Weblog: What do you mean the Wi-Fi doesn't work? The life of a Racing Post reporter
Sober fun in the sun
Wow. A racecourse with a Plan B. And it seemed to work, too.
Summer marketing at some tracks seems to amount to praying for the sun then raking in the money from hordes of young folk drinking themselves silly at the bar, with little concern for the unpleasant atmosphere created.
But Uttoxeter decided to be different and - whisper it quietly - to take the slightest of steps upmarket.
So though they rebranded today's previously nondescript afternoon card as 'ladies day', there was no attempt to market it to the younger, more hedonistic type of racegoer. Rather, they tried to a sell it a slightly older clientele.
So, for example, musical entertainment was provided by a Michael Buble tribute act rather than a more 'pop-y' band.
And best-dressed racegoer prizes included the 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' trilogy, wrapped in a tie - apparently a jokey reference to goings-on contained within the pages of a book, about which I am sadly ignorant. And intend to remain so, judged on the face that business development executive Samantha Edwards pulled when I asked her what the goings-on were.
Executive director David MacDonald's vision was of people sitting round the paddock in the sunshine sipping Pimms - "We want a quality day, not a crush." And he got his wish - a distinctly healthy 4,000-odd in attendance and all hospitality boxes sold yet no overcrowding, no overdrinking and no air of menace.
Of course, the key word was 'sunshine', which always puts people in a better mood - even when it's so scorching they're using umbrellas as impromptu parasols.
And there was something to celebrate as Derek Thompson was back, wielding microphone and bucket for the first time since June 23 - though there is a little less of him now, five weeks out of action as he recovered from an operation does not appeared to have changed him.