Racegoers are in for a feast of racing at Wincanton on Sunday with the racecourse fielding the maximum number of runners allowed on its eight-race card, and two pony races taking place before racing.
The card features the second ever running of Wincanton Racecourse’s prestigious McCreery Military Amateur Riders’ Handicap Hurdle (sponsored by John and Done Chatfeild-Roberts) with seven runners set to face the starter.
Among them is last year’s winner Irish Guard and amateur jockey Lt Billy Aprahamian. He’s on board Mortems Leam who has his first run for Michael Hawker since moving from Pam Sly.
Volpone Jelois, ridden by Jody Sole, is one of several saddled by Paul Nicholls on the card. He’ll run in the colours of Ditcheat Thoroughbreds and won a Jumpers Bumper at Kempton in March.
Guy Disney, who became the first ever amputee to win on a professional racecourse and last week was the first to ride over the Grand National fences, rides Clash of D Titans for Warren Greatrex. Disney rides with a prosthetic lower right leg after the vehicle in which he was travelling while on service in Afghanistan was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in July 2009.
Also in the line up is Harry Wallace who is on board the Hughie Morrison-trained Canoodle; Sam Williams, who rides Zulu Oscar for Jeremy Scott; the Seamus Mullins-trained Kastani Beach who will be ridden by Nathan Rahman, and Charlie Mann’s Lex Talionis with the jockey booking unconfirmed.
Gates open at 11.30am for the mammoth card of ten races, which coincides with the racecourses Family Fun Day. A host of free activities will be available for children including the chance to meet the character Peter Rabbit, from the film of the same name, who will be making appearances throughout the day.
Among the notable runners are the Nicholls-trained Blu Cavalier who will be bidding for a treble at the course having won his first two starts. He lines up in the opening Cowsfeet.co.uk National Hunt Novices Hurdle where his opponents include the Nicky Henderson-trained Malachite who won his last start at Huntington in February.
In the Royal Bath & West Handicap Hurdle, connections will be hoping Ballycoe, trained by Chris Gordon and ridden by David Noonan, has better luck having fallen at Startford earlier this month when going well.
The six-runner Richard Hardy Memorial Handicap Chase looks the perfect opportunity for Nicholls to add to his tally with The Last But One who’s rattled up three wins since February, just blotting his copy book with a fall at Sandown in March where he had every chance until falling two from home.
The Colin Tizzard-trained Shoal Bay takes a huge drop in class since pulling up in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and could be the one to beat in the Cadbury Business Park Novices’ Hurdle.
In the Transport Systems Handicap Chase, Guerilla Tactics, trained by Jeremy Scott, took a tumble at the course earlier this month, and if he’s none the worse for that he could resume winning ways while Shannon Star normally always runs a sound race and could be worth consideration.
Two bumpers conclude the card and there is sure to be several nice types among the runners with the betting the best clue.