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ASCOT, NEWMARKET & THE ARC
13 Days, 12 Nights (including one en route)
SEPTEMBER 23 to OCTOBER 5, 2004

4 nights in London, 2 nights in Newmarket, 5 nights in Paris
5 days of racing at Ascot, Windsor, Newmarket, & Longchamp
Training area/Farm visits in Newmarket & Chantilly

Day 1
Thu  Sep 23
Depart U.S.
 
Day 2
Fri  Sep 24
Arrive in London. You will be met at the airport and delivered to our London accommodation, the Draycott Hotel. The remainder of the day is free for adjustment and your own interests. At 6PM we will have a cocktail reception at the hotel to get to know each other a bit and prepare for our activities together.

THE DRAYCOTT: The graceful, refined Draycott is our London home. Set amid Chelsea and Knightsbridge, and their fine shopping, dining, and walking, the hotel has been adapted from three grand Edwardian townhouses and has direct access to a private park. Our rooms are very spacious, each with a sitting area, and in many cases, a fireplace. Visit www.draycotthotel.com for more information. Continental breakfast is included each morning.

 
Day 3
Sat  Sep 25
Centerpiece day of "Finale" Weekend at Ascot, the last big day of racing here before a major, multi-year renovation of the course begins. A last chance to see what will soon be known as the "Old Ascot". There's a splendid race card, headed by the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Europe's last major one-mile race before the Breeders' Cup, over the testing Old Mile course. Also: The Group 1 Fillies' Mile and the Group 2 Royal Lodge — both for 2-year-olds — a Group 2 sprint for older horses, and a 2-mile handicap. We'll have our own private box for the day, with lunch and afternoon tea served in the box.
 
Day 4
Sun  Sep 26
This is an OPEN DAY for you to use as you please in London. One of your choices is a return to Ascot for another day's racing.
 
Day 5
Mon  Sep 27
A relaxed day of sightseeing and racing in Windsor, west of London. We'll coach out in the morning and have a fast look at the famous Castle and at Eton, then have lunch outdoors by the Thames. From there we'll boat the last mile upstream to the lovely racecourse. Atmosphere is everything here: with its riverside location, tall trees, and quirky figure-8 layout, Windsor is a favorite of many despite its lack of major races. For some longer events, you can walk across the course for a closeup of the start, and have time to amble back to the finish line to see the horses come back by again. We'll go racing the mobile European way today, but our Members' Enclosure badges will give us the run of the place and there will be plenty of spots to grab a seat.
 
Day 6
Tue  Sep 28
Mid-morning, following checkout at the Draycott, we head out to Newmarket, two hours northeast of London and known in English racing circles as "HQ". This is where Thoroughbred racing as we know it developed, and today it's still by far England's largest training center. Our visit will begin with a quick look at the famous gallops, after which we'll have lunch and go to the Racing Museum. From there we'll walk over to Tattersalls, where England's most important racehorse sales are held, and our guide will give us an orientation. Following this, we'll have a look at the July Course, where racing is conducted here in the summer, and visit the National Stud. Late afternoon, we check in at the Bedford Lodge Hotel.

THE BEDFORD LODGE: Modern, comfortable, and located not far from the town center, the Bedford Lodge is our resting place in Newmarket. It has a fitness club and indoor pool, a restaurant, and a lively bar always filled with racing people and racing talk. At www.bedfordlodgehotel.co.uk you can find more. Full English breakfast each morning is included.

 
Day 7
Wed  Sep 29
The Gallops at NewmarketWe start today at 9AM with a visit to the training gallops where the morning's second set will be out. Then we stop in at a trainer's yard, followed by a look at the fascinating equine swimming pool. The afternoon is OPEN for you to do as you please. You might want to join us on a visit to a private farm in the area, or simply relax at the hotel. Another option is a visit to Greg Way's book emporium. Greg has a huge collection of racing books, both rare and unrare, for sale and shipment back to the U.S.
 
