Winners of 21st anniversary Wills Writing Awards announced

The 21st annual Wills Writing Awards, for creative writing (fact or fiction) around a horseracing theme by a young person resident in the UK or the Republic of Ireland, attracted 92 entries. Of these, 37 were in the under 26 category, 30 were in the under 19 category, and 25 were in the under 15 category.   The under 26 winner and runner up and the under 19 winner had all been prize-winners in previous years, in younger categories. The under 19 winner is also…

Mares to the fore on day two of The April Meeting. Tom Symonds aiming for Listed glory

The April Meeting at Cheltenham concludes tomorrow (April 18) with a cracking eight-race card in which three Listed contests for mares take centre stage.   Herefordshire-based trainer Tom Symonds, a former assistant to Nicky Henderson, is set to have four runners across the card, with three of those in Listed company.   Valmari is one of eight runners in the £25,000 Listed European Breeders’ Fund/Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Mares’ Novices’ Handicap Chase (2.35pm) over two miles and five furlongs, which was transferred to Cheltenham following the…

Stars on show at Cheltenham tomorrow

Grade One-winning chaser Menorah (11st 10lb) will have to concede upwards of 7lb to his six rivals in the £50,000 Grade Two Macmillan Cancer Support Silver Trophy Limited Handicap Chase (3.55pm) at Cheltenham on the opening day of The April Meeting, tomorrow, Wednesday, April 17. The Philip Hobbs-trained eight-year-old captured the Grade One Betfred Manifesto Novices’ Chase at Aintree last year and annexed another big prize this season when taking the rearranged Grade Two Peterborough Chase at KemptonPark on December 27. After pulling up in…

Trainer Alan Bailey could have first runner in Investec Derby

The British Flat season steps up a gear this week with plenty of Classic clues on display in the trials taking place at Newmarket and Newbury. King George River, formerly trained by Irish champion Aidan O’Brien, will have his first start on turf for Newmarket handler Alan Bailey in the Listed ebm-papst Feilden Stakes over nine furlongs at Newmarket tomorrow, April 17, before a potential tilt at the Investec Derby at Epsom Downs on Saturday, June 1. The three-year-old son of Danehill Dancer scored impressively…

Honeyball trio on course for Cheltenham Listed contests

Trainer Anthony Honeyball will be doubly represented by Maries Des Anges and Jackies Solitaire in the £25,000 Listed EBF/Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Mares’ Novices’ Chase Finale (2.35pm, 10 entries) at Cheltenham on the second day of The April Meeting, Thursday, April 18. The two mile, five furlong handicap has been transferred to Cheltenham following the abandonment of Newbury on March 23. Marie Des Anges (10st 4lb) gained her third win of the season over fences when staying on gamely to land a novices’ handicap chase at…

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