HORSE RACING: NOEL Fehily rounded off the 2016/17 season at Warwick Racecourse with a quickfire double for trainers Jonjo O’Neill and Neil Mulholland as the county town venue ended another successful year.
The course has experienced a surge in popularity since new general manager Andre Klein took the reins in late 2015, and part of the increased attendance figures can be put down to the newly introduced May Racing Carnival.
After initially targeting a two-day meeting at the start of 2017, Klein and his team opted to run a three-day ‘May Racing Carnival’ – comprising of May Day racing, Ladies Night, and Proudly Warwick race day.
Each meeting is spread out across the final month of spring, and this year punters turned out in their thousands to watch the high speed action.
This year’s May Racing Carnival concluded on Thursday (May 25) as a seven-race card entertained spectators bathed in cloudless sunshine.
Extensive watering made the course run as good, good to firm in places – and the conditions appeared to suit TalkIsCheap for Wayne Hutchinson and Alan King in the opening race as the 11/4 chance won by three lengths from previous course and distance winner Blairs Cove.
Rossetti then landed the second race of the afternoon when Fehily was involved in a close scrap with Burning Heat inside the final furlong.
Despite vocal support from jockey Jack Quinlan, Burning Heat was beat by half a length.
Fehily doubled his win count for the afternoon in race six when odds-on chance Bronco Billy won the 3m handicap chase comfortably.
Favourite backers were left sweating though when Fehily’s mount settled into the race poorly – and with a lap to go was being pushed along by the 41-year-old.
But a positive ride allowed the seven-year-old to get back into the race – and by time the three runners entered the home straight, Fehily was clear by more than ten lengths.
Abidjan provided local partnership Dan and Harry Skelton with a winner in the fifth race while Big Easy and Midnight Cowboy won at short odds to claims races three and four.
The concluding race of the afternoon was won by Mon Port – who rounded off the season at Warwick with a convincing 55 length win.
A special charity race in aid of the Warwickshire Air Ambulance also took place after racing.
Riders raised more than £15,000 for the charity which relies entirely on donations from the public to continue running.
Racing next returns to Warwick in September for the start of the 2017/18 season.