Nicky Richards has two bullets to fire at Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster on Saturday

Trainer Nicky Richards is hoping to run both Ballyboker Breeze and Looking Well in the £80,000 Listed Sky Bet Chase (3.40pm, 22 confirmations) at Doncaster on Saturday, January 28.

Sky Bet is offering non-runner, no bet on the Sky Bet Chase, with five places for each-way punters. The prestigious three-mile handicap chase is the richest Jump race of the year at Doncaster and the feature of an exciting seven-race card.

Sky Bet also supports the £50,000 Sky Bet First Race Special Handicap Chase (1.20pm) and the £35,000 Grade Two Sky Bet Lightning Novices’ Chase (1.55pm), both run over an extended two miles.

Unexposed chaser Ballyboker Breeze (11st) is a 10/1 shot with Sky Bet after a comfortable success by four and a half lengths of a three-mile handicap chase at Bangor on December 9, taking his record over fences to two wins from three starts.

Looking Well (10st 6lb) is also lightly-raced over fences with five starts, although he has not run since staying on stoutly to win a three and a quarter mile handicap chase by 13 lengths at Kelso in May. He is a 16/1 chance with Sky Bet.

Richards said today: “The plan is to run both Ballyboker Breeze and Looking Well in the Sky Bet Chase.

“Ballyboker Breeze has been fine since Bangor. He is training well and is probably an improving horse I hope.

“He travelled and jumped well at Bangor, and saw the trip out very well. I thought he was fairly impressive on the day.

“Experience is always a slight concern in a race like this but he does jump well. I think there are a lot more plusses than minuses regarding his chance.

“Looking Well is very well. I haven’t run him yet this season because he wants a bit of decent ground, which it looks like he will get at the weekend.

“He runs well when he is fresh and looks great at the moment. Hopefully, he will run a good one.

“They are both progressive horses and, even if one of them doesn’t win on Saturday, I think there are good races to be won with both.”

Bigbadjohn (Rebecca Curtis, 10st 10lb), the 5/1 favourite with Sky Bet, is in line to make his handicap debut over fences. He beat subsequent winner Our Kaempfer in a novices’ chase at Newbury on November 3 before going down by eight lengths to Thistlecrack in a G2 contest at the same course on November 26.

Southfield Royale (Neil Mulholland, 11st 7lb, 7/1 with Sky Bet) could return to the scene of his biggest success, having beat Coologue (Charlie Longsdon, 11st 5lb, 10/1) by 13 lengths in a G2 novices’ chase over the course and distance last season.

Ziga Boy (Alan King, 10st 11lb, 10/1) is out to become the first dual winner of the Sky Bet Chase. He defeated Coologue by three and a quarter lengths in 2016 and warmed up for this year’s renewal with an encouraging third at Doncaster in December.

The 22 confirmations also feature Regal Encore (Anthony Honeyball, 11st 10lb, 8/1), who captured a valuable handicap chase at Ascot last time out, and Kempton Park runner-up Go Conquer (Jonjo O’Neill, 10st 11lb, 12/1), plus the Paul Nicholls-trained trio of Vicente (11st 9lb, 11/1), Just A Par (11st 8lb, 20/1) and Caid Du Berlais (11st 6lb, 16/1).

Tenor Nivernais (Venetia Williams, 16/1), Third Intention (Colin Tizzard, 20/1) and Holywell (Jonjo O’Neill, 16/1) are joint top-weights with 11st 12lb.

Sky Bet Chase – Sky Bet prices: 5/1 Bigbadjohn; 7/1 Southfield Royale; 8/1 Regal Encore; 10/1 Another Hero, Ballyboker Breeze, Coologue, Ziga Boy; 11/1 Out Sam, Vicente; 12/1 Go Conquer, Long Lunch, Rock The Kasbah; 14/1 Potters Corner; 16/1 Caid Du Berlais, Holywell, Looking Well, Tenor Nivernais, Wakanda; 20/1 Just A Par, Third Intention; 28/1 Katachenko, Sun Cloud

Non-runner, no bet

Each-way 1/4 odds 1-2-3-4-5

Michael Shinners, Racing PR Manager at Sky Bet, said today: “The 2017 Sky Bet Chase promises to be another cracking contest and, with all the main contenders among the 22 confirmations, it shall be as competitive as ever.

