Warwick hope to sign off 2016 with bumper crowd

Boxing Day saw the start of what is traditionally a busy period for sport and Warwick's New Year Eve's fixture tomorrow is one of four race meetings taking place around the country, writes David Hucker.

Wednesday, 28th December 2016, 5:47 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 3:20 pm
Andre Klein and the staff at Warwick Racecourse are gearing up for a 5,000-plus attendance for the New Year's Eve fixture.

General manager Andre Klein is hoping that around 5,000 people will go through the turnstiles for the course’s most popular fixture of the season and the best-attended sporting event in the district.

“Last year, we attracted more than 4,000 racegoers and, with attendances on the rise throughout 2016, coupled with New Year’s Eve falling on a Saturday, we are looking forward to another bumper crowd,” said Klein.

“There’s nothing better than seeing the stands at a race track packed to the rafters with people enjoying the occasion. It makes for a wonderful atmosphere,” he added.

Gates open at 10am, two hours before the first race, in which trainer Neil Mulholland has two entries in the shape of Kempton Park Flat winner Master Burbidge and Mrs Burbidge, who has been successful over hurdles three times already this season.

Warwickshire trainer Dan Skelton has an interesting entry in the following LPS British Stallion Studs EBF Mares’ “National Hunt” Novices´ Hurdle in Al Reesha, who broke her duck at Ayr when taking a National Hunt Flat Race by 23 lengths.

She followed up with a clear-cut win over jumps at Fakenham, but a better bet may be Copper Kay, who has run in a couple of hot novice races since winning at Ffos Las.

Charbel went down with all guns blazing when runner-up to hot favourite and Cheltenham Festival contender Altior at Sandown Park and sets the standard in the £8,000 Local Parking Security Novices’ Chase.

Champion trainer Paul Nicholls could run Doncaster winner All Set To Go, but this is one of three entries he holds this week and the progressive Gala Ball and Haydock Park winner Buveur D’Air, who holds a Champion Hurdle entry, make more appeal.

There is also £8,000 in the prize pot for the Local Parking Security Handicap Chase run over three miles and course winner Cheat The Cheater showed he still had plenty to offer when staying on to be third under champion jockey Richard Johnson on his last run.

The concluding Local Parking Security Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race looks a real puzzle for racegoers to unravel with nearly two-thirds of the 29 entries having never run under Rules.

But, with Dan Skelton boasting a 27 per cent strike rate in this type of contest at the course, his unraced pair of Global Ruler and Just For William catch the eye.

For ticket information and details of party packages, call 405560 or go to www.warwickracecourse.co.uk