Brakes fans swap far post for winning post

Supporters of Leamington FC can gain free entry to Warwick’s Monday evening meeting in a move designed to broaden the appeal of racing to other sports followers in the area, writes David Hucker.

Managing director Huw Williams is looking forward to welcoming as many Brakes fans as possible, saying: “With football in its close season, this is a chance for fans to come along and try out another sport.

“This is a new venture and we hope there will be a cross-over in support to benefit us both.”

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Peter Bowen, vice chair of the Brakes Trust, is also hopeful of a successful link-up.

He said: “Racing is a thrilling and colourful spectacle and I hope Leamington supporters will add to this by turning the paddock into a sea of black and gold.”

To gain access, supporters must show their Brakes Trust membership card, Leamington FC season ticket or simply wear some official club clothing.

In all, there are 153 entries for the six-race card which gets underway at 6.10pm with the Crabbie’s “Spiffing” Alcoholic Ginger Beer Amateur Riders Handicap.

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But the main interest for football fans will be in the third race, the Brakes Trust Members’ Handicap over six furlongs.

With 36 entries, it is difficult to pick a winner at this stage but, should he run, the likely top-weight Fast Shot, trained in Yorkshire by Tim Easterby, would be a topical tip.

Two others that catch the eye are the consistent Albany Rose, a winner on the all-weather at Wolverhampton in December, and Chris Wall’s Pearl Blue, who has yet to win a race, but finished third at Great Yarmouth last time out despite being slowly away.

Newmarket trainer Henry Cecil will be looking forward to Royal Ascot which starts on Tuesday, where his superstar miler Frankel is due to reappear. He can start the week off in good style with Timepiece in the big race of the evening, the £30,000 Voute Sales Warwickshire Oaks Stakes (Listed Race) over an extended one-and-a-quarter miles.

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This is one of two black-type races run at the course and the beautifully-bred Timepiece is herself a Royal Ascot winner, having taken last year’s Sandringham Handicap over a mile.

In her absence, Contredanse, a winner of three races and fourth in the Group Two Prix Corrida at Saint-Cloud in May, could score for Cecil’s Newmarket neighbour Luca Cumani.

Others in with chances are Amanda Perrett’s ultra-consistent Mirror Lake, who like Timepiece is owned by Prince Khalid Abdulla, and Cecil’s second entry Principal Role.

The meeting ends with the Warwick Handicap at 8.40pm, in which Madame Boot could go well for the Peter Makin stable.

Hot on the heels of Monday’s meeting is Ladies’ Day on Thursday, with the first race starting at 2.20pm.

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