Sudden death of racehorse trainer Mary Reveley

Former northern racehorse trainer Mary Reveley has died at the age of 77. Based at Groundhill Farm, where she was born, in Saltburn, North Yorkshire, she saddled more than 2,000 winners in the 26 years she was a trainer.

Racehorse trainer Mary Reveley, who died suddenly this week. Photo: courtesy PA

She collapsed and died suddenly when out in the yard with horses .

Only last week, she became a great-grandmother, when her grandson, rider James Reveley, who is based in France, celebrated the birth of his first child.

She began training in  1978 and saddled her first winner as a permit holder the following year, taking out a full licence in 1981 for the next 23 years.

She was the first woman trainer to saddle 100 winners in a calendar year in 1991 and also the first one to saddle 50 Flat winners in a season.

She win the  Cambridgeshire success with Mellottie in 1991, and the Long Distance Hurdles at Newbury and Ascot, and the West Yorkshire Hurdle twice, with Cab On Target, who won 20 of his 46 races under rules.

Her son Keith said: “It was all just very sudden. It’s a huge shock.

“The only good thing is she wouldn’t have known anything about it and she has passed away doing something she absolutely loved.”

 

Ballymore returns to sponsor Cheltenham Festival

Ballymore is returning to sponsorship at The Festival by supporting the race it used to back after an eight-year gap.

The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle re-emerges after being staged as the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle since 2010.

 The Grade One two mile, five furlong novices’ hurdle, the first race on the second day of The Festival at Cheltenham, was sponsored by Ballymore, together with the main races leading up to it, for three years between 2007 and 2009.

Top class action and returning sponsor for Cheltenham Photo: Cheltenham Racecourse

The illustrious roll of honour for the race, founded in 1971, includes Faugheen (2014), The New One (2013), Hardy Eustace (2003), Istabraq (1997), Danoli (1994), The West Awake (1987), Ten Plus (1986), Sabin Du Loir (1983), Gaye Chance (1981) and Davy Lad (1975).
 
As well as sponsoring the Cheltenham Festival contest, which will be run on Ladies’ Day, Wednesday, March 14 in 2018, Ballymore is again backing the series of races beforehand.
 
These contests are staged at Cheltenham on Friday, October 27, 2017; Cheltenham on Friday, November 17, 2017; Sandown Park on Friday, December 8, 2017; Cheltenham on Monday, January 1, 2018; Warwick on Saturday, January 13, 2018 and Cheltenham on Saturday, January 27, 2018.
 
Carey Weeks, Regional Head of Partnerships, Jockey Club Racecourses South West, said: “Ballymore has agreed to sponsor the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival for the next three years and we welcome them back as one of our supporters.
 
“I would also like to thank Neptune Investment Management and its founder Robin Geffen for supporting the race between 2010 and 2017.”
 
Sean Mulryan commented: “The Cheltenham Festival is the pinnacle of the Jump Racing season each year and it is tremendous news that Ballymore is once again sponsoring there.
 
“The ambition has always been to return to the sponsorship if possible and this has now been achieved with the help of Cheltenham Racecourse.”After being staged as the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle since 2010.
 
The Grade One two mile, five furlong novices’ hurdle, the first race on the second day of The Festival at Cheltenham, was sponsored by Ballymore, together with the main races leading up to it, for three years between 2007 and 2009.
 
Then Neptune Investment Management took over and was the loyal backer for eight runnings up to and including this year’s renewal in March, which was won by the David Bass-ridden Willoughby Court, trained by Ben Pauling for owners Paul and Clare Rooney, who beat the favourite Neon Wolf by a head.
 

Sussex riders impress in Dodson & Horrell

The Dodson & Horrell National Amateur Second Rounds held at Wellington Riding Centre in Hook, Hampshire pulled in the talent recently with fifty-six combinations going forward to compete across the 0.95m and 1.10m Second Rounds.

