Join the ladies at a race day to remember

Horseracing is hugely popular in countries like Britain, Ireland and France – just like following a football team, it’s a passion that stays with you until your dying day.
From the factory worker who ritually places a small-stake bet during their lunch break, to the landed gentry who travel the length of the country to eat a champagne picnic out of the back of their Rangerover in the rain, it is one of the few sports that genuinely attracts all-comers. The rich and poor, educated and illiterate, royalty and villainy, tipsters and dipsticks, the racetrack is where they come, united by a love of the punt and a desire to empty the bookies’ pockets.

This coming Sunday, those in attendance will be united by a third reason: a desire to support a cause that is one of the worthiest known to mankind: fighting breast cancer, the disease that continues to kill, in high numbers across the world, daughters, mothers and grandmothers, and sometimes even men.  

To new arrivals to this country, Støt Brysterne 2013 might look like a strange name for a day like this. “Support breasts” – the mind boggles: is it a new kind of implant or one of the slogans Adam dreamed up at his one-man demonstration in the Garden of Eden? But to the Danes, when the words come together, they can only mean one thing: Pink Ribbon, the global fight against breast cancer. It is a day, brought to us by Klampenborg Racetrack in co-operation with the Danish Cancer Society, on which everything – the tucker, the clobber and even the flutter – take second place behind the cause.

Unsurprisingly, this day is all about the fillies. For starters, they get free entry (although they are welcome to make a 50kr charity donation – 20kr from other ticket sales also go to charity), and for only 100kr, they can access the special charity terrace, where they will be pampered rotten with delicious refreshments and receive idiot-proof betting advice. There are opportunities to win prizes all day, from the legendary ladies’ hat competition, to an actual running race (high heels are not advised if the going is firm … or heavy), all courtesy of a host of cosmetics, fashion and lifestyle companies that are among the sponsors of the charity and race day.

The main race of the day is the Danish Oaks, which is fittingly like its English counterpart: an all-ladies (in this case mares) affair. The best three-year-old female horses in the region will fight it out over 2,400 metres – 12 furlongs if you know your racing. Look out for Annaboda, which won the Norsk Oaks after a stewards’ enquiry. And don’t miss the Scandinavian Ladies Cup, of which the winning jockey will win her weight in champagne.

For those of you who haven’t been before, it’s worth knowing that Klampenborg Racetrack is an ideal venue for beginners. No-one’s going to pull you up for not knowing the difference between a placepot and a jackpot. So while you can still experience the joys of racing – from the thunderous sensation of the horses galloping by, to watching your bet romp home by five lengths – there’s a more laidback vibe where the emphasis is very much on having fun.

Serious punters should bear in mind that there are no trackside bookies, only a tote, which means the amount of money you win is dependant on how much money has been bet, unlike a conventional bet where you are paid out according to the odds at the time of the bet. You can also bet straight forecasts, straight tricasts and enter the jackpot, in which you have to predict the winners of all six races and, should you win it alone, will pay out 200,000 kroner. The races vary in length, from 1,200 to 2,400 metres around a track that is 1,800 metres a circuit. The horses are never more than 900 metres away, so while binoculars are handy there is excellent on-course TV coverage.

If you are coming by train, the 388 bus stops at the entrance travelling from both Klampenborg and Lyngby stations. And if you are driving, ample parking facilities can be found opposite the entrance. This might enable you to self-cater and take advantage of the racetrack’s excellent picnic and BBQ facilities, which are handily located next to the kids’ attractions, which include an excellent playground.

Should it rain, there are plenty of indoor facilities, including a kids’ area complete with a playground and room to watch DVDs, an adults’ gambling area and several restaurants.  
So what’s keeping you? Surely there are no better ways to spend a Sunday that supporting the Pink Ribbon?

 

Ladies Day at Klampenborg Racetrack: in support of Breast Cancer

Klampenborg Galopbane, Klampenborgvej 52, Klampenborg; doors open Sun 11:00, first action 12:15, first race 12:45, closes 17:00; Adults: men 100kr, ladies and children free adm, concessions available, charity terrace tickets: 100kr, www.kbnet4.cancer.dk or bit.ly/DamernesDag; www.galopbane.dk