Princess Royal joins course’s celebration - The Worcester Observer

Princess Royal joins course’s celebration

Worcester Editorial 21st Jun, 2018   0

THREE CENTURIES of racing at Worcester’s historic racecourse will be celebrated with a visit from Her Royal Highness, the Princess Royal.

Princess Anne is well-connected with Worcester Racecourse, having ridden her own horse Croc Na Cuille to victory in the three mile Droitwich Handicap Chase back in September 1987.

The princess’ visit will be alongside the revival of the famous Worcester Grand Annual Steeple Chase, which is returning to Worcester Racecourse after an 85-year absence.

Once one of the most important steeplechase races in the National Hunt calendar, the Worcester Grand Annual Steeple Chase ran from 1836 until 1933. The importance of this race was highlighted in 1853 when Bourton won the Grand Annual, then going onto win the 1854 running of the Grand National at Aintree.

Executive Director of Worcester Racecourse, Jenny Cheshire, said: “With the visit from The Princess Royal, the revival of the Worcester Grand Annual and a special anniversary dinner in our marquee on the July 4 in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund, our anniversary raceday is set to be a fitting celebration for a racecourse with such an illustrious past.”

As one of the oldest racecourses in the UK, the first race meeting hosted at the site in the heart of Worcester City Centre, known as ‘Pitchcroft’, took place on 27 June 1718.

In the racecourse’s 300-year history there has been everything from a bare-knuckle fight watched by a crowd of 30,000 to a record 229 runners on an eight-race card in January 1965.


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