With qualification for the November Dodson & Horrell National Amateur Championships, at Aintree Equestrian Centre in Liverpool the aim for each rider, two fierce classes of competition ensued.

Both sections were fiercely competitive, resulting:

Dodson & Horrell 1.10m National Amateur Second Round

Hannah Tiley and Amaryllis III jumping to victory Photo: Lottie Elizabeth Photography

In an initial starting line-up of seventeen, Hannah Tiley from Horsham in West Sussex took her place at the top of the leader board with her nine- year-old bay mare Amaryllis III. After tackling the technical course in round one, nine combinations were left to fight it out in the jump off where this combination produced a fast double clear in 42.76 seconds.

Sophie Ashton Rickardt from Chichester, West Sussex claimed second place in fine style after posting a double clear in 42.95 seconds on board her 9 year-old bay gelding Masterfly.

Third place went to local rider Southerly Roberts from Hook, Hampshire riding her own 11 year-old bay mare, Fizz IV. This pair crossed the finish line on a double clear in 47.38 seconds.

Full Result Wellington Riding Centre – Sunday October 22 2017
Dodson & Horrell 1.10m National Amateur Second Round Results
1st Hannah Tiley & Amaryllis III – 0/0 – 42.76 seconds
2nd Sophie Ashton Rickardt & Masterfly – 0/0 – 42.95 seconds
3rd Southerly Roberts & Fizz IV – 0/0 – 47.38 seconds
4th Sarah Maple & Frankie Foxtrot – 0/0/ – 53.16 seconds
5th Helen Francis & Action Z II – 0/0 – 56.93 seconds
6th Bethany Rushton-Taylor & Cairo Z III – 0/0 – 57.92 seconds
7th Anjelika Ryder & Coco Chanell – 0/4 – 52.91 seconds
8th Bex Foster & Ruby Tuesday XII – 0/E

Dodson & Horrell 0.95m National Amateur Second Round Results

1st Eleanor Vickery & Winnie IV – 0/0 – 35.94 seconds
2nd Jane Abbott & Galant VH Zwartepannenhof – 0/0 – 37.15 seconds
3rd Lauren Hopes & Rox Are The Business – 0/0 – 37.58 seconds
4th Sarah Osborne & Miss Mahout – 0/0 – 37.88 seconds
5th Chloe Barlow & Loletta – 0/0 – 39.48 seconds
6th Emma Dawson & Balthasar B – 0/0 – 41.90 seconds
7th Kerry Peach & Ricardos Treat – 0/0 – 47.10 seconds
8th Monica Heise & Gaul Wood – 0/4 – 34.91 seconds

 

BHS offers riding adventures overseas

Since the launch of the first British Horse Society fundraising riding challenge in 2000, hundreds of riders have taken part in an adventure overseas.

The ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ riding challenge opened the door for our intrepid challengers to travel the world in aid of British Horse Society welfare. The challenges now operate in Bulgaria, Chile, Iceland, Morocco, Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, India, Jordan, Peru and Lesotho. There is a trip to inspire everyone, each offering a unique experience no matter where you ride.

These challenges really do put the fun in fundraising but as well as enjoying a life-changing trip, all of the riders raise money that is vital in continuing the BHS’s outstanding welfare work welfare work.

BHS adventure in Chile

Without the aid of dedicated challengers, its nationwide network of welfare officers would not be able to help anywhere near as many horses as they do. The British Horse Society has more than 200 equine specialist welfare officers, more than any other charity, and together they improve the lives of countless horses, ponies and donkeys in every corner of the UK.

But if you do have any questions or simply want to know more please contact BHS Challenge Ride Organiser, Wendy Minor, via email at wendy.minor@bhs.org.uk or call her on 02476 840572.

So if you want to show your support for British horses, saddle up!  BHS guarantees you will not regret it when your reward is one of our challenge rides – and knowing you have contributed to the welfare of every horse in the UK.

