We were relived to beat the weather and get another meeting on last week - and are now hoping there must be some warmer spring weather due in time for our next few, writes Fontwell Park general manager Tracy Skinner.
Having lost a number of cards to rain and snow this winter, we were worried on Monday night that the temperature was dropping and we were going to be hit by frost, even though we hadn’t had any up to that point.
But the clerk of the course Ed Arkell was out at 6.30am on the day of racing and there were no problems.
I must pay tribute to the way Ed and his team have worked so hard to keep the track and the whole site in good condition in a terrible and seemingly never-ending winter.
At times they’ve been able to do nothing on the racing surface and have spent all their time washing the rails. But hopefully we’re coming out of the gloomy period now.
Tuesday’s crowd wasn’t a big crowd - which is to be expected given all the circumstances - but hospitality did well.
And I think those who were here saw a good afternoon’s racing.
It was lovely to see Venetia Williams get back-to-back wins. That’s not her first recent success here and she could be a trainer to watch as the year continues.
We’ve now got a busy time racing-wise, with two meetings in April and then a grand total of five in May.
Next up it’s a Thursday card (on April 11), which is during the school holidays, so we’d hope to have a lot of families in that day. We’ll be putting on some entertainment for the kiddies.
Also opening for the first time that day will be our new Paddock restaurant in the marquee. We’re putting the finishing touches to it at the moment and think it will be an excellent new facility for race-goers.
May begins on the evening of Friday 3 with our Abba race night, with live music from Abba Magic, which is already creating a lot of interest.
Other highlights during May include back-to-back meetings on Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16, which will include the Hunter Chase, and then our bank-holiday Sunday meeting on May 26 when we’ll be invaded by the Moshi Monsters.
It’ll be great to get into the swing of regular race meetings - and we’re confident the winter will be long forgotten by then as well.
- Tracy Skinner
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