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Friday, 29 May 2015

Course is a hit Down Under

THE worldwide reputation of Hexham Racecourse has reached the suburbs of Sydney, New South Wales.

And, as a result, a party of 10 Australian racing enthusiasts from Illawong will be guests at the second evening meeting of the year at Yarridge Heights on Tuesday.

The group, who are on a three month tour of the UK, are keen to experience local events and meet local people and decided National Hunt racing at Hexham would provide an ideal opportunity.

The six race card gets under way at 6.40pm, with the feature race, the Injured Jockeys Fund 50th Anniversary Handicap Hurdle over three miles, due off at 7.10pm.

The IJF provides care, compassion and financial help, to injured jockeys and was founded in 1964 following the devastating accidents to Tim Brookshaw, and then Paddy Farrell in the 1964 Grand National.

To date the IJF has spent over £18m helping more than one thousand jockeys whose injuries have forced some of them to give up riding. The most valuable race of the evening, with a prize fund of £10,000, is the 7.40pm handicap chase to be run over three miles and one furlong. The race is sponsored by one of Hexham’s most enthusiastic supporters, Sedgefield owner trainer John Wade.

As usual the racecourse is providing two courtesy buses which will leave Hexham railway station at 5.38pm and the bus station at 5.45pm. Both buses will return after the last race which is due off at 9.10pm.

There are three more meetings scheduled before the summer recess, with the Nova International Day (June 7), Marie Curie Charity Day (June 14) and Ladies' Day (June 22).