2017 will feature Chile to Argentina-Patagonian Andes ride with the date to be confirmed.

Horse riding in the Andes
Photo: Jackson Smith

2018 has Peru, The Inca Ride from May 25-June 9 and Naminia-Damara Elephant Safari, May 25-June 9.These are followed by The Viking Ride, July 28-August 5 and Mongolia Horse Trek from August 19-31.

For more details contact:bhs.org.uk

RDA awards presented by Tina Cook

A record-breaking turnout from across four counties by members of the Riding for the Disabled Association marked its Regional Conference, when Olympic medallist, eventer Tina Cook, honoured many of the volunteers by presenting awards for their achievements.


Almost 150 delegates listened to presentations and workshops that ranged from using correct bits and good horse welfare to engaging effectively with participants and understanding the work of the main RDA Board.

Tina Cook ( left) presents
Lesley Morrill (centre) of Hope in the Valley with the Tora Bray Award Photo: Joanna Sale


Gill Batt-Denzey, from horsebitadvice.com, described the effects of different bits on, not only the horse’s mouth, but consequently the head, neck, shoulders and ultimately the deportment of the whole body. A well-fitted bit results in relaxation, receptivity, flexion, balance, rhythm and outline from a happy horse.


Judy Scrine, partner in Mayes & Scrine Equine Vets, outlined the conundrum of providing good horse welfare in the modern age and how far from their original environment horses have had to move. Challenging examples of unintentional mis-treatment where ignorance  often leads to ‘killing with kindness’ left everyone with a greater insight into correct horse care.

Judy Scrine presents the 40 years plus long service awards with Lynda Sears of Epsom enjoying 47 years. Photo Joanna Sales


Delegates participated in an enthusiastic workshop, led by Matt Cobble from RDA UK, on ways and means of raising a group’s level of engagement with participants. He looked at different types of engagement (informing, consulting, involving and collaboration) and their relative merits according to the individuals involved.

Ideas included using names more often to personalise the approach and using cards with symbols, illustrations and emojis that some participants might find easier to understand. The ultimate aim is to ensure that ‘all participants get an excellent experience with RDA according to their specific needs’ said Matt.
Judi Singer, former Regional Chairman and a current member of the National Board, gave an insight into the workings and strategies of RDA at Board level.

Numerous awards presented included Long Service Awards for 20+, 30+ and even 40+ years. Lynda Sears from Epsom RDA topped the bill with 47 years and Epsom brought 30 delegates to collect long-service awards which is an impressive reflection of the loyalty of RDA volunteers.

The Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Zac Galt of Quest RDA, Chobham and there were also two new awards – the new Hebe Young Volunteer Award (given to Sophia Collinson also from Quest and Abbi Hamilton Hopkins from Cobbes Meadow, Canterbury) and the Titan Participant of the Year Award (given to Samuel Curcio of Mid Sussex, Pyecombe, Robert Hill of Chalkdown, Staplehurst, and Bonnie Lawrence of Quest)

The Tora Bray Perpetual Award was presented to Lesley Morrill for her ‘unstinting work at both Hope in the Valley group and on the Regional Committee’. Gilly Roper, last year’s recipient, gave her citation and Tina Cook presented her with the Award. Tina Cook finished off the day’s awards by presenting Quest with The Buchan Bobby Award for the Group of the Year.
Long Service Awards:40 years and above: Lynda Seares (47) Epsom, Pam Aston (40) Epsom, Betty Grant (41) Epsom, Jill Messer (43) Epsom, Roberta Roan (40) Epsom
30 years and above: Janet Bettell Higgins (34) Kipling County, Elaine Briggs (32) Epsom, Hilarie Chantler (30) Epsom, Pamela Holmes (36) Epsom, Sue Lawrence Downham (37), Epsom, Janet McSweeney (34) Kipling County, Sue Page (30) Heron’s Ghyll, Alison Pruden (36) Epsom, Hazel Ransom (30) Epsom, Margaret Screech (35) Epsom, Dalma Williams (37) Epsom.
25 years and above:  Gaynor Gibbons (25) Epsom, Sue Hammill (25) Epsom, Jo Lee (27) Epsom Elizabeth Major (25) Heron’s Ghyll, Gill Morrison (25) Godstone, Norma Sharp (25) Epsom, Anthea Shipley (25) Heron’s Ghyll.

