Newbury's annual Greatwood Charity Raceday fields some punters' favourites - and a fascinating charity race
Now in its tenth year Newbury's Greatwood Charity Raceday (Saturday, March 4) features great racing, a charity race and a chance to support a really worthwhile equestrian cause.
The day raises vital funds needed to care for 43 ex-racehorses, which are either used for Greatwood’s innovative educational programmes, re-trained to be rehomed, or remain at the charity's base at Clench Common, near Marlborough, on a sanctuary basis.
In addition Greatwood educates 120 learners aged 5 to 24 year each year who have additional educational needs and disabilities.
Taking part in this year's Greatwood charity race will be Lisa Kozac who is Travelling Head Girl for Lambourn trainer Oliver Sherwood and who herself owns two ex-racehorses which she hunts and shows. She used to take Many Clouds to his race meetings and was very proud to show him off at Lambourn Open Day.
Among the ten other riders joining Lisa in the charity race will be Richie Marks a 54-year-old geordie postman - Sheikh Fahad Al Thani a keen sponsor of British racing - David Dennis who holds a trainer's licence - and seven more lady riders.
The seven-race card includes the £50,000 G3 William Hill 'High 5' Supporting Greatwood Gold Cup (3.15pm, 14 entries. Vibrato Valtat (7/1 with William Hill), a G1 winner over fences in 2014, could provide trainer Paul Nicholls a remarkable ninth success in this two and a half-mile handicap chase.
Nicholls has also entered recent Musselburgh handicap chase victor San Benedeto (7/1) and More Buck's (14/1), a three-time chase winner already this season, as the champion trainer bids for a third consecutive victory in the race following Sound Investment (2015) and Sametegal (2016).
Rebecca Curtis - trains O'Faolains Boy O'Faolains Boy (Rebecca Curtis) took the G1 RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2014 and the 10-year-old features among 13 entries for the £25,000 Betway Supporting Greatwood Veterans' Handicap Chase (2.05pm) over three and a quarter miles.
His rivals may include the Paul Nicholls-trained pair of Rocky Creek, who won this season's London National at Sandown Park in December, and the 2015 G3 bet365 Gold Cup victor Just A Par.
Harry Topper (Kim Bailey), a dual G2 victor in Newbury chases, and the 2014 Scottish Grand National winner Al Co (Peter Bowen) have also been entered.
Among Greatwood's fundraising activities at the Newbury meeting will be a lunch for 350 supporters and guests with guest speaker Gyles Brandreth.
And there is a silent auction with lots including a week's stay in a villa in Sri Lanka and dinner for two in the House of Commons - plus an array of racing related lots such as numerous Morning on the Gallops with various trainers, tickets to the Cheltenham Gold Cup and to Royal Ascot.
Bidding is now open - online.