WETHERBY’S NEW SEASON BEGINS WITH A FLOURISH ON WEDNESDAY
Wetherby's new season over Jumps begins on Wednesday (October 11) - the first of 18 days' racing during the Racecourse's 2006/07 Jumping campaign.
Wednesday's quality programme, which starts at 2.30 p.m., is the backdrop to the 16th annual charity meeting in aid of Spinal Research, with over £237,000 raised during the previous fifteen charity racedays at Wetherby for the national charity which funds research into finding a cure for paralysis caused by injury to the spinal cord.
The feature race on Wednesday is The skybet.com Supporting Spinal Research Bobby Renton Handicap Chase, sponsored by Sky Bet, one of the leading horseracing and sports betting companies in the U.K. This contest over the extended two and a half miles and with prize money of £12,000, remembers the late Bobby Renton, who trained Freebooter to win the 1950 Grand National from his base at Ripon. It is also one of five races sponsored in aid of Spinal Research, the others being The Jimmy & Jane Fitzgerald Memorial Novices' Hurdle (a contest over the extended two and a half miles supported by Malton trainer Tim Fitzgerald), The totesport.com Handicap Hurdle (two miles), The Angel Inn, Misson Handicap Chase (the longest race of the meeting, contested over three miles and one furlong and supported by The Angel Inn at Misson near Doncaster) while the northern jump jockeys support the opening race, a contest for juvenile maiden hurdlers named in memory of Rachel Wright who organized this charity raceday since it’s inception and who sadly passed away earlier this year.
Another highlight on Wednesday is The Rocom Plantronics Beginners’ Steeple Chase (extended two miles, seven furlongs) a contest that enjoys the joint support of regular Wetherby sponsors The Rocom Group, based at nearby Thorp Arch - one of the U.K.'s leading specialist companies in I.T. and telecoms products – and Plantronics, world leaders in the manufacturing of communication headsets.
Spinal Research is once again hosting a fund-raising luncheon prior to
racing in a marquee adjacent to the Parade Ring (noon start). Reservations for the luncheon which costs £20 per person can be made by contacting Friends of Rachel (Tel. 01759 373700). A special auction will take place in the marquee for several high-profile prizes, including a day's pheasant shooting, family tickets to the Deep in Hull, a weekend break for two people at the Holiday Inn, York, a day’s racing at Cheltenham, a signed print and frame of former champion jockey, Richard Dunwoody riding Desert Orchid and a private box for 20 guests at a future Wetherby meeting, along with many other prizes. In fact, Richard Dunwoody, a keen supporter of Spinal Research
will again be at Wednesday’s meeting.