Charity Raceday fixture at Warwick set for bumper crowd

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WITH schools on their Easter break, another good crowd is expected for Warwick’s Kissing It Better Charity Raceday tomorrow, Thursday, writes David Hucker.

Kissing It Better is a vibrant healthcare charity working across the country to reduce the isolation of old age by bringing the generations together through imaginative, sustainable, inter-generational projects.

On raceday, they will be launching their new regulated teaching programme, making their expertise available to everyone.

The eight-race card gets underway at 2pm with the Hortons’ Estate Limited Maiden Hurdle over two miles and three furlongs, for which 11 have been declared with the appropriately-named My Charity, who showed improved form when runner-up at Wetherby this month, amongst the leading fancies.

Six winners on Sunday, four ridden by his brother Harry, took Alcester trainer Dan Skelton to a double-century for the season, the first trainer to reach this milestone since Martin Pipe 17 years ago.

The twice-raced Floki is his only runner on the card and, if showing further improvement, could add to the stable tally.

Ruthless Article, who has shown promise in two bumpers since joining trainer Rebecca Curtis, doesn’t face the strongest of fields on his hurdles debut and can give the excellent Sean Bowen his 92nd winner of what is proving to be his best-ever season.

Course winner Coopers Square has won five of his last six races, starting from an official rating of 74 back in February.

He is now rated at 98 and lines up again in the following UBS Wealth Management Novices’ Handicap Chase.

Owner/trainer Tom Weston has picked this race rather than take up one of his two entries on Friday and he could score again at the expense of the lowly-weighted Eaton Miller, who looks to follow up his narrow win at Huntingdon from just a 2lb higher mark.

Bowen could double up in the Tappex 63 Years Of UK Manufacturing Handicap Hurdle on top-weight Movie Set, although he has to give a lot of weight away to Cardigan Bay, who only got home by a head at Southwell last time, but might have enough improvement in him to win again off a 9lb higher mark.

Most valuable race of the afternoon is the fifth, the £11,400 Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle which, at three miles and a furlong, is also the longest and course winner Ocean Cove could win again with conditional jockey Max Kendrick’s 5lb allowance off-setting much of his 7lb rise in the weights.

Racegoers can join a local racing expert on a tour of the racecourse one hour prior to the start of the first race for £5 on top of their general admission ticket.

The tour will give them an insider’s view of the track and its history dating back over 300 years, including the role played by the Great Fire of Warwick in 1694 on the future of racing in the town.

Accompanied children under the age of 18 are admitted free and there are a number of raceday offers from £32.50, full details of which are available at https://www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/warwick/events-tickets/charity-raceday/.

Gates will open two hours before, with plenty of free parking in the centre of the course.

Thursday’s action is followed by the Qatar May Racing Carnival, comprising four meetings over the month, kicking off with the Kids Carnival Day on Bank Holiday Monday, 6th May.

This year’s Carnival theme is ‘Superhero Family Fun’ and special guests on the day will include Superman, Superwoman, Batman and Batwoman – giving young racegoers the chance to meet their superhero idols.

Last year’s raceday attracted a bumper crowd of more than 6,500 and has become one of the most popular fixtures on the Warwick calendar.