Valentine’s Day Ideas for Racing Hearts: Whether you’re single, loved-up, planning a proposal or celebrating a wedding anniversary, make the most of what the Valentine’s week has to offer for racegoers.
Whether you’re in an established couple, on a first date or out with friends, a day at the races provides you with:
- A set itinerary – so everyone knows what to expect, and there’s always something to see and do
- All-day action – so you will never run out of things to talk about
- Something for all levels – go smart or go casual, eat in a restaurant or simply grab drinks in a bar; you can tailor your day to suit
- Something men enjoy as much as women
- A great atmosphere – it’s readymade so there’s nothing you need to do other than show up!
Racing Valentine’s Days
Whether you’re planning something special or simply love to go racing, here are some Valentine’s Day packages to treat yourself and/or your loved ones with!
• Thursday 13th February at Kelso is Morebattle Hurdle Day. Named after a village in the Scottish Borders near Kelso, the Morebattle Hurdle is the feature race of the day – Kelso’s most historic race and a trial for the Champion Hurdle Race at Cheltenham. Choose from a wide variety of eating and drinking options, from burgers to fine dining, but remember to book in advance for the latter. Share the love: the Charity Tea Room is situated next to the Hamilton Room within the Members’ Enclosure and each raceday, a different charity has the opportunity to sell refreshments with the proceeds going to the respective charity.
• Thursday 13th February at Leicester is a Jumps Raceday. While not dedicated to Valentine’s Day, it does offer the opportunity (for fans of Shakespearean romance) to book the Juliet Box. With views over the course from the premier stand, this package (£295) includes: entrance badges for six guests, racecards, sparkling afternoon tea and the private box for the day.
• Friday 14th February at Sandown is Valentine’s Raceday and Royal Artillery Gold Cup Day. A wonderful day of racing with a special military twist. All are welcome to a celebrate two fantastic traditions steeped in rich history. Exclusively for Valentine’s Day, Equus packages (from £69) will include a themed three-course a la carte menu and the Platinum Package the addition of Afternoon Tea and a refreshing glass of Rose Champagne. The feature race is the Royal Artillery Gold Cup. This is one of Sandown Park’s oldest races having been first run here in 1878, and since run every season since 1921. The race is restricted to horses that are owned or have been leased by those who are serving or have served in the Royal Artillery or one of its recognised Establishments or Units. The jockeys must be amateurs and either past or existing members of any of the Armed Forces, making the race unique in every sense.
SPECIAL OFFER: Save 20% on tickets to the 1875 Lounge at Sandown Park on Royal Artillery Gold Cup Day! Use Offer Code: 1875SAVE
Offer Expires: 13th February 2020.
• Friday 14th February at Fakenham is Valentine’s Raceday. Spice up your day with food from local family run business Currylicious, which has taken over from the seafood restaurant located near the parade ring – it serves good quality Indian cuisine and has its own bar.
• Friday 14th February at Southwell is Valentine’s Evening. The Valentine’s Restaurant Package for two (£95) includes: two Admission tickets, racecards, four Belgian chocolates, a rose, three-course meal and a table for the duration of the evening.
• Friday 14th February at Lingfield is Valentine’s All-Weather Racing. Team up with friends or family for a table in the Panoramic Trackside Restaurant with the ‘Silks’ option (£95 each). Enjoy a glass of fizz on arrival, premier tickets, racecards, private window table throughout the racing action with dedicated service and three course chef served hot menu. For 3–8 guests per table.
• And if you can’t make it to the races on Valentine’s Day, why not buy tickets for the races another time – the Jockey Club offers Gift Vouchers that can be redeemed at any of its 15 racecourses including Aintree (Grand National perhaps?), Cheltenham (The Festival of course!), Epsom (The Derby my dear!), Sandown Park (The Eclipse!!) and more.
For real racing hearts there are also some top class meetings taking place on the Valentine’s weekend – perfect if you want to use romance as an excuse to go racing!
