I think I’m feeling my age more than a bit these days. The weather has never bothered me when I’m at a race meeting but today I felt very cold and really didn’t like it. The sooner the weather warms and the flat racing season returns, the better my attitude will be.

I’ve been to Newcastle several times in recent years but always for meetings on the All Weather surface and usually in my capacity as an owner. Today was my first visit there to enjoy some National Hunt (Jumps) racing. I like it as a venue here as it is spacious and always quiet. Given it’s proximity to a major city, I’m always surprised at how quiet it is here. I’m sure it’s much busier on Northumberland Plate day (flat) and for the Fighting Fifth Hurdle and Eider Chase days (jumps). As the jumps courses are located inside the all-weather track, the action in the home straight is that little bit further away from the stand.

There is plenty of viewing space as you can see from the above photo. There is actually another stand to the right on that view though not sure if it is ever used.

The Fish and Chip shop in the Grandstand Hall looked pretty good and what I sampled was very nice indeed though not as good as the food served up in the owners restaurant as far as I remember from my visits there. There is plenty of bar space and tea and coffee facilities too.

Just the one bet from me today and that was on Phoenix Strike (pictured above) who duly finished 3rd and got me my money back from the place part of my each way bet.

Hopefully today has sharpened my wits for the Cheltenham showpiece next week and hopefully I will be on a racecourse again somewhere soon.