HORSE RACING: ANDRE Klein is general manager at Warwick Racecourse. In his latest column with the Observer he looks ahead to the racecourse’s big weekend fixture.
On Saturday Warwick Racecourse will stage its most important fixture of the season, Betfred Classic Day, which will be broadcast live on ITV4.
It will draw the attention of racing fans from around the country to our track, it’s our day in the sun.
The Classic Chase is one of the main stepping stones to horses heading to the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree.
Hit the jackpot
Last year, we hit the jackpot when One For Arthur won our big race and then cleaned up in Liverpool in April. He travelled all the way down from Scotland to compete.
It was a great day for us and gave us a wonderful sense of pride. Lots of our regulars had put bets on him, as a result of what they had witnessed in front of their own eyes when stood in our grandstands – good judges all! For those that have not seen the Classic Chase live, it is without doubt the most thrilling and exciting horse race held in the Midlands.
It usually attracts a capacity field and is run over the marathon distance of three miles and five furlongs (5,834 metres). The competitors have to clear over 22 fences.
It’s almost as exciting as the Grand National itself with its thrills and spills and is well worth coming along to. It’s one that gets the emotions going. As a side attraction on Saturday, the racecourse is hosting a racing history and memorabilia show. A number of really unique and interesting artefacts will be on display and racegoers are asked to bring their own along, if they have them and put them on display.
Not just the racing
There will also be a number of free talks with racing personalities. Among them is leading racing historian, Chris Pitt, author of the wonderful book, A Long Time Gone. Chris will discuss all the racecourses around the Midlands that have closed down over the last 100 years. These include Banbury, Birmingham and Moreton in Marsh.
Other guest speakers include a panel of retired jockeys, Nicky Carlisle, Richard Lindlay, Paul Barton and Peter Hobbs who have now all forged careers in racing administration.
All have great stories to tell and will be well worth listening to.
Gates open at 10.40am and the first race is 12.40pm. To find out more information or to purchase tickets visit www.warwickracecourse.co.uk