Horse Racing with Jason Hall

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IN recent years racing as a whole has focused a great deal of its attention on introducing the sport to a younger generation, making positive attempts to stimulate a similar enthusiasm to that which is held already by so many and with the long term intention of maintaining the future prosperity of British racing.

UK racecourses have been a key player in this promotion and earlier this week Plumpton held a Behind The Scenes race day as the course showed its continuing support for the initiative.

Children from the local school were invited along for the day and given tours of all the facilities at the racecourse, practised on a simulator the art of race riding, wore jockeys silks and were introduced to individuals who all play a part in providing the race day experience.

In addition, the children as a group picked out what they thought was the best looking horse for one of the races, which was announced across the tannoy, and they presented the memento to the winning connections of a race as well.

The children appeared to thoroughly enjoy the activities.

The opportunities to look at all the various facilities and to use the simulator was also extended to the general public and the hope is that first time race goers and the children will be encouraged to return to the racecourse again.

The efforts of Plumpton and its counterparts can only serve to make that a more likely reality.

The backdrop to Monday’s meeting was dry and sunny which helped to enhance another enjoyable day’s racing that once again attracted another very good crowd.

The recent good form of our local trainers was also confirmed on the card with Paddy Butler sending out Curragh Dancer to win the second race, and Gary Moore scoring a double on the day – with the short price favourite Sircozy and the big outsider Galiotto.

Sheena West was also delighted with the performance in defeat of Blazing Bolte who she feels has a future long term.

Anna Newton-Smith and Suzy Smith posted winners at Wincanton and Newbury respectively over the weekend to maintain their form.

I spoke with John Penny of the Heart Of The South Racing Club whilst at Plumpton and he was full of enthusiasm for the coming flat season.

“Our horses are looking really well with the season about to start and South Cape is bouncing at home.

“I don’t think he will get in the Lincoln on Saturday and instead of going for the consolation race we have decided to go to Newbury for the Spring Cup, which is another valuable race. Lightning Strike is also looking good at home.

“For the club members we are having a day out at the Newmarket Craven meeting. As well as the day’s racing we will be going to the National Museum and to the Sales. Gary Moore will hopefully be buying another winner for us there.

“It really gives everyone a good insight into the racing world as well as a great social day.”

I reported recently that Jim and Tom Best had succeeded where many had recently failed with Goodwood Starlight.

“I do like the horse and we are getting there with him,” Jim.

“He is very likely to run again on Friday (today) and I think he will do well again.”

The team has had a relatively quiet jumps season in terms of numbers but his strike rate remains as good as ever and I think their stable is in a bit of a transitional period.

I get the impression they will come back next season with their strongest team yet.

Time will tell.