Jockeys’ children to battle it out in Shetland Pony Grand National

  • Dettori and Aspell will be taking to the racetrack this month — but on much smaller steeds than usual.

    Rocco Dettori, son of champion jockey Frankie, and Lucy Aspell, daughter of Grand National winner Leighton, are among the riders taking part in the Shetland Pony Grand National at the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art at Palace House, Newmarket, on 18 June.

    The jockeys, aged between nine and 14, will be racing round the Peter O’Sullevan Arena at top speed on their native ponies.

    Rocco is confident his pony Beeswax has what it takes to win the race.

    “I can’t wait to ride at the National Heritage Centre, I came second at the Royal Windsor international show so I hope I can get a win in my home town of Newmarket,” said Rocco. “My pony Beeswax is really quick and now I have more experience – people say I look a bit like Dad.”

    This is the first time the race will be held at the centre and it will be the main attraction for a Father’s Day fun day. The day also forms part of the centre’s celebrations for becoming an Art Fund Museum of the Year 2017 finalist.

    “We are really looking forward to hosting the Shetland Pony Grand National as part of our Father’s Day fun day – there is already a great deal of interest in this and we are sure it will prove extremely popular,” added Chris Garibaldi, director of the National Heritage Centre. “It is all part of our fundamental mission to broaden our audiences by developing a stimulating programme of really imaginative events which appeal to a broad range of visitors – particularly families with children.”

    Continued below…

    The event will take place from 10am – 5pm with the races scheduled at 11am and 2.30pm. A pop-up barbecue and bar will be provided by The Tack Room in the arena area.

    Tickets to the event cost £5, with under fives going free, and this will be redeemable against an annual pass on the day if visitors wish to look around the galleries in the centre. Additional family activities will be available in the arena.

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