Chasing Cheltenham- what to expect from The Showcase 2019

The wait is finally over!

It all started at 15 years old. I was deciding where to go for work experience at High School and my riding instructor at the time was riding out on a racing yard, and suggested I went there. I will never forget that week, that’s where it all began. The speed, the thrill, and most importantly, the athletes themselves. The passion within was ignited, and it never left. I actually remained working at that same racing yard for a year, such an incredible experience. I gained a whole new appreciation for horses, an animal that was already my whole life.

From that point on, I never really looked back, I was obsessed with racing and racehorses. I went to University and studied a Degree and a Masters, and I tailored the majority of my work to fit around either the jockey or the racehorse – I was totally hooked. Sports psychology became my main love at Uni, so my interest on jockeys as an athlete became my main focus.

I have been so excited to bring you content for the National Hunt Racing Season. This is where my true passion lies. There is something about Racing that is like nothing else, it gives me that fire in my tummy.

Living in Gloucestershire, I am completely spoilt that Cheltenham Racecourse is just down the road. This place is heaven on Earth. Probably best known for The Cheltenham Festival, horse lovers and racing fanatics all over the world know and love Cheltenham. Considered the home of jump racing, Cheltenham hosts meets throughout the jump racing season, running October to April.

I am going to be bringing you a whole host of blogs, content, tips and tricks and outfit ideas for the whole of the racing season. If you don’t want to miss anything, you can subscribe to the blog, and follow my instagram @countryclassiclucinda.

If you have a passion for racing, are looking for outfit inspiration, or are thinking about taking your first trip to the racecourse, read on and I hope you enjoy, this blog is for you!

Let’s get started!!

What to expect from The Showcase

Heaven on Earth, a home away from home.

Racing returns to Cheltenham with The Showcase, the start of their action packed 2019 jump racing season. Fourteen races will be held across the two day meet, running Friday 25th and Saturday 26th October.

Gates open at 12 midday both days, with first race commencing at 2.00pm and last race at 5.00pm.

Cheltenham Racecourse has two enclosure tickets available for The Showcase, Best Mate Enclosure and Clubs/Tatts Enclosure. The Best Mate enclosure overlooks the Main Grandstand, with a great view of the finish, and access to food, bars and betting facilities. For the full race day experience, choose the Clubs/Tatts Enclosure. This offers the pre-parade and parade ring, views of the course and the winners enclosure, alongside food, bars, betting facilities, and the main grandstand.

If you haven’t been racing at Cheltenham before, this is a great meet to start with. A slightly ‘quieter’ meet and you will find anyone and everyone here has a passion for racing. The Showcase offers the perfect opportunity to get to grips with Cheltenham Racecourse before the long awaited November Meet.

Day One – The Showcase Friday

The opening day of Cheltenham. Can I just say I got emotional writing that and actually had a lump in my throat. For the racing fanatics out there, the opening day of the first meet of the season is something else. I get a fire and passion in my stomach when I talk about racing, go racing or see any sort of racehorse anywhere. For me, this is life. This is what I live and breathe for.

Seven exciting races to look forward to, lifestyle and bespoke trade stands and world class hospitality available, there will also be live music from The Hipcats.

Last year we saw Lil Rockerfeller storm to victory in the 2018 Matchbook Time To Move Over Novices Chase under Wayne Hutchinson. The highlight of the day this year will be The ‘Matchbook Most Trusted Betting Exchange Notices’ Steeple Chase (Class 2), at 3.45pm.

  • Tickets start from just £8, and under 18’s gain free entry. Hospitality packages begin from £130.
  • Day Two – The Showcase Saturday

    Day two of the meet, and another seven race day. The trade stands, hospitality and live music are all still available on this day. Alongside the new Cheltoberfest (additional ticket required).

    The Saturday is also hosting entertainment in the pre-parade ring, parade ring and the Tattersalls sales arena (this will only be accessible with a Clubs/Tatts ticket). This will include demonstrations/talks about racehorse anatomy and preparing a racehorse for a day at the races, amongst lots of other things.

