DONCASTER RACECOURSE: Nice win for old Robin

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WITH racing action taking a back seat here at Town Moor over the last week, and all of the team’s focus firmly on preparing the venue for Christmas parties and festive events, myself and the grounds team here have had some much needed time to ensure that we’re all ready for our next race meeting tomorrow.

Away from Doncaster Racecourse, last week was a good weekend of racing. And particularly for older horses, with some glorious wins over the weekend that prove that with the right training and conditioning, age is but a number.

Nine-year-old Petit Robin had a glorious run on Saturday to win at Sandown in the Sporting Bet Handicap Hurdle. The oldest horse in the field, the Nicky Henderson trained colt racked up a seventh career win, beating off five year old Into Wain and four year old Softsong to pass the post in first place.

Petit Robin’s feat is made even more impressive, when you consider the fact that the horse was sidelined after sustaining a fracture to his near fore shoulder, after falling in the 2011 Victor Chandler Chase at Ascot. The horse required surgery and the insertion of screws, but after a lengthy period of recuperation, is now back to fitness and winning form.

Hello Bud, another veteran also looked impressive this weekend. The 14-year-old from Ireland, at odds of 14/1, took victory in the Betfred Becher Handicap Chase, part of a three winner success by the Twiston-Davis family at Aintree. Sam Twiston Davis’s comments as to the high regard in which he holds Hello Bud demonstrates the relationships people can build with horses – particularly when they are working with them day-in and day-out as a trainer does.

Aside from older horses, one star of the weekend was Sprinter Sacre, winner of the Grade One Sportingbet Tingle Creek Chase.

We look forward to, what we are sure will be, equally exciting action at Doncaster tomorrow, with the BETVICTOR.COM Christmas National Hunt Meeting, a seven race card. Racing gets away at 11:55am, with the last race at 3:20pm.

For more information about the Christmas raceday, or for the post-Christmas meeting – the Blue Square Bet New Year National Hunt Meeting - on Saturday December 29, any other events at Doncaster Racecourse, or to buy tickets, go to www.doncaster-racecourse.co.uk or call 01302 511 918.