The QIPCO Guineas Festival

Minoru, Derby and 2,000 Guineas winner alongside owner Edward VII (1909)

Dashing about the countryside, chasing racing horses, it’s easy to imagine that these wonderful days appear as if by magic. To the spectator, they can seem somehow discrete from everyday life. The drama, the thunder of hooves, the cheering and laughter might be mistaken for a mere event rather than a way of life. That’s why a trip to Newmarket is, we suggest, a Good Thing should the opportunity present itself.

Trundling into this particular town - and by train if possible - one gets a glimpse of what goes on backstage as the views unfurl, suggesting both a certain enviable straightforwardness and continuity to life that belies the delicate complexity, dedication and scientific rigour that underpins modern racing.

And if one is looking for an excuse to go, they don’t come much better than the QIPCO Guineas Festival this coming weekend. With the 2,000 Guineas on Saturday (open to three year-old colts) and the Group 1 fillies Classic 1,000 Guineas on Sunday, we can’t imagine a finer use of one’s time.

So far as the dress code is concerned, we don’t imagine that OB customers are likely to fall foul of the restrictions on ripped jeans, cargo shorts, t-shirts and swimwear that apply to the Premier Enclosure.