“Sky Bet is offering non-runner, no bet and customers can also take advantage of our five places offer.”

Additional Race for Stable Staff in Racing Staff Week, 1st – 8th July 2017

Celebrating the role of Racing’s Workforce for the Second Year
Sponsored by Betfair


 Following on from the popularity of last year’s charity race exclusively for stable staff, the Betfair Clock Tower Cup, at Doncaster, a second race for staff is being organised at Lingfield Park in 2017.  The two races will enable staff from flat and jumps yards to be nominated to ride by their trainers in recognition of their hard work and commitment.

The Betfair Three Feathers Cup will launch the 2017 Racing Staff Week and take place at Lingfield Park on Saturday 1st July over 1 mile 4 furlongs.  The Betfair Clock Tower Cup, over 7 furlongs at Doncaster on Friday 7th July, will be the feature of the Racing Welfare Charity Raceday which includes a special fundraising lunch.

Andrew Perkins, Executive Director of Lingfield Park Resort, said the Surrey course was delighted to be supporting Racing Staff Week with the additional race:  “This will take place on one of our celebrated Hooves & Grooves nights with an Abba tribute band playing after racing, so we hope for a big crowd to watch the stable staff experience the thrill of race riding.”

Racing Staff Week is again generously sponsored by Betfair who will also sponsor the two stable staff races. Betfair will once more fund a scholarship prize to the winner of the race to attend a course at the British Racing School or the Northern Racing College to undertake an Amateur Jockeys Licence course or another course which will help them to progress their career within the racing industry.

Racing Staff Week aims to bring the racing industry together to inform and engage horseracing followers and supporters about the passion, skill and dedication required to work with racehorses. The success of the inaugural Stable Staff Week in 2016 has prompted unanimous support from the Racing industry to build on the first year and deliver another week of activities that will put racing staff in the spotlight.

The week has been renamed Racing Staff Week to reflect that Racing Welfare supports all of Racing’s workforce and the week will applaud and highlight the role of all racing staff, including stud staff and racecourse groundstaff.

The initiative, developed by Racing Welfare, in collaboration with the Racing industry, will again celebrate the role of racing’s workforce as well as generate awareness and funds for the charity.

Dawn Goodfellow, Chief Executive of Racing Welfare comments: “Last year’s Stable Staff Week was an outstanding success in terms of engaging the whole industry and the media to celebrate the role of stable staff week and increasing awareness about Racing Welfare.  We are extremely grateful to Betfair for their continued support and look forward to working with the industry to make Racing Staff Week 2017 even better.”

James Midmer, Betfair’s Head of Communications adds:  “We were delighted to support the inaugural ‘Stable Staff Week’ last year and look forward to continuing this into ‘Racing Staff Week’ in 2017. Racing Welfare play a hugely important role supporting all areas of the Sport, and we are always impressed with the talent, drive and commitment shown in raising awareness of the role played by racing staff.”

To register interest in taking part in either of the Stable Staff Races, or about taking a table at the lunch on the 7th July, please contact Mary-Ann Sandercock 07790 844887 or email

Opening Hours Across the Festive Break

Executive Director Tim Banfield and the team at Doncaster Racecourse would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Date Office Opening Hours Events The Old Weighing Room Restaurant & Bar
Monday 19th Dec 9am until 5pm    
Tuesday 20th Dec 9am until 5pm    
Wednesday 21st Dec 9am until 5pm    
Thursday 22nd Dec 9am until 5pm   Festive Menu

6pm until late

Friday 23rd Dec 9am – 1pm   Festive Menu

6pm until late

Saturday 24th Dec Closed   Festive Menu

6pm until late

Sunday 25th Dec Closed    
Monday 26th Dec Closed    
Tuesday 27th Dec 9am – 5pm Giant Antique & Collectors Fair

9.30am – 4.30pm

Wednesday 28th Dec 9am – 5pm Giant Antique & Collectors Fair

9.30am – 4.30pm

Thursday 29th Dec 8am – 5pm Twixmas Winter Jump Raceday

Gates 10.30am, first race 12.25pm

Friday 30th Dec Closed BP Toy Collectors Fair 10.30am – 3.30pm  
Saturday 31st Dec Closed New Year’s Eve event from 7pm


New Year’s Eve event from 7pm
Sunday 1st Jan Closed    
Monday 2nd Jan Closed    
Tuesday 3rd Jan 8am – 6pm    




Construction to commence on hotel at Doncaster Racecourse

Arena Racing Company (“ARC”) is delighted to confirm that it has received planning approval for the construction of a new Hilton Garden Inn on the west side of Doncaster Racecourse.  Construction will commence at the start of 2017 and the hotel will open in the summer of 2018.

