Wetherby's new Jump season starts with its annual Spinal Research charity raceday tomorrow, Wednesday, October 16.
Now in its 29th year, Wetherby's Spinal Research charity raceday has raised close to £650,000 since its inception and organisers hope to generate a further £40,000 this year.
Spinal Research is the UK's leading charity funding medical research around the world to develop effective treatments for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury. Every year, 1,000 people in the UK and Ireland are paralysed following an injury to their spinal cord.
Racegoers can support Spinal Research by joining them in their exclusive hospitality marquee, located adjacent to the parade ring and winner's enclosure, which includes a champagne reception and three-course luncheon followed by a charity auction and raffle.
Spinal Research ambassador Tara Stewart is this year's guest of honour and will speak about how research gives her hope for the future. Tara was left paralysed from the upper chest down after a horse riding accident in 2014.
Auction lots include: a three-night weekend break at Olicana Park in Addingham, an eight course tasting menu for four guests at the Michelin starred Yorke Arms in Ramsgill, dinner and bed & breakfast for three couples at The Alice Hawthorne in Nun Monkton, and a week's stay at a holiday home in Bamburgh.
Further information on the Spinal Research charity raceday, including all of the auction and raffles prizes, can be found HERE
Tickets for the hospitality marquee are available at www.wetherbyracing.co.uk
Wetherby's closed season has been used to carry out some behind the scenes work and prepare for future projects.
A new e-ticketing system has been implemented which is phase one of a new admission system which will result in the redevelopment of the main turnstile entrance building and entrance road next summer.
In terms of ongoing maintenance, the canter track has been resurfaced, along with the horsebox park and the stables have been re-roofed.
Sam Spinner and Beakstown headline 75 runners
Wetherby's Spinal Research charity raceday is set to play host to some excellent racing with 75 declared runners spread across the eight races.
High-class hurdlers Sam Spinner (Jedd O'Keeffe/Joe Colliver) and Beakstown (Dan Skelton/Harry Skelton) make their chasing debuts in the In-Site Property Solutions Novices' Chase (2.55pm, six runners) over just shy of two and a half miles.
Sam Spinner captured the G1 Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot in 2017 and the seven-year-old replicated that form on his penultimate start when an honourable second to Paisley Park in the G1 Stayers' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
North Yorkshire-based Jedd O'Keeffe said today: "We are very happy with Sam Spinner. He has done plenty of work and plenty of schooling, and we are anxiously looking forward to it.
"The trip is probably a touch on the sharp side for him, but he will enjoy the track and the ground is fine.
"What we want to see from him tomorrow, first and foremost, is a good round of jumping. We know that he is not at his peak yet and hopefully that will come later on in the season, but we want to see lots of promise and aptitude for chasing, which is what we see at home."
Beakstown, an impressive Irish point-to-point winner, has long been held in high regard. The Stowaway gelding captured the G2 Ballymore Leamington Novices' Hurdle at Warwick in January but was not at that level when pulled up in the G1 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
A classy renewal of the In-Site Property Solutions Novices' Chase also features Mr Antolini (Nigel Twiston-Davies/Sam Twiston-Davies), winner of the G3 Imperial Cup in 2018, and dual hurdles scorer Return Ticket (Ruth Jefferson/Henry Brooke).
Highclere Thoroughbred Racing's Crievehill (Nigel Twiston-Davies/Sam Twiston-Davies) heads the weights on 11st 9lb for the feature handicap on the card, the £14,000 Bobby Renton Handicap Chase (4.00pm, nine runners). Crievehill was last seen out when fourth in the Kim Muir Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
Trainer Philip Hobbs, who has won two of the last four runnings of Bobby Renton Handicap Chase, saddles Chef D'Equipe (Mr David Maxwell (3), 11st 4lb). Others to note include Cracking Find (Sue Smith/Danny Cook, 11st 7lb), winner of the Castleford Handicap Chase at Wetherby's Christmas meeting last season, and Newcastle specialist Ascot De Bruyere (James Ewart/Brian Hughes, 11st 5lb).
Elsewhere on the card, Jatiluwih (Philip Hobbs/Mr David Maxwell) bids to defy a triple penalty in the Motor Auction Group Novices' Hurdle (3.30pm, 11 runners) following victories at Ludlow, Chepstow and Sedgefield. The opposition includes West Cork (Dan Skelton/Harry Skelton) and Eclair On Line (Charlie Longsdon/Aidan Coleman), both successful in a point-to-point when last seen, plus Aintree bumper second Dino Boy (Nigel Twiston-Davies/Sam Twiston-Davies).
I Just Know (Sue Smith/Sam Coltherd (3), 11st 4lb), best known as staying chaser and winner of the North Yorkshire Grand National at Catterick in 2018, returns from almost a year off in the bet365 Charlie Hall Meeting 1st & 2nd November Handicap Hurdle (4.35pm, 12 runners) over three miles.
The going at Wetherby is Good to Soft, with the outlook dry and generally settled until through to the end of racing.
Wetherby's popular two-day bet365 Charlie Hall Meeting is just over two weeks away and takes place on Friday, November 1 and Saturday, November 2.
A plethora of high quality action across the two days is headlined by £100,000 G2 bet365 Charlie Hall Chase on November 2. The three-mile contest boasts a rich history with Wayward Lad, Burrough Hill Lad, Forgive 'n Forget, One Man and See More Business all featuring on the roll of honour.
Racegoers are advised to book tickets as soon as possible by visiting www.wetherbyracing.co.uk