Exeter Racecourse to launch new season on Tuesday

PUBLISHED: 18:11 19 October 2018 | UPDATED: 18:12 19 October 2018

Horse racing generic picture

Horse racing generic picture

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Exeter Racecourse resumes action on Tuesday (October 23) with the return of racing to Haldon Hill, writes Lucy Johnson.

General manager, Jack Parkinson said: “We’re delighted to be able to get underway next Tuesday and very much looking forward to welcoming everyone back to Haldon Hill. Racing at Exeter is a huge tradition for West Country folk, and we know that come September, everyone is itching to be back on track among friends and like-minded people, enjoying the wonderful experience that is horse racing.”

“We’re a few days later than anticipated, due to abandoning our first fixture, but I think this will add to the sense of anticipation among hundreds of like-minded people next Tuesday. When the flag is raised for the first race of our new season next Tuesday, we’re sure there will be an accompanying cheer.”

The feature race of the day is the Bidfood Best Mate Beginners’ Chase named after the late great Best Mate, who made his chasing debut at the equivalent meeting back in 2000.

Best Mate was widely regarded as the ‘people’s horse,’ his popularity reaching beyond racecourses and stretching out to every corner of the land. Three Cheltenham Gold Cup wins were among his many successes during a glittering career when he lit up racecourses every time he raced and earned nearly £1 million in prize money.

Jim Lewis, Best Mate’s owner, makes the pilgrimage to Exeter every year, a course ‘Matey’ loved, landing two Haldon Gold Cups following his chasing debut win, to lay a wreath on a memorial stone laid in his honour.

Also on the six-race card is amateur riders’ handicap hurdle, the Surecav Cavity Spacer Handicap Hurdle, the Savona Food Services Chase and a bumper.

The meeting coincides with the half-term holiday, and there’s free entry for everyone aged under 18 – perfect for keeping the kids entertained.

A free bus is available to the racecourse from Exeter St Davids (12.45 pm) and Exeter Bus Station (1 pm), returning half an hour after the last race.

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