The staff could turn their attention to Christmas shopping, or laze around in a warm house. But just for one day; there’s racing again on Friday and Saturday. This unusual train of events came about after freezing weather created problems with the surface at Wolverhampton. The British Horseracing Authority approved that four meetings scheduled for the Midlands circuit could be transferred to Lingfield.
Stable manager Julie Wiggins explained the challenge she faced, saying, “It has been a mammoth task and a tremendous team effort. We’ve had 590 horses through the stables (to close of play on Tuesday) with 139 staying overnight throughout the week. The most we had one night was 41. We’ve got through 13 pallets of bedding, but what’s keeping us focused is that we are breaking a record with eight meetings in a row and more. We’ve been lucky to draft in a bit of extra help with mucking out in the evenings with Jackie from the stable staff canteen, Matt from the ground staff and Beverley the paddock marshal and numbers lady.”
For some, such as restaurant manager Julie Lynn, the additional days racing have proved beneficial. She told the Racing Post, “The extra days have been a bonus, not so much financially but because I enjoy it so much. I started young and I’ve been working here for 30 years. The restaurant isn’t open on the extra days, so I switch to taking care of the winning connections, the press and the in-running boxes, but there are a lot of the same regulars whose preferences I get to know, and I enjoy looking after them.”
Andy Darry, parade ring attendant didn’t know he would be so busy when he started work at Lingfield recently, but had no complaints. He said, “It’s been no problem at all, I’ve really enjoyed it. I was made redundant about three weeks ago from a job I’d had for eight years. I love racing, so I thought I would give Lingfield a call and they gave me a job straight away. It’s been great to get work every day.”
Enjoy your day off, folks.