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Children's Day - A roaring success!

13th April 2014

A strong crowd enjoyed the sunshine and an action packed raceday at Wincanton Racecourse, which celebrated Children’s Day.

A Shetland Pony Hurdle race and two Charles Owen Pony races started a day which also had a Duck-herding sheepdog display, a Kooky the Clown Magic Show, an Easter Egg hunt, the a Mascot tug of war and much more alongside eight competitive races.

Childrens Day

Nine lined up in the opening race and the 32Red £10 Free Bonus Maiden Hurdle was won easily by the Nicky Henderson-trained, Nordic Quest with Stella’s Fella taking second and Revaader finishing third.

Lucky owners Mrs Caren Walsh and Mrs Kathleen Quinn retained the trophy for the Children’s Trust Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle with August Hill delivering a fine win.  2013 running was won by Bright Abbey in the successful pink and red star silks.  With the trainer’s wife Sarah Hobbs busy tacking up, the stable lass gushed about the nicest filly in the yard.

Paradise Valley romped home with an easy 9 length victory in the third race – 32Red £10 Free Bonus Maiden Hurdle.  Jockey, Dominic Elsworth explains: “Paradise Valley had a wind operation after his last run and found that easy.  He still has a lot to learn but I expect Mick to keep him in training till the spring.  He’s one to look after and look forward to in the future.”

Donald McCain lengthy journey to Somerset was richly rewarded with a win in the 32Red Thunderstruck II Slot Handicap Chase.  Kie won by three lengths with Spock taking second and Massena in third.

Winning jockey Henry Brooke says: “It was a weak race with good prize money – we had to take our chance with Kie.  Good ground is the key and this was the first time Kie galloped freely and finished his race.  The track suited him so you never know we could be back in May!”

Three lady jockeys weighed out for the Yeovil Town Football Club Handicap Hurdle run over two miles six furlongs with Alice Mills finishing second on Pertinent trained by local trainer, Charles Whitaker.  13-2 favourite, Jimmy The Jetplane, land the prize for trainer Kim Bailey and ridden by Ed Cookson. With Hot Whiskey taking third for father and son team Brendan Powell.

Soon to reclaim his Champion Trainer’s crown, Paul Nicholls was back in the Winners Enclosure in pole position with Aldopicgros beautifully ridden by his nephew Harry Derham.  A photo finish was called with Presenting The Way trained by Paul’s former Pupil Assistant, Harry Fry, accepting second place with Webbswood third.

A double was on the card for Frome-based trainer, Charles Whittaker on winning the 32Red Tomb Raider Slot Novices Handicap with Ruapehu ridden by Nick Scholfield. 

Jeremy Kyle was a famous face in the Parade Ring for the National Hunt Flat Race as co-owner of Do We Like Him with the Stewart family.  The horse, making its debut outing, finished fourth for the top Somerset yard after racing green, with Somerset neighbour, Colin Tizzard saddling the winner with Thistlecrack.  Second was Neck Or Nothing for Richard Johnson, whose entire family (three children aged from one to five) enjoyed Wincanton’s Children Day and third Picodean.

Champion Jockey, AP McCoy in action tomorrow at Wincanton

1st April 2014

Soon to be crowned 19 times Champion Jump Jockey, AP McCoy, rides at Wincanton Races tomorrow ahead of the prestigious three-day Crabbie’s Grand National Festival which starts this Thursday.

Gates open at midday for Wincanton’s mid-week fixture that takes in eight races and includes the Royal Artillery Gold Cup off at 3:45pm.

The Champ rides three; with Kettlewell trained by Warren Greatrex his opening ride in the 2:45pm Land Value Alliances LLP Handicap Hurdle run over two miles.  The JP McManus owned, V Neck, is certain to provide the Berkshire-based jockey with a winner and Strictly The One in the 5:15pm race trained by Bath-based Neil Mulholland making movements in the betting market.

Tickets to Wincanton Races are available on the day and start from £14 with free entry to children 17 and under when accompanied by an adult. 

Further information can be found online at www.wincantonracecourse.co.uk

Review of Wincanton's inaugural Food & Farming Day

24th March 2014

Wind and hail threatened the opening hours of Wincanton’s Food & Farming Raceday on Sunday, March 23rdbut the gallant team rallied to deliver food demonstrations, sheepdog displays and a seven racecard.

The opening race, the Finishing Post @ White Post Rimpton Novices’ Hurdle saw 11/10 favourite Attwaal win by an impressive 14-lengths.  The former flat horse, now embarking on a hurdling career, provided owner Dr Clive Layton with his first Wincanton winner.  The retired heart specialist explains: “I’ve always loved horses and supported eventing for nearly 40-years; then I was introduced to Neil King who ensured that I was bitten by the racing bug!  Within two-and-a-half years I’ve had 11 winners.  Aintree is next on the agenda for Attwaal in possibly the conditional jockeys.”

Choc (Robert) Thornton made all in the second race to win by nearly three lengths on Benbecula.  Owners Mr & Mrs Andrew May add: “We’ve tried various tactics this season, but the horse simply likes being in front.  Sue (co-owner) rode out this week and came home reporting that Tim (Mitchell) got run away with on board Benbecula!  So he was confidentially tipping him today.”  Choc was quick to join in the Mitchell ribbing to quip: “Despite the work jockey, he won well today!”  Benbecula saw trainer Richard Mitchell re-enter Wincanton’s winner enclosure for, as the trainer described, ‘a long time’.

Brendan Powell Junior stepped up to the mark to replace recently retired Joe Tizzard on board General Ross and was richly rewarded with a 3/1 winner with Looks Like Slim taking second.  Top jockey, Choc (Robert) Thornton, fell in the two mile chase and sensibly stood himself down with a few bruises.

The 32Red Casino Handicap Chase was won by Andrew Thornton on favourite Kentford Legend taking the jockey’s total winning tally to 952 as he chases 1,000.

The Paul Nicholls-trained Vicente was sent off favourite in the 4:15pm 32Red Free £10 Bonus Conditional Jockeys’ Hurdle Race and provided jockey Harry Derham with his 14thwinner of the season.  In form trainer, Alan King, scooped second with Gold Ingot and Sherbourne based trainer took third with Castlemorris King.

Wales won the sixth race with Dai Burchell trained Ratify.  The10-year-old has relish in the Welsh air to score consecutively within a three week period and is sure line-up swiftly to reap the benefits of the season.

Loyal racegoers staying to watch the final race were rewarded with a competitive finish.  Philip Hobbs-trained Saddlers Encore (20/1) ridden by Richard Johnson and Southfield Vic (5/6F) ridden by conditional, Harry Derham, both battled it out to the line with the senior jockey taking the reward.  Monksgold ridden by Jack Doyle finished third at 20/1.

Wincanton’s next race meeting is on Wednesday, April 2ndand features the Royal Artillery Gold Cup.  Sunday, April 13this the very popular Children’s Day with the two May meetings staging an Evening Meeting and Ladies Day.  Full detail and offers are available online at wincantonracecourse.co.uk  

What a day... in spite of the storms!

15th February 2014

Once again, Wincanton Racecourse defied the weather to stage their most prestigious raceday that featured the Grade 2 Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle – the final preparation for Cheltenham Festival Champion Hurdle contenders.

17 lined-up for the opening race, 1:20pm Bathwick Tyres Salisbury Handicap Hurdle in which a photo finish divided the winning connections by a nose; providing former jockey turned trainer, Johnny Farrelly, with a winner as Tarabela galloped strongly ahead of favourite Sweet Boy.

A warm applause greeted Daryl Jacob on entering the winner’s enclosure for the second race with Tagrita.  This improving mare successful saw off the competition with a four and a half length win.  Trainer, Paul Nicholls, says:  “Tagrita’s a grand mare.  She won her only point-to-point in Ireland for Adrian Maguire before we bought her.  I don’t usually have mares but she’s a nice exception.

“I was targeting Doncaster in a couple of weeks but this regional race was too good an opportunity to miss, and I’ll be looking to run her again at Newbury in the Mares Final late March.”

Tagrita is owned by Axom XLVIII syndicate.

A double was secured for Team Ditcheat with Minellahalfcentury taking the third race. 

A hat-trick followed for Paul Nicholls when his nephew, Harry Derham, successfully rode Aldopicgros in a close finish against old-school-master Andrew Thornton.  The win saw Harry’s claim shorten to 3lbs and record his 40thvictory.  Commenting on the performance, Harry said: “It was a really good performance for the four-year-old competing in his first ever handicap.  Aldopicgros has acted on soft before so we thought he would cope today - it’s always worth a chance!”

Harry heads to Kempton Park tomorrow to ride five for his uncle – the most rides he has experienced in one day.

The much anticipated feature race, Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle, didn’t fail to deliver on excitement.  West Country trainer, Jeremy Scott, used Notarfbad as a pacemaker whom he later admitted played no impact to the race.  The six horses went a sensible pace enabling Red Riverman to remain with the field.  With Zarkandar cruising, Scott was first to admit that he thought Melodic Rendezvous was beat!  However, Nick Scholfield’s plan was ‘not to hit the front till after the last’ and he did just that, as well as sneaking up the inner of Daryl Jacob while driving home to the winning line.

Scott adds: “It was lovely to see Melodic Rendezvous battle and I’m pleased that Notarfbad finished fourth.  They obviously ignored my pacemaker but at the end of the day, we all needed to get home.

“We’ll now head straight to Cheltenham Festival for the Champion Hurdle and ideally we would like good / good to soft going.”

The sixth race was won by Nick Scholfield on board Knight of Noir, giving Nick a delightful double.  Harry Derham took second with Brother Du Berlais with Tidal Dance claiming third.

The final race of the day was an emotional victory for Somerset trainer, Carroll Gray who trained Saint Breiz to win at 66-1.  Based in Somerset plain, Carroll was forced to relocate his horses for the second time within the year due to severe flooding.  Paul Nicholls was the first to congratulate Carroll, who credits the racing community for enabling him to continue training in this adverse weather conditions. 

Oliver Sherwood’s Carry On Sydney finished second to Saint Breiz and heads to Cheltenham Festival for the Fred Winter.

Wincanton’s next meeting is Wednesday, February 26thfollowed by Free Racing courtesy of Bathwick Tyres on Thursday, March 6thwhere advance registration is required.

SIX LINE-UP IN BATHWICK TYRES KINGWELL HURDLE

12th February 2014

Tomorrow (Saturday, 15thFebruary) sees six elite hurdlers embark on their final preparation at Wincanton Racecourse for the Cheltenham Festival Champion Hurdle.

Last year’s Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle winner, the talented Zarkandar, ridden by Paul Nicholls’ stable jockey Daryl Jacob, will take on fellow West Country competitors - Melodic Rendezvous and his stable-mate Notarfbad trained by Jeremy Scott; and Golden Chieftain trained by Colin Tizzard. 

Return to form trainer Alan King saddles six-year-old Grumeti who finished fifth last time out to My Tent Or Yours at Kempton Park on Boxing Day.  Nigel Twiston Davies has declared Red Riverman who has run consistently well behind the likes of Dodging Bullets, Oscar Whisky and Melodic Rendezvous this season.

Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle Raceday on Saturday, 15thFebruary gets under way at 11:30am with the first race at 1:20pm – a seven racecard.

Tickets to watch Somerset’s finest Hurdle race are available on the day from £16 with complimentary entry for children aged 17 and under when accompanied by an adult.

