It was upon arrival at the York racecourse last Friday the 8th of October that yours truly befriended a group of racing enthusiasts, the Ballyboys from Kilcock and ended up enjoying some pimms with them on the lawn and some craic over the two days racing.I was lucky in a way to meet up with these fine gentlemen as it was my first time racing in England and since I was there to do a review on the famous track, what better way to start than by obtaining some information and stories from five men who had seemingly done it all before.First things first,what is pimms i hear you ask?Well it’s a cool refreshing alcoholic beverage consisting of gin,lemonade and pimms itself and throw in some ice and sliced fruit such as apple and orange and you have the perefect drink to enjoy on a nice,hot day such as the one we had on friday.The British beverage is almost as much a tradition as the cup of the tea and the British down the gin-based drink by the gallon on hot summer months.So I knew it was going to be special kind of weekend when it started by me sharing a pimms with five Irish men calling themselves the Ballyboys and not a Guinness!! But that is the glory of the york races as I found out, whether you want to dress up in your finest collar and tie and enter the county stand or go casual and mingle with the rest it’s a great day out regardless which you choose. I went for the former and paid the £24 entrance fee which also got me the day’s race card and the badge for the county stand and other restricted areas. It turned out to be the right choice and i would recceomend it to anyone wishing to travel there next year(I say next year because as it turned out this was the last meeting of the year at York,which only added to the carnival athmosphere).With the large crowd there the county stand gives you the opportunity to take a seat every now and then and watch the races unfold in comfort.So with my pimms drank,my race card studied and my tips from the Ballyboys stowed away, I set off to explore the place, find my feet so to say which I found rather easy as though York holds a large crowd, it is small and compact to get around, the longest walk been from the parade ring to the betting ring. The most impressive thing I found was the view you have of the horses coming down the home straight as i was looking at them head on, something i’ve never experienced here in Ireland. And it was there cheered home my two winners Rude Girl @ 4-1 in the 3:55 and Veiled Applause @7-2 in the 5:00.But it was also there I was a shoulder to cry on for one of my new friends as he failed to back a horse he had been on about all day..Justonefortheroad, a 25-1 winner who romped home in the 3:20.But in all it was a most enjoyable first days racing in England for me and I had the added bonus of getting to meet ex soccer star Alan Shearer after his horse Justonefortheroad was victorious. So in all I was 100% sure of a return the following day and would highly recommend a day at the York races, the people are friendly, the food is second to none, you can do a day in the champagne bar or eat hot dogs outside of the county stand but if it’s fish your into as I was my money is on the little cold fish bar just behind the parade ring, it’s where I bid farewell to The Ballyboys…until saturday.

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