The thunder of hooves, the crack of whips, the roar from the stands … it all adds up to a memorable day. Win or lose.
If you can’t make it to Aintree for the National on April 6 – or you’d prefer a less crowded event – there’s a wealth of race meetings around the country where you can get up close to thoroughbreds in glorious full flight.
The old Yorkshire racing town of Malton is home to many top trainers, stud farms and bloodstock agents and is within 60 miles of nine flat and National Hunt racecourses. The Talbot Hotel in Malton is a popular base for racegoers and manager Jeremy du Plessis, a keen racing fan, hopes to celebrate a landmark birthday at nearby York’s Dante meeting in May.
“It’s a great day out and we’re only 25 minutes by train from York, so everyone can celebrate and not worry about driving home,” he says.
The Talbot has offered guests racing packages in the past and hopes to introduce others for this year.
Meanwhile, The Hoste, in Burnham Market, Norfolk, organises a peek behind the scenes during a day’s jump racing at Fakenham, a 20-minute drive away. Guests are invited to walk the course, visit the jockeys’ weighing room and discuss the racecard with Fakenham’s chief executive David Hunter before the action begins. A lunch hamper with a bottle of wine is provided. One and two-night breaks are available on race days until June and again from October (from £130 per person B&B).
Brockencote Hall is handy for Worcester Races, where it offers a racecourse insight, betting advice and top tickets in a one-night break. Included are an overnight stay with breakfast, and lunch and tea at the course (from £149 per person).
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