Somerset’s Crown Jewel – the Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle

10th February 2014

Saturday, 15th February sees Wincanton stage the final Champion Hurdle prep race – the prestigious Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle - which is on the agenda for a number of elite hurdlers.

The last thirty years have seen the two mile contest won by three greys -Desert Orchid: 1984, Kribrnsis: 1990 and Grey Shot: 1999.  Five chestnut horses Hypnosis: 1987, Floyd: 1988 & 1989, Dreams End: 1997, Briareus: trained by Andrew Balding in 2006 and Straw Bear: 2005.  Bay horses have dominated the contest with 17 victories since 1987.  The mighty Alderbrook ridden by ‘storming Norman’ Williamson who successfully won the Kingwell Hurdle and subsequent Champion Hurdle in 1995; to be copied by Hors La Loi III in 2000 ridden by Dean Gallagher.  Four abandonments in 1985 – 86, 1996 and 2010 plus the anticipated 2014 renewal complete the period.

Two father and son combinations have been successful in the Kingwell Hurdle.  Martin Pipe trained Valfinet to win consecutively in 1993 and 1994, with son David securing his own achievement in 2009 with Ashkazar.  Ian and Andrew Balding both trained a Kingwell winner with Grey Shot in 1999 andBriareus in 2006, the latter ridden by the only winning amateur jockey in race history, Mr Tom Greenall.

The most success Kingwell Hurdle trainer is David Elsworth with four consecutive wins with three horses – Desert Orchid in 1984, Hypnosis 1987 and Floyd in 1988 and 1989.  Paul Nicholls remains the race’s most successful current licensed trainer with three wins.  His first was recorded in 2001 with Azertyuiop ridden by the acclaimed Adrian Maguire, Rigmarole in 2004 with Ruby Walsh provided the second notch and last year’s winner Zarkandar completed the hat-trick, ridden by Daryl Jacob. 

Within the thirty year period, Richard Dunwoody remains the most winning jockey of the Kingwell Hurdle with five wins between 1989 and 1998 riding Floyd, Kribensis trained by Sir Michael Stoute, Valfinet, Dreams End and I’m Supposin.  Peter Scudamore achieved four gallant wins and the last decade has seen Champion Jockey, AP McCoy, secure three wins - his first victory some nine years ago (2005) on Inglis Drever, who went on to win three World Hurdles.  McCoy’s remaining tallies were in 2007 and 2012 for owner JP McManus on board Straw Bear and the Champion Hurdler Binocular.

The only question remains – who will join the 2014 Wincanton Wall of Fame?

Advance tickets to watch live Somerset’s finest hurdle race are available from £14 offering a £2 discount and a £10 voucher towards a Cheltenham Festival Champion Hurdle Raceday admission ticket.  Visit wincantonracecourse.co.ukor book now on 0844 5793014.  Children aged 17 and under race free when accompanied by an adult.  Channel 4 Racing will broadcast the Grade 2 contact (3:35pm) within their Saturday broadcast.

Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle Raceday on Saturday, 15th February gets under way at 11:30am with the first race at 1:55pm.   

Wincanton Weathers the Storms

31st January 2014

Wincanton weathered the storm to be the only jump course racing yesterday (Thursday, January 30th).

The seven race card with nearly £80,000 prize money, attracted nearly 70 horses and significant praise from the industry for delivering excellent conditions. 

The first race – the fitandfurnish.co.uk novices hurdle race was won by Somerset trainer David Pipe and in form jockey, Tom Scudamore with 1/4favouruite Vieux Lion Rouge – a course and distance winner .

Popular jockey, Andrew Thornton, who ran five miles in a sweat suit ahead of racing, secured his 949th winner on the 18/1 shot Alder Mairi in the two mile four furlong handicap hurdle.  Andrew is determined to get to 1,000 winners and trainers like Seamus Mullins and Caroline Bailey are there to support his quest.

A double was on the cards for Venetia Williams and stable jockey, Aidan Coleman.  Course and distance winner, Bennys Mist, struck gold once again to win the showcase race with a £25,000 total prize fund.  Stable mate, Carrickboy, delighted his trainer with a return to form in scooping third place.  Venetia explains: “Today has been a great day.  Folk comment on my recent successes on current conditions but the fact is I’m not prepared to run horses on ground that’s quicker than good because of the injury factor.  I want my horses to be around for season after season and I’m hoping Benny will continue to race until he’s 12 or more.”

The other winner for Venetia was 9/44 favourite Brick Red – another course, distance and conditions specialist!

The fourth race of the day brought a smile to Daryl Jacob’s face, when Tagrita won the Carling European Breeders Fund Mares Novices Hurdle but at such short odds – 1/3 favourite.

With the West Country renown for ones love of country pursuits, the CGA Foxhunter Trial Open Chase, therefore attracted large support from racegoers and trainers alike.  However, it was the Cirencester-trained Shy John that claimed glory in the three mile one and a half furlong slog with Victor Dartnall accepting second placing with the popular Richard’s Sundance.

The final race of the day, the Connolly’s Red Mills Bumper Challenge Standard Open Race was won by Harry Fry and Noel Fehily with a young French breed, Jolly’s Cracked It.

As noted by Racing Post journalist, Rodney Masters, in his course review: “It is ironic that Somerset, a county under so many acres of floodwater that the army has been called in, has hosted the only two jumps meetings to be stage in England so far this fortnight.”

Wincanton’s next race meeting is on Saturday, 15th February when they stage their most prestigious meeting of the season – the Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle.  And for those planning their Valentine’s weekend, need to look no further because the course has teamed up with the Charlton House Hotel to offer one lucky racegoer a weekend to remember.

 Racegoers who pre-book their Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle tickets (premier or grandstand) that takes place at Wincanton Racecourse on Saturday, February 15th will be entered into a competition to win Valentine’s Night accommodation at the Charlton House Hotel in Somerset, recently voted the fifth most romantic hotel in the UK.  The prize includes a three-course dinner, chocolates and a red rose to be enjoyed on the eve of Wincanton’s Champion Hurdle Trial Raceday.  The winner and their guest will also be treated to a set three-course lunch in the Kingwell Restaurant the following day.

 Advance tickets for Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle Raceday start from £14.  To be in with the chance of winning the Valentine’s package, tickets must be booked by midnight on Sunday, February 9th either online wincantonracecourse.co.uk  or 0844 579 3014.  A winner will be selected at random and notified the next day

TOP PANEL AT WINCANTON’S CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL PREVIEW LUNCH

27th January 2014

The build up to the 2014 Cheltenham Festival begins in earnest at Wincanton Racecourse on Saturday, February 15th when racing’s elite hurdlers line-up in the Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle – the final preparation ahead of the iconic Champion Hurdle.

After which, on Thursday, March 6th an all star line up of racing aficionados will preview Cheltenham Festival contenders in the Kingwell Restaurant ahead of afternoon racing.

On the panel are the West Country’s top trainer Paul Nicholls with Wincanton ambassador Joe Tizzard – stable jockey to Colin Tizzard.  A trio of dedicated racing presenters – Alice Plunkett, Richard Hoiles and Luke Harvey – will provide their thoughts on the Festival runners. 

Tickets to the preview luncheon cost £49.50 for premier admission, a three-course set menu, racecard, table for the day and the most informative Festival preview in Somerset.

Wincanton’s Cheltenham Festival Preview Luncheon will start at 11:30am, ahead of racing that boasts a seven-racecard.  Tickets must be pre-booked in advance by visiting wincantonracecourse.co.uk or calling the ticket office on 0844 579 3014.  Afternoon racing starts at 2:30pm.

CATERING FOR YOUR VALENTINE’S NEEDS

22nd January 2014

20th January 2014– For those planning their Valentine’s weekend, look no further because Wincanton Racecourse has teamed up with the Charlton House Hotel to offer one lucky racegoer a weekend to remember.

Racegoers who pre-book their Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle tickets (premier or grandstand) that takes place at Wincanton Racecourse on Saturday, February 15th will be entered into a competition to win Valentine’s Night accommodation at the Charlton House Hotel in Somerset, recently voted the fifth most romantic hotel in the UK.  The prize includes a three-course dinner, chocolates and a red rose to be enjoyed on the eve of Wincanton’s Champion Hurdle Trial Raceday.  The winner and their guest will also be treated to a set three-course lunch in the Kingwell Restaurant the following day.

Steve Parlett, Wincanton’s General Manager, explains: “Our association with the Charlton House Hotel is a real treat for one lucky racegoer on such a romantic weekend.  To enjoy Valentine’s Day at one of the premier style hotel in the South West followed by an outstanding day’s racing with Champion Hurdle contenders in action, is truly a dream package.”

Advance tickets for Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle Raceday start from £14.  To be in with the chance of winning the Valentine’s package, tickets must be booked by midnight on Sunday, February 9th either online wincantonracecourse.co.uk  or 0844 579 3014.  A winner will be selected at random and notified the next day.

Gates open at 11:30am on Saturday, February 15thwith the first race off at 1:55pm. 

An exciting renewal is anticipated in the Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle with Nicky Henderson naming the two-mile Grade 2 contest as a possible prep run for the progressive seven-year-old gelding, My Tent Or Yours, in a bid to make a third successive seasonal debut ahead of the iconic Cheltenham Festival.

Full details about the West-Country’s premier raceday is available on wincantonracecourse.co.uk

FAMOUS FACES FLOCK TO WINCANTON FOR HIGOS INSURANCE SOMERSET NATIONAL

15th January 2014

15th January 2014– Tomorrow (Thursday, January 16th) sees Wincanton stage a seven racecard featuring the Higos Insurance Services Somerset National in which nine horses line-up for the Wincanton marathon.   Musical Wedge and Samstown head the betting market with father and son duo, Nigel and Sam Twiston-Davies, uniting for Red Rocco, who will be looking to improve from last month’s run in the Coral Welsh Grand National.

The opening race, the 1:20pm Higos Insurance Services Glastonbury Handicap has attracted 16 runners with the much discussed racing partnership, Paul Nicholls and Daryl Jacob, teaming up with MinellahalfcenturyKilrush for Bath-based trainer, Neil Mulholland, returns to Wincanton in prime condition having been beaten by a neck on New Year’s Eve at Warwick last time out.

Former champion jockey and Channel 4 Racing presenter, John Francome, will be on-course to watch Poet compete in the 2:50pm Higos Insurance Services Langport Handicap Hurdle.  Francome admits that the nine-year old gelding was ‘disappointing last time out’ and is hoping that the heavy going will play to their advantage.  The Paul Nicholls-trained, Brinestine, making his fourth seasonal outing, is likely to be very popular with the punters.

12:50pm sees racing presenters Mike Cattermole and Luke Harvey host the regular Paddock Panel to provide racegoers will with latest racing news and betting advice.  The first race comes under starters’ orders at 1:20pm.   Seven races are on the card and gates will open at midday.  Tickets are available on the day from £14 or visit wincantonracecourse.co.uk 

WINCANTON STATEMENT RE WEATHER DAMAGE

24th December 2013

24thDecember 2013– On Monday, 23rd December, Somerset and other regions experienced ‘horrendous’ weather with strong winds and 39mm of rain.

Conditions are currently described as heavy with some standing water.  Sunshine and showers are forecast over the next two days with dry weather predicted for Boxing Day.

Course officials are confident that racing will go ahead with no planned inspections at this stage.

