The racing was as good as ever, the weather was fairly typical, cool but fine, but this years’ Cup Day was anything but typical. As one of the lucky ones to be able to attend as part of the Sires Stakes Board so I could maintain my 53 year streak of being there, being in a bubble was a very apt description of the day, like looking out at an unbelievable situation. For the first time on the historic day, there were huge expanses of green grass where there is traditionally a sea of people.
You have to applaud the efforts of the Addington team for the massive task of changing all the normal arrangements for the day and, basically starting from scratch. Not only that but doing it in the knowledge that, whatever they managed to achieve, the result would be way down on what they normally see. In fact, the result that was reported was an amazing result. In fact, it just proves what an iconic day Cup Day in Canterbury has become. The ‘one day a year’ brigade could have walked away and ignored it, but judging by the turnovers and functions that were held in conjunction with it, they stuck with the ship, and probably the biggest event on a work day in the Country was still celebrated.
I’ve heard it said that it will be great to get back to normality for next year’s event. Like anyone who races horses, I’m forever an optimist, but I seem to remember the same thing being said last year, when the crowd was restricted in numbers, although nowhere near at this years’ levels. At least we can be confident that if it is open slather next year, the crowds will come flooding back. Both the racing industry and Canterbury need that to happen.