Hilton Garden Inn Doncaster Racecourse will provide much needed quality accommodation in Doncaster with 154 guestrooms over six floors.  Alongside high-quality lodgings, the hotel will be home to a flexible event space located on the first floor which will boast extensive views over the racecourse and can be used for corporate and leisure race-day hospitality, providing guests with an ideal setting to view the sporting action and enjoy excellent hospitality.  The hotel will feature associated parking and landscaping which will enhance the image of the racecourse and provide a beautiful surround to the hotel.

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Executive Director of Doncaster Racecourse, Tim Banfield, said: “Doncaster Racecourse is steeped in heritage and plays an important role in the local community. We are delighted to be working with Doncaster Council and Hilton on this exciting project which marks a new era for the racecourse. The development of a new Hilton Garden Inn will provide the town with a much needed quality hotel for guests, as well as extra capacity for racegoers on racedays.”

The UK is already home to 138 Hilton hotels across eight brands and Hilton Garden Inn Doncaster Racecourse will mark the brand’s debut in the town.

Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice president, Hilton said: “Hilton has a strong legacy of sporting venue developments, with more than 10,000 rooms either trading or under construction across four continents.  With more than 280,000 people visiting Doncaster Racecourse in 2015, this hotel will provide prime mid-scale accommodation to domestic and international travellers alike.”

John Greenleaf, global head, Hilton Garden Inn, said: “Hilton Garden Inn is now trading or under development in more than 120 locations across Europe, Middle East and Africa. The brand’s continued growth has included new markets this year such as Tanger City Centre in Morocco, and Dublin, Ireland, as well as further expansion in established markets including Austria and Belgium. The wonderful new Hilton Garden Inn in Doncaster will add another great stadium property to our portfolio in the UK following the opening of The Hilton Garden Inn Sunderland in the Stadium of Light in April, 2016.”

Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, said: “This prestigious development which brings Hilton’s world famous hospitality to our internationally acclaimed racecourse is a real feather in Doncaster’s cap.  The scheme will complement the new homes going up at Belle Vue and plans for the former Doncaster Bloodstock Sales and is more evidence of Doncaster delivering on the jobs and growth front.”

Hilton Garden Inn Doncaster Racecourse will be located at The Grandstand, Leger Way, Doncaster.  Read more about Hilton Garden Inn at

Tim Banfield Appointed Executive Director of Doncaster Racecourse


Arena Racing Company (“ARC”) is delighted to announce Tim Banfield has been appointed Executive Director of Doncaster Racecourse.

Tim takes over from Kieran Gallagher who becomes ARC’s Catering and Events Director.  Kieran will oversee the food and beverages served to customers across ARC racecourses, as well as supporting the development of major events across the Group.

Tim joins ARC from the ACC Liverpool Group where he was Commercial Director for the last five years having joined the company as General Manager to open the Echo Arena in 2008.  Before that Tim has worked at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre and the NEC Birmingham.

Tim said: “I am really pleased to join ARC and lead the team at Doncaster Racecourse. As a sports fan it is exciting to be working in horseracing which is a great sport and a fantastic day out. Doncaster Racecourse has a wonderful history and heritage and I am really looking forward to continuing to grow and develop the business in the years ahead.”

ARC Director of Operations Mark Spincer said: “We are delighted to welcome Tim to the team. With his years of experience I think he has the skills and qualities to lead the team at Doncaster, one of our flagship racecourses.  It’s also great news that Kieran Gallagher will remain a central part of the operations team and utilise his skills in overseeing our catering offering to customers across our racecourses.”



ARC and Sun Bets introduce Northern Stayers Series

Arena Racing Company is delighted to announce a new series of races that is designed to support grassroots jump racing in the North of England.

