Sunday 21st March – I found myself legitimately in the close proximity of the Curragh on the opening day of the flat season 2021. Having not heard the sound of horse’s hooves since the Cheltenham festival 2020, the lure of the Curragh Plains was irresistible – I could smell the hoof oil and other horse fragrances in the air!
Having grabbed a coffee from Lucy’s cafe in the Tri Equestrian shop, I headed out the road with the Curragh stand on my left, to the grass near the 2f pole. I was surprised to see quite a few other like-minded individuals already in-situ – families, older people, young people, even a small bubble of three people with a windbreaker and some light refreshments.
Everyone kept to their own bubbles and there was plenty of room on the rails to spread out. You would really want to bring binoculars if you want to view the race from the start.
I’m aware that during the 2020 season, there were small congregations of punters at a lot of the meetings, particularly at the classics. It seems to work well if you’re living within whatever are the Government guidelines of the given day!
Of course, you could position yourself at any one of many vantage points around the perimeter, taking into account safety of course.
Personally, I cannot see a return to the course until the Autumn, but I’ve trained myself to have low expectations after a year of this – at least that way I won’t be disappointed!