The Flat season got off to a great start on Saturday 29 April with Tom Dascombe taking a fantastic treble with La Celebs Ville in the Class 5 1m handicap for 4yr olds, Side Winder in 1m 3yr olds handicap and Caponova in the final race of the day the 1m 2½f handicap. Tom was our top trainer here last year so it is exciting to see such brilliant results for him so early on in the season. Another great win of the day was for William Haggas with Afjaan, a 5 year old partnered with Frankie Dettori, a very exciting result for a horse on his way to the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot.
Following the great afternoon of racing, we had Scott Mills performing a “Party in the Paddock” for the TENsational Season Opener. The racecourse had a great buzz to it and exceeded attendance figures on last year’s records so we are in a fantastic position for good summer ahead.
The TENsational Saturday series is back for a second year so whether you’re a seasoned racing fan who comes to experience the enviable quality fixtures or a racing novice, there is something for everyone at Haydock this Summer. The series has a star-studded line up of DJ’s who will all play a 90 minute set after racing in the Paddock, open to all ticket holders. The next “Party in the Paddock” will be on Saturday 13 May with Heart FM’s Joel Ross, BBC Radio 2 DJ Sara Cox after the Temple Stakes fixture on 27 May and Capital FM’s Anton Powers at the John O’Gaunt Day on Saturday 10 June. Other DJ’s in the series include Johnny Vaughan, Jo Whiley and The Culture Club so we are really set for a super summer of fun.
The next meeting at Haydock Park is the Swinton Hurdle on Saturday 13 May featuring eight races - four on the flat, two over hurdles and two steeplechase races. This is always one of my favourite fixtures and I am delighted Haydock is the only English racecourse to offer a mixed card over flat and jumps.
Looking further ahead to the end of May, we have the famous Armstrong Group Temple Stakes race meeting with attracts some of the fastest horses in training. This is a quality day of racing featuring the Group 2, 5fl Temple Stakes race and the Sandy Lane Stakes. It’s also the first sponsorship of the Armstrong Group, Emma Armstrong are big supporters of the racecourse and own some very talented horses so it is great to have their support for another year. Off the track, we are celebrating and supporting Armed Forces Day raising vital funds for the ABF The Soldier’s Charity, the National Charity of the British Army. With lots of activities taking place including parachute jumping, army assault courses, military brass bands and lots of other fun military themed activities, it is a day not to be missed - plus we have Sara Cox performing a “Party in the Paddock” after racing.
On to other things, we have the official opening of the Haydock Park Press Room in honour of the late Ray Gilpin taking place on 27th May. Ray sadly passed away last August at the age of 72. Haydock Park was Ray’s favourite racecourse, the last track he attended and where his ashes were spread so we wanted the newly refurbished press room to be named in Ray’s memory.
We are also planning to launch the Haydock Park Racing Club which will own a National Hunt horse in training with Donald McCain and a flat horse in training with Tom Dascombe. If anyone is interested and would like further details, please get in contact with Jessica Dalgliesh via email on Jessica.Dalgliesh@thejockeyclub.co.uk
Finally, tickets are selling fast for our super Saturdays so make sure you do not miss out on our fixtures by purchasing your tickets online at haydock.thejockeyclub.co.uk or by telephone on 0344 579 3006. For enquiries about private hospitality, call 01942 402 624.