The Sun Bets Northern Stayers Series will consist of eleven qualifiers across ARC’s Northern jump racecourses with a final, worth £20,000, which will take place at Newcastle Racecourse on Saturday 18 March 2017.  The race programme has been framed to benefit young horses, specifically Novice Hurdlers who would be looking to race over 2m 3f and further.

The first race of the series took place at Sedgefield Racecourse on 27 October, the Sun Bets Novices’ Hurdle at 2.30pm, which has been well supported by Northern trainers and won by Ballycrystal who previous won at Doncaster on 24th February 2016.  In 2016, the series will continue with races at Doncaster on 25 November, Uttoxeter on 28 October and 31 December and Newcastle on 8 December.  The 2017 programme, leading to the Final on 18 March will be confirmed in due course.


All horses that take part in a qualifier will be eligible to run in the Final.

ARC Regional Clerk of Course for the North, Roderick Duncan said, “We’re delighted to have been able to work with Sun Bets and BHA to frame this series to support the Northern Jumping scene.

“The Sun Bets Northern Stayers Series will culminate in a nice prize pot at Newcastle in March, so we are hopeful that we’ll find some nice staying hurdlers lining up at ARC’s Northern racecourses over the coming months.”

Head of PR for Sun Bets, Tim Reynolds said, “The Northern Stayers series is a really exciting initiative and one which we’re proud to be associated with. It gives us the perfect platform to promote the Sun Bets name, shout about our passion for horse racing and demonstrate the benefits of being an Authorised Betting Partner of British Racing”

Another Memorable Year at Town Moor

The Betfred November Handicap on 5th November, the last big race of the British Flat season, brings down the curtain on another memorable year on Town Moor writes At The Races presenter Simon Mapletoft. The highlight was most definitely the fairytale victory of outsider HARBOUR LAW in the world’s oldest Classic, the Ladbrokes St Leger in September. Harbour Law, from a small stable in Epsom, proved that David could indeed conquer Goliath when gunning down his better fancied contenders for an emotional Laura Mongan. The colt stays in training next year with the Ascot Gold Cup and the Group Two Doncaster Cup high on his agenda.

Yorkshireman William Haggas loves to saddle big winners in his home county and the Newmarket trainer pulled off a rare double when RIVET – co-owned by the legendary Lester Piggott – completed the Champagne Stakes and Racing Post Trophy double. Italian ace Andrea Atzeni secured a remarkable fourth consecutive win in the latter, the season’s final domestic Group One, to set up Rivet for a crack at next spring’s QIPCO 2000 Guineas.
Whilst his success in the Champagne Stakes was one highlight of the St Leger Festival,
SHEIKHZAYEDROAD produced another by clawing a dramatic victory in the 250th running of the Doncaster Cup. David Simcock’s globetrotter got up late to deny the front-running Quest For More and went on to pay a handsome compliment to the great race by adding the Champions’ Day stayers’ crown to his CV.

John Gosden and Frankie Dettori are no strangers to success on Town Moor, whether together or individually, and combined to land the Group Two Flying Childers Stakes with the resurgent Royal Ascot winner ARDAD. That form also turned out to be of high quality as runner-up The Last Lion, who began his long campaign by winning the Brocklesby Stakes at Doncaster in the spring, went on to land the Group One Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.

However, there was no more popular a winner than Ralph Beckett’s SIMPLE VERSE who powered home in the Fillies’ St Leger, the Group Two Park Hill Stakes, to supplement her victory in last season’s Ladbrokes St Leger when she became the first filly to win the race since User Friendly in 1992. Simple Verse also gave the Doncaster form a boost when she finished a highly respectable third to Sheikhzayedroad on Champions’ Day.

As is tradition, the British Flat Season got underway with the Betway Lincoln Handicap in early April which went to Godolphin’s SECRET BRIEF. Charlie Appleby’s four-year-old wasn’t able to build on that success in two subsequent starts but runner-up BRAVO ZOLO proved a great advertisement for the race, winning a Listed race at Chantilly in October.
The Listed Cammidge Trophy on the opening day was won by subsequent Curragh Group Two winner MOBSTA, with tonight’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint contender SUEDOIS second for David O’Meara en route to a series of big runs at the highest level in the Diamond Jubilee, July Cup and Haydock’s Group One dash.