Members give SJA top marks for Day At The Races

The view of the Parade Ring that the SJA's guests, all members of York Racecourse for the day, got on our Race Day this week. Photograph by Janine Self
The view of the Parade Ring that the SJA’s guests, all members of York Racecourse for the day, got on our Race Day this week. Photograph by Janine Self

It’s unclear who was taking the minutes. If any minutes were taken at all. It was some time after the third race, when the Hon Sec was trying to justify having earlier described Grey Gatsby as looking like a cart-horse straight from the milk round at the Minster, not long before he galloped away as the winner of the Dante Stakes. Some drink may have been taken. But there was what passed for an executive committee meeting in Box 6 of the Ebor Stand at York Racecourse this week.

The resolution that the SJA should have a Race Day at York in May 2015 was discussed. After about 30 seconds’ consideration, the unanimous decision was reached and agreed. Pencil-in the mid-May Wednesday date in your diaries now…

Thanks to generous sponsorship and help from Ladbrokes, and with our former treasurer Randall Northam now “our man in York” to pull together the organisational strings, more than 20 SJA members and their guests enjoyed a terrific day’s sport and socialising alongside the Knavesmire course. “They called it the Knavesmire because they used to bring the knaves out of the city and hang them here,” Jon Ryan assured us.

Kevin Francis, the Star’s Manchester-based football and athletics writer, was there, while down from Newcastle was the esteemed Brian McNulty. Rob Wildman had travelled from Newark for a day away from covering rugby for the Mail or Telegraph. There was even one guest all the way from Melbourne (the original one, in Derbyshire, rather than Australia). The SJA’s “Day in the North” had attracted members from far and wide.

Ryan and Tom Clarke, who both took jobs in the racing industry after being sports editors of national papers, joined us to offer some expert advice for all the good it did some of us…

For most, it was a fun day in fine weather, and if you did decide to have a bet, as our deputy chair Janine Self discovered, sometimes you can ignore the form book and the bookies’ prices. “So there I am, gambling virgin, watching this beautiful grey horse walking round the parade ring. I like grey. I plonk a mighty £5 on the lovely beast. Everyone laughs at me because this oss ain’t going nowhere even if it is grey, apparently.

“Well, suckers, Grey Gatsby won. And apparently it was a really important Derby trial or something. I shall add ‘tipster’ to my CV instantly. For those who want to know, 9-1… You see I can even speak horse-racing lingo now.”

Self’s racing tips will be a featured part of the 2015 SJA Race Day…



Mon Sep 8: SJA Autumn Golf Day, Muswell Hill GC – non-members very welcome






One thought on “Members give SJA top marks for Day At The Races

  1. The organiser finished well up pocketwise – three winners and two places from six races he bet on and a missed opportunity in the first because he thought the horse was running in the last – but he returned next day and guess what happened.

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