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Sep 29 2016

With just one week to go Hereford Racecourse is gearing up for the return of Jump Racing after a four year absence.

Next Thursday gates will open at 12noon for The £50,000 bet365 Opening Raceday with the first race commencing at 2pm, followed by 6 more races concluding at 5.20pm.

Hereford Racecourse continues to receive fantastic local support and is delighted to announce that ‘The Great Chase Owners & Trainers Bar’ will be sponsored by Herefordshire based Chase Vodka. In addition they are also supporting a series of other initiatives including sponsorship of the season’s Best Turned Out Horse Awards and the provision of complimentary ‘Fit Corn’ popcorn for Stable Staff.

The local Verzon House Hotel, based a short distance from the Racecourse, will be supporting the inaugural Leading Trainer and Rider Award at the Racecourse, a points based initiative for winning and placed runs and rides. The leading trainer and rider will both enjoy a night’s dinner bed and breakfast at the luxury boutique hotel.

The Great Chase Owners and Trainers Bar will feature a range of the Hereford-based company’s premium gin and vodka products and along with the support from The Verzon House Hotel, Kidwells Solicitors and Cotswold MINI and BMW, reiterates Hereford Racecourse’s desire to work with and help promote local brands.

With one week to go, the racing world is very much looking forward to the official reopening of Hereford, a racecourse much loved by former Times Racing Correspondent Alan Lee who passed away in December 2015. In recognition of Alan’s support of the grassroots of the sport the four fixtures in 2016 will each feature ‘The Alan Lee Performance of the Day’ which will be judged by some of Alan’s family and friends.
The award will be given to the individual, whether it be horse, jockey, trainer or member of stable staff who is deemed to have put in the most eye catching performance of the day as judged by family and friends of Alan, who will be on course to follow the day’s action. The full details will be in the opening day’s racecard.

In addition, on Thursday 6 October, a panel of top Jump jockeys Aidan Coleman, Tom Scudamore and Richard Johnson will join the opening day’s sponsors, Stoke-based betting firm bet365, to offer racegoers an insight into their afternoon’s rides, as well as their memories of racing at Hereford over the years. Herefordshire based Champion Jockey Richard Johnson will also be on hand to officially open the Rusty Bridge Restaurant, named after his first ever career winner, which he rode at Hereford in 1994.

Racegoers will be able to mark the day by purchasing a limited edition newly Hereford badge, which will be given out on course in return for donations to Hereford Riding for the Disabled Association and Little Princess Trust.

Ahead of the first raceday next week Hereford Racecourse will this evening play host to a major fundraising event for St Michael’s Hospice, a local charity that provides specialist palliative and respite care to the people of Herefordshire and their families. ‘A Celebration of the Return of National Hunt Racing to Hereford Racecourse’ evening has been organised by BBC Radio 5 Live’s Racing Correspondent, Cornelius Lysaght.

The event will see guests bring their own picnics to the racecourse and enjoy a champagne reception and an evening of insights and stories from some of the county’s top racing figures, including Richard Johnson and Peter Scudamore, hosted by John Hunt, broadcaster and commentator for the BBC and At The Races.

Executive Director of Hereford Racecourse, Rebecca Davies said, “The buzz around Hereford as we approach The bet365 Reopening Raceday has been tremendous, and this is reflected in the number of reputable Herefordshire brands that have come on board to support us.

“We’re delighted to have Chase Vodka supporting the Great Chase Owners and Trainers Bar, I hope that plenty of horsemen get to try some of their brilliant product, which racegoers will also get to see around the course. Cotswold MINI and BMW and Kidwells are also fantastic new partners of ours, and we look forward to working with them throughout the season.”

For more information about Hereford Racecourse or to book tickets, please visit