    Our day two highlights of 2018 of course came from Modus, trained by Paul Nichols and owned by JP McManus. Barry Geraghty rode Modus to victory despite uncertainty beforehand. It’s at 3.10pm that we see the highlight of the day this year with The Randox Health Handicap Steeple Chase (Class 2).

  • Tickets start from just £8, and under 18’s gain free entry. Hospitality packages begin from £130.

  • What to wear to The Showcase

    There is no set dress code at Cheltenham Racecourse, but there are definitely some things to be mindful of when choosing your perfect race day outfit. Cheltenham Racecourse definitely has its own climate, do not be caught out! Be mindful that racing here is during the Autumn/Winter months, and people are dressing for this. You can expect wind and rain during any of the meets, and there is nothing worse than being stood outside all day if you are freezing cold and feel like you can’t move!

    Practicality should come first and foremost when planning your Cheltenham outfit. This meet is one of the more relaxed meets, so you don’t need to go out buying dresses, hats and heels. Generally you will see a lot of tweed, cosy scarves, hats and gloves and boots! Dress for weather and warmth for this meet. Think smart country clothing.

    Need for Tweed!

    I LOVE TWEED! I can’t even say that enough. If you love tweed welcome to the Cheltenham Club, you will love it here. Tweed jackets are a popular option with both men and women, and a tweed skirt is an item you can easily style for the races. If you are unsure what to wear, then throw on a tweed jacket, and away you go.

    Layers, Layers, Layers!

    I can’t stress this enough. Many times now I have been stood so cold that I haven’t been able to think of anything else. Do not get caught out. Layer up, if you have too much on and are getting to warm, you can take something off, this is better than standing shivering all day. Use smaller layers to trap heat, and keep warm with an additional hat and scarf. A gilet is also a great layering piece for under your jacket.

    What’s the time?!

    Despite gaps between each race, time seems to fly at the races and you don’t want to be caught out missing the start of a race because you hadn’t realised the time. I would definitely recommend wearing a watch and checking race times at the start of the day so that you can get your prime viewing position!

    Ouch, my feet!

    A day at Cheltenham just can’t be ruined by your feet hurting. There is a mixture of stones, grass and tarmac on the site, you are also likely to be stood up for the majority of the day. The public car parks are typically on grass too, so you are likely to encounter this before the day has even begun. Don’t wear any footwear that is going to pinch or rub. Despite several bars, you will probably be stood up most of the day. Having sore feet is all you can think about and takes away the fun of the day. Don’t get caught out with this.

    Opt for comfortable flat or low heeled boots or shoes for this meet. Something that you are happy stood up in, or walking around in all day. If you are wearing suede, I would recommend using a suede waterproofer on these, just so that you aren’t caught out if we have an unexpected shower.

    The bigger the bag..

    Be mindful that Cheltenham Racecourse does have a Bag Policy in place. It is one bag per person and generally anything under A4 in size will be accepted into the course, but if your bag is any bigger, you may see a delay in entry. Bags are also searched on entry. There is a left luggage area at Cheltenham for you to leave larger items or suitcases/holdalls.

    My top picks for this meet

    I’ve picked some of my favourite items right now for you to take inspiration from with your Cheltenham outfits.

    Wandering Bee Union Jack Scarf

    Featured as part of the August Edition Top Picks blog, the beautiful Wandering Bee Union Jack scarves add colour to your outfit whilst also adding a much needed additional layer. These scarves are large enough to wrap around you when it’s chilly, or you can wear around your neck.

    These scarves are the perfect race day accessory and I am looking forward to mine making an appearance at the races, so I will show you exactly how I choose to style mine further into the season. They pair great with a skirt or dress, and if you are going for more simple colours with your outfit, this can be used to add a little colour pop.

    Find me here.

    Welligogs Henley Blue Check Fitted Jacket

    This beautiful jacket also featured as part of the August Edition Top Picks blog, so you know how much I love it already if you aren’t new to the blog. This jacket is absolutely perfect for this meet. It is a slightly lighter jacket so it is great to wear this time of year, and won’t feel bulky at all, even when you layer up underneath it.

    I have a spectacular hat that I am going to be pairing with this jacket for one of the other Cheltenham meets- so keep your eyes peeled for that! I can’t wait to show you.

