An avid National Hunt fan is jumping for joy at winning an honorary share in a racehorse in a competition run by his local racecourse at Warwick.
Chris Such was randomly drawn from entries to a free prize draw at Warwick Racecourse to become an honorary owner of Dormouse, trained by Warwickshire-based Anabel Murphy for this season.
Chris, who is retired and lives in Warwick, said: “I was a bit stunned but very pleased when I found out I was the winner. Mind you, you could say I’ve got pretty good form at Warwick having won the champion tipster competition there a few years ago!”
Warwick Racecourse teamed up with Anabel, who is based at Stratford-upon-Avon, for the competition to give punters the chance to experience the thrill of owning a racehorse.
Dormouse is a three-time winner over the jumps at Warwick, which included being first past the post with retired Champion jockey AP McCoy in the saddle in November 2012.
Chris has been an annual member of Warwick Racecourse for about 15 years and caught the racing bug from his father Denis, who worked there for some 20 years.
Chris said: “I’m a big racing fan and it started when I was a little boy when I used to go along with my dad to Warwick.
“In those days, he used to do the starting prices and the photo finishes. He would take the photographs to the stewards and get the starting prices from the press boys to take to the racecourse announcer to put out over the tannoys as this was before television.
“Now that I’m retired, I tend to go racing two or three times a week. I’m looking forward to going to racecourses that I wouldn’t normally visit to see Dormouse run.
“I remember AP McCoy winning on him at Warwick and I’m pretty sure I backed him that day. Dormouse has been around quite a bit and is a pretty reliable and good handicap hurdler.”
Chris has enjoyed his first visit to Anabel’s yard where he had the chance to see Dormouse in training.
Anabel has close links with Warwick where her husband Aiden, who is one of the top bloodstock agents in Europe and also acts as her assistant trainer, is a member of the racecourse committee.
She said: “I’ve had Dormouse for seven years and he’s a real favourite of mine. He’s such a character and I’m sure Chris will have a lot of fun from coming here to watch him on the gallops and visiting racecourses around the country to see him run.
“The icing on the cake would be getting to cheer him home to another win at Warwick this season.”
Scores of racegoers entered the competition during the two opening fixtures of Warwick’s season which got underway in September and runs through to May next year.
Liam Johnson, trainee general manager at Warwick Racecourse, said: “With such a superb prize on offer, it wasn’t surprising that the competition was as popular with our racegoers.
“Chris has a long affiliation with Warwick stretching back to his childhood and it would be great to see him proudly wearing his owner’s badge in the winner’s enclosure with Dormouse here at his home course.”
The next fixture at Warwick Racecourse will be on Wednesday, November 4, with gates opening for seven races at 11am. Advance admission starts from £13.50 per person. For more information, visit www.warwickracecourse.co.uk