One set of Wincanton pre saddling stables suffered in the storm, leaving eight stables without a roof.  On Christmas Eve, the grounds team have put right the damage and with the British Horseracing Authority’s consent, Wincanton will race on Boxing Day with half pre saddling capacity – nine stables. 

Trainers and their representatives of the 63 total raceday field are asked to take into account the limited pre saddling boxes and to allow plenty of time when tacking up.  Only three races have secured double figure entries.

Gates open on Boxing Day at 10:30am with a complimentary park & ride service in operation from Morrisons and Wincanton Medical Centre (postcode BA9 9FQ).  Buses will be ready to start transporting people to the racecourse from 10am.  The seven racecard starts at 12:30pm with the last race off at 3:55pm.

BOXING DAY PREVIEW

23rd December 2013

Gates open 10:30am

23rdDecember 2013– A surge in advance ticket sales to Wincanton Racecourse on Boxing Day sees the Somerset track encourage racegoers to arrive early with a 10:30am opening.

Steve Parlett, General Manager, explains: “We are delighted that Boxing Day ticket sales are particularly strong this year, especially in the Premier and Grandstand Enclosures.  Gates open at 10:30am where tickets can be collected and purchased on the day.  We are encouraging racegoers to arrive from this time to avoid any disappointment.”

The seven racecard starts at 12:30pm with the FDB Shieldacre Limited Mares Novices Hurdle run over two miles in soft going with 13 declared runners.  West Country duo – Tom O’Brien and Philip Hobbs – team up with August Hill who finished out of the frame at Uttoxeter last month but is sure to come-on from the run.  Another one to keep a watchful eye on is Reach The Beach ridden by Richie McLernon for Brendan Powell.

McLernon, reunites with his Jonjo O’Neill stable to ride the highly rated Holywell in the 1:40 Armishaws Removals Harry Dufosee Novice Chase run over two miles five furlongs.  Six horses run in total with a clash between the Dr Richard Newland-trained Ardkilly Witness, who finished third last time out.

The 2:15pm Pertempts Network Handicap Hurdle will deliver a competitive contest with eight classy runners.  Paul Nicholls and nephew, Harry Derham, team up with top weight Southfield Theatre.  The five-year-old gelding finished fifth at Cheltenham mid-month and will want to take full advantage of the claiming 5lb jockey.  Many of the horses in this feature race have course experience – Old Tricks for Colin Tizzard will be hoping for a vast improvement having pulled up last time out with the yard blaming a low-grade virus.  Chesil Beach Boy last ran at Wincanton in April 2013 and makes its seasonal debut on Boxing Day and Oscar Prairie returns to Somerset with a fifth placing in October.  Seebright and Champagne West are likely to lead the betting market as they engage at Wincanton given the former win under their belt.

Paul Nicholls-trained Buck’s Bond returns to Wincanton to run in the 2:50 Bathwick Tyres Lord Stalbridge Memorial Cup, having won earlier this month.  Elsewhere, Paddy Brennan reunites with top-rated Ballyallia Man who embarks on his third seasonal run at the Somerset track.  Nine are set to run.

12 run in the 3:55pm Connolly’s Red Mills Bumper Challenge Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race with eight horses representing the West Country.

Gates open on Boxing Day at 10:30am with a complimentary park & ride service in operation from Morrisons and Wincanton Medical Centre (postcode BA9 9FQ).  Buses will be ready to start transporting people to the racecourse from 10am.

Wincanton’s next meeting is on Saturday, January 4thwith its two showcase races live on Channel 4 Racing.

BOXING DAY PREVIEW

23rd December 2013

Gates open 10:30am 

23rdDecember 2013– A surge in advance ticket sales to Wincanton Racecourse on Boxing Day sees the Somerset track encourage racegoers to arrive early with a 10:30am opening.

Steve Parlett, General Manager, explains: “We are delighted that Boxing Day ticket sales are particularly strong this year, especially in the Premier and Grandstand Enclosures.  Gates open at 10:30am where tickets can be collected and purchased on the day.  We are encouraging racegoers to arrive from this time to avoid any disappointment.”

The seven racecard starts at 12:30pm with the FDB Shieldacre Limited Mares Novices Hurdle run over two miles in soft going with 13 declared runners.  West Country duo – Tom O’Brien and Philip Hobbs – team up with August Hill who finished out of the frame at Uttoxeter last month but is sure to come-on from the run.  Another one to keep a watchful eye on is Reach The Beach ridden by Richie McLernon for Brendan Powell.

McLernon, reunites with his Jonjo O’Neill stable to ride the highly rated Holywell in the 1:40 Armishaws Removals Harry Dufosee Novice Chase run over two miles five furlongs.  Six horses run in total with a clash between the Dr Richard Newland-trained Ardkilly Witness, who finished third last time out.

The 2:15pm Pertempts Network Handicap Hurdle will deliver a competitive contest with eight classy runners.  Paul Nicholls and nephew, Harry Derham, team up with top weight Southfield Theatre.  The five-year-old gelding finished fifth at Cheltenham mid-month and will want to take full advantage of the claiming 5lb jockey.  Many of the horses in this feature race have course experience – Old Tricks for Colin Tizzard will be hoping for a vast improvement having pulled up last time out with the yard blaming a low-grade virus.  Chesil Beach Boy last ran at Wincanton in April 2013 and makes its seasonal debut on Boxing Day and Oscar Prairie returns to Somerset with a fifth placing in October.  Seebright and Champagne West are likely to lead the betting market as they engage at Wincanton given the former win under their belt.

Paul Nicholls-trained Buck’s Bond returns to Wincanton to run in the 2:50 Bathwick Tyres Lord Stalbridge Memorial Cup, having won earlier this month.  Elsewhere, Paddy Brennan reunites with top-rated Ballyallia Man who embarks on his third seasonal run at the Somerset track.  Nine are set to run.

12 run in the 3:55pm Connolly’s Red Mills Bumper Challenge Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race with eight horses representing the West Country.

Gates open on Boxing Day at 10:30am with a complimentary park & ride service in operation from Morrisons and Wincanton Medical Centre (postcode BA9 9FQ).  Buses will be ready to start transporting people to the racecourse from 10am.

Wincanton’s next meeting is on Saturday, January 4thwith its two showcase races live on Channel 4 Racing.

CHRISTMAS JUMPERS WELCOME AT WINCANTON

17th December 2013

17th December 2013- Wincanton Racecourse operates a ‘dress for the weather and occasion’ policy and on Boxing Day never has the code been more appropriate with racegoers invited to don-on a festive jumper for the chance to win a Racing Post 2014 calendar.

Steve Parlett, General Manager, explains: “Racing on Boxing Day is a Somerset highlight and we’re looking forward to welcoming a volume of racegoers in festive gear.  I have my Christmas jumper at the ready, with a reindeer on it and I hope that everyone gets into the spirit for the chance to win Racing Post calendars.”

After the fourth race, on-course announcer – Luke Harvey – will randomly distributed Racing Post calendars to racegoers on proof of a Christmas jumper.

Advance tickets to the seven-racecard on December 26th start from £8 with complimentary entry for children aged 17-years and under when accompanied by an adult.  To order tickets please call 0844 579 3014 or visit wincantonracecourse.co.uk for further information.

Boxing Day hospitality has sold out in selected outlets with availability remaining in the Kingwell Restaurant and Paddock Pavilion.  The £95 Kingwell Restaurant package, which boasts an impressive Parade Ring view, includes premier enclosure entrance ticket, racecard, a three-course meal and a table for the day.  While the Paddock Pavilion provides value for money with a £55 price tag for again premier enclosure entrance ticket, a two-course hot buffet and a base for the day.  Under 12’s catering discount apply at the family orientated racecourse.

Gates open on Boxing Day at 10:30am with a complimentary park & ride service in operation from Morrisons and Wincanton Medical Centre (postcode BA9 9FQ).  Buses will be ready to start transporting people to the racecourse from 10am.

Review of all the action at Wincanton - 5th December 2013

10th December 2013

Thursday, December 5th saw Wincanton stage its fifth meeting of the 2013 – 2014 season with the inaugural Clarks Village Christmas Experience.

Racegoers were treated to seven competitive races and the chance to do a spot of Christmas shopping in the Paddock Pavilion transformed into the ultimate shopping mall selling gifts from chocolates, to hand cream, boys toys, bespoke handbags to limited edition bronzes and equine art.

Keen racegoers would have noted the marked arrival of top jockey Barry Geraghty, first jockey to Lambourn-trainer Nicky Henderson.  The duo, were odds on favourite to deliver a double, and didn’t fail the loyal Somerset crowd, but winning the first and second races onboard Stand To Reason and Mayfair Music.

Barry Geragthy, who walked the course before racing, said:  “It’s been a great day’s racing for me.  The ground on the inside track was dead and there’s no doubt conditions were better out wide, which I took!”

The crowd curtained roared by Rior claimed the third race – Yeovil Town Football Club National Hunt Novices Hunt Novices Handicap Hurdle.  The tiny 15.1hh horse has a mighty heart when gamely seeing off favourite Lumps Gold trained by Paul Nicholls.

Paul was latter rewarded with a win, when Buck’s Bond, bucked the trend to win the fourth race, in which Upham Atom ridden by Kieron Edgar experienced a lucky escape from a horrible fall.  Trainer Kate Buckett said: “It was a horrible fall and it’s a relief that horse and jockey are both fine.  We’ll rest a bit before considering our options.”

Approximately 20 Chasing Gold Racing Club members celebrated their win when Jumps Road jumped home in pole position in the Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Handicap Hurdle.  Colin Tizzard was on-course – still smiling following a number of top racing Saturdays!

West Country trainers, Philip Hobbs and Harry Fry claimed the last two races with 9/4 favourite Bincombe winning the Conditional Jockeys Handicap Chase skilfully ridden by James Best claiming 5lbs.  Young, Martin Mcintyre, aged 23 and claiming 10lbs, was last season’s champion point-to-point novice rider, landed his first winner as a conditional jockey with Fair Dreamer in the New Racing UK Anywhere Available Now Maiden Open national Hunt Flat Race.

Wincanton is next racing on Boxing Day (Thursday, December 26th). Advance tickets start from £8 with full information available at wincantonracecourse.co.uk

Racing UK Anywhere

29th November 2013

Racing UK Anywhere allows customers to watch racing from Wincanton, and 32 other courses, on three different devices

Racing UK has unveiled Racing UK Anywherewhich enables viewers to watch live horse racing in the UK and Ireland on three devices.

It means customers can enjoy top-class racing from 33 of the UK’s top tracks, including here at Wincanton, on any three of Sky TV, Desktop, Freeview, iPhone, iPad, Android and Mobile Web. Customers can log on to racinguk.comat any time to seamlessly update preferences and change devices, and can view on their devices via broadband and 3G.  

Existing Sky viewers will have the option to select two additional viewing devices for no extra cost, while customers on other platforms have the opportunity to upgrade.

You never have to miss another race at Wincanton again as with Racing UK Anywhere you can follow the races on the move.

And that includes watching Racing UK on the new easy-to-navigate iPad App – a key feature of the Racing UK Anywhere subscription. Customers can now swipe through customisable racecards, an extensive database, fast and full results, news, bulletins, features, columnists, betting – and, of course, live racing from 33 of the UK’s top racecourses.

Richard FitzGerald, CEO of Racecourse Media Group, the parent company for Racing UK, explains that“it offers greater flexibility and a wider choice of how to watch top-class racing and comes at no extra cost for most existing subscribers.”

