AN AVID National Hunt fan is jumping for joy at winning an honorary share in a racehorse in a competition run by his local racecourse at Warwick.
Chris Such was randomly drawn from entries to a free prize draw at Warwick Racecourse to become an honorary owner of Dormouse, trained by Warwickshire-based Anabel Murphy for this season.
The racecourse teamed up with Anabel, who is based at Stratford-upon-Avon, for the competition to give punters the chance to experience the thrill of owning a racehorse.
Dormouse is a three-time winner over the jumps at Warwick, which included being first past the post with retired Champion jockey AP McCoy in the saddle in November 2012.
Scores of racegoers entered the competition during the two opening fixtures of Warwick’s season which got underway in September and runs through to May next year.
Chris, from Warwick, has been an annual member of Warwick Racecourse for about 15 years and caught the racing bug from his father Denis, who worked there for some 20 years.
“I was a bit stunned but very pleased when I found out I was the winner,” said Chris, who has already enjoyed a visit to Anabel’s yard where he watched Dormouse in training.
“I’m a big racing fan and it started when I was a little boy when I used to go along with my dad to Warwick.
“In those days, he used to do the starting prices and the photo finishes. He would take the photographs to the stewards and get the starting prices from the press boys to take to the racecourse announcer to put out over the tannoys as this was before television.
“Now that I’m retired, I tend to go racing two or three times a week. I’m looking forward to going to racecourses that I wouldn’t normally visit to see Dormouse run.
“I remember AP McCoy winning on him at Warwick and I’m pretty sure I backed him that day. Dormouse has been around quite a bit and is a pretty reliable and good handicap hurdler.”
Anabel has close links with Warwick where her husband Aiden, who is one of the top bloodstock agents in Europe and also acts as her assistant trainer, is a member of the racecourse committee.
She said: “I’ve had Dormouse for seven years and he’s a real favourite of mine. He’s such a character and I’m sure Chris will have a lot of fun from coming here to watch him on the gallops and visiting racecourses around the country to see him run.
“The icing on the cake would be getting to cheer him home to another win at Warwick this season.”
The next fixture at Warwick Racecourse will be on November 4 with gates opening for seven races at 11am. Advance admission starts from £13.50 per person. For more information visit www.warwickracecourse.co.uk