Friday is the opening day of our inaugural Discover Racehorse Ownership Weekend. No fewer than 20 syndicates have stalls on site over the two-day meeting, including Kim Bailey Racing, who kindly sponsor race three; the Join Kim Bailey Racing 'Introductory' Hurdle.
Seven have been declared for the contest including the sponsor’s Mr Grey Sky who makes his hurdling debut after winning two bumpers. Glory And Fortune was a Listed bumper winner last season and made a winning start to his hurdling career at Huntingdon while Tamaroc Du Mathan is an interesting recruit from France for Paul Nicholls and Master Debonair brings strong bumper form from the spring festivals.
The ROA has a designated race as well at the end of the card, and the penultimate race is the inthepaddock.co.uk Handicap Steeple Chase, referencing Great British Racing's own guide to shared ownership.
That race features Minella Rocco, 2017 Gold Cup second and 2016 National Hunt Chase winner, who is looking to get his career back on track after a couple of disappointing seasons. He is still only nine and could yet produce some sparkle having been second in the Reynoldstown on his only start at Ascot. Cloth Cap also runs for Jonjo O’Neill and he could be a staying chaser to follow this season while King Of Realms and Dragon D’Estruval look progressive. The Aintree Foxhunters’ Chase winner from last season, Top Wood who is owned by Johnny Weatherby, Her Majesty’s representative at Ascot, makes his seasonal reappearance.
In the opening race of the day four exciting novice chasers go to post headed by Angels Breath and Birchdale for Nicky Henderson, both Grade 2 winners over hurdles. First Flow and The Mighty Don already have chase experience though and it should be form to follow through the season.
Also this weekend, we open our Sunflower Lawn - somewhere guests with additional needs can enjoy their day away from the crowds. This quiet, alcohol-free space is located on the Grundy & Bustino Lawn and the initiative comes about as a result of our partnership with Debbie Matthews from Go Racing Green.
Go Racing Green, along with five racing charities - Animal Health Trust, The Injured Jockeys Fund, Racing Together, Racing Welfare and Retraining of Racehorses - will also have stalls on site to raise awareness of their work.