In a first for the Distillers, a group of around 30 people (Court, Livery and guests) descended on Newbury Racecouse five days before Christmas to enjoy a day’s racing, under cloudy skies but with no rain, in spite of a gloomy forecast.
Carl Llewelyn (the winning jockey in two Grand Nationals) came into the box to gives us some tips, and after some initial refreshment we watched the 2nd of the seven races on the card – the Worshipful Company of Distillers Maiden Hurdle. This was a Class 4 race of just over two miles of this famous racecourse, and with 21 runners it promised to be an exciting, open contest.
The trainer Nicky Henderson and jockey Nico de Boinville had already won the first race, and we should have noticed that the colours of Nico’s silks for ‘our’ race, were identical to the Distillers’ Country tie – sky blue and vivid yellow – and their mount Pacific de Baune romped away to win at very lucrative odds of 7-1.
The Master, Upper Warden and Learned Clerk were on hand – suitably gowned – to make the presentations to the winning connections and we all then adjourned to the private box to finish lunch.
The Master took the opportunity to lead a group of us outside to watch the 5th race from the final fence, and we all went home having enjoyed a great day out. Many thanks to the Master and the Mistress for organising a fantastic day, and here’s to a repeat in 2018!