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Warwick gears up for the new jumps season

After its summer break, Warwick racecourse is preparing for a new season of jumps racing which was scheduled to see 19 meetings run from September to the end of May, writes David Hucker.

Past course winner Edwardstone has enjoyed further success at the highest level. Photo: David Pratt / dwprattracingphotography.co.uk
Past course winner Edwardstone has enjoyed further success at the highest level. Photo: David Pratt / dwprattracingphotography.co.uk

However, Monday's Racing TV Grand Season Opener falls on the day of Queen Elizabeth II's state funeral and will not go ahead.

Announcing the news on Saturday, the British Horseracing Authority said: “British racing will not go ahead on Monday, 19th September for the funeral of Her Late Majesty The Queen.

"This will give everyone involved in British racing the opportunity to mourn Her Late Majesty’s passing and offer thanks for her contribution to our sport and the nation.”

This leaves six meetings to the end of the year, when there should be a sell-out crowd for the Poundland New Year's Eve Raceday.

This month's fixtures also include The Great Autumn Meeting, which sees the return of the annual charity race in aid of The Air Ambulance, set to take place on Thursday, 29th.

Tuesday's six-race card, also sponsored by Poundland, will now kick-off the new season with the first race, the Watch On Racing TV Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Chase over two-and-a-half miles, due off at 2.25pm.

Highlight of the meeting is the £16,400 Weatherbys nhstallions.co.uk Handicap Chase (Class 3) over an extended three miles and a furlong.

Also a Class 3 contest is the Weatherbys Bloodstock Pro Handicap Chase over two miles, with the Every Race Live On Racing TV Mares' Open National Hunt Flat Race bringing the afternoon to a close at 5.20pm.

One of the highlights of the Warwick season is the Grade 2 Kingmaker Novices' Chase in February.

First run in 1991, it has attracted some high-class horses in its history with this year's winner Edwardstone following up in the Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival, one of a number to have gone on to taste success at the highest level.

In June, the course had opened up part of the track on four mornings a week for schooling sessions over hurdles and fences on watered ground and has carried out drainage work adjacent to what is known as the Reservoir Bend at the bottom of the hill.

Memberships, giving entry to all meetings with access to the members-only Warwickshire Suite with complimentary tea and coffee, are now on sale, starting at £225.

Also part of the package is reciprocal entry to over 75 days of racing at other courses in the UK and Ireland.

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