The Racing UK Anywhere subscription will also allow access to exclusive content and catch-up services from the new-look website.

Visit racinguk.com/anywherefor more information.

CHRISTMAS SHOPPING ON COURSE

24th November 2013

25th November 2013 – The countdown to Christmas has begun and Wincanton Racecourse is offering December 5th racegoers the chance to get ahead of the game with the inaugural Clarks Village Christmas Experience Raceday.

On Thursday, December 5th Wincanton’s Paddock Pavilion will be transformed into the ultimate Christmas shopping mall.  Supported by Clarks Village and a wealth of independent retailers, racegoers will have the chance to sampleThorntons chocolate fountain, receive complimentary beauty treatments from The Body Shop and observe the latest winter fashion by Joules and Jaeger with models immersed within the Somerset crowd.

 

Other outlets include Purely Boys Limited, selling the perfect stocking fillers for boys, Le Creuset, Mountain Warehouse, Heat & Fury (bespoke handbags) to Lancombe Saddlery and many more.

Steve Parlett, General Manager, explains: “Our December 5th meeting is a popular raceday and this enhanced Paddock Pavilion will enable racegoers to get ahead on their Christmas shopping, while enjoying their favourite sport!”

Advance entry to Wincanton Racecourse on Thursday, December 5th starts from £12.  Gates open at 10:30am with the first race off at 12:40.  Full details can be found online at wincantonracecourse.co.uk or call 0844 579 3014. 

Wincanton’s other December meeting – Boxing Day – is for the first time ever, offering a group booking discount on six tickets or more.  This popular raceday is the highlight of the Somerset social calendar with an array of hospitality packages available to make the festive meeting even more enjoyable.  Hospitality is a notoriously fast selling affair – please access full details at wincantonracecourse.co.uk

WILL SOMERSET TRAINERS DOMINATE THIS THURSDAY’S CARD AT WINCANTON?

20th November 2013

20th November 2013– Tomorrow’s meeting at Wincanton Racecourse (November 21st) has attracted the utmost support from a large number of Somerset trainers.

Anthony Honeyball, Bob Buckler, Colin Tizzard, David Pipe, Jeremy Scott, Mark Gillard, Neil Mulholland, Philip Hobbs and Paul Nicholls will be present with a plethora of equines fancies.

Father and daughter combination – Gary & Hayley Moore with While You Wait – will be an interesting prospect for the opening race – the Racing Excellence Hands and Hells Novices Handicap Hurdle for conditional and amateur riders only.

Queen’s Park Rangers Manager, Harry Redknapp, will be excited to see Violets Boy line up in the 1:20pm Bathwick Tyres Handicap Chase run over two miles.  He faces stiff competition from stablemate Old Tricks which stable jockey Joe Tizzard rides.

Wincanton-based jockey, Daryl Jacob, is back in action at Wincanton following a brief resting period due to a bruised shoulder.  His five mounts –Coolbeg, Sound Investment, Lumpy’s Gold, Material Boy andSwincombe Star – are guaranteed to prove popular in the betting market.

Gates open at 11am for the seven racecard with the first race off at 12:50pm.  Paddock panel will take place at 12:20pm with Channel 4 commentator Simon Holt and Luke Harvey offering the latest news and their opinions on the day’s runners.

COMINGS SOON:

Thursday, December 5th – Clarks Village Christmas Experience

Combine racing and Christmas shopping in one day!  Wincanton’s Paddock Pavilion will host the inaugural Clarks Village Christmas Experience giving racegoers the chance to sample Thorntons chocolate foundation, receive complimentary beauty treatments The Body Shop and the chance to purchase a few Christmas presents from a host of independent traders.

Thursday, December 26th – Boxing Day

Racing on Boxing Day at Wincanton Racecourse is one of the most popular social events in the Somerset calendar.  Great racing staged at a welcoming racecourse, with complimentary tours and trips to the start all included within your entry ticket which starts from £10.  And, with complimentary entry to children 17 and under, it’s the perfect day out after Christmas excesses.

Steve Parlett, Wincanton’s General Manager, says: “The team are busy preparing for our December fixtures on the back of a successful Boxing Day discount that saw a 1000% increase in advance bookings.

“We have some excellent racedays and our new association with Clarks Village will see the Paddock Pavilion transformed into a shopping extravaganza on December 5th giving racegoers the chance to make a few festive purchases while enjoying rural racing.”

Wincanton also offers a wide selection of hospitality packages for all racedays – full details can be found at wincantonracecourse.co.uk

AP McCOY HEADS TO WINCANTON FOR TOTEPOOL & BADGER ALES RACEDAY

8th November 2013

8th November 2013– West Country racegoers will have the chance to see the ultimate racing legend in action tomorrow (November 9th) when AP McCoy heads to Wincanton Racecourse for four mounts.

Having made history yesterday with 4000 winners under his belt, AP McCoy, forever the professional, now focuses on securing his 19th consecutive jockey’s championship and add to his mammoth winning tally.

With the renamed, Congratulations AP McCoy Rising Stars Novices Chase (3:15pm), AP McCoy will be in the parade ring to present the trophy and be interviewed by raceday presenter, Luke Harvey.  Racegoers will have the opportunity to meet the legend and ask questions during this moment.  There is also a bespoke wooden boarded book on-site for racegoers to leave tributes for the great man.  The book will be given to AP McCoy after the race.

Steve Parlett, Wincanton Racecourse’s General Manager, says: “It’s always an added draw when AP McCoy is racing at Wincanton.  This latest accolade has given the champ the national recognition that he rightfully deserves and we look forward to continuing the celebration tomorrow at totepool and Badger Ales Raceday.”

Tomorrow’s card is Wincanton’s richest raceday with over £200,000 total prize fund with the two showcase races live on Channel 4.

The 2:05 totepool Enter the Ten to Follow Elite Hurdle has attracted a plethora of classy hurdlers with Melodic Rendezvous making his seasonal debut for local trainer Jeremy Scott.  Jeremy explains: “We had unfinished business with Melodic Rendezvous when his season was cut short after a dirty scope last spring.  I do find that he tends to need his first run, but from this race we’ll find out how good he really is. 

“Nick Scholfield has been incredibly loyal with opting to ride Melodic Rendezvous when Far West for Paul Nicholls heads the market.”

Other contenders include the quirky Cotton Mill travelling all the way from Suffolk and Anyaknowyerself ridden by AP McCoy, who will be looking to build on the late September Market Rasen win.

14 run in the 2:40 Badger Ales Trophy with top weight allocated to the Paul Nicholls-trained Aiteen ThirtyThree and Poungach.  The latter has secured the mount of Sam Twiston-Davies and has been targeted for the £60,000 contest.  One to keep an eye on is former Wincanton winner, Standing Ovation, trained by David Pipe.  The step-up in class sees a 10st2lb handicap which could prove to be a positive ally.

Gates open on Saturday, November 9th at 10am with complimentary racecourse tours and a tipping panel before racing.  On the day tickets are available from £16 for Wincanton’s inaugural Beer Festival where customers can experience six different ales brewed locally by Hall and Woodhouse.  There’s also live music to enhance the celebratory raceday with Mid-Life Crisis playing from 11am – midday and 4 – 6pm in the Chasers Bar.

GOING: Good / Good to soft in places on both courses with more rain forecast overnight and early tomorrow morning.

ENDS

Wincanton’s 2013 Fixtures:

Thursday, November 21st: Racing UK Club Day

Thursday, December 5th: Clarks Village Christmas Experience    

Thursday, December 26th: Boxing Day

About Wincanton Racecourse:

Wincanton Racecourse is situated in the heart of Somerset – home to rural jump racing. Wincanton stages 17 meetings each season.  Please find more details at wincantonracecourse.co.uk and through Twitter (@WincantonRaces) and Facebook facebook.com/WincantonRaces 

Wincanton Racecourse is part of The Jockey Club, which has been at the heart of British racing for more than 260 years. Today the largest commercial group in the sport, The Jockey Club runs the largest racecourse group in the UK by turnover (2012: £142.1m), courses (15) including those at Aintree, Cheltenham, Epsom Downs and Newmarket, attendances (2012: 1.8m), total prize money (2012: £35.3m), contribution to prize money (2012: £16.5m) and quality racing (Group and Graded races); more than 3,000 acres of world-class training grounds in Newmarket and Lambourn; The National Stud breeding enterprise and education provider; and the charity for racing's people in need, Racing Welfare. Governed by Royal Charter, every penny The Jockey Club makes it puts back into British racing. More information is available at www.thejockeyclub.co.uk

For further information please contact:

Hannah Walker, Wincanton Racecourse on 07971 598287 or hannahwalker@localdial.com

PAUL NICHOLLS LOOKS AHEAD TO WINCANTON’S BADGER ALES TROPHY RACEDAY

29th October 2013

29th October 2013– Wincanton stages its richest raceday on Saturday, November 9th where the prestigious Badger Ales Trophy and totepool.com Elite Hurdle take centre stage.

Seven-times Champion Trainer, Paul Nicholls, has an astounding strike rate with the meeting and tells us his seasonal plans: (COPY IS FREELY AVAILABLE FOR REPRODUCTION IN FULL OR PART)

“It’s been well documented about our forthcoming changes this season with Tom Jonason stepping up as Assistant Trainer and Daryl Jacob scooping stable jockey alongside Harry Derham, Nick Scholfield and Ryan Mahon.  There's also a big change on the equine front -we've sold on a lot of horses and bought a number of new ones, so it's a fresh team ahead - horses and staff.

There are 126 horses in at the moment, which is our maximum number in training at any one stage. Over the summer I’ve invested in about 12 youngsters from Ireland which is unusual for us, they will be ready to run in bumpers in the spring, plus a further 10 from France

“I’m know it’s going to be a while before I’m back in pole position but I’m just as determined to have a successful season for team Ditcheat and our owners.  Nicky Henderson’s a marvellous man and his current stock will be a stiff task to beat.

It’s good to see other West Country trainers also delivering on winners.  It’s hard to believe that 15 years-ago Manor Farm Stables was a small training yard with only 28 loose boxes.  Now, it can accommodate 82 horses with our second yard catering for another 43 horses.  In that period, I have seen Somerset trainers establish themselves further.  Colin Tizzard is very much a leading trainer with a speciality for purchasing chasers in the making.  It’s been a privilege for all those passionate about racing to be able to enjoy Cue Card’s victories ridden by Joe Tizzard. 

Our former Pupil Assistant, Harry Fry, is also thriving and enters his second season with 37 contenders in training.  Also based at Seaborough, using Richard Barber’s excellent facilities are Anthony Honeyball and Keiran Burke.

I love racing at Wincanton and the more runners I could have there the better.  Barry Johnson and his ground team do a fantastic job with the course.  Last season, Wincanton managed to retain 17 out of 18 fixtures when we at Highbridge Yard were underwater!  I learnt that they invested in a gazebo to shield elements of the track from the rain.

My seasonal focus will be next week’s £60,000 Badger Ales Trophy Raceday on Saturday, November 9th.  Last five years have seen us score three winners with regular placings for the past decade.  There are a few horses that we will aim for this valuable contest including Poungach, who won novice chases last season at Haydock and Kempton.  He still needs to improve his jumping but he's an out-and-out stayer who could be ideal for the Badger Ales Chase, so we'll try to have him ready to run for his life that day.

