Conscious that I’m described as racing man but have yet to report on it I went to Brighton Races yesterday for one of their bigger meets, Gentlemen’s Day. The course has a great location near the Amex, perched atop the South Downs, and looking over them to the sea. It also features in the film of Brighton Rock where fight between rival gangs break out. However its facilities with one covered stand are old and tired. We ate in Silks restaurant which has a large balcony looking down on the course. Although it was for themed for well dressed gentlemen most of race goers were dressed in jeans in what might be termed unsmart casual.
One of my friends is knowledgeable on the nags and predicted the winner on the first, a short price favourite. In the second I was attracted to the name of the horse as it was of someone I knew but amidst the technical analysis of distance, handicap, jockey and trainer I felt a tad embarrassed to suggest a horse on name alone. It won at 16-1.We were to have 4 for more winners at short prices to contribute to the drinks bill.
How did it rate as a day out? In the great Rust debate of attendance v tv watching you had the excitement of being there in fresh air. Nothing except getting out of the executive car park at the Amex ever takes time because of queues so we were back in 10 minutes. Against that we watched 2 races on the telly anyway for a better view and I found the ambience yobbish.
The hostess at our players club in Sussex CCC had moved to the racecourse as events executive but is now back with Sussex. We did have a chat on how to promote horse acing at a minor venue. It will never attract the same calibre of trainers as Goodwood but it’s a pretty course and could complement a day out by the sea. As with greyhound racing you feel it’s a dying sport sustained by the betting industry.
Finally a word on Brighton HAFC. The good news is Chris Hughton has signed a 3-year contract extension committing him to the club. Solly March who scored 7 goals before his injury is back and the Chairman will sanction spending as we still need a striker. However the city is saddened by the failure to achieve promotion with 89 points and 5 defeats. We are in good shape and hope there is not a reaction next year particularly as Benitez has committed to other promotion candidates Newcastle and Aston Villa both massive clubs.