Tuesday, 9th January 2018 – Thursday, 18th January sees Wincanton Racecourse stage its very own Somerset National. Higos Insurance Services are kindly sponsoring this raceday for the sixth year. This prestigious marathon, officially titled the Higos Insurance Services Somerset National, is run over three miles and two furlongs; and is a nice pointer for future staying chasers with the Grand National in their long-term sights.
Alfie Spinner, winner of the 2017 Higos Insurance Services Somerset National, only recently finished a gallant second in the Welsh National, having made all, and will be looking to target more British Nationals over the coming months.
With that in mind, Wincanton has selected a top five ‘National’ moments:
Red Rum became, and remains, the only horse to have won the Grand National three times in 1973, 1974 and 1977. He also finished second in the two intervening years (1975 and 1976), making him the most successful Grand National winning horse.
In 2012, jockey Katie Walsh was leading the Grand National field over the second-last fence to finish third on joint-favourite Seabass, making her the most successful female jockey in the showcase race to date.
As the legendary commentator Sir Peter O’Sullevan had predicted, the 1993 Grand National was declared void and an estimated £75m in bets on the race was returned to punter. Disaster struck when 30 jockeys failed to stop after a second false start – on both occasions, the long length of elastic on the starting gate, snagged on one of the horses as it rose. Thirty horses set off and jumped the first, some pulled up or fell at various stages, including 11 who stopped before going out on the second circuit, seven completed the course. Esha Ness was first past the post in the 1993 “National that surely isn’t.”
Former Wincanton-based jockey Daryl Jacob rode the Paul Nicholls-trained Neptune Collonges in the 2012 Grand National. Grinding out the whole way to the finishing line, the Somerset squad won by a nose, which remains the shortest winning distance in the race’s history.
Jockey Bob Champion overcame impossible odds to win the 1981 Grand National on Aldaniti. The winning horse had recovered from chronic leg problems and his jockey had recovered from cancer! In 1979 Bob was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Doctors gave him a maximum of eight months to live, with only 40% chance of survival. Defying the odds, the two survivors melded on Aintree Racecourse and is one of the most memorable and emotional Grand National moments ever.
The Thursday, 18th January fixture also sees Wincanton welcome their one enclosure entry price of £12 per person (advance booking) and £14 on the day entry for six competitive contests that will be supported by the country’s best trainers from Paul Nicholls to Colin Tizzard.
Gates will open from 11am with the first race off at 1:10pm. To order tickets please call 0344 579 3014 or visit wincanton.thejockeyclub.co.uk
For further information please contact:
Hannah Walker, Wincanton Racecourse on 07971 598287 or email@example.com
About Wincanton Racecourse:
Wincanton Racecourse is situated in the heart of Somerset and stages 17 meetings each season. Please find more details at wincanton.thejockeyclub.co.uk and through Twitter (@WincantonRaces) and Facebook facebook.com/WincantonRaces
Wincanton Racecourse is part of The Jockey Club which stages thrilling sporting occasions including The Randox Health Grand National, The Cheltenham Festival and The Investec Derby. Millions of people every year enjoy the special experiences we offer through racing, music, food and entertainment. Governed by Royal Charter, every penny we make goes back into British Racing to help the sport thrive. We were founded in 1750 and today we are the largest commercial group in Britain’s second-biggest spectator sport, operating 15 racecourses nationwide, The National Stud, Jockey Club Estates, Jockey Club Catering, Jockey Club Live and our charity, Racing Welfare. For more information visit www.thejockeyclub.co.uk