AFTER a short break, Crudwell Cup Hunter Chase Day marks the return of racing to Warwick on Monday, with the seven-race card getting underway at 1.50pm, writes David Hucker.
Crudwell was one of the most prolific racehorses of all time, winning 50 of his 108 races, setting a 20th century record. As well as winning the Welsh Grand National when ridden by Dick Francis, he was successful eleven times in all at Warwick.
Monday’s meeting is followed by the second year of the Warwick May Racing Carnival, which incorporates three separate events, each with a different theme, starting with Kids Carnival Day on Monday, 1st May, which includes a local mascot race and appearances by Paw Patrol.
The second event is Think Pink Ladies’ Night on Saturday, 13th May and the Carnival finishes with the course’s last meeting of the season, the Proudly Warwick Celebration Day on Thursday, 25th May, for which prize money is being increased by some £30,000 across the seven races.
As well as the racing, the season finale will also feature local music and entertainment, as well as Warwickshire beer, cider and food.
The local link will be celebrated in some of the race names with William Eboral, the first known Clerk of the course in 1785, Coronation, the 1841 winner of the Warwick Derby Trial Stakes and Epsom Derby, and locally-owned Birmingham, the 1829 St Leger winner, all featuring.
General manager Andre Klein, who introduced the Carnival in his first year in charge at the course, said: “Whilst we are confident that all three days will continue to build on the initial success as far as public attendance goes, developing the quality of the racing product is just as important.”
“The only way we can achieve this is stepping up the quality of the racing we stage at the track and the prize money we have on offer.”
“Getting more people on-course and raising the profile of the track in the local community will always be key goals for our team, one of the most important objectives we have is seeing Warwick recognised as a premier jumps course.”
The final meeting will be marked by a Proudly Warwick Celebration Lunch in the Paddock Pavilion, for which places are on now sale for £85 through www.warwickracecourse.co.uk. Children go free for all meetings and early bird tickets can be bought from £12.50 by calling 01926 405560.
Results at the recent Aintree Festival were a huge boost for the course, with Randox Health Grand National winner One For Arthur having warmed up for the big race by taking the Betfred Classic Chase in January, and Flying Angel, who landed the Grade 1 Manifesto Novices’ Chase, also successful at Warwick when victorious in the following month’s Betway Kingmaker Chase.