Monday 4 April 2011

REDCAR Racecourse is taking the Mickey out of a TV presenter who said he wanted the words “Never went to Redcar” inscribed on his gravestone. One of the races at the Tees Valley track’s opening fixture of the 2011 Flat racing season on Monday 18 April has now been titled “The Alastair Down Gravestone Selling Race.”


Alastair Down is one of Channel 4 Racing’s pundits and is a senior writer at the Racing Post newspaper. He’s nicknamed ‘Fat Al’ by the programme’s best known face, John ‘Big Mac’ McCririck.
Redcar Racecourse’s general manager Amy Fair has also invited Mr Down to come to the racecourse - which he is so determined not to visit - on 18th April to make the post-race presentation to the winning racehorse owner.
His comment about Redcar was made in the Racing Post after the writer had visited Catterick Racecourse for the first time. He said there were about 12 of Britain’s 60 racecourses that he had yet to visit, adding “some of which I am determined to keep at arm’s length”.
He went on: “When I am dead, the only things I want on my gravestone is my name, dates, neck measurement and the words ‘He never went to Redcar’.”
Amy Fair said: “Alastair really should come and visit us in Redcar. We have one of the best atmospheres in horse racing and always welcome a lovely crowd here. Along with Catterick, which he enjoyed so much last Wednesday, we are also the most affordable racecourse for punters and families to visit – and in the current economic climate, that’s a very important thing.”
Monday 18 April at Redcar Racecourse is part of Britain’s ‘free racing month’ in April. The track put up 500 free tickets – and they were all claimed within a few hours.
On the back of that, the racecourse has made a 2-for-1 offer – buy a Grandstand ticket for the Easter Monday fixture on 25 April and get a free ticket for the 18th.
The ‘free racing month’ is organised by Racing for Change which is aiming to broaden the audience for Britain’s second most popular spectator sport.
Ironically, Alastair Down is one of Racing for Change’s most voluble critics!
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