Day 8
Thu  Sep 30
The morning is free. You may wish to walk over to the gallops on your own. Just before noon, after check-out and with our bags packed, we go to the principal Newmarket racecourse, the Rowley Mile, for a day of racing. Today is the opening of the important three-day Cambridgeshire Meeting, and the feature is the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes, a major 2-year-old filly test. There's also a Group 3 for 2-year-old colts and a couple of minor events for 2-year-olds that often throw up good ones for the future. We'll have a block of reserved seats for the day. After the races our motorcoach will take us down to London where we'll board the under-the-Channel Eurostar fast train to Paris, and have dinner during the ride. We get into Gare du Nord in central Paris at 11:23PM, having lost an hour to continental time, after which it's a short ride to the Raphael Hotel.

EUROSTAR: Since 1994, Eurostar has transformed travel between London and the Continent. On its service routes, it now carries more passengers than all the airlines combined. Transit time between the city centers of London and Paris is only 2 3/4 hours. We'll have first-class seats with dinner included, and a bar car to repair to. See www.eurostar.com to learn more.

THE RAPHAEL: We have chosen the Raphael as our Paris hotel for its location and distinctive charm. In the 16th Arrondissement, it is close to Longchamp Racecourse, the Arc de Triomphe, the cafes of the Champs Elysees, and the shopping on Avenue Victor Hugo. And it has retained, more than any of the other top Paris hotels, an ambience of discreet and traditional luxury. There is a fine restaurant, a cozy "English" bar, and a delightful rooftop garden. Our rooms are large, and a buffet breakfast is included each morning. Please see www.raphael-hotel.com for more on the hotel.

 
Day 9
Fri  Oct 1
An OPEN DAY to enjoy Paris.
 
Day 10
Sat  Oct 2
We make our first of two visits to Longchamp Racecourse, for Day One of "Arc Weekend". In recent years, the French authorities have decisively upgraded this day's card, and four Group 2 events at a variety of distances are offered up as appetizers for tomorrow. We'll have lunch at the Restaurant Panoramique overlooking this most majestic of the world's urban racecourses, where the Eiffel Tower serves as an unofficial 1 1/4-mile pole.
 
Day 11
Sun  Oct 3
The Moulin at LongchampArc Day. An incomparable fashion spectacle at Longchamp and the climactic day of the European racing season for the last fifty years. The undercard includes five Group 1 races: a five-furlong sprint, a two-and-a-half mile marathon, 2-year-old races for both colts and fillies, and the prestigious Prix de l'Opera for fillies and mares. And finally, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe itself, Europe's greatest all-age race at a mile and a half, the one they all show up for. John Randall and Tony Morris in A Century of Champions: "The best horses have to accept that ultimate challenge; if they are fit and well and they do not, we can only assume they are not up to it." This day is the closest thing Europe has to a Breeders' Cup - where, incidentally, some of today's runners may be making their next stop. We'll have a block of seats, and access to the best parts of the paddock-side, to mingle with what is probably the most cosmopolitan racing crowd that gathers anywhere on the planet.
 
Day 12
Mon  Oct 4
We take a trip to Chantilly today, twenty-five miles north of Paris and, like Newmarket, the principal thoroughbred training center of its country. We'll see the vast array of workout courses — in action — then visit a trainer's yard, and have a look at the racecourse where the French Derby and Oaks are run every June. After lunch, you have the choice of taking the train back into Paris for the rest of the day, or staying on in Chantilly to see the Museum of the Living Horse in the famous "Great Stables", or the superb Chantilly Chateau with its moats, apartments, and art collection. In the evening we can regroup in the bar at the Raphael to talk over the horses, races, and places we've seen — and maybe start making plans to come back next year.
 
Day 13
Tue  Oct 5
The organized itinerary ends after breakfast and checkout this morning. If you must go home, bonne chance and travel safely. Transfer to your Paris airport is provided if you are leaving today or extending at the Raphael.
 

CLOSING DATE:

This trip closed on August 9, 2004.

COME EARLY, STAY LATE:

The itinerary, by design, is full and busy. If you would like a bit more of a leisurely experience, we invite you to consider coming to London earlier and / or staying on in Paris.

Even one extra day in London for adjusting at the beginning can be beneficial. You may want more — for shopping, or for your own special interests. There is racing nearby on many days. The concierge at the Draycott will work with you to organize any specifics.

October is many people's favorite time of the year in Paris. The concierge at the Raphael has all the keys to the city.

The Draycott and the Raphael have promised to accommodate extensions as best they can, but the space is not blocked or guaranteed. Please let us know as soon as possible if you want more time in either place.

