Wincanton Races counting down days to start of new campaign

PUBLISHED: 09:00 22 September 2018

Horse racing generic picture

Horse racing generic picture

Archant

Wincanton Racecourse will be opening its doors to the public on Friday, October 12 to show off its new facilities ahead of its first meeting of the new season which begins Friday, October 19, writes Lucy Johnson.

Anyone with an interest in Somerset’s premier jump racing track, whether as a racegoer, delegate or golf player, is invited to come and see the refurbishment during a tour and presentation which starts at 11am.

There will also be light refreshments on arrival and a buffet style lunch. If interested please email anne.collyer@thejockeyclub.co.ukto register.

It’s been all change at the racecourse with existing buildings modified and other areas remodelled to give visitors a diverse range of choice.

General manager Huw Williams explained: “There’s been a huge amount of work done here over the summer and we’d love to invite everyone to take a peek and see what we now offer ahead of the new jumps season.”

The new Chasers Restaurant will offer the best seats in the house allowing patrons to experience the excitement of a day at the races with a full view of the course directly in front of them while having an exceptional sit down fine dining experience. The room will also provide the ideal setting for meetings, conferences, presentations and team building on non-racedays for up to 100 delegates.

Owners and trainers now have access to a new hospitably suite overlooking the paddock that has a bar, eating and lounge area and is fully integrated with kitchen and toilets.

It is double the size of the existing space available and will offer fabulous comfort with a food offering that reflects the increasing demand for local sourcing.

Among the other improvements is a new raceday coffee shop that will offer a more informal place to sit and enjoy a hot drink and cake while watching the racing on the screens.

The racecourse has a packed calendar of racedays, many of which are themed, kicking off on October 19, when the six race card is sponsored by Smarkets.

Top jockeys, fine horses and the opportunity to go down to the start and watch the action begin are all enticements to book a day out at the races.

Countryside Day on October 28 coincides with the last day of school’s half term break and an array of free activities will be laid on for children, while racing features the Desert Orchid Silver Cup. The race is named after Desert Orchid, the flamboyant grey who had the hooves of Pegasus and who won the hearts of a nation with his bold front running style. He raced at Wincanton seven times, winning on four occasions, and during his 70-race career he won the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park four times.

Badger Chase Day on Saturday November 10 is a highlight of Wincanton’s season and a real favourite with racegoers.

“It’s a wonderful sporting occasion for local racegoers when we can expect to see some of the best horses in action,” said Huw, adding, “Last year’s meeting was particularly memorable as the Jockey Club’s ambassador Bryony Frost claimed her biggest success to date when winning on Present Man giving his trainer Paul Nicholls his eighth victory in the race. It’s a wonderful race day with great horses, top jockeys and a real sense of camaraderie.”

Racing gallops on to its November 22 raceday, which is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the fabulous new Chasers Restaurant with its unrivalled views across the course. Then Christmas festivities start with its meeting on Thursday December 6, when an early bird offer of two tickets for £10 is available until November 26.

Boxing Day racing at Wincanton is a great Somerset tradition, when racegoers need to book tickets early as all packages sell out fast.

“It’s a wonderful day when the atmosphere is always fantastic. We have a number of options for racegoers to enjoy their day at the races including in the new Chasers Restaurant and also the Paddock Pavilion, which is a Christmas-themed marquee overlooking the paddock where a two course menu can be pre-booked - and of course it is fully lined lined and heated! But it is popular and we normally sell out,” warned Huw.

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