Grand National Winner Adds Eggstra Filling to Musselburghs Easter Opener
A 5000-plus crowd, a Scottish winner of the new £100,000 totepool Queen’s Cup and an appearance by Grand National winning hero One For Arthur, marked a glorious start for Musselburgh’s 2017 Flat season.
The East Lothian track kicked off its 16-fixture £1.23 million Flat season in style on Easter Saturday with extensive ITV coverage capturing the racetrack and adjoining historic golf course in all their splendour.
Racecourse chief executive Bill Farnsworth was delighted with the big crowd that flocked to Musselburgh to enjoy a seven-fixture programme with more than £250,000 in prize money.
He said: “I’ve never seen the Parade Ring so busy and the crowd were five deep as they watched Grand National winner One For Arthur take a well-deserved lap of honour. Trainer Lucinda Russell and her team were present along with the horse’s owners Belinda McClung and Deborah Thompson (aka the Two Golf Widows) and it added a special element to what was an excellent day for all racing fans.”
VIP guest, Judy Murray, who usually is supporting one of her two famous tennis sons, took time out to present the winning connections of the totesport Queen’s Cup, won by Carbon Dating which carried the Partick Thistle colours of owner Jimmy Long.
Irish trainer Pat Shanahan said: “It’s fantastic to win the first ever Queen’s Cup as it’s a piece of history. Carbon Dating is a mile and a half, or mile and three-quarter horse, and he is worth a step up in class so we might go for a Group 3 race now at somewhere like Chester.”
Bill Farnsworth added: “It was great to see the big race won by a Scottish owned horse and I expect we will see more of Carbon Dating, a classy horse which has been racing in Dubai over the winter months and was a 2015 Derby runner.
“By always pushing our boundaries. we try to bring excellent quality to Musselburgh over the jumps and Flat seasons and the Queen’s Cup has proved there is a space of a new high-level stayer’s handicap on the UK circuit.
“ITV’s coverage of four races was not only great exposure for the racecourse but for the historic links golf course and it was an ideal advert for East Lothian as a sporting and leisure destination.”
Musselburgh is back racing with a double header on 4 and 5 May and then holds the first of three Friday evening race nights on 26 May. For more information please visit www.musselburgh-racecourse.co.uk