We hosted our Family Fun Day on Sunday and a huge crowd flocked through the turnstiles. Course officials were delighted to report a 10% increase in attendance compared to last year.
There was lots to do for the kids throughout the day, with Mike The Knight and his sister Evie making appearances at various points around the racecourse, along with racecourse mascot Freddie Furlong and Arena Racing Company mascot, Archie (pictured). There were giant garden games and inflatable activities for the youngsters to enjoy. Together with pony rides and face painting there were plenty of smiles on faces, that’s for sure.
As raceday clashed with the World Cup Final, it only seemed fitting that a football legend and World Cup winner should be on course, and Ossie Ardiles was exactly that man. The 1978 World Cup winner with Argentina was on course signing autographs and having photos taken with racegoers as well as helping to raise money for the Help For Heroes charity through an auction and raffle.
As for the racing itself, AP McCoy started the day just two behind former champion trainer and his former boss Martin Pipe’s record of 4191 winners and looked to have a good chance of breaking the landmark with his 4 rides. He could only manage one winner, however, in the shape of Stonemadforspeed for welsh trainer John Flint in the selling hurdle, who had to dig deep to fend off Debt To Society up the home straight.
The feature race was a handicap hurdle with £25,000 in the total prize fund, and Barry Geraghty flew over from Ireland for one ride, which was well worthwhile as he steered Shubaat to an all the way win, proving too good for the likes of recent winners Masterofdeception and Master Malt who were second and third.
Aiden Coleman delivered Hi Tide to perfection to win the two mile handicap hurdle, catching odds on favourite Retrieve on the line to win by a head. There was drama in the opening race as Danby’s Legend fell when in control at the second last, as did Jaja De Jau who was closing at the time, leaving Barrison to score for Harry and Dan Skelton.
Only three went to post in the novice chase, but it was the outsider of the trio, Wolf Shield who emerged victorious for Barry Keniry and is certainly one for the future.
The next fixture here is on Tuesday 22nd July which is another jumps fixture. For more information, visit www.southwell-racecourse.co.uk.