Record 375 at Plumpton’s Moorcroft Day lunch

Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre celebrated an outstanding fundraising day at Plumpton racecourse this week, when a record number attended its 18th charity lunch and auction in the trackside marquee.

The lunch attracted a best ever attendance of 375 people and the auction during lunch was also a record-breaker, with racing personality Mike Cattermole putting 12 outstanding lots under the hammer to raise more than  £21,000.

Whether the whole event is also a record breaker will be known when final figures are in.

Auctioneer Mike Cattermole in action

Items sold ranged from a Brighton and Hove Albion package including two tickets for a match plus a signed shirt, sold for £800, to a private box during the Qtar Goodwood Festival for up to 16 guests, with entry, parking and racecards, for £3,000.

Other lots sold included £2,100 for a morning on the gallops with trainer Paul Nicholls,with an overnight stay and breakfast for four included. Closer to home, a Night to Remember at the prestigious Goring Hotel, went for £2,000 and a tour of Coolmore Stud for two at £2,300.

Another star prize was a holiday for two in Spain at Cortijo Uribo with five days of riding hacienda horses. (£2,000).  And many more impressive lots were sold in this outstanding auction, thanks to generosity of donors.

A silent auction of 36 donated items, ranging from A Morning on the Gallops for four people with Nick Gifford at Downs Stables, Findon, followed by champagne and a tour of the yard, to a double annual membership for Plumpton Racecourse boosted money raised even further.

A presentation was also made by Moorcroft chairman Tim Fox to Alison Blake of Plumpton Racecourse for her expert organisation of this event. The raceday plays  a vital part in helping to fund the retraining of ex-racehorses at this outstanding centre, under the expertise of manager Mary Frances.

Moorcroft chairman Tim Fox, looks on as Allison Blake of Plumpton Racecourse receives gifts to mark her organisation of the annual raceday at Plumpton. Photo: Jeannie Knight

The raceday itself saw fiercely competitive racing, opening with the traditional pony race, which attracted 15 competitors. It was won  by The Gifford Flyer, owned and trained by Mrs M Shepherd, ridden by Daisy Harrop and sponsored by Mr and Mrs Paul Langmead.

Winner The Gifford Flyer, ridden by Daisy Harrop, owned by Mrs M Shepherd and sponsored by Mr and Mrs Paul Langmead Photo: Jeannie Knight

The opening two-mile maiden hurdle race on the main card saw an outstanding run from trainer Chris Gordon’s Highway One O One,  partnered by Tom Cannon, which justified his price of 7-2. The five-year-old had previously won a National Hunt Flat race and was impressive with a fluent run here.

Impressive winner:Highway One O One trained by Chris Gordon and ridden by Tom Cannon Photo: Jeannie Knight

Feature race of the day was the sixth running of the Josh Gifford Memorial Trophy, marking the achievements of Josh, who died in 2012. As a jockey he rode 68 winners at Plumpton between 1960 and 1970 and went on to train 112 winners at the track.

Josh Gifford Trophy presented by Mrs Althea Gifford (centre) to owners of Stoical Patient Photo:Jeannie Knight

The race this year, sponsored by Jeremy Kyle, was won by Stoical Patient, an eight-year-old trained by Gary Moore and ridden by son Jamie, owned by Westbourne Racing Club.

Stoical Patient in number one spot has a welcome drink from trainer Gary Moore
Photo: Jeannie Knight

Third in the race, despite carrying one stone four  pounds more weight than the winner was everybody’s favourite, the remarkable Venetian Lad ridden by Marc Goldstein.

