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Leg 15 - The St Leger course!

This was my first first visit to Doncaster, home to the oldest classic, which was first run in 1776. The inaugural running was held at Cantley Common on 24 September 1776. The first winner was an unnamed filly owned by the event's organiser, the 2nd Marquess of Rockingham. The filly was later named Allabaculia. The title St Leger Stakes was decided at a dinner party held in 1778 at the Red Lion Inn located in the Market Place, Doncaster, to discuss the coming year's race. It was suggested that it should be called the Rockingham Stakes in honour of the host, the Marquess of Rockingham, but the Marquess proposed that it should be named instead after Anthony St Leger. That year the event was moved to its present location, Town Moor, in 1778.

The weather all afternoon continued to be unkind with cold wind and showers but I managed to get my 2 mile course walk in without getting wet. I was very impressed with the course, the facilities and once again, as is appearing to be the norm the welcoming and supportive staff at another ARC course. They really have pushed the boat out in their support.

I chose the best turned out in race 3 and was set to present the prize to the winning owners but there were none of Balmacara's connections there so I actually received the prize on their behalf. The course were kind enough to interview me over the public address system and I told the good people of South Yorkshire all about what I am up to.

It was nice to meet up with racing friends Peter Bassett and his daughter Jess who were both sampling Donny for the first time too and