Taking advantage of the courtesy coach from Wallyford Park and Ride, I arrived alone and with some trepidation at a misty Musselburgh Racecourse, where guests were assembling in their matching bags and shoes, keen to take advantage of this ideal chance to practice their betting and trend spotting skills; and The Blackbird Pop-Up and The Pommery were among two places from where you might purchase a cocktail or glass of fizz: I brought a picnic to accompany my prosecco and delightful coffee. I also got to try Stobo Castle's spa facilities in a specially designated marquee; this allowed those who risked sun damage to get in out of the heat (I brought my parasol) and get a mini-makeover. Banishing the memory of this luxury Scottish Borders retreat as a fat farm, I sampled a mini-massage from one of Stobo's finest, which certainly left me in no doubt where my arm muscles are. I also tried their Dreamwaterjet massage bed which is rather like a shiatsu chair. When you lie on it, (in this case in a tent out of the back of a Stobo road vehicle), it ripples like being transported motionless on a river. Being there solo as an ordinary punter, it was certainly good to have these distractions, without being mistaken for being a serious race-goer. I did take a flutter on a few of my chosen favourites and I was lucky enough to see the main performers later on in the parade ring. It certainly is a tough gig for the horses, certain of the attention as they glisten post-race under the gaze of the media and their sponsors. Across the other side of the track while the horses were under starters orders, Catherine Brown: thanks to Stobo and the Edinburgh Evening News, was being presented as The Face of Ladies Day in her new role she was here to judge Fashion in the Fields. A psychology student at Queen Margaret University, Ms Brown had the unenviable task of finding who was to be the recipient of three prestigious titles including that of King of Style, and among the prizes on offer were a luxury spa stay, future racemeeting tickets, shopping vouchers and cash. Without any obvious signs of nerves, each participant of the three fashion events was then interviewed by Forth One's Grant Stott about their fashion moment. Later, as the crowds dispersed, it was left to one veteran race-goer wearing a top hat and tails who spoke to me as I awaited the last return courtesy bus (which never turned up) to say "some of the girls get in such a state" he eyed me knowingly as he licked his ice-cream and waited for his wife to take him home for his birthday celebrations were next day and he had to get an early night. But unless he confused his birthday for his funeral, for myself most of the crowd were excited yet composed despite the occasional press of bodies, and although the toilet facilities may require improvement: the Ladies - had a urinal taking up valuable grooming space; and it is always trickier doing all that flirting but in heels - for me the day was a clear winner.
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