Veteran racehorse out to set track record

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  • Astrac, a 13-year-old flat racer is due to run in the Skybet ASTRAC Record Breaker Handicap at Chepstow this evening, making him the first racehorse to have ever run at all 35 British racecourses that stage flat-racing.

    The racehorse has notched up an incredible 115 runs during a career spanning 11 years, counting victory at Ascot as a three-year-old among his finest results. The gelding, whose impressive career has had some dazzling moments (wins at Ascot and in France), even lays claim to being ridden as a two-year-old in his first start by Lester Piggott. The combination came sixth out of nine in the maiden stakes at Redcar.

    Since that unimpressive start, Astrac has won every year except 1997, including two victories last September on tracks that connections thought would not suit him. Owner Clive Titcomb explains: “It was about two years ago when we worked out that Astrac was very close to having run at every flat racecourse in the country. Then last summer there were four to go – Brighton, Bath, Leicester and Chepstow.

    “But this is a horse who knows his own mind. We didn’t think either Brighton or Bath would suit his style of running – and this is after we’ve watched him race more than 100 times – and he won at both!” he added.

    Astrac has been ridden to victory by leading jockeys Kieren Fallon and Kevin Darley, although Jamie Spencer and Frankie Dettori were less successful in their starts on the veteran. Similarly he has a long history of different trainers, including Gay Kelleway and David Nicholls. He is currently trained by Annabel King and his winnings add up to £156,172.

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