Dorset-based trainer, Brian Barr, has formed an alliance with Lieutenant Billy Aprahamian in a bid to win Wincanton’s inaugural military race.
The newly formed military hurdle race will take centre stage at Wincanton Racecourse on Sunday, 23rd April and will be run over two miles, four furlongs with a £10,000 prize-tag. The race is open exclusively to past and present serving military personnel.
Brian Barr, explains: “Earlier in the year, I wanted to support Sandown’s military race and Billy approached me for the ride on Mighty Missile.
“We finished third in the two mile contest and I was delighted with Billy – he’s a polished rider considering his limited experience and made a really good impression with his manners and ability.
“Billy was quick to contact me about the Wincanton Military Hurdle and I’m delighted to be able to support this great initiative, which is also rewarded with good prize-money.
“Mighty Missile is a proper summer horse and will relish the race distance and conditions.”
Lieutenant Billy Aprahamian, a former professional polo player, joined the army in 2015 and has successfully ridden point-to-pointing; alongside a few attempts in Sandown’s military races.
A member of the First Battalion Irish Guards, a Foot Guards regiment based in Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow, Billy adds: “Military races are thriving off the back of Guy Disney’s achievements. A volume of young, competent riders are supporting the initiative which is creating more buzz - internally and externally.
“I’ve ridden around Sandown three times and I am very much looking forward to experiencing another professional racecourse.
“I would like to thank Brian Barr for giving me the opportunity to ride under rules and to extend my gratitude to Norman Carter and Lizzie Luxton for the ride in the Grand Military on Wilton Milan.”
Jockey, Guy Disney, who recently became the first amputee jockey to win at a professional racecourse in Britain and continues to enjoy extraordinary success on board the David Pipe-trained Rathlin Rose in Sandown’s military races, is also looking to ride in the Wincanton April contest with rumours of a potential partnership, this time with Champion Trainer, Paul Nicholls.
Advance tickets for racing on Sunday, 23rd April start from £16 for Grandstand admission for £21 for Premier Enclosure, with a £2 increase on the day. Full details can be found online at wincanton.thejockeyclub.co.uk or call 0344 579 3014.
However, with Wincanton racing on St George’s Day the Somerset track is granting free entry to all individuals called George, Georgina and Georgia. (Photo identification will be required.)
Huw Williams, General Manager for Wincanton Racecourse, said: “Sunday 23rd April promises to be a great raceday at Wincanton with our newly formed annual military hurdle and a whole host of activities to complement this popular raceday.”