Foggy's Wallwon a couple of bumpers at Wincanton last season, though the ground was softer than I would have liked for the second of them. He's a decent horse who jumps hurdles nicely and we'll aim him at the equally valuable Elite Novice hurdle at Wincanton on Badger Ales Trophy Day.

Both Zarkandar and Celestial Halo enjoy Wincanton’s tight circuit and have thrived in the Champion Hurdle trial: Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle.  Far West is a possible this year.

It's hard to pick out a dark horse for the season but I’ll opt forJust A Par who has had two runs over hurdles for me and was second twice.  I think he'll be an exciting chaser if he gets lucky.”

Paul Nicholls' 2013/14 seasonal brochure, £15 inc p&p, is available now from paulnichollsracing.com - All profits go to charity.

Gates open on Saturday, November 9th at 10am with complimentary racecourse tours and tipsters talks with racing pundit Luke Harvey before racing.  Advance packages are available online.  There’s also acourtesy bus service to meet trains coming into Templecombe at 10.25am (London Waterloo) and 10.43am (Exeter St Davids) and will leave the racecourse at 4.00pm.

Countryside Alliance Raceday Goes Down a Storm (and avoids the storms)

28th October 2013

Seven-races were staged on Wincanton Racecourse on Countryside Alliance Raceday (Sunday, October 27th).  A switch of mounts for Gloucestershire-based Paddy Brennan following the Self-Cert non-runner Reyno, saw Suzy Smith’s Invicta Lake secure its original rider.  A competitive finish was provided with Brennan skilfully guiding Invicta Lake to a near-two length victory ahead of Bold Raider trained by Jonjo O’Neil.  Commenting after the win, Suzy Smith says: “I have about 15 horses this season and was thrilled that Paddy was able to ride Invicta Lake.  He has a great connection with the horse and we will target Cheltenham’s two mile five furlong race at Open Meeting = Paddy is keen to run him over fences!”

The second race – Countryside Alliance Novices’ Hurdle was easily won for local owner Mrs Angela Yeoman with Southfield Theatre, trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by his nephew Harry Derham.

A feast of dramas took place in the 2:20pm Support World Horse Welfare By Rehoming Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase run over two miles five furlongs.  Lambourn trainer Ben De Haan celebrated an easy victory with Deciding Moment ridden by Mark Grant.  Speaking about the win, Ben says: “I’m delighted as its Deciding Moment’s first run this season and second time over fences.  I’ve had him since he was three-years-old and have taken our time.

When questioned over his plans, Ben reported “Winning was our plan!” and will look to “pick his way” through the season.

Wincanton-based, Daryl Jacob, fell in the third race and was stood down for the rest of the day.  Ryan Mahon and Felix De Giles picked up his replacement mounts.

Wincanton’s feature race, the FJ Chalke Desert Orchid Handicap Chase delivered the ultimate battle between top-weight Highland Lodge trained by Emma Lavelle and bottom-weight Standing Ovation trained by David Pipe, with the lower weight proving the winning factor on the good going!

David Pipe says: “Standing Ovation handled the ground really well and benefited with been well handicapped.  There’s a couple of possible races available for us at Cheltenham’s Open meeting alternatively if Standing’s rating improves we could come back to Wincanton for the Badger Ales Trophy on November 9th.”

Gallant in defeat was Emma Lavelle who admitted Highland Lodge, who carried top weight of 11st 12lbs and gave the winner two stone, might have favoured slightly softer ground but was thrilled with the performance saying: “He led for a long way out and possibly favours a left-handed track nevertheless, it was a great race to watch and would have been even better the other way round!”

The Dominic Baker Memorial National Hunt Novices Hurdle Race provided Paddy Brennan with a Wincanton double when MillellaForLeisure won ahead of Toowoomba.  Paul Nicholls, keen to win given the race association, was left wondering following a disappointing debut by the ex-French recruit Vicente. 

The penultimate race, Countryside Alliance Chase, encountered sis chasers racing over three miles one furlong saw Somerset-trainer David Pipe scoop a double, with Franklin Roosevelt winning nicely ahead of Jayandbee trained by Minehead-based Philip Hobbs.  David says: “I was kindly invited to the NFL with Channel 4 but work had to come first for which I have been richly repaid.”

More commotion prevailed for the final race of the day with eleven horses declared in the two mile Hurdle race, which was reduced to ten runners after Looking Hopeful was withdrawn having bolted to the start.  Adding to the five minute delay was the removal of a tongue tie off Paul Nicholls-trained Maxi Chop.  The contest generated a fighting finish which saw Theatrelands ridden by Aidan Coleman and trained by Chipping Norton-based Charlie Longsdon scoop pole position by a head with Maxi Chop taking second.  The Tizzard clan’s Bold Cuffs, which attracted significant interest in the betting markets, finished sixth having failed to settle earlier in the race.

Wincanton next races on November 9th– Badger Ales Trophy Raceday – full details and advance offers are available on wincantonracecourse.co.uk

BIG BUCK’S & CUE CARD TO LEAD PARADE AT WINCANTON’S UNDER STARTERS ORDERS RACEDAY

15th October 2013

14th October 2013- Under Starters Orders Raceday on Thursday, October 17th will launch Wincanton Racecourse’s 2013 / 2014 jump season with a superstar parade that includes Somerset’s finest BIG BUCK’S and CUE CARD.

The action packed meeting provides racegoers with the ultimate insight into the world of horseracing with a complimentary behind the scenes tour and trips to the start for all six races. 

Channel 4 Racing presenter, Alice Plunkett, with the legendary Luke Harvey, will interview leading Somerset Trainers – PAUL NICHOLLS, DAVID PIPE, COLIN TIZZARD and JEREMY SCOTT – investigating and probing into their seasonal campaign and equine fancies. 

To complement the team talk, at 1:30pm racegoers will also experience a parade of racehorses featuring some of the stars from the West Country  that includes BIG BUCK’S, CELESTIAL HALO, CUE CARD, THEATRICAL STAR and GRANDS CRUS,followed by the launch of the new Wincanton Golf Challenge and a six racecard. 

Gates open at 12:30pm and once again, Wincanton is offering a £5 discount on all advance tickets for their opening meeting seeing entry available from £9.  The offer is available till 23:59 on Wednesday, October 16th at wincantonracecourse.co.ukor call 0844 5793014.

GOING

The going at Wincanton is currently good to firm following 11mm of rain over the weekend. Showers are forecast ahead of racing this Thursday.

Wincanton’s Clerk of the Course, Barry Johnson, says: "We’ve has an exceptional warm summer, the team has done a superb job and the course is in fantastic condition.  We’re forecast some rain from Wednesday and will only water if it doesn’t appear.”

“We’re very much look forward to racing this Thursday and the season ahead.”

Wincanton’s 2013 Fixtures:
Thursday, October 17th: Under Starters Orders
Sunday, October 27th: Countryside Alliance Day
Saturday, November 9th: Badger Ales Trophy Day
Thursday, November 21st: Racing UK Day
Thursday, December 5th: Clarks Village Christmas Experience
Thursday, December 26th: Boxing Day

For further information please contact:
Hannah Walker, Wincanton Racecourse on 07971 598287 or hannahwalker@localdial.com

WEATHER FAILS TO DAMPEN WINCANTON’S SPIRITS

15th May 2013

Despite persistent rain, today’s seasonal finale at Wincanton Racecourse attracted a strong crowd of racegoers and fillies dressed in their finest.

The course staged a seven-racecard that saw the going change during the afternoon. 

Jockey Paddy Brennan scooped a double with Amistress and Seven Woods claiming the first and fifth contest.  Tiverton-based trainer John Panvert retained the South-West Racing Club Handicap Hurdle with Titch Strider and the Sally Alner-trained Master Medic delivering a master performance to record a seventh consecutive  victory in the Wessex Area Lady Riders’ Series Final Hunter Chase.

Best Dressed Lady and Best Hat awards were supported by British milliner, Cozmo Jenks, Clarks Village and Yeovil-based Southcombe Gloves.  Judged on the weighing room steps to shelter from the elements 18-year old student and first time racegoer, Daisy Burt, won herself a chic and contemporary trilby.

“I’ve never been racing before and haven’t had much luck till now,” says Daisy.  “It’s awesome – I’ve been treated like a celebrity and had my photo taken so many times.”

Bristol easyJet cabin crew, Nadine Hillman, was crowned Best Dressed and looks forward to sharing her Clarks Village goodies with her colleagues.  Runners up included Maria Cheslin from Southampton and the elegant 80-year old Eymor Bell from Shaftesbury.

Ladies Day concluded Wincanton’s 2012 – 13 season with the next meeting taking place on Thursday, October 17th.

ENDS

VISITGENGLAND LISTS WINCANTON WITHIN TOP TEN RACECOURSES FOR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

2nd May 2013

 

Ascot, Cheltenham, Doncaster, Epsom Downs, Kempton Park, Newmarket, Sandown Park, Wincanton, Royal Windsor and York named top ten for customer attraction by VisitEngland*

Wincanton is delighted to feature within the top ten racecourses in England and Wales for visitor attraction and customer experience, as judged by VisitEngland, the country’s national tourist board.

The VisitEngland ‘Quality Assured Racecourse Scheme’ has seen racecourses across England and Wales independently assessed and marked on all aspects of the customer experience.  These include pre-visit checks on the website and phone contact as well as a full assessment of the raceday facilities on offer.  Racecourses were the first sporting attractions in the country to be assessed and promoted in this way.

Now in its fourth year, the scheme offers racecourses one-on-one debriefs and a full written report on areas that work well and where improvements could be made, with a number of racecourses seeing continuous improvement in their scores over the course of the scheme.

54 racecourses in England and Wales were assessed with Wincanton being named within the top ten alongside Ascot, Cheltenham, Doncaster, Epsom Downs, Kempton Park, Newmarket, Sandown Park, Windsor and York.

Steve Parlett, Wincanton’s General Manager, says: “This is an immense achievement for the team.  We continually strive to make sure that we provide a rewarding and enjoyable experience to our racegoers.  This season we introduced new initiatives such as complimentary behind the scenes tours, trips to the starts and an informative tipping panel for every raceday.

“Showcase race meetings are strategically planned and implemented to ensure the ultimate experience for all racegoers, as well as regular price reviews. 

“We also cater for our loyal Annual Members and recently visited the training establishment of Harry Fry as well as enhancing their on course facilities.

“With two remaining fixtures this season, it is fitting accolade that we do not intend to relinquish easily!”

Janet Uttley, Head of Industry Engagement at VisitEngland, adds: “The VisitEngland Quality Assurance Scheme for Racecourses is a benchmark of quality.  All racecourses in the scheme have worked hard to improve their welcome and have rightly earned their Quality Rose Marque to show how important the experience of their customers is to them.  Assessors working with the racecourses have seen significant improvements to the way in which Britain’s second-biggest spectator sport delivers excellent standards of customer service and high-quality racing to seasoned race-goers and newcomers alike.’ 

Wincanton hosts two May fixtures – Thursday, May 9 - Evening Racing with Live Music that sees the racecourse become the vibrant mix of swing dresses and chic 1950s fashions with Ultimate Grease performing after racing to make you rock and roll and inject the feel good factor back into spring.

To encourage racegoers to indulge in a good dose of nostalgia, rock n roll dancers will be on hand to demonstrate the good old-fashioned jive style routines.  There’s also a Best Dressed prize for the most authentic 1950s Rockabilly or Pink Lady, a complimentary Wonder Booth to capture all the fun plus delicious food and cocktails are all on the agenda alongside a six-racecard.  Gates open at 4pm with the first race off at 5:45pm.  Tickets start from £12 on 0844 579 3014.

