British governments can stay in power for five years, but British institutions
are more permanent. So it was in keeping that this Thursday, General Election
Day in Britain, in the interests of full turnout at the polls, all horse racing
has been canceled except the Town Plate at Newmarket. Why the exception? Well,
in the late 1600s King Charles II decreed that the Town Plate, a four-mile
affair over the green turf, should be run on "the second Thursday in
October for ever."