Wednesday, 15 July 2009

moDtheGod's Midlands Meanderings

Managed to score a couple of consecutive days off for the first time in a while and as I’m not cripplingly skint for a change, I decided to go racing for the first time since Hamilton last month, when I went with fellow Troopers Kenny and Will. The nearest meeting today was Uttoxeter, which is a lot closer than I ever realised, being an exactly an hour away on the train from Chesterfield, including a 15 minute change at Derby. To darkest Staffordshire it would be, then.

Sadly, I had worked from 9.00 until 21.30 yesterday, and in a different shop to usual, so my head was a little bit fried and I did exactly zero form studying when I got home, opting to keep stakes to the minimum and simply enjoy the day out. Sadly, this was reflected in my betting performance, as I didn’t find a single winner. I only had two e/w bets place, at 9/1 and 11/2.

I did a little placepot as an interest bet; 24 ten pence lines and the dividend was £310-ish. Frustratingly, the only race I didn’t get any selections to place in was the fifth, where one of my picks came fourth by a length. Had that one snatched third (or had it remained first four for the place – quite a lot of horses pulled out) I’d have had four lines up and assuming a similar dividend I’d have been scooping about £130 for my £2.40 outlay. Gah!

The course itself is great. It is literally right next to the train station, which is perfect for me; no fannying about with shuttle buses and it’s about three minutes in all, from stepping off the train to the turnstiles. I paid for the Grandstand (£16) which was more than adequate for me, with access to the winners enclosure and good views of the final furlong, whilst still being able to walk up the grass to get up close to the fences. The bars were big and spacious and I was served quickly, same for the food, but that was grotesquely overpriced. The beer wasn’t cheap at £3.20 for John Smiths, but that’s no different than any other track and as the meeting was Beer Festival themed, there were quality real ales on sale in the beer tent at three quid a pop, which is actually not bad at all. I rather enjoyed Old Speckled Hen and Greene King IPA. The Premier Enclosure didn’t look as though it offered much else, but then it was only £4 dearer to get in. The cheap seats looked alright; a large area in the centre, which looked as though it offered similar views, but for just £8, though it didn’t seem from where I was to have much in the way of catering or betting facilities.

Unlike some courses, I did have access to a cash machine (take note, silly Beverley people) and the only negative I could find, was unfortunately quite a sizeable one – no big screen! What use is it at a National Hunt venue, when you can only see the last few furlongs? You can’t see how your horses are jumping for the vast majority of each race! I enjoyed the AW meeting at Southwell despite the absence of a screen, but you can get away with it in a five furlong sprint. That said, I’d still score Uttoxeter quite highly and I will try and get back in future, probably for the big meeting, the Midlands National in March.

Got to see some real heroes of mine in action today, in the shape of A P McCoy and Timmy Murphy, neither of whom enjoyed any success. The champion jockey actually had five rides today and failed to fire in a winner. What a top bloke though, after getting beat on the hot favourite in the last, rounding off a dismal meeting for him, he found time to banter with a couple of lasses and pose for a picture. Had any of you lot been with me, I'd have gone and pestered him for a picture too, he's a legend. Noone to take my pic :(

I’m absolutely shattered as I didn’t get a proper lie in today and I've worked the last seven days in a row. I’ve also been on my feet all day today and could really use some sleep. However, there’s racing at Leicester tomorrow and I can get there direct from Chesterfield, in just 45 minutes. Honestly I’m really tempted and if I don’t oversleep, I think I’ll probably go. Once again I’ve studied no form, as I haven’t had chance, but it’ll be another decent day out!

Here’s another of my little videos, this time of some random Uttoxeter stuffs.

Good luck to those competing in the weight loss prop. Take it easy folks.


moDtheGod said...

I didn't go to Leicester as I was fucking shattered, I slept in until about half twelve. I will be attending Pontefract next Sunday though, with a mate.

Will Walsh said...

Good write up. Always been a favourite course of mines. Have some good memories of backing Stormez and Jurancon in big races there. I am planning on a trip to Alton Towers sometime so may try and time that with a visit to Uttoxeter.

moDtheGod said...

Shout me up if you go. I'll be keen.