Liveryman Diana Cresswell writes: Horses, high hopes and the Household Cavalry came together for Ladies Day at Epsom Downs Racecourse in June. The Stationers’ Company contingent were out in
force for a day’s racing, all decked out in their smart suits and finery. We filled 178 places allocated to us by the Household Cavalry Regiment.
The Household Cavalry sentries in their red coats and busbys or black coats and armour, switching hour on hour, gave the promise of something special as you entered the Enclosure. Early birds arrived in gusty, drizzly conditions but by the end of lunch the racecourse was bathed in bone warming summer sun.
What a lunch it was…a buffet made in heaven! “The best buffet I have ever had” was my husband’s verdict who particularly rated the mussels, crab, pate and freshly made bread while my guests were sweetened by the wide selection of puddings and the Lindt and Ferrero trees where you picked off chocolates to eat.
The racing started at 2pm and we had The Tote within the enclosure and a battery of bookies just outside so we could select how and where to bet, compare odds and statistics and generally get involved in the finances of the day.
Horse selection techniques varied widely. There were those noting the trainers or jockeys, weights, track records and BHA ratings, Racing Post tips, look of the horse, number or name of the horse or even the colour of the livery. Competition was as fierce in the spectator area as it was on the track.
There was easy access to the rail side for those who like to hear the pounding hooves and see the race up close but there was a view and a screen to see from the Enclosure for those happier relaxing with a Pims or beer and combining horse racing with a bit of fashion tracking. It was a day of glamour.
It could not have been a more unpredictable set of results, not least with the 50-1 outsider Quality snatching victory from the favourite in the main race of the day. Indeed the favourites only secured victory in two of the seven races so there was good scope for a profit on the day. Sadly I was not among those of good fortune!
Thanks to the Household Cavalry for letting us join in this fun day out and to Martin Randall who kept us very well organised. There was not a map or tip we missed out on.
A very successful day which raised £3587 for the Stationers' Foundation.