The season finale falls on Tuesday, May 14 for Ladies Day. Tickets start from £12 and racegoers will enjoy six races and the chance to enter the fashion awards run in association with Clarks Village and top milliner Cozmo Jenks.  Great prizes are up for grabs that includes an array of merchandise for the Best Dressed Lady, a bespoke trilby and a feast of goodies for all participants.

Racegoers can enhance their special day with lunch in the Kingwell Restaurant.  Cozmo Jenks, together with Channel 4 Racing presenter Alice Plunkett with the support of a local hair salon, will provide visual demonstrations of stunning hats and appropriate hair styles to diners.  Clarks Village Personal Shopper will also be on hand to provide fashion advice.  Kingwell Restaurant guests will also be treated to complimentary gelish manicures throughout the day courtesy of Holbrook House therapists, a glass of sparkling wine on arrival, two-course set meal with afternoon cream tea, racecard and premier entry for £55 per person or £500 for a table of ten. To book call 0844 579 3014 or visit wincantonracecourse.co.uk

Book now on 0844 579 3014 or visit wincantonracecourse.co.uk

END  

The RCA and VisitEngland Reveal Top Ten Racecourses for Customer Experience in England and Wales

1st May 2013

For immediate release 01/05/2013

·         Ascot, Cheltenham, Doncaster, Epsom Downs, Kempton Park, Newmarket, Sandown Park, Wincanton, Royal Windsor and York named top ten for customer attraction by VisitEngland*.

The Racecourse Association (RCA) has today revealed the top ten racecourses in England and Wales for visitor attraction and customer experience, as judged by VisitEngland, the country’s national tourist board.

The VisitEngland ‘Quality Assured Racecourse Scheme’ has seen racecourses across England and Wales independently assessed and marked on all aspects of the customer experience.  These include pre-visit checks on the website and phone contact as well as a full assessment of the raceday facilities on offer.  Racecourses were the first sporting attractions in the country to be assessed and promoted in this way.

Now in its fourth year, the scheme offers racecourses one-on-one debriefs and a full written report on areas that work well and where improvements could be made, with a number of racecourses seeing continuous improvement in their scores over the course of the scheme.

In 2012, 54 racecourses in England and Wales were assessed with Ascot, Cheltenham, Doncaster, Epsom Downs, Kempton Park, Newmarket, Sandown Park, Wincanton, Windsor and York being named the top ten.

With the recent launch of the RCA Showcase & Awards 2013, racecourses are putting a lot of emphasis onto making sure they provide a rewarding and enjoyable experience to their customers.

RCA Racecourse Services Director Caroline Davies commented, ‘We are very pleased to be able to announce the results of this scheme and congratulate the racecourses that scored consistently high marks with the VisitEngland assessors.’

‘The fact that both large and small racecourses have made the top ten is testament to the fact that all racecourses can offer an excellent customer experience.  Providing a first class customer experience is very important to racecourses, as highlighted by the RCA Showcase & Awards.  The detailed assessment and feedback from VisitEngland has been invaluable in allowing racecourses to improve in these areas’.

‘We would also like to commend the racecourses as a whole for all achieving accreditation through the scheme, which does not come automatically.  Scores across the board have been rising over every year of this process and we look forward to continuing to work with racecourses and VisitEngland to help build their assessment scores as the Quality Assured Racecourse Scheme continues’

Janet Uttley, Head of Industry Engagement at VisitEngland said, ‘The VisitEngland Quality Assurance Scheme for Racecourses is a benchmark of quality, all racecourses in the scheme have worked hard to improve their welcome and have rightly earned their Quality Rose Marque to show how important the experience of their customers is to them.  Assessors working with the racecourses have seen significant improvements to the way in which Britain’s second-biggest spectator sport delivers excellent standards of customer service and high-quality racing to seasoned race-goers and newcomers alike.’ 

For more information on the VisitEngland ‘Quality Assured Racecourse Scheme’ or RCA Showcase & Awards, please contact Sam Cone or Holly Cook at the RCA on 01344 626067.

END (471 Words)

*Racecourses are listed alphabetically, rather than by VisitEngland ranking.

A similar scheme is in place with VisitScotland, where Scottish racecourses have been receiving a star rating based on customer experience and range of facilities.

Please see www.britishracecourses.orgfor full details on the RCA Showcase & Awards 2013.

About VisitEngland

VisitEngland is the country’s national tourist board. We work in partnership with the industry to develop the visitor experience across England, plan national tourism strategy, grow the value of tourism in England and provide advocacy for the industry and our visitors

Our work is underpinned by robust research and customer insights. You can access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics on www.visitengland.org/insight-statistics     

For corporate information see www.visitengland.organd for consumer information see www.visitengland.com

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FREE RACING

25th February 2013

Got the mother-in-law staying?  Have a couple of spare hours in between school runs?  Would like to learn about a new sport?  Then why not take advantage of Wincanton Racecourse’s FREE ADMISSIONS RACEDAY on Thursday, March 7.

In association with Bathwick Tyres, free entry will be granted to every racegoer who registers in advance with a Friday, March 1 deadline.  Registration can be done online at www.wincantonracecourse.co.ukor via the Racecourse Office on 0844 5793014.  Racegoers who fail to register will be charged the standard raceday admission fee starting from £14.   (Max 4 tickets per household.)

Steve Parlett, Wincanton’s General Manager, explains: “Last year’s free admissions raceday was hugely popular and feedback indicated many newcomers took up the initiative. 

“We want to attract the occasional punter and residents that have not experienced racing from their Somerset track while treating our loyal racegoers.  Not only will attendees receive an informative insight into the sport, but also competitive racing and Wincanton’s charm which is why the legendary John Francome recently said our course was the tops.”

For added excitement and further insight into the world of horse racing, FREE ADMISSION RACEDAY will stage a step by step guide to dressing a jockey with local boy Joe Tizzard promising to reveal all!  Betting advice and Paddock Panel for the latest news and tips will also be available.

Gates open at 12:30pm on March 7 with the first race off at 2:30pm – so don’t forgot to register for the chance to enjoy racing for free.

ENDS

Six go-to-post for tomorrow’s Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle

15th February 2013

Tomorrow (Saturday, February 16) the £60,000 added Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle sees six elite hurdlers  line-up in the grade two contest run over two miles with top weight awarded to Balder Success, Celestial Halo and Zarkander.

Nicky Henderson-trained Khyber Kim ridden by Paddy Brennan returns to action after a lengthy absence, the trainer explains: “Khyber Kim seems in very good order.  He will undoubtedly come on for the race but is in great shape.”

Andy Stewart, owner of Celestial Halo, adds: “The plan was to start off in the National Spirit at Fontwell on Sunday week, but with a meeting off there this week we are concerned about the ground.

“He’ll need the run for sure tomorrow.  Although he’s no Big Buck’s and is probably not good enough to win a World Hurdle it does look an open race.”

Local jockey, Daryl Jacob has a near-full book of rides at Wincanton, says: “It’s going to be a busy day tomorrow, Paul Nicholls has plenty of good horses running and I have six exciting rides.   I’m very much looking forward to riding Zarkandar. 

“One to watch out for is Workbench in the opening 1:20 Novices Hurdle race – he’s an exciting horse with plenty of talent having finished second last time out to Charlie Longdon’s-trained Pendra.” 

The all-hurdle card sponsored by Bathwick Tyres gets under way at 1.20pm.  Gates open at 11:30am.  Tickets on the day start from £16 with complimentary entry for children aged 17 and under.  A courtesy bus will leave Templecombe at 11.25am and Exeter St David’s at 11.43am, leaving the racecourse at 5pm.   Further information is available online at www.wincantonracecourse.co.ukor by calling 0844 5793014.

GOING: Barry Johnson, Clerk of the Course explains: “The going is currently Heavy, Soft in places.  However, come tomorrow I think it will be Soft, Heavy in places.  My team have worked tremendously hard and with carefully planning we have staged five race meetings in seven weeks in what has been unbelievably testing weather conditions - how many other non all-weather tracks can say that!”

WINCANTON MAKES CONTINGENCY PLAN

28th January 2013

Date: Monday, January 28

Contact: Hannah Walker

Contact Number: 07971 598287

 WINCANTON MAKES CONTINGENCY PLAN

Given that the West Country has experienced a torrid weather front with snow and now significant rain forecast, Wincanton Racecourse and the British Horseracing Authority have created a contingency plan for its Thursday (January 31) racecard.

Explaining the plan, Steve Parlett, Wincanton’s General Manager, says: “Over the weekend we experienced 28mm of rain, making the going heavy. 

“In light of the fact that that the ground-staff have not been able to work on the track since mid-January until today, and with a forecast of up to 25mm rain in the next 24 hours, we have asked the BHA to provisionally schedule an all Chase card for Thursday.

“Despite there being no standing water, the course is too wet to roll. 

“A decision will be made tomorrow based on the condition of the course following any overnight rain.  If the weather forecast is kind, we shall press on with the original races - this is purely a contingency plan if needed to give us the best chance to get racing on.

“I would like to take the opportunity to credit our grounds team, headed by Clerk of the Course Barry Johnson.  The team have done a sterling job this season to stage the majority of our fixtures despite the testing weather conditions and have rightly received praise from an abundance of trainers and jockeys.”

Wincanton opens this Thursday, January 31 at 11:30am with the first race off at 1:40pm.

Tickets start from £12 in advance via www.wincantonracecourse.co.ukor 0844 579 3014.

Tickets can be purchased on the day.

ENDS 

INJURED JOCKEYS FUND AND CHILDREN IN NEED BENEFIT FROM LOCAL RACEGOER

8th January 2013

Date: Monday, January 7

Contact: Hannah Walker

Contact Number: 07971 598287

INJURED JOCKEYS FUND AND CHILDREN IN NEED BENEFIT FROM LOCAL RACEGOER

Budding nine-year-old jockey, Arron Butterfield from Somerset, was set a school challenge to raise money for Children in Need. 

With the task in hand, the youngster came racing to Wincanton and took the initiative to ask over twenty top jump jockeys to sign a pair of his pony racing breeches.  Arron was treated to a behind the scenes weighing room tour and even managed to capture signatures of former Channel 4 Racing presenter, John Francome and Olympic Gold medallist, Nick Skelton.

The framed breeches were auctioned at Wincanton Racecourse last Saturday, January 5 and raised £210 with Sarah Aston from Wiltshire being the successful bidder.

Sarah says: “Visiting Wincanton today is part of my 2013 challenge to attend every racecourse in the UK and winning breeches signed by John Francome, AP McCoy, Ruby Walsh and others is a real bonus.”

Arron adds: “Because the jockeys’ were ace and really kind to me, I decided to split the money raised between two charities – Children In Need and the Injured Jockeys.  I want to be a jockey when I’m older and will continue to come racing when I’m not at school!”

To recognise Arron’s achievement, the Injured Jockeys Fund have officially invited him and his family to Oaksey House in Lambourn, the centre dedicated to assisting jockeys, for another racing experience and insight.

ENDS 

Racing celebrities ready to come under starters orders at Wincanton

6th December 2012

Tomorrow, (December 6) 10 trainers and two assistants will don on their racing silks to ride in the inaugural Anthony Knott Charity Race that takes place at Wincanton Racecourse in aid of Racing Welfare Raceday.

