Last week’s Worcester raceday attracted a sell-out Senior Citizen’s crowd, contributing to the busiest afternoon meeting for several years. Seven hundred and fifty elderly people poured in as gates opened, to enjoy racing in the sunshine on the banks of the Severn.
Droitwich based company, Civicare were headline sponsors of this annual event and had 2 named races in which the horses chosen as Best Turned Out both returned victorious to the winner’s enclosure. One of these was the third in a quickfire, one hour, treble for champion jockey, AP McCoy. In the Rough, trained by Jonjo O’Neill, had also won a maiden hurdle at the course back in June.
McCoy’s second win was aboard Donald McCain’s Book Of Excuses, who gave owner Tim Johnson a memorable 24 hours having enjoyed success at Bangor the previous evening. Chesterfield (pictured) was also first past the post under the 19 time champion jockey, having his first run for John Ferguson and he is an interesting recruit to hurdling. A four-year-old former flat horse, the gelding was previously owned by Godolphin and has a win at Newbury under his belt.
An up-and-coming local jockey on the scene is Stan Sheppard, son of Ledbury trainer, Matt and point to point trainer, Nicky. Sheppard had his first outside ride aboard the Matt Sheppard Racing Club’s Iktiview in the concluding hurdle, and came a creditable third.
As the home of summer jumping, we like to keep an eye on Worcester winners going on to further success. Recent examples include Iguacu, trained in Hereford by Richard Price for Malvern owners, Derek and Cheryl Holder, who came out and won again at Stratford last week. Princesse Fleur, trained in Hereford by Michael Scudamore has a Worcester win and 3 seconds on her form sheet and managed to get her nose in front again, also at Stratford. Mr Satco, triumphant first time over fences at Pitchcroft last month for owner/trainer, Donald McCain went on to score in a beginner’s chase at Cartmel. Degooch, also trained by McCain, is a horse to watch, having followed up a recent Worcester win with another at Southwell on Tuesday. Degooch is owned by Paul and Clare Rooney for whom McCain has been busy buying horses all year, including spending 110,000 guineas on a three-year-old gelding by Sea the Stars at the Tattersalls July sales.
The meeting at Worcester tonight is special for 2 reasons. It is the annual Angel Hotel Pershore Plum Festival race evening, which marks the start of the month long, award-winning event in the town. It is also the evening when racing supports its own. We have a unique Grand Racecourse Ticket Draw in aid of Racing Welfare for which all 58 British racecourses have donated tickets as prizes. It is good to see all the courses coming together for the cause and presenter, Derek Thompson will be on hand to assist with proceedings.
The first race on a card which also features the legendary Land O’ Plums Chase, first run at Pershore in the early 1900’s, is due off at 5.50pm.