An Evening at the Races - Epsom Downs 3/08/17

It’s hard not to feel a sense of awe coming to Epsom. The history, passion and pure love of racing runs deep through the roots at this racecourse. Famous internationally for hosting the Epsom Derby and the Oaks, yesterday it played host to ‘An Evening at the Races’, followed by a live jazz performance.  

Despite being a windy, cloudy day this was not a sign of things to come (in terms of betting, at least). Punters pockets at Goodwood this week may feel a little light, but Epsom certainly made up for this with 4 out 6 favourites claiming victory.

The day didn’t start of all so well, however. My money was on number 7, The Gay Cavalier (5/2F). A dwindling performance saw this horse not challenging the leaders, finishing 4th. Despite my personal losses, this was all in all, an exciting race. Gold Merlion (5/1) led by 3 lengths 3f out. However, storming on the outside was Miss Inga Sock (11/4) piping Gold Merlion to the post on a photo finish.

A quick trip to the parade ring, and a study of form was my initial interests following this disappointing race. Ya Jammeel (10/11F) was racing in the next. This horse put in a very impressive performance on similar ground at Epsom a few weeks back, convincing me where to place my money. There was no challenge to Ya Jammeel drawing clear of the pack 2f out. Finally, after a poor week at Goodwood I had backed a winner! I’d regained my magic touch.


The following three all followed a similar theme. The favourites claiming convincing victories. Perhaps the standout performance was Jim Crowley upon Coral Sea (7/2JF) in the third. After racing all day at Goodwood, Jim made the trip north to Epsom (About an hour or so drive). Showing no signs of fatigue he rode Coral Sea home beating Nightingale Valley (7/2JF) in the process.


As the racing concluded and the jazz proceeding, the drinks started flowing. This wasn’t helped by the punters heavier wallets. With everyone in high spirits, the inevitable starting happening. A conga of men weaving around the scattered tables. Seems a bit much for a Thursday evening, presuming most of these have work the following morning. Oh well, it’s all in good spirits and this is what the racing is all about, having a good time!


It must be noted, however, I didn’t make much of this ‘jazz’. The performance was good and enjoyable but saxaphone covers of Eliffel 65s ‘I’m Blue’ and White Stripes ‘Seven Nation Army’, for me doesn’t qualify as jazz. Although, admittedly it did get the crowd going.

As the evening drew to an end, I left Epsom extremely satisfied. The racing lived up to its potential, backing many winners and the evening's entertainment was a good laugh. Unfortunately, I’m not attending Epsom again this summer but having attended the Oaks in early June and again last night I can’t wait to return in the Autumn.

Sam Hitchmough