Wincanton Racecourse launches new season

PUBLISHED: 08:07 17 October 2018 | UPDATED: 08:07 17 October 2018

Horse racing generic picture

Horse racing generic picture

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Wincanton Racecourse’s new season gets underway on Friday (October 19) with a seven-race card sponsored by Smarkets, writes Lucy Johnson.

It’s the first of 17 meetings that will be staged at the Somerset track between now and next May and the county’s trainers are looking forward to the action returning.

Jack Barber, who trains at Crewkerne, said: “I always like to support our local racecourses as it’s so much easier for us to get there than the tracks that are a distance away and it’s always good to catch up with friends who like to go there.”

Bob Buckler readies his team near Bridgwater and is big supporter of the track, saddling two notable winners last season with the highly regarded Unwin VC winning a bumper in April and Regal Flow the Bathwick Tyres Lord Stalbridge Memorial Cup Handicap Chase. “I love racing locally as I hate all the travelling and the track does a very good job. The Owners and Trainers room has been enlarged too, which will be a great asset to the course,” he said.

The first race gets underway at 2.20pm with the Smarkets Maiden Hurdle. Then it’s on to the feature handicap chase run over three furlongs, one mile and worth £17,000 with the following two-mile handicap hurdle worth £15,000. The remaining races are a novices’ handicap steeple chase, a two-and-a-half-mile steeple chase and a two-mile, five-and-a-half furlong handicap hurdle.

There have been several changes at the course in readiness for the new season, including new padded hurdles on the racetrack, a new restaurant called Chasers that offers a fine dining experience overlooking the racecourse and a bar selling coffee, tea and cakes that looks set to be a popular meeting place.

General manager Huw Williams said: “It’s always a very exciting time of year when we welcome everyone back to Wincanton. There is excitement among owners and trainers about their horses for the season ahead, and at Wincanton we very much hope that we will again welcome horses on the cusp of glory, some seasoned favourites and some established stars.”

The ticket price on the day is £13 with free admission to the car park. More information is available at www.wincantonracecourse.co.uk

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