Darts star Peter Manley is looking forward to ticking another racecourse off the bucket list tomorrow (Saturday 8th October) when visiting Newmarket’s Rowley Mile for the first time to take part in a darts challenge event against racegoers alongside legend of the game - Bobby George.
Spectators attending the meeting, which is day two of the Dubai Future Champions Festival, will be able to test their darts skills against the pair in a game called ‘Magic Numbers’, whereby challengers have to match the individual score thrown by each icon.
Action on the oche will get underway at 11.50am in a marquee located between the bottom end of the parade ring and the Millennium Grandstand and will run throughout the day in between races.
During a career spanning more than 30 years George, nicknamed ‘The King Of Bling’, claimed several titles including the 1979 and 1986 News Of The World Championship along with twice finishing runner-up in the British Darts Organisation (BDO) World Championship in 1980 and 1994.
As for former Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) number one Manley, he has a CV which includes victory in the 2003 Las Vegas Desert Classic along with reaching three PDC World Championship Finals in 1999, 2002 and 2006.
Manley said: “Newmarket is one of the racecourses I’ve not been to so I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been to the likes of Epsom and Aintree but never Newmarket so it is another one off the bucket list.
“We will play the Magic Numbers game as it is a nice easy game that everyone can have a go at.
“This gives racegoers the chance to have a little throw and see how hard the game is. Most will have watched darts on the television at some point.
“What makes it more nervous for them is standing there throwing in front of a crowd as it is totally different to throwing a dart at home or down the pub.
“It is all about having a good bit of banter and making it a fun day.”
Both players are well respected in the game having carved out long and successful careers. However Manley insists events like this are made all the more enjoyable working with George along with recalling memorable tales from the past,
He added: “Working with a guy like Bobby is great and everyone loves him. He is just amazing and he is out there on his own at this type of event.
“We both like having a chat with the racegoers and not many other sports allow opportunities to get close to the participants.
“Back in the day I was seen as the villain and people still ask me about things that happened 20 years ago. It is great that the interest is still there.”
Last month the pair participated in a similar event at Market Rasen and Manley, who is the current Professional Darts Players Association chairman, hopes their latest venture will prove equally as successful.
Manley said: “It was non-stop at Market Rasen and we didn’t get a chance to sit down until after the last race.
“It was a good afternoon though and was busy the whole way through which is what we want. It really is a great bit of fun.
“Hopefully it will be as busy as the one at Market Rasen and we can all have another exciting day.”
There will be plenty of other action away from the track, which features the Group One Darley Dewhurst Stakes, with a DJ set after racing, along with a Retraining Of Racehorses parade and face painting and a bouncy castle for children.