Last Sunday the older two boys and I attended Family Day at Ffos Las Racecourse. We had been invited along by my brother and his partner as they live locally and it was a good opportunity to visit their new home and spend some time together.
It’s an event I hadn’t previously thought about attending with the children however having been to Ffos Las last Summer for my sisters hen party I felt confident it was something the older two would enjoy.
Sunday was quite a blustery overcast day so we wrapped up warm and I packed a picnic for us to enjoy while there. Trystan was very excited about the races and asked lots of questions during the journey to my brother’s house. We spent some time at my brother’s house having a look around while we waited for the others who were joining us to arrive.
Once everyone had arrived we made the couple of minutes car journey to Ffos Las and made our way to the entrance to get our tickets. Then we made our way through into the grounds where we found several inflatable and activities for children. We decided to find somewhere to sit and have our picnics before the races started so that we would have a base for people to come and go from. It’s quite exposed around the race course but we managed to find a slightly sheltered spot.
It was just after one thirty by this time and the races where due to start at 2pm, so while a few of us set about sorting the food out my brother and one of his friends went to get race cards for us to have a look at. I tried to explain about how you decide which horse to back to the boys. This was my second visit to the race course and placing a bet so I’m certainly no expert! my brother and the others with us tried to help explain too. We explained that it was illegal for them to place a bet themselves as they are under 18-year-old but that they could help us decide which horses to back.
Using the race card we tried to explain about odds and the past performance of the horses in each race. Trystan decided he wanted us to back horses that were making their debut, while Luc choose based on names he liked! While I tried to pick based on odds etc. WIth the first race due to start in fifteen minutes I went to place our bets, only placing the minimum required bet on each, then returned to the others. The wind was starting to really pick up and I was glad we had wrapped up and I had a flask of tea to warm me up! I also had some delicious Mr Kipling cakes I had been kindly sent for us to all enjoy. I had taken along a box of Mr Kipling’s French Fancys and Viennese Whirls which the boys couldn’t wait to get stuck into. Just as I opened the boxes the first race started and we were quickly caught up in the atmosphere and join in the cheering on of the horses, french fancies in hand! To our amazement the horses Trystan and I choose came in first and second, Trystan was so excited, while Luc’s horse wasn’t placed. Though Luc wasn’t too bothered, he was more concerned about getting the chance to go on the Rodeo Bull he’d spotted as we arrived!
After we watched the second race which again produced some winners for Trystan and I we went to have a look at the activities available for children. I was pleasantly surprised to see where free and the boys were excited to be able to go on them. There were a few aimed at much younger children so I steered the boys to more suitable ones. The boys were keen to have a go on the rodeo bull ride so waited their turn. Both had great fun on it and admitted it was harder than it looks to stay on the bull!
On our way back to the others we decided to back a couple more horses in the next race. It was getting really quite chilly by this time and after a quick discussion we all decided to watch the next race then head back to my brother’s house where we could watch the races in the warm. To my surprise our horses came in again, so our methods for picking horses were working for us! As the others headed back, the boys wanted to have a go at the inflatable assault course near the entrance so we remained behind. While the boys had a go I watched a couple of the horses being auctioned in the ring. It was fascinating to watch, one of the horses was one we had backed.
Once the boys were ready we headed back to my brothers to join everyone. We watched another two races and finished off the last of our picnic including the Mr Kipling cakes before heading home. The boys were very excited to tell dad of 3 all about their experience at the races and our winnings. I explained to dad of 3 about all the activities available for the children and that there is another family day in a couple of months. Having experienced it once I would certainly consider going again but hopefully next tome the weather will be better so we can enjoy it more. Both the boys felt that the Mr Kipling Cakes had been a perfect picnic accompaniment for our day at the races and we would have to take some next time!