Best Mate Novice Chase Day at Exeter Racecourse on Tuesday, October 18 celebrates the course’s association with the three-times Cheltenham Gold Cup winner whose jumps career was launched at the Devon track.
With a race named after the endearing champion, which usually attracts some of the top young novices in training, the course is also offering those who bring their best friends who are new to racing two for one entry. It’s also student free entry day at the course, the first of two days aimed at encouraging students in the region to come racing.
“It’s an added incentive to encourage newcomers to come racing and it’s great to encourage students to come along too. The Best Mate deal is for telephone bookings only and all they have to do is quote their name and if they are new to the data base they both get in for the price of one,” said the course’s manager Alice Everitt.
The Best Mate Limited Novices’ Handicap has proved a nurturing ground for jump racing stars. The 2009 winner Tataniano went on to win the grade one Maghull Novices’ Chase at Aintree, beating the 2010 Arkle second Osana in the process. Last year Triumph Hurdle winner Celestial Halo made his eagerly anticipated jumps debut and was a long odds on favourite to win until falling four fences from home.
Novice hurdlers will also be out in force and one superstar to emerge last season was Dunraven Storm who won the 2m1f novices’ hurdle. His season was curtailed by injury but he looks sure to be a horse to follow this year.
Other races on the card include an amateur riders’ novice hurdle, a 2m3f handicap hurdle, a 2m3f handicap chase worth £9,000 and sponsored by Bathwick Tyres, a 3m beginners’ steeple chase and a bumper.
A spokesman from the course said: “This meeting has become really significant in recent years in terms of the quality of horses which tend to run and we hope October 18 is no exception.”
There is a free bus to and from the racecourse from Exeter St David’s and Exeter train station and children aged 17 and enter go free.
To take advantage of the two for one Best Mate offer, call the call ticket hotline 0844 5793005 and quote BMATE11. New details to the data base will ensure two for one entry. Terms and conditions apply.