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Officials cross fingers for kinder weather

By Herald Express  |  Posted: January 17, 2013

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AFTER welcoming a New Year's Day record crowd of over 4,500 people, Exeter officials will be hoping the weather stays kind for their second meeting of the month next Wednesday, writes David Hucker.

This is an extra fixture for the course this season and racegoers can take advantage of a special offer of admission and meal in the Desert Orchid restaurant for £40.

The first of the seven races, the Worthington's Novices Hurdle, is due off at 1.20pm and the meeting concludes with the Exeter Mares' Standard National Hunt Flat Race at 4.20pm.

The fourth is the Magners Golden Draught Mares' Handicap Hurdle (Jockey Club Grassroots Jump Series Qualifiers) over an extended two miles and five furlongs.

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 Jockey Club jumps tracks, including Exeter.

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

Looking further ahead, the course is offering two tickets for £10 at the meeting on Sunday, February 10, if booked in advance by the 8th.

Another date for the diary is the annual Cheltenham Festival Preview Evening, sponsored by Paddy Power, which will be held on Thursday, February 21, starting at 7pm.

Leading West Country trainers Paul Nicholls, David Pipe and Philip Hobbs will again be on the panel, along with Andrew King of the Racing Post.

The evening will be hosted by Channel 4 betting guru Tanya Stevenson and tickets cost £20, to include a meal.

EXETER Racecourse's sponsorship of point-to-point racing in the Devon and Cornwall area continues at Chipley Park this Sunday when the Tiverton meeting takes place.

This is the first meeting of the ten race intermediate series, with all horses that take part eligible to run in the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate Hunters' Steeple Chase Final at its evening meeting on Tuesday, May 7.

Each meeting receives £300 in sponsorship.

General Manager Tim Darby said: "We hope that by continuing our sponsorship we may attract new people to the racecourse as well as giving something back to the grass roots of the sport."

Gordon Chambers, secretary of the Devon and Cornwall Point to Point Association, said: "We very much appreciate Exeter Racecourse's sponsorship which does so much to maintain the strong link between National Hunt racing and point-to-points."

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