Warwick Racecourse ushers in new year and a new start

Racegoers can get in the mood for their new year’s celebrations at Warwick on Monday, when the course is expecting a big crowd for one of its most popular jumps meetings, writes David Hucker.

This will be the last meeting for commercial manager Lee Moulson who is moving to take up a new role at sister course Cheltenham.

“New Year’s Eve will be sad day for me,” said Moulson. “I have had an amazing time and am looking forward to my new challenge as racing sales manager at Cheltenham Racecourse.”

The first of the afternoon’s seven races is the Download The Free Racing UK App Novices’ Handicap Hurdle over two miles and three furlongs and is due off at 12.50pm.

Next up is the Bet With The Racing UK App Conditional Jockeys´ Handicap Hurdle over three miles and one furlong, the longest race of the day.

There are two qualifiers for The Jockey Club Grassroots Jumps Series, the first being the Watch Racing UK In Your Pub 0870 351 8834 Handicap Chase over three miles and the second the Follow Us On Twitter @WarwickRaces Handicap Chase over two-and-a-half miles.

Aimed at supporting grassroots levels of the sport, the Series was launched at Carlisle on December 2 and culminates in two £50,000 finals at Haydock Park on March 30.

There are a total of 32 qualifiers, split equally between hurdles and chases, run at eight of Jockey Club Racecourses’ jumps tracks, including Warwick.

To qualify for entry into either of the two finals, horses must run at least once in a corresponding qualifying race.

The course has already staged one qualifier, when George Nympton, trained by Nick Williams, won the Betfred “The Bonus King” Handicap Chase over two miles at the last meeting, one of two winners on the afternoon for jockey Noel Fehily.

The meeting finishes at 3.50pm with the Time-Order Racecards In The Racing Plus Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.

Gates open two hours before racing at 10.50am and there is ample free parking in the centre of the course. Tickets can be booked in advance on 08445 793013 or online at www.warwickracecourse.co.uk

The next meeting is on Saturday January 12 and will feature the Betfred Classic Chase, won last year in good style by top-weight Hey Big Spender, who is being aimed at a repeat victory.