A Day at the Races – Lingfield Park

When I planned this trip I had in mind a long sultry evening, a couple of drinks, classy upper crust types with range rovers and some thundering horse racing. All of which I would be able to photograph. It didn’t quite turn out like that, but I did have a lovely evening none the less.

Lingfield Park Race Course
Lingfield Park Race Course

It had been a relatively sunny day and I had hopes that the good weather would continue into the evening, however, as the train pulled into Lingfield it had grown overcast and was looking like rain.

One of the Jockeys
One of the Jockeys

I met up with some photographers from the ‘London Photographers Meetup Group’ plus Tony our very dapper expert on racing. This was my first attendance at a meeting so any tips would be welcome.

The Races
There were six races, one every half an hour which turned out to be quite well paced. Between each race there was time to get a drink, have a look at the horses in the paddock, make a bet if you wanted and then amble to the rail to watch things unfold.

I was slightly disappointed to be quite so far from the track as I’d been hoping that the crowd was just behind the rail and I’d be able to get nice close cropped shots of the action. For the first three races we were 20 or so feet from the track which got even worse when they went to the all weather track (an inner ring) for the last three.

Still, I got a couple of shots with the 200mm lens despite the low light (and rain at one point). I had a bit more luck getting pictures of the jockeys and nags in the paddock even though they were at low speed.

Someone was a winner
Someone was a winner

The Betting
I was here for the pictures and to be honest, betting just isn’t my thing. By the last race though, I felt it would almost be rude if I didn’t have at least one flutter. I went to one of the ‘proper’ track side bookies, whose minimum bet is £5. I picked the fourth favourite (out of 12) on the basis that the first three had such bad odds it would hardly be worth winning. Imagine my shock and surprise when my horse came in first! At 6-1 I’d just earned myself £30 plus my stake back. Nice one.


70s Night

For most people the evening didn’t just end with the racing, it was 70s night and the band ‘Heatwave’ was in. I stayed for the first song and made an exit which also meant I missed the firework show too.

A really enjoyable evening, my photography buddies Maria and Marisa were lovely and the very dapper Tony was really good company. Might have been even better with a big crowd of friends.

Check out all the pictures from the evening.


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