Racing heavyweights reign supreme

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  • MOVE over, Rule the World – the big winner of last Saturday (9 April) was at Lingfield rather than Aintree.

    As sister Nina prepared to ride Sir Des Champs in the Grand National, PeterJon Carberry won the annual Shire horse race on Older Nikki at Lingfield Park.

    Television presenter Davina McCall was among the spectators at the Showerking Flying Feathers Shire Horse Grander National.

    She is featuring the annual event on a new Channel 4 documentary, having challenged a novice rider to take part in the 2016 race along with the professional jockeys.

    Beginner James Dunn, 28, was given expert tuition in order to take part in the race, which is run over two furlongs, in a bid to raise the profile of the breed.

    Jax Gardiner, owner of Hurst Green Shires which organises the race every year at the Surrey racecourse, said; “This is a wonderful opportunity to highlight this amazing breed and show how versatile they are.

    “This year’s was a little different with James taking part but after all the hard work put in by the team at Hurst Green Shires it was thrilling to see him achieve his goal!’

    The production company, 7 Wonder, filmed Davina alongside James, for the documentary which is due to be broadcast on C4 later this year.

    A spokesman for Lingfield Park said: “We’ve run the race for four years, primarily to raise the issue about Shires as a threatened breed but each year, it takes a different twist.

    “It was great to have a novice taking part, and all the professionals looked after him, in the lead-up and during the race itself.

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    “It’s absolutely unbelievable, the sound of eight sets of hooves thundering down the track, I can’t begin to describe it.

    “The crowd always goes absolutely crazy too, they love it.”

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