Trained at Funtington by Lydia Richards and owned by the Venetian Lad Partnership, he was beaten by eight lengths and a neck, and was well clear of remaining runners. He never fails to impress with his stoicism and love of racing.

The Retirement Villages Novices Handicap Hurdle over two miles went to Kenyan, trained by Seamus Durak, ridden by Conor O’ Farrell.

Trainer Paul Nicholls took the Gerald Karn-Smith  Memorial Chase with 7-2 shot Ridgeway Flyer ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies, while locally trained Theo’s  Charm trained by Nick Gifford, at Findon should come on for this outing, where he finished third.

The next Plumpton meeting is on Monday November 6.

Equine inflammatory skin conditions

Pastern dermatitis, mud fever, greasy heels, cracked heels and scratches are common terms used to describe a variety of inflammatory skin conditions affecting the lower legs, pasterns and heels of horses.

They are discussed here by Dr Chris Baldwin BVetMed(hons) MRCVS of  Sussex Equine Hospital, based at Ashington,  in our latest equine veterinary feature.

Dr Chris Baldwin Dr Chris Baldwin BVetMed(hons) MRCVS – Arundel Equine Hospital

It is important to remember that they are terms describing a clinical symptom and are not a specific singular disease entity. For this reason, if your horse has this condition and it is not responding to your usual treatment always consult your vet for advice as it may be more involved than you think.

The group of clinical symptoms associated with mud fever include scabs, oozing, ulceration and hair loss at the back of the pasterns, heels and sometimes extending up the lower limb. It usually affects non-pigmented (white) legs worse than coloured skin.

Horses with a long history of the problem usually develop chronically thickened and folded skin at the back of the pasterns, which in turn, makes them more prone to redeveloping the condition.

The cause of the disease is often multi-factorial and is particularly associated with warm wet weather. The skin becomes broken and fragile either due to prolonged periods of being wet, or secondary to scratching due to leg mites, or any trauma to the skin such as from boot rubs or sharp vegetation.

This allows access for bacteria and the subsequent development of a skin infection. The most common bacterial involved is Dermatophilus which is the same bacteria that causes rain scald. However, some cases involve other bacteria and can also be associated with dermatophytosis (fungal infection). Other conditions that can cause identical symptoms are photosensitisation secondary to liver disease, pastern folliculitis, pastern leucocytoclastic vasculitis and eosinophilic dermatitis to name a few.

Typical example of mud fever

Treatment of mud fever depends entirely on the cause. If there is no immediate concern that one of the more serious conditions is involved, most horses are usually treated by trying to clean and dry out the affected areas. This usually involves stabling or moving out of the wet muddy environment, clipping the hair and removing the scabs and crust so that topical antibacterial, antifungal, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory treatments can effectively be applied to the area. Some horses may also require oral antibiotics in addition to oral anti-inflammatories such as steroids.

However, if your horse is not responding as expected to the treatment, further diagnosis may be required, this might involve your vet taking swabs for bacterial and fungal culture, blood tests to check for other more serious health issues and even biopsies of the affected area.

Ultimately if in any doubt call your own vet to organise a consultation to fully assess and discuss the nature of your horses’ condition as soon as possible.
Dr. C. Baldwin, BVetMed, MRCVS

Goodwood racecourse reaches award finals

Goodwood Racecourse has been named as a finalist in four different categories for the prestigious Showcase and Awards, hosted by the Racecourse Association (RCA) at Newbury on November 16.  It is also in the running to be named overall Showcase Champions.

 Goodwood has already been named as the Special Merit Award winner at the RCA Racecourse Groundstaff Awards, placing the team in contention of winning the title of Groundstaff Champions.