The trainers have agreed to become jockeys in first race of the day, run at 12:10pm over one mile two furlongs, in which the field includes two Grand National winning jockeys and the assistant to last season’s Grand National-winning trainer.  Brendan Powell and Jimmy Frost will be joined by Paul Nicholls’ number two Dan Skelton, Tim Vaughan, Ralph Beckett, Jamie Snowden, Richard Woollacott, Johnson White, Anthony Honeyball, Bill Turner, Neil Mulholland and Knott’s own trainer Keiran Burke.

The gates open at 11am and following the much anticipated midday excitement of the charity race are six competitive races kindly sponsored by many supporters of Racing Welfare.

The most valuable race on the card, the Weatherby Johnny Worrall Lifetime in Racing Beginners Chase,  opens the proceedings at 1:10pm.  Nine runners compete including Paul Nicholls’ Grandioso who finished down the field in a Cheltenham Novices’ Hurdle on his seasonal reappearance in October.  Another interesting runner is Heez A Cracker ridden by Paddy Brennan who would have won easily at Weatherby last time out but for falling two out.

The third race, 2:10 Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Silver Buck Handicap Chase – a Jockey Club Grass Roots Series Qualifier – attracts five runner including Plein Pouvoir for Venetia Williams who has been the model of consistency over his last few outings.

The 2:40 Racing Welfare Fox-Pitt Eventing Handicap Hurdle (a Jockey Club Grass Roots Series Qualifier) run over two miles on soft going has 12 declared. Local trainer, David Pipe, runs two including last season’s prolific winner Top Wood who will be looking to make amends for his disappointing seasonal reappearance at Cheltenham’s Paddy Power meeting last month.  While, Royal Rationale bids to overcome a near three-year absence.

The concluding race of the day, 3:40 Racing Welfare West Country Trainers Conditional Jockeys Handicap Chase run over two miles five furlongs, sees Smokey George for Kim Bailey and jockey Ed Cookson, try and follow up on the recent Exeter win.

Wincanton’s Racing Welfare Charity Raceday is sure to raise significant funds for a worthy cause with celebrities such as John Francome, William Fox-Pitt, Nick Skelton and actor Nat Parker out in support.

GOING:      Soft, heavy in places with a 8am precautionary inspection in light of forecast frost: -2 forecast tonight.

 

ENDS 

Badger Ales Chase Day - Wincanton Racecourse

30th October 2012

Saturday, November 10: Badger Ales Chase Day

Wincanton stages its richest raceday of the season on Saturday, November 10 when a feast of top class action coupled with a bumper crowd of racegoers will ensure the atmosphere is buzzing.

The Badger Ales Trophy is one of the early highlights of the jump season and attracts a plethora of chasing stars that use the race as their seasonal campaign debut.  Seven-time Champion, Somerset-based trainer, Paul Nicholls, likes to targets the £60,000 contest with a handful of hopeful contenders.  With one the bounce race victories, he’s the trainer to follow in the Badger Ales Trophy betting market. 

While the Badger Ales Trophy is the highlight, the totepoll.com Elite Hurdle with a £57,000 jackpot is also renowned for providing scintillating action with top prospects likely to line up.

The first of six races gets underway at 12.35pm and advanced tickets are available from £14. There is a complimentary bus service that will meet trains coming into Templecombe at 10.25am (London Waterloo) and 10.43am (Exeter St Davids) and will leave the racecourse at 4.15pm.

Wincanton’s Closer to the Action, a campaign that features on weekend fixtures to help racegoers get the most from their day, will be in operationoffering racegoers the chance to go behind the scenes before racing and visit the weighing room and the judges box as well as get a feel for life as a Trainer and a Jockey.  Wincanton will also stage trips to the start for the first three races today. Meeting point: Outside weighing room, departing promptly 15-minutes before the start of each race.

For more information visit: www.wincantonracecourse.co.uk

First race: 12.35pm* (*Race time may be subject to change)

Tickets from: £14 (if booked in advance)

Restaurant from: £51.95pp (Premier admission, a two course meal and a table for the day)

Children aged 17 and under race free

Wincanton Racecourse, Wincanton, Somerset BA9 8BJ

Tel: 01963 32344

Ticket Hotline: 0844 579 3014 or www.wincantonracecourse.co.uk 

Win A Car At Wincanton On Boxing Day

30th October 2012

WIN A CAR AT WINCANTON ON BOXING DAY

Visitors to one of Somerset’s most popular and exciting annual traditions, Wincanton Racecourse’s Boxing Day meeting, will have the chance to win a brand new car.

The racecourse has teamed up with local car dealership F.J. CHALKE, which has show rooms in Wincanton, Mere and Yeovil, to offer everyone who books tickets in advance to attend the Boxing Day race meeting to win a Suzuki Alto SZ 5-door car.

The draw will take place during the meeting and the car, which is worth more than £7,000, will be presented to the winner at Wincanton’s race fixture on January 5.

James Chalke, Managing Director of the family run business, says: “The racecourse is right on our doorstep and it offers the perfect shop window to encourage people to come and visit our show room.

“We’ve been involved with various other equestrian-related activities, and we are very much looking forward to our new involvement with Wincanton Racecourse.”

Wincanton’s General Manager Steve Parlett adds: “It’s a fantastic initiative which should reap huge benefits for both F.J. Chalke and Wincanton Racecourse.  F.J. Chalke will have a presence on the racecourse at each of the five racedays leading up to our Boxing Day meeting which is a fantastic chance to generate business among a new audience while giving racegoers the opportunity to see the car that will be on display.

“The prospect of winning a new car should prove the perfect incentive to book tickets and come along and enjoy what is a fantastic family tradition.”

The person who makes the booking for advanced tickets, either on-line or via the ticket hotline, will be eligible for entry into the free draw to win a car.  Tickets start from £8 for the course enclosure with children under 18 granted complimentary entry. 

There are various hospitality packages available on Boxing Day, including in the popular Kingwell and Lower Hatherleigh restaurants; and the festive Pavilion Marquee. (Hospitality boxes and the Winning Post Restaurant have already sold out) To book advance raceday tickets & hospitality visit www.wincantonracecourse.co.ukor call 0844 579 3014.

ENDS 

All advance ticket bookings for Boxing Day will be entered into a prize draw to win a car

RACING RETURNS TO WINCANTON ON OCTOBER 18 WITH A PARADE OF EQUINE STARS

26th September 2012

Date: Tuesday 25th September

Contact: Hannah Walker

Contact Number: 07971 598287

RACING RETURNS TO WINCANTON ON OCTOBER 18 WITH A PARADE OF EQUINE STARS

To celebrate the return of racing to Wincanton on Thursday, October 18, after its annual four-month break, racegoers will be treated to a parade of racehorses, featuring some of the stars from the West Country.

Among those set to parade are Hunt Ball, trained by Keiran Burke, who culminated a resounding season with a win at this year’s Cheltenham Festival in the Putney Land Investments Novices’ Handicap Chase.

Hunt Ball will always hold a fond place in the memories of Wincanton racegoers after his owner Anthony Knott famously jumped on his back and rode him into the paddock with jockey Nick Scholfield following his win in the Bathwick Tyres Dorchester Handicap Chase in January.

Other big names to parade include the Paul Nicholls-trained Big Buck’s, who is undefeated in 17 runs and has won more than £1.25m in price money. Horses from the yards of David Pipe, Colin Tizzard, Anthony Honeyball, Seamus Mullins and Philip Hobbs will join him.

The parade takes place between 12.45pm and 1.45pm with the first of six races underway at 2.20pm.

Wincanton’s General Manager Steve Partlett says: “It’s a terrific way to start off our new season and we are looking forward to welcoming back everyone to Wincanton.  The team has been working hard over the summer with several improvements both to our facilities and on the track.

“We are also delighted to welcome Peter Wilson to Wincanton Racecourse and look forward to reliving his golden sporting moment.”

Wincanton is offering £5 off all advance tickets purchased before October 17. To book call the hotline 0844 579 3014 or visit www.wincantonracecourse.co.uk  Tickets on the day start from £14.

ENDS 

HALL & WOODHOUSE EXTENDS BADGER ALES TROPHY SPONSORSHIP

24th September 2012

Date: Monday 17th September

Contact: Hannah Walker

Contact Number: 07971 598287

 HALL & WOODHOUSE EXTENDS BADGER ALES TROPHY SPONSORSHIP

Wincanton Racecourse announced today that Hall & Woodhouse has extended its sponsorship of the Badger Ales Trophy for a further five years, up to and including 2016.

The Badger Ales Chase sponsorship has been active for over 50 years, making it the second longest sponsorship in racing history.

Welcoming the news, David French, Hall & Woodhouse Beer Company Director says: “Hall & Woodhouse are delighted to extend their long running sponsorship of the Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton for a further five years.

“The Badger Ales Trophy sponsorship provides an ideal opportunity to link our market leading Badger Ales with a leading racecourse and reward our local customers at an event that links so well with Badger's countryside image.”

Wincanton’s General Manager, Steve Parlett, adds: “We are delighted to have secured a long-term deal with Hall & Woodhouse for one of Wincanton’s most iconic races.

“We will continue to work closely with Hall & Woodhouse to build on the recent successes of the day.”

The 2013 Badger Ales Trophy takes place on Saturday, November 10th. Advance packages are available on 0844 579 3014 or www.wincantonracecourse.co.ukwith tickets priced from £14 with complimentary entry for children under 18.

Last year’s Badger Ales Trophy was dramatically won by Grand National winning duo – Paul Nicholls and Daryl Jacob - onboard 11/4 favourite The Minack in a close finish with course and distance winner, Meanus Dandy. 13 horses ran.

ENDS

  

TOP MILLINER, COZMO JENKS, GIVES FASHION ADVICE FOR LADIES DAY

9th May 2012

DATE: TUESDAY, MAY 8 2012

Wincanton Racecourse has brought Dorset-based milliner, Cozmo Jenks, on board for Somerset Life Ladies Day on Tuesday, May 15 to inject some effervescent style into the popular raceday.  Her love of flowers - many of her couture hats feature delicate floral creations - and her ambition to bring back the 1950’s elegance, makes her the perfect fashion ambassador.

Cozmo and her idiosyncratic hats are fast growing part of horseracing with links to Glorious Goodwood, Channel 4 Racing and now for the first time ever with her local racecourse for Somerset Life Ladies Day on Tuesday, May 15th.

“I love jump racing - it’s wicked, say Cozmo.  “I regularly pop to Wincanton for a day’s racing so was delighted to support their Ladies Day.”

Cozmo Jenks together with Natalie Vizard, Editor of Somerset Life magazine will judge Wincanton’s Best Dressed Lady at 3:30pm in the Winners Enclsoure. The overall winner will receive some fabulous prizes that include a limited edition Cozmo Jenks headpiece, a The Laundry Wells voucher, with Dubarry of Ireland supporting the Best Hat competition.

Cozmo will also be on hand to offer fashion advice live from the parade ring during afternoon.

Gates open at midday with the first race off at 2.10pm.

Steve Parlett, Wincanton’s General Manager, said: “Ladies Day is a really great excuse to dress up and enjoy the social scene of the races with the added incentive of winning some great prizes - and hopefully a few quid on the horses!  We’re thrilled to have such tremendous support from Cozmo Jenks, Somerset Life, Dubarry of Ireland and The Laundry Wells.”

