Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Final fixture of the Season!

All good things come to an end and the summer season at Pitchcroft has been largely good despite the wet weather doing its best at times to spoil the party. 

The penultimate meeting on the 11th October gave us a couple of interesting winners. 

Arctic Echo trained at Solihull by Rob Summers last ran at Towcester in April 2011. At 13 years old, he rewarded his owner/breeder Patrick Dineen with his first Worcester winner, in the opening conditional jockey’s handicap chase. 

Thomas Crapper showed good hurdling form last season without winning but came out for Alcester trainer Robin Dickin and made his first run of the season a winning one in the 2 mile novice hurdle. 

Following that up on Friday with a run in Cheltenham’s opening race of the new season, the horse finished third behind the highly regarded Nigel Twiston-Davies trained four year old, The New One. 

Local trainers have been recording successes in the past week including Tony Carroll’s surprise win with Roseini in the mares’ novice hurdle at Towcester. The horse was tailed off at Stratford recently and was 20 lengths down two out before staying on to win the Towcester race. 

There was another good training performance from Alvechurch’s Ian Williams to get Drumlang to win Huntingdon’s handicap hurdle under Harry Skelton after a 178 day absence from the track. 

There is a great afternoon in store at our final meeting of the year tomorrow. Entries are strong, in which all the top National Hunt yards are represented. 

Also drawing to a close is the Red Mills sponsored trainer’s contest which will go to the wire with just four points currently separating Jonjo O’Neill and David Pipe. 

Two of our most interesting races of the season will feature as first and second on the card. 

The Fred Rimell Memorial Novice chase which recognises the achievements of the former five times champion trainer, has produced some smart horses in the past including Pride of Dulcote, Heltornic, Idle Talk and two years ago, the Giant Bolster. 

Trained by David Bridgewater, the Giant Bolster went on to finish second in this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup behind Synchronised at odds of 50/1. 

In his 2010 Cheltenham debut he was beaten by a neck by Nicky Henderson’s 2012 Queen Mother Champion Chase victor, Finian’s Rainbow, behind the race winner, Peddlar’s Cross in the Neptune Investment novice’s hurdle. 

The Richard Davis Memorial Chase was won last year by Charlie Longsdon’s Vincitore who was just touched off at Ludlow in a handicap chase recently. 

After 18 years in the saddle, jockey Jodie Mogford has retired to become assistant trainer to Stow on the Wold based Graeme McPherson. 

McPherson has sponsored the mares’ novice hurdle race tomorrow in honour of the jockey. Mogford said recently, “although I had good winners at Cheltenham, Worcester was always my favourite because it’s a lovely place to ride and I was lucky enough to do well there over the years.” 

The first race tomorrow is due off at 2.10pm and the gates open from 12.10pm.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The Futures Looking Bright!

With the release of the fixture list by the BHA last week, and with more fixtures staged at Worcester in 2013 than in a good few years, it’s great to have the confidence from Arena Racing Company that Worcester is a worthy addition to the racing calendar. Four dates have been added to the calendar, bringing the total number of meetings from April to October to 21. Included will be three new evenings, increasing these popular events to 8 from 30th April to 20th August. New for 2013 will be a Family Fun Day on Sunday 23rd June, formerly a fixture run at Hereford as their Ladies' Day. 

Ladies Day at Worcester, the highlight of the racing summer, will return to Derby Day on Saturday 1st June. 

The considerable demand for the Senior Citizens special package day has meant there will be two of the these next year, one on the 3rd July and one on the 28th of August. 
The Pershore Plum festival Family night, the best attended of our evenings in 2012, will again be on the last Tuesday in July (30th). 

In all, 2013 is a very exciting prospect. and although racing draws to a close at Worcester on 24th October for 2012, the year ahead promises to be something special. 

Nationally, there will be 1464 race meetings in 2013, eight more that in 2012. The meetings will be split - 574 over jumps, 890 flat fixtures and 307 on the all-weather tracks at Wolverhampton, Southwell Lingfield and Kempton. 

With winter fast approaching, the Cheltenham and Three Counties Race Club will be hosting a season preview evening on Wednesday 17th October in the Grandstand at Worcester. With guests panellists including Times' racing correspondent Alan Lee, trainer Henry Daly, racing author John Morris and attherace Matthew Tayolor. The event is open to all, with entry £6pp payable on the door from 7.30pm. Worcester Annual Badge Holders will be admitted for free. 

The first race tomorrow is due off at 2.00pm, and the gates open from 12 noon!