    This jacket is currently in the Welligogs sale – grab one whilst you can.

    Find me here.

    Grays 1922 Joanna Handbag

    I love this bag! The Joanna featured in The Game Fair blog that I produced a couple of months ago. I have this bag in brown with the suede, which I have linked below, but this has also now been released in full brown leather, which looks beautiful and can be found on the website.

    This bag is the perfect size for the races, it isn’t too big but it is big enough to fit what you need to take with you. It does also fit over your shoulder so you don’t have to worry about carrying it around in your hand all day.

    The inside of this bag is one large main compartment, but it has a really handy smaller punch inside with a zip shut. This is perfect for all your little bits – lipsticks etc that normally get lost within a main compartment.

    Find me here.

    JJR Bespoke Clutch Bag

    I recently received my custom made bag from JJR bespoke and I love it. The incredibly clever team behind the brand are able to produce custom made items, meaning you can have exactly the look you want. I opted for a green tweed and suede which I love, and goes with a lot of the outfits I wear. If you have a specific outfit in mind, this is the perfect way to ensure your accessories match exactly how you want.

    I love the design of the fold over clutches, they really are perfect for the races. These have a shoulder strap so you don’t have to carry them around.

    Find me here.

    Morris Richardson Watches

    A watch is the perfect addition to any outfit. The Morris Richardson watches are my favourite with their interchangeable straps, as this can then be tailored to your outfit.

    One of my favourites is the baby pink Belvoir watch, which has already featured several times at the races with me. The beautiful baby pink matches so many of my outfits, and will definitely be featuring again at the races, amongst some of my other strap colours.

    My watch comes absolutely everywhere with me, and I am obsessed with these changeable straps, if you are as accessory obsessed as me- this watch will become your new best friend. The tweed straps are my go to, however, there is are leather and mesh strap options available as well. The watch straps are quick release, meaning that your look is easily changeable – perfect for those ever changing Cheltenham looks.

    Find me here.

    What I wore last year

    Friday last year…

    The Friday outfit last year was one of my favourite Cheltenham outfits. We were lucky that the weather was slightly kinder than normal so I wasn’t quite as layered up.

    I chose a simple burgundy jumper under a neutral coloured cape. This Jayley cape is a fabulous layer by the way, there is very little to it but it has a huge impact on how your outfit looks, and an additional layer in turn. I then paired these with a beautiful Timothy Foxx tweed skirt. The tweed has a gorgeous baby pink check through it. The whole look was completed with the Amira boots in Tan by Fairfax and Favor, and a burgundy fedora by High Bird Designs. I wore the Grays 1922 Elizabeth Evening Bag in tan croc finishing off the look perfectly.

    Full Outfit Details:

    Hat- High Bird Designs

    Cape – Jayley

    Belt – Mackenzie and George

    Skirt – Timothy Foxx

    Boots – Fairfax and Favor

    Bag – Grays 1922

    Saturday last year…

    This outfit last year was bold, I’ll give myself that! I love experimenting and pushing the boundaries with clothing and colours.

    I went for lots of layers with this outfit, keeping me warm all day. The gilet worn was by schoffel and I had various navy layers underneath this. I paired the gilet with a narrow silk scarf by Clare Haggas. My tweed skirt by Holland Cooper pulled together further blues on a light tweed background. I paired with some bold burgundy tights, Fairfax and Favor Regina Boots and a navy fedora. I also took a large cashmere and fur wrap with me for an additional layer.

    Full Outfit Details:

    Hat- High Bird Designs

    Gilet – Schoffel

    Scarf – Clare Haggas and Luxy London

    Skirt – Holland Cooper Clothing

    Boots – Fairfax and Favor

    Clutch – Hicks and Hides

    I hope you’ve loved this blog and found it useful. I will be at the meet both days next week, and really look forward to seeing some of you there. If you are not able to make it to this meet, there will be coverage of the racing on ITV.

    That’s all for now, stay tuned next week for the round up.

    Lots of love, Lucinda xo

    ‘If you aren’t afraid of the speed, you aren’t going fast enough’ – Unknown

    {some items mentioned in this post were given}