A host of racing names have come together to record a charity single to raise funds for the Bob Champion Cancer Trust, Racing Welfare, Riding for the Disabled and the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Ireland.
The brainchild of Richard Gurney, point-to-point trainer and joint-master of the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent, the single, titled ‘Cheltenham’, is now available to download from iTunes. It is performed to the tune of Petula Clark’s 1964 hit Downtown.
“I left the Festival last year and thought I’d like to give the crowd something to sing about,” Richard told H&H. “Other sports have released songs, but never racing. It’s just a bit of fun to make people smile.”
Sixty famous faces including champion jockey AP McCoy, champion trainer Paul Nicholls and Kauto Star’s owner Clive Smith recorded the chorus, while singer Laura Critchley is the lead vocalist.
“It was great fun, I never imagined I would be involved in the release of a single,” said former jockey Mick Fitzgerald.
Richard, who had never written song lyrics before added:“I jotted down some words and called Tony Hatch, who said, unbelievably, it was actually quite good,” he said.
Tony Hatch, who wrote the orginal “Downtown” added: “I am very happy to support this venture, and having now heard the lead vocal I think it is excellent.”
The song’s video has been viewed more than 17,000 times on YouTube.
“We only need about 50,000 sales to get to number one, it’s frightening — we could really do it,” added Richard.
Download Cheltenham for 99P from iTunes. The CD single will be available from 15 March.