It might seem strange to be saying it in February, but Happy New Year! It will have been 56 days without a race meeting by the time our doors open for our first fixture of the year on Monday 7th February and after the team took the opportunity to recharge their batteries over Christmas, we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to make sure that 2022 is a fantastic year for the racecourse.
Monday’s meeting is the first of three Jump fixtures taking place this month and I’m very much looking forward to seeing everyone back on course after our winter break. The winter chill isn’t for everyone and if you’d like to enjoy the racing in a slightly warmer environment we’ve still got some fantastic hospitality offerings for all three of our February fixtures - for which you can enjoy a three course meal in the comfort of our restaurant for just £55 per person.
While it’s cold outside, this is the time of year where the Jump season really starts to hot up and it’s been fantastic to see some familiar faces flying the flag for the northern racing scene. If you joined us for Colin Parker Day last Halloween, you’ll remember Tommy’s Oscar finishing a gallant third under top-weight on the card and it was fantastic to see him throw his hat firmly into the ring for the Unibet Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival when winning at Haydock Park last week.
Tommy’s Oscar is both owned and trained by two of the loveliest people you could ever meet in Ann and Ian Hamilton, and his jockey Danny McMenamin is local and doing so well since his return from a nasty injury – so it was a good story all round! While we’re on the subject of jockeys, I must also send our best to Lorcan Murtagh who unfortunately broke his leg up at Kelso recently. Lorcan is a friend of the racecourse with his mum being part of the team here and we wish him a speedy recovery.
If you keep tabs on racing on social media, I’m sure you’ll have noticed that a certain Cheltenham Festival is just around the corner. It’s a fair old drive for us here in Carlisle, so we’re hosting a special “Alternative Cheltenham” day at the racecourse on Friday 18th March. You can enjoy Gold Cup Day with a two-course meal from our restaurant for just £60 per person, with an on-site bookmaker and a bus back into town included.
Our big Jump racing event in the spring revolves around the “Go North” series and there will be plenty of qualifiers taking place over the next couple of months. The series culminates in a three-day finals weekend, which starts at Musselburgh and Kelso before finishing up here on Sunday 27th March. The series has proven to be a great success since its launch in 2019 and we’re looking forward to some more highly-competitive action over hurdles and fences in the coming weeks.
And finally, we’ve got some great news about our hugely popular Ladies Night, which takes place this year on Monday 1st August. Not only will we be welcoming back our sponsors VL Aesthetics for another fantastic evening of racing at which every jockey in every race is female, but we’ll also be saying hello again to BBC Radio 1 presenter Scott Mills, who will be returning to DJ for us again after his brilliant set went down so well last year.
Details about that night and all of our fixtures this year can be found on our website thejockeyclub.co.uk/carlisle.
Hopefully, we’ll see you on Monday!