Top class racing at Goodwood Photo: John Simpson

 The annual Showcase and Awards is the marquee event of British racecourses, celebrating first class customer experience, in partnership with Moët Hennessy and the Racing Post. Goodwood is one of five finalists in four individual categories; ‘Love of the Sport,’ ‘Digital and Social Media,’ ‘Food and Beverage’ and the coveted ‘Racing Post Readers Award,’ as well as being in contention of winning the title of Showcase Champions and Groundstaff Champions.

 The Love of the Sport Award celebrates initiatives that both enrich and extend the reach of the sport to customers. Successful entries demonstrated the passion, enthusiasm, knowledge and skill of those who work tirelessly in the sport, enhancing both customer enjoyment and education of horseracing. The Digital and Social Media Award is given to the racecourse that best demonstrates pushing the boundaries in this space.

 The Food and Beverage finalists are chosen for their innovation and ability to react to changing customer demands. For the Racing Post Readers Award, readers were asked to nominate their best examples of customer service at a British racecourse, making it a true test as the feedback came from those that matter most – the customers.

 Alex Eade, General Manager of Goodwood Racecourse, said; “The groundstaff richly deserve the Special Merit Award for their miraculous effort during an extremely challenging Qatar Goodwood Festival, so to have been given this accolade is very pleasing. To then be named as a finalist in four categories is a huge achievement and credit is due to the entire team for making this happen.

“It is particularly pleasing to be in the running for the Racing Post Readers Award, as this is voted for independently by our customers. We are all greatly looking forward to the Showcase and Awards next month.”

Racing at Goodwood   Photo: John  Simpson

 Commenting on giving the Groundstaff Special Merit Award to Goodwood, the judges said; “What the team at Goodwood achieved during the Qatar Goodwood Festival was nothing short of remarkable. The dedication involved in keeping the track raceable and the Racecourse generally presentable given the extremes of weather was immensely impressive and makes them a standout choice for this award.”

 Stephen Atkin, RCA Chief Executive, said; “I am delighted for Goodwood Racecourse for their success in being named a Finalist in four categories at the 2017 Showcase and Awards. I extend my congratulations to the team for their hard work in securing this achievement and wish them the best of luck for the ceremony at Newbury.”

Tickets for Goodwood’s 2018 fixtures are now on sale, including early-bird prices for the flagship meeting, the Qatar Goodwood Festival, which takes place from July 31 to August 4.

BHS Sefton awards presented

The British Horse Society’s Sefton Awards this month recognise those who have made an outstanding contribution in the field of equestrian safety. Those recognised this year were: Debbie Smith, Janice Pickup, Lyn Morris, Ellen Shaw and Cathryn Godfrey.

The founder of the Pass Wide and Slow Group, Debbie Smith was acknowledged for her work in raising awareness of the issues that riders face on the roads. Debbie’s petition for rider safety has received over 100,000 signatures and she has an active Facebook group with more than 10,000 members. Debbie’s MP, Derek Thomas ensured that there was a Westminster Hall debate in Parliament to discuss the issue of riding and road safety.

BHS Safety Volunteer, Janice Pickup was recognised for her work in Manchester and Cheshire to raise awareness of equestrian safety. Janice has supported Greater Manchester Police in their ‘Operation Considerate’ campaign that keeps all road users – including horses – safe.

The BHS Sefton Award winners

Road Safety Officer for Carmarthen County Council, Lyn Morris works closely with the BHS to raise awareness of their Dead Slow campaign and wider equestrian safety. Lyn recently secured funding for BARTA (British Animal Rescue and Trauma Association) in conjunction with the BHS to run emergency service training sessions for police and fire officers in her area. This training will be imperative for the emergency services to deal with a major equine incident.

Barrister, Ellen Shaw, and Cathryn Godfrey from Irwin Mitchell Solicitors were both recognised for giving up their spare time to help the BHS raise awareness of rider safety. Both Cathryn and Ellen have delivered presentations throughout the country, using their legal background to advise and educate horse owners so they can protect themselves while riding out.

