would be criminal not to try out one of their many excellent hostelries, so after racing at Ripon on Tuesday (where I had already had an excellent lunch in their board room courtesy of CGC) it was off to The White Swan in Ampleforth to meet up with one of my Godchildren and his mother to have dinner. This is a fantastic Pub/Restaurant with a very select menu. I plumped for the scampi, some might say rather dull, but it was superb with very good chunky chips and all washed down with a bottle of Cissac!
On the Wednesday I was also able to fit in a meeting at Redcar in the morning with the delightful Amy Fair to discuss her Racecard requirements going forward. It was a busy day as I then went straight onto Doncaster, where the store sales were taking place to meet up with Fiona Webber who is now going to be helping Weatherbys in our Sales Office at DBS. Fiona has a vast knowledge of racing having previously been married to a trainer and before that worked for many years at Tattersalls, she will be a great asset to the many Weatherbys clients who use our office for a multitude of reasons.
Returning to the south after evening racing at Beverley on the Wednesday, took me next to the 'star studded' evening Hunter Chase meeting at Stratford on the Friday night. This was the first time the racecourse had put all their hunter chases from the two day meeting onto the one night and it proved to be a great success.
A card of mainly Hunter Chases always provides its thrills and spills and one poor amateur lady rider had an experience she will want to forget, and will not repeat again, thinking she had past the winning line in front, alas a circuit too early!
I thought I was seeing things when I spotted the Ballydoyle/Coolmore vet John Halley standing beside the paddock – he was a bit off his patch, more accustomed to Epsom and The Curragh, but he was there to see his son ride in one of the Hunter Chases. When John is not looking at million dollar flat horses, he is to be found every Sunday in Ireland Point-to-Pointing!
Next week – North and South again!