Racing at Sedgefield, Friday 13th April 2018

Jen and I were in the UK for a few days and staying in Sedgefield. There was a Friday afternoon race meeting on and as it was only a twenty minute walk away we had a stroll over.

We got there shortly before the first race and paid sixteen quid each to get into the grandstand section. It didn’t look as if the cheaper area in the centre of the circuit was open. I’ve been to Sedgefield before for evening and Saturday fixtures and there are usually a few families in there. Perhaps with this meeting being on a weekday and, I imagine, a lot of punters preferring to watch Aintree on the telly, it wasn’t worth them bothering opening it up.

Once inside it was clear that we’d picked a quiet day with probably no more than a couple of hundred attendees. That’s fine with me though, I can do without the crowds, particularly groups of people on the drink. My own drinking is fine, it’s just other people doing it that I don’t like.

I started with a pint of John Smith’s Smooth. It’s terrible stuff but there didn’t appear to be anything else. Fortunately I spotted some bottles of Wainwright’s Golden Ale in a fridge behind the bar. They were a lot more drinkable, with a hoppy, floral flavour. The barmaid apologised for the £5.10 price tag but it still struck me as better value than the John Smiths and would still have been even if they had been giving the Smooth away for free.

It wasn’t the best of weather with a hint of rain in the air and enough mist to make viewing of the far side of the course less than ideal. But, cold and damp trumps the hot and damp climate of Malaysia and I was more than happy to have to keep warm in a battered old Barbour that I’ve inherited from my Dad.

There were seven races, six over jumps and a bumper to finish, with another seven on the big screen from Aintree. We made a poor start to the betting but clawed it back over the course of the afternoon and went into the last race in the position where if our horse were to win then we’d have made a small profit and if it lost we’d go home a few quid down. It was second. Still a good day though.

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