There are less a hundred days until we are back racing at the Heart of England Race Meeting and we can’t help but reminisce about our favourite moments of the 2018/19 season.
Each year, we welcome renowned personalities’ from the sporting world to our Sporting Icons Raceday. This season was no different with former English professional footballers, Razor Ruddick and John Barnes joining us for the now established Business Brunch and Q&A with the stars. Keep an eye to see who will be joining us as our special guests for next season’s renewal on Friday 8th November.
Impulsive Star claimed a determined victory in the McCoy Contractors Civil Engineering Classic Chase on 12th January. The eight-year-old was an 8-1 shot before the off for the Warwick flagship but, Sam Waley-Cohen defied the odds and returned a well-deserved winner in his father, Robert’s renowned brown and orange quartered colours.
Ahead of The Festival™ presented by Magners, Hazel Hill and Alex Edwards made their ambitions clear here in January when claiming the Overbury Stud Willoughby De Broke Open Hunters’ Chase. This provided the pairing with the perfect Cheltenham warm up as they went on to win the Foxhunters’ Chase on Day Four of The Festival™ presented by Magners.
Away from the racing, (well, human at least!) on Sunday 3rd March, the racecourse hosted the Warwick Half Marathon for the first time. Starting from the racecourse stands, the route progresses through the town and into the beautiful rolling Warwickshire countryside. The combination of 954 Elite and Club runners tackled the 13.1 mile route with the first runner home achieving a blistering time of 1hr 12 min and 17 seconds. The Wigley Group Warwick Half Marathon is set to return in 2020 on Sunday 1st March and booking is now available for the event on our website.
We couldn’t pick our favourite moments without highlighting the Jockey Club Challenge Charity Race and the incredible fundraising by all of the jockeys that took part. The final total raised was £17,000 which is the equivalent to the value of ten missions for Your Local Air Ambulance, a huge achievement by all involved.
It's been a pleasure to see local Warwickshire trainers making the headlines and Dan Skelton's achievement of becoming the second ever National Hunt trainer to notch up 200 winners in a season (16 of them here at Warwick) and Olly Murphy sending out his 100th winner after just 17 months of training- an impressive feat by anyone's standards.
Confirming this achievement, on Celebration Race Night, our final meeting of the season, the Skelton reign continued as Dan trained an across-the-card treble whilst Harry notched up four winners on the night; the three trained by his brother as well as the Caroline Bailey-trained Global Domination. These victory’s secured the Skelton’s as our Top Trainer and Jockey for the second season running here – Dan on 15 wins and Harry 14 respectively.
From modern-day to historical feats, it was more than 300 years ago since the first horse race took place at Warwick on 16th September 1707 and Chris Pitt, renowned racing historian, has launched a new book recalling the wonderful tales of our Midlands-set racecourse. ‘Chandlers Leap: and other stories from Warwick Racecourse’ recaps the unique, unusual and colourful events alongside the iconic racing history that has unfolded throughout the years at Warwick Racecourse.