BHS Director of Safety, Alan Hiscox: “The past year has been brilliant in raising awareness of rider safety on the roads, with a particular highlight being the Westminster Hall debate. All of those who have received Sefton Awards have had a huge part to play in this and I would like to thank them personally for their hard work and dedication.”

Cheltenham’s season starts soon

Cheltenham’s exciting new season starts with The Showcase on Friday, October 27 and Saturday, October 28.
The two-day meeting at the Home of Jump Racing boasts increased prize money of £319,000, and Saturday’s programme includes two £50,000 handicap chases sponsored by Randox Health – the opening randoxhealth.com Handicap Chase (2pm) over three miles and a furlong and the Randox Health Handicap Chase (3.10pm) over two miles.

Top action at Cheltenham
Photo courtesy of Cheltenham Racecourse

Star chaser Fox Norton started last season with an emphatic 11-length success in the Randox Health Handicap Chase and subsequently finished the head runner-up in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at The Festival before landing G1 contests at Aintree and Punchestown.
JCB Triumph Hurdle victor Defi Du Seuil (Philip Hobbs), who scored four times at Cheltenham last season during an unbeaten campaign, is set to reappear in one of the other highlights of The Showcase, the £35,000 Masterson Holdings Hurdle (2.35pm) for four-year-olds over two miles, also staged on the Saturday.
Bedrock (Dan Skelton) is likely to be in opposition following an eight-length success in a two-mile novices’ hurdle at Bangor on October 4, his second victory of the new campaign after a wide margin triumph at Warwick in May.

Trainer Dan Skelton

The son of Fastnet Rock was pitched in against Defi Du Seuil in the G1 Doom Bar Anniversary 4YO Hurdle at Aintree in April, when he was far from disgraced in third, six lengths behind the winner.
Trainer Dan Skelton is preparing a strong team for The Showcase as he bids to consolidate his lead in the Jump trainers’ championship. Skelton has sent out 75 winners so far this season at a strike rate of 27 per cent.
The Warwickshire handler said: “Bedrock is fine after Bangor and the plan is to take on Defi Du Seuil at Cheltenham in a couple of weeks.
“Bedrock has won two Mickey Mouse novice hurdles since Aintree with no real opposition and certainly nothing of Defi Du Seuil’s standard.
“You would presume the extra experience is a positive, but Defi Du Seuil was the leading juvenile last season and you have got to be respectful.

Bedrock and Harry Skelton in action
Photo: John Simpson

“We will be getting a bit of weight this time, which we didn’t at Aintree, and we have had a run whereas he hasn’t. There a few positives for our case, but ultimately this is a nice race to go for and should give us a pointer for the rest of the season.
“We will have a nice team for The Showcase, all being well. North Hill Harvey won the Stan James Greatwood last season and will go for a novices’ chase, Two Taffs will go for the two and a half mile novices’ chase, Blairs Cove has won a couple this season will go for a novices’ hurdle, and Stick To The Plan is pencilled in for the three-mile novices’ hurdle.”
 Friday’s seven-race programme, starting at 2.00pm, features several non-graded novice contests over both hurdles and fences. Past winners on the day include subsequent G1 scorers The New One and Lac Fontana.
As well as all the action on the track, racegoers will also be able to get behind the scenes of “The Sport of Kings” at The Showcase. There will be guided tours of the Parade Ring and Weighing Room before racing, as well as various activities and displays about the sport.
Tours will take place approximately every half an hour, starting from the Best Mate plaza, once gates have opened, up until half an hour before the first race.
The Showcase Food & Drink Zone, staged for the first time in 2014, returns to The Centaur to demonstrate all that is great about the food and drinks producers of the Cotswolds.
The racecourse sits in the heart of the Cotswolds and there are many amazing elements of the region that will be celebrated in The Showcase Food & Drink Zone.