ITINERARY & PRICES:

The itinerary includes:

  • Eleven(11) nights lodging as indicated: four(4) in London, two(2) in Newmarket, and five(5) in Paris.
  • Breakfast each morning as indicated.
  • Five(5) escorted days' racing: at Ascot, Windsor, Newmarket, and Longchamp, including transportation to and from the racecourse, members' enclosure admission or equivalent, and race card. Private box at Ascot. Reserved seating at Newmarket and seating at Longchamp October 3. Restaurant seating at Longchamp October 2.
  • Lunch on Four(4) days: at Ascot Racecourse, in Windsor, in Newmarket September 28, and Longchamp Racecourse October 2. Dinner on September 30.
  • Afternoon Tea at Ascot Racecourse.
  • Afternoon excursion in Newmarket, including Racing Museum admission, visit to Tattersalls, and tour of the National Stud.
  • Morning visit to the gallops, a trainers' yard, and equine pool in Newmarket.
  • Morning visit to Chantilly, including the training gallops, a trainer's yard, and the racecourse.
  • Transfer from London airport to the Draycott Hotel, London.
  • Transfer from Draycott Hotel, London, to Newmarket.
  • Transfer from Newmarket to London.
  • First-class seat on Eurostar train from London to Paris.
  • Transfer from Gare du Nord to Raphael Hotel, Paris.
  • Transfer from Raphael Hotel to Paris airport.
  • Complimentary racing newspaper each day.
  • Welcome cocktail reception at the Draycott Hotel, London.
  • *We reserve the right to substitute economy-class airfare without dinner from London to Paris in lieu of the Eurostar train, if the September Eurostar schedule proves to be unsuitable, with transfer from Paris airport to Raphael Hotel.

The itinerary does not include:

  • Airfare from and back to the U.S.A.
  • Dinner on any night except September 30, or lunch except on days indicated.
The Cost of the Trip does not include:
  • Any charges incurred at hotels other than the basic cost of the room, including but not limited to room service, mini- bar, television or video, restaurant or bar service, laundry or dry-cleaning, business services, golf or other activities, and activities arranged through hotel concierge. (All group members will be required to provide a credit card imprint upon check-in at each hotel to guarantee payment for any individual charges.)
  • Excess baggage charges.
  • Costs related to obtaining passports or visas.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Charges incurred for anything other than what is specified in the "Itinerary Includes" summary above.
  • Any gratuities.

The Cost of the Trip Is:

    $5,575 per person, based on double occupancy.
    $1,625 Single supplement*

    *Please note that the single rooms at the Draycott are very much smaller than the deluxe doubles we have blocked, but are priced so as to not add any cost to the Single Supplement Price. Single trip members may upgrade to a standard double room, with an addition of $450 to the Single Supplement. Single trip members wishing to be accommodated in a deluxe double must add $980 to the Single Supplement. There is no assurance that single or standard double rooms will be available at the Draycott. At all the other hotels, singles will be accommodated in the same class of double rooms as the double occupancy members of the group. Because of the limited number of rooms that we have been able to reserve at these very busy times, we regret we must reserve the right to limit the number of single travelers on each trip.

    Trip prices are subject to change up to sixty(60) days prior to trip departure to reflect fluctuations in currency exchange rates between the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. Dollar prices quoted here are based on the following exchange rates:

      1 US $ = 0.538 UK pound // 1 UK pound =1.86 US $
      1 US $ = 0.800 Euro // 1 Euro = 1.25 US $

OPTIONS:

  • Additional Nights at the Draycott Hotel, London, if available: $245 per night, per person, based on double occupancy. Single supplement will vary.
  • Additional Nights at the Raphael Hotel, Paris, if available: $235 per night, per person, based on double occupancy. Single supplement $235 per night.

*Please note that the day we attend Ascot Race Course is not part of the Royal Ascot meeting.

*The trips are designed for ten to sixteen people. We reserve the right to cancel a trip if it has less than ten subscribers. Should we need to do this, all payments made toward the cost of the trip will be fully and promptly refunded.

*You must have a valid Passport to enter the United Kingdom and France.

To view the itinerary for our other 2004 trip click here.

Quote by John Randall and Tony Morris from A Century of Champions, published in 1999 by Portway Press Ltd, Halifax, West Yorkshire HX1 1XE.

Racing photos courtesy of actionplus

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