A fantastic day in the life of a race sponsor

RACING AHEAD with Tony McCormick
RACING AHEAD with Tony McCormick

Our racing pundit Tony McCormick from www.irishbigracetrends.com and of geegeez.co.uk, the world’s largest independent horse racing website, to share his daily, each-way Double-Dutch selections.

This week Tony looks back at his sixth year of sponsorship of the irishbigracetrends.com Handicap at Beverley.

An early start on Tuesday morning, as I prepared for my sponsorship of the sixth race on the card at Beverley. A quick update of the website was needed as, hopefully, there would be a steady flow of traffic to the site following my interview with Peter Naughton on Racing UK.

That done, I collected the prizes for the winning trainer, jockey, best turned out and groom. I’m told, not many sponsors think about lad or lasses who look after the horses, so a tack crate emblazoned with Irish Big Race Trends along the side, goes down well in equestrian circles.

Then, a catch up with ‘The Boss’ on arrival at the course, Sally Iggulden has been at the helm of Beverley Racecourse for over 15 years now and in that time I have seen the racecourse go from a run-of-the-mill course on the top of a hill to one of the best run courses in the country.

Although Sally will say it has been a team effort, and while that is mostly true, the course I remember needed someone to get hold of the once proud venue, that had been allowed to become a dog-eared, unkempt location that even the cattle on the Westwood couldn’t be bothered with.

Sally grabbed hold of the opportunity given to her and raised not only the standards of the racecourse but the profile of the business as a whole.

I was happy following our chat, that Sally Iggulden is still the ‘Hands-on’ leader of the team, at a racecourse that is forever evolving.

Matt Bisogno arrived from Kings Cross, with Ben Aitken of Narrowing-The-Field hopping over from Leeds.

Leaving the two-year-old opener well alone, the Bisogno/Aitken double act had put their expert heads together over the last couple of days to come up with a double of Compton River in the 2.50 and the Dandy Nicholls-trained Noah Amor in the following Handicap. Both duly obliged at 7/2 and 9/2.

The irishbigracetrends.com Handicap was a competitive, if not oversubscribed affair. Seven runners went to post including four last-time-out winners and one beaten by three-quarters of a length. The Gary Moss-trained Planetaria went off the well-backed 15/8 favourite, but was beaten a neck by Mark Johnston’s Final under a fine Joe Fanning ride.

It was a pleasure to meet up with owner/breeders Chris and Will Greensit after the race and their guests, Pat and Carl Tinson from Flamborough.

The two brothers are in the game for the sheer love of racing and talking to them, one realises how lucky we are to be associated with this sport.

The end to another fantastic day on the Westwood and discussing how everyone fared during the afternoon, it turned out my youngest, Frankie bagged no less than five winners, with Sovereign Bounty rounding the day off at 9/2 – easy this game, for some.