Horse racing: Jumps season heads for finish line

Doncaster Racecourse
Doncaster Racecourse

DONCASTER’S season over jumps comes to a climax with a quality two-day meeting this Friday and Saturday.

The feature race on Saturday, The William Hill Grimthorpe Chase, has an excellent record of attracting the very best stayers in the business, including possible Grand National contenders.

After racing on Saturday, racegoers will also have the opportunity of attending a special Cheltenham Festival preview in the Lazarus Stand (Conduit Suite) straight after racing.

At The Races presenter Simon Mapletoft will host a panel of experts, including former jump jockey-turned broadcaster and journalist Niall Hannity.

They will be joined by experts Richard Thomas, Roger Hart and Tom Lee of Channel 4 Racing.

This preview is free of charge to all racegoers attending on Saturday.

A Handicap contest over three and a quarter miles, The William Hill Grimthorpe Chase offers increased prize money of £50,000 and last year’s winner was Ikorodu Road, whose sire Double Trigger was a triple winner in the 90s of the Doncaster Cup – a feat commemorated at the course by a life-size bronze.

Other recent notable winners include Run For Paddy in 2005, who went on the following year to win the Scottish Grand National, while Amberleigh House, who finished in seventh place eight years ago, had won the previous season’s Grand National at Aintree.

Also, the 2004 winner, Grey Abbey, went on to land the Scottish Grand National.

The ‘Grimthorpe’ heads a strong seven-race programme on Saturday, starting at 1.15pm with a contest for Novice Chasers supported by Park Hill Hospital.

Also featured is a new Listed race at this meeting, a Novices’ Hurdle contest for fillies and mares over the extended three miles.

The TRM Handicap Chase and The Crabbie’s Spiffing Alcoholic Ginger Beer Novices’ Hurdle are further highlights.

The total prize money on offer on Saturday is £124,500, an increase of 28 per cent from last year.

There are also seven races on Friday beginning at 2.10pm with a Novices’ Handicap Hurdle under the Crown Hotel Bawtry banner.

The giant screen situated opposite the main stands will enable racegoers to see all of the action, while a shuttle bus service will be in operation from the railway station.