Top names line up in “Leger Legends” race at Doncaster

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  • Famous racing faces line up at Doncaster tomorrow (Wednesday, 7 September) to take part in the “Leger Legends” race.

    The “Leger Legends” will be run over one mile and is in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund’s new rehabilitation centre in Yorkshire, “The House That Jack Built” and the Northern Racing College student accommodation project.

    Classic-winning jockeys George Duffield, Ernie Johnson, John Reid, Ray Cochrane and Kevin Darley will ride alongside Jump racing legends Norman Williamson, Graham Bradley, Steve Smith Eccles and last year’s Leger Legends winner Charlie Swan.

    US Hall Of Famer Julie Krone — who has given up a place on US reality show Survivor to ride in the race — and French jockey Thierry Gillet, who won the 2004 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe will also ride.

    Gay Kelleway, who was the first woman to ride a winner at Royal Ascot and now trains, At The Races presenter Luke Harvey, Jump jockey turned trainer Jamie Osborne, and retired Flat jockey Tom O’Ryan of the Racing Post and Racing UK will also be in the saddle.

    The two reserves for the race are former champion Flat apprentice Gary Bardwell and Channel 4’s John Francome, seven-time champion Jump jockey.

    Dale Gibson, who retired from race riding in October 2009 and is now the industry liaison officer at the Professional Jockeys’ Association, will ride and has been involved in putting the race together.

    “The buzz last year was terrific. The public was fantastic and the media profile we got was really positive, but the main thing was that we raised £154,000 in one day, which is pretty impressive.

    “The bookmakers were great. They contributed £34,000 and are going to contribute a similar amount again. We have all the major players in and they all said yes straight away. It shows that when you work as a team in racing, you can get things done.

    “I was in a strong position last year because I was the most recently retired jockey — so I was still in relatively good shape. I’ve kept reasonably trim and for the past month I’ve been on the bike most evenings and I’ve been running as well and swimming when I can, just to get myself back into the shape you have to be in to race ride.”

    The race will take place at Doncaster racecourse tomorrow (Wednesday 7 September) at 3.45pm.

    For further information visit: www.doncaster-racecourse.co.uk

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