Advance tickets to Wincanton’s final meeting of the 2011/ 2012 season are available from £11 Grandstand & £16 Premier.  Dial: 0844 579 3014.

Kingwell Restaurant will host a Ladies Luncheon and Fashion Show for £49.50 per head and includes admission plus champagne on arrival, a two-course lunch, afternoon tea and other racing treats. Book now on: 01963 32344

Designing from her Dorset dining table - with views of trees, hills and birds on her bird table - and toiling away with fabrics in her workroom upstairs, Cozmo Jenks’s mojo is flowing feverishly.  As her business develops with many projects and private clients from pop stars, royalty to everyday folk, she always has room for more.  With emails and technological gadgets out of favour; Jenks’ preferring using her hands, so customers are encouraged to pick up the phone for an original creation – 01258 817888.

PRESS CONTACT:              Hannah Walker on 07971 598287 or hannahwalker@localdial.com            

GRAND NATIONAL HERO HEADLINES WINCANTON’S COUNTRYSIDE DAY

17th April 2012

This Sunday, April 22, the John Smith’s Grand National winner Neptune Collonges will headline Wincanton Racecourse’s Countryside Raceday.

The winning trio – Neptune Collonges, Paul Nicholls and jockey Daryl Jacob - will parade after the 3:10pm race and will be signing autographs for dedicated racegoers.

The popular raceday is action packed with an array of displays and interactive demonstrations that showcase the different aspects of glorious countryside pursuits, coupled with competitive racing. 

Gates open at midday and families can enjoy a day’s racing with a feast of rural hobbies and free activities from £13 with free entry for children accompanied by an adult.  The six racecard on Sunday, April 22 will also stage Ferret and Terrier Racing between races throughout the afternoon.

The Countryside Arena is active from 12:30pm and stages Ferret racing, Gundog & Working Lurcher demonstrations and a Falconry display.

In the Equestrian Arena, Jenny Myerscough will start at 1pm showcasing the European sport, working equitation that involves dressage and manoeuvrability at speed.  Jenny will ride Venturoso Repoula, a 10-year-old pure Lusitano Portuguese stallion.  Standing at 15.2 hands high, Venturoso Repoula was bought as an unbroken three-year-old from near Lisbon and has many strings to his bow.  He has evented, competed at dressage and show jumping, working equitation, open level endurance and has even made a television appearance as Sir Lancelot’s horse in the BBC Merlin series.

Racegoers wanting to find out more about race riding can do so onboard the Equisier (riding simulator).  For younger racegoers, Wincanton’s mascot Winnie the Horse will be out and about for the entire meeting handing out free Wincanton sticker bugs.  There is also complimentary face painting and a bouncy castle.  There will be trade stands, a Blackmore & Sparkford Vale hound parade alongside Beagles displays, a tractor village and much more.

WINCANTON’S APRIL MEETINGS…

27th March 2012

WHEN:                  Thursday, April 5              Higos Insurance Somerset National Day

                              Sunday, April 22              Bathwick Tyres’ Countryside Day

WHAT:                             Gates open at midday with the first race at 2pm approx

WHERE:                Wincanton Racecourse, Wincanton, Somerset, BA9 8BJ

APRIL 5:

With the entire card supported by Higos Insurance the day carries the valuable Higos Somerset National Handicap Chase run over three miles four furlongs. Last year’s contest was won by 16 times Champion Jockey, AP McCoy, on board the Tim Vaughan-trained The Ferbane Man.  Next month’s renewal is sure to attract many speedy contenders bidding for a slice of the £10,000 race prize fund.

For the first time ever, Wincanton has undertaken the British Horseracing Authority’s (BHA) newly launched interactive racing planning initiative that provides trainers with an opportunity to influence the make-up of Thursday, April 5 racecard.  This will potentially see the current five racecard that features three hurdle, one chase and one bumper contests; tweaked to six competitive races and provide more opportunities for horses that are ready to run but currently have no suitable races.

APRIL 22:

On April 22 Wincanton Racecourse celebrates Countryside Day with an action packed day of displays and interactive demonstrations that show the different aspects of glorious countryside pursuits, coupled with competitive racing.  International three-day eventer, Sam Griffiths, will start at 1pm with an equestrian jumping demonstration on the marquee lawn.  Racegoers wanting to find out more about race riding can do so onboard the Equisier (riding simulator).  For younger racegoers, Wincanton’s mascot Winnie the Horse will be out and about for the entire meeting handing out free Wincanton sticker bugs.  There is also complimentary face painting and a bouncy castle.

There will be trade stands, a Blackmore & Sparkford Vale hound parade alongside Bassett and Beagles displays, Ferret and Terrier Racing, a tractor village and much more.

Continuing on the themed events on Thursday May 10 Wincanton Racecourse hosts their Evening Meeting & Live Music with the infamous Mangledwurzels playing post racing. Popular Ladies Day falls on Tuesday, May 15 Tickets with advance package available on 0844 5793014.

 PRESS CONTACT:              Hannah Walker on 07971 598287 or hannahwalker@localdial.com

West Country Trainers to have the leading lights in the Novice Chasing Divisions

3rd October 2011

Excitement surrounding the forthcoming National Hunt season was notched up a gear at Wincanton‘s Pre-Season Media Day (today) with Philip Hobbs, David Pipe and Colin Tizzard all revealing their top hurdlers are set to go novice chasing.

Menorah, Grands Crus and Cue Card will tackle the big fences this season with the former expected to make his debut at Exeter on November 1.

Menorah won the Greatwood and International Hurdle races at Cheltenham last season before finishing fifth in the Champion.  Philip Hobbs says: “We haven’t managed to do any schooling with him yet as it’s been rock hard here but we don’t expect any problems.  He’s the right age to go chasing and has all the attributes to make a top class chaser.  All being well he’ll run at Exeter on November 1 in a 2m1f novice chase – but we’ll need a bit of rain before then.”  He adds, “I’ll probably be very nervous that day as we’re planning to run Captain Chris there too.”

Colin Tizzard, trainer of the five-year-old Cue Card whose wins include the Weatherbys Champion Bumpers, the Grade 2 Cheltenham Collection Sharps Novices Hurdle and second place in the Grade 2 John Smith’s Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree, said the gelding had been “electric” over his fences.

“He’s done really well over the summer and has filled out even more. He’s been schooling and is brilliant over a fence. We’ll run him in the next fortnight or so and give him a confidence-boosting-run before we plan where to go next,” says Tizzard.

Grands Crus, who was beaten by Big Bucks at both Cheltenham and Aintree, is expected to start his jumps career in the next couple of months. “We are very excited to be planning a novice chase campaign with him for the season. We’ll aim to have him out in November,” said David Pipe who adds: “We have a lot of new horses this season accompanied by a lot of the old boys. We’re really looking forward to the season and I’d like to think we’ll have a consistent season with winners at the Cheltenham Festival the aim. It’s so difficult to get even one winner there but we’ve got a lovely lot of horses and a great team and we’re really looking forward to the season.”

Steve Partlett, Wincanton’s General Manager, says: “15 West Country trainers paraded today at our newly launched Pre-Season Media Day and I would like to thank them for their support. So much news and information about racings finest was on offer and it really ignited our jump racing appetite.”  

Excitement surrounding the forthcoming National Hunt season was notched up a gear at Wincanton‘s Pre-Season Media Day (today) with Philip Hobbs, David Pipe and Colin Tizzard all revealing their top hu

Back For Cash

30th August 2011

WINCANTON LOOKS TO DOUBLE THE NUMBERS OF ANNUAL MEMBERS

Wincanton Racecourse today launches its BACK FOR CASH initiative, a new scheme to reward Annual Members to help build membership of the Racecourse.

Currently Annual Members pay £175 for 17 days racing a year.  In addition they receive reciprocal days at other racecourses, free parking, a voucher booklet and betting vouchers. Under the new scheme, if the 2012 Annual Membership increases from the current 500 to 750, existing and new members will receive a £50 refund and if the numbers reach 1000 they will receive a further £25.

The scheme could see 2012 Annual Members paying £100 for a 17 fixture season which equates to less than £6 per meeting in the Premier Enclosure.  This offers a noteworthy 67% discount on Premier Enclosure admission prices which start from £18.

Book now via 01963 32344 or visit www.wincantonracecourse.com

Steve Parlett, General Manager for Wincanton Racecourse, says:

“Along with the whole racing industry, we need fresh ideas to attract more racegoers as well as looking after our loyal, existing supporters. The inspiration for this idea was a similar initiative at Hartlepool Football Club that proved hugely successful and saw season ticket holders’ increase from 1700 to 5700 in a year.  We believe that focusing on the current members and rewarding them to help us build attendances and support is the right place to start. 

“Our goal is to double the number of Annual Members andif each of our members can encourage just one friend or family member to join we will achieve the challenging target we have set.  Current members will receive further details in their next newsletter and nothing would give me greater pleasure than having to refund £75,000 to our racegoers.”  

 ·        In under two months time, (Thursday, October 13th) Wincanton Racecourse will kick-start the 2011 – 2012 jump racing season campaign that leads all the way to Cheltenham Festival and Aintree’s John Smith’s Grand National meeting. 

·        Wincanton’s season features 17 racedays with four principal fixtures being Badger Ales Chase Day (Nov), Boxing Day (Dec), Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle Day (Feb) and Music Night (May).  Wincanton Racecourse is a member of Jockey Club Racecourses.

 

Wincanton looks to double its number of Annual Members

GUY HENDERSON APPOINTED CHAIRMAN AT WINCANTON RACECOURSE

22nd August 2011

DATE: MONDAY, AUGUST 22nd 2011

GUY HENDERSON APPOINTED CHAIRMAN AT WINCANTON RACECOURSE

Guy Henderson is the new chairman of Wincanton Racecourse, replacing Mark Woodhouse who will stand down on December 31st after a ten-year association.

Henderson joined the board in January 2010 and, in conjunction with the Wincanton Racecourse executive team, is already planning fresh developments and innovations for the regularly voted Best Racecourse in the South West.

Nicholas Wrigley, Senior Steward of The Jockey Club, which owns Wincanton Racecourse and 13 other leading racecourses, said:

"I'd like to thank Mark Woodhouse for the excellent job he has done as Chairman at Wincanton Racecourse and continues to do until the New Year.

"Guy Henderson is a very popular member of the board at Wincanton and I have every confidence he will prove a superb Chairman, guiding the executive team under the leadership of General Manager Steve Parlett."

Guy Henderson, says:

“I feel honoured to be appointed to chair the Wincanton board. It is a great racecourse with real heritage and fabulous facilities. I look forward to working with the executive team to develop our offering to become the ultimate go-to leisure day out with jump racing in the South West.”

Racing action returns to Wincanton Racecourse on Thursday, October 13th.

· Wincanton’s season features 17 racedays with four principal fixtures being Badger Ales Chase Day (Nov), Boxing Day (Dec), Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle Day (Feb) and Music Night (May)

· Wincanton Racecourse is a member of Jockey Club Racecourses.

· Shaftesbury-based Guy Henderson (53) is a partner at Allen & Overy (an international law firm) and is a part-time beef farmer. A keen racing enthusiast, Guy owns several racehorses often ridden by his son, the successful amateur jockey, Robbie Henderson.

PRESS CONTACT: Hannah Walker on 07971 598287 or hannahwalker@localdial.com

 

Guy Henderson is the new chairman of Wincanton Racecourse, replacing Mark Woodhouse who will stand down on December 31st after a ten-year association.