• Saturday 15th February at Haydock is Grand National Trial Day. With a licence to thrill this is a great day of sport featuring some of the finest Jump horses and find out which runners and riders are vying for a place in this year’s Aintree Grand National.
• Saturday 15th February at Ascot is Ascot Chase Raceday. For those who love racing, the Grade 1 Betfair Ascot Chase is one of the season’s most prestigious races, with a roll of honour to match its reputation, including Kauto Star, Cue Card and in 2019, the mightily impressive Cyrname. Racegoers will get the chance to meet hugely popular two-time winner Cue Card, thanks to charity Retraining of Racehorses and enjoy live music in the Grandstand from Swing Blue. After racing, King Edward VII Enclosure ticket holders can enjoy the Final Furlong Cheltenham Preview in association with the Betfair Exchange. Experts include Final Furlong Podcast presenter Emmet Kennedy and champion trainer Paul Nicholls.
• Saturday 15th February at Wincanton is Kingwell Hurdle Day. Fast, furious and spectacular, since 1961 The Betway Kingwell Hurdle has thrilled and beguiled; a race that attracts the best two-mile hurdlers in the business. Popular Jazz band, The Hipcats will be performing around the course throughout the day.
For a fun family day out…
• Sunday 16th February at Market Rasen is Love Market Rasen Raceday. Celebrating all that is wonderful about their local community whilst taking in the excitement and thrills of a day at the races. If you Love Market Rasen book your ticket in advance and GO RACING FOR £10!
Simple Tricks to Make the Most of your Treat
As well as making sure you know where you are going, there are several ways you can make the most of your visit:
• Consider upgrading your tickets to include a meal or afternoon tea package.
• Buy your partner a racecard when you arrive so you can keep track of what’s on when throughout the day.
• Provide a betting budget and invite your partner to make the selections.
• Follow the ‘circuit ritual’ for at least one race so you sample every aspect of the racing experience.
• Wear layers and comfortable shoes to avoid wardrobe malfunctions (and therefore early home-time).
For Seriously Special Moments:
If you’re planning something a Bit Special for Valentine’s Day (or indeed any romantic milestone) here’s how you could really mark the occasion:
• Sponsor a race in your loved one’s name – such as the E.b.f. Harry & Doreen Chapman Golden Wedding Anniversary Maiden Stakes and the Caroline Louise Will You Marry Me Maiden Stakes that took place at Pontefract. Prices start from £500 at www.pontefract-races.co.uk (‘No Frills Sponsorship’) for example. Packages include presenting winners with their prize and choosing the Best Turned Out winner as well as naming the race and seeing it printed in the racecard.
• Propose during a Romantic Meal for Two at Goodwood’s The Kennels (offer runs 14th February from 7pm) to share a mouthwatering three course meal with canapés and a glass of bubbly, from £95 per person. See www.goodwood.com for more information.
• Place an advertisement in the racecard e.g. containing your marriage proposal or announcing your wedding anniversary etc. – prices start from £100 for a full page or £60 for a half page ad at Kelso for example.
• Buy an Annual or Seasonal Membership to your local racecourse – then enjoy the race meetings as your equivalent of ‘date night’ throughout the year.
• Make your loved one a racehorse owner: The British Racing Club offers plenty of opportunities for members to go to the races as an owner. A membership to the British Racing Club costs £150 for six months or £300 all-inclusive for one year and includes interest in a minimum of seven racehorses running frequently on the flat and over jumps as well as various ownership benefits. To buy a gift membership visit www.britishracingclub.co.uk
Whatever you decide, we hope you enjoy your day and if you didn’t manage to organise the special extras this year – there’s always next year!
Karen can usually be found glued to her computer or at the stables. Having edited several national magazines she co-founded Eclipse Magazine in 2008 after realising that many of her friends were nervous about going racing due to lack of information – what to wear, how to bet etc.
She absolutely loves her job (how many people can say that?!) and is truly grateful to all supporters of and contributors to Eclipse Magazine.
If you are reading this she would like to say THANK YOU! (And please spread the word about Eclipse…!!)