Written by Worcester Racecourse Executive Director, Jenny Cheshire.
Ladies Day at Worcester Racecourse is like no other raceday in the season.
The event, which coincides with Epsom Derby Day is about a number of things, all equally important. It is about excitement, atmosphere and celebration as the horses pound the turf. It is about bringing people and communities together, both local and from further afield to support the local economy whilst socialising with friends and family. It is also about raising funds for St Richard’s Hospice, the Charity of Ladies Day for the past 15 years.
Thanks to the extreme generosity of racegoers and the supporters in the Hospice hospitality marquee, a fantastic £27,000 was raised as a direct result of Ladies Day this year.
It was fitting that the man who succeeded triple Gold Cup winning trainer, Jim Lewis as a Patron of the Hospice should train two of the winners on Ladies day.
Claines based, Richard Newland saddled 6-year old Duke Street for his third chase start following a 210 day break, to win the Wright Staff Derby Novices Chase under Sam Twiston-Davies.
Formerly trained on the flat by Mark Johnson, Duke Street has been with Newland since September 2015. His chasing debut at Worcester last September saw him finish in third place, before lining up in the Betfred Cesarewitch at Newmarket in October, where he came a respectable 8th out of 24 runners, beaten just over 13 lengths. With earnings to date totalling £81,669 he clearly has ability.
Newland also went on to win the feature race of Ladies Day, sponsored by Crowngate with Capitoul, a 6-year old French-bred gelding who has previously won two races at Huntingdon.
A result that caught my eye was in the concluding race of the day, the 7bets4free.com Fixed Brush Hurdle Series Maiden Hurdle.
Ten horses went to post including the grey mare, Vivant whose form figures read 026p/0p-.
The jockey booking was interesting, reigning champion, Richard Johnson riding for trainer, Tom Lacey. It was the mare’s first run for Lacey, having had 2 poor runs for Harry Fry back in February and March of this year at Wincanton and Market Rasen respectively. Following a 66-day break, Vivant tracked the leader before making her move and pulling clear of the field on the run-in to win on the bridle by 16 lengths at odds of 8-1.
It just goes to show that sometimes a change of yard, routine and general care can work wonders with young horses and now that she is qualified for the £30,000 final of the Series at Worcester in October, her new trainer may well target her for the race.
Another local charity will benefit from the next race meeting to be held at Pitchcroft on Monday, when for the fourth year running, the course will stage the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust raceday, sponsored by Thursfields Solicitors. Local businesses and individuals will come together to enjoy the day of racing by the river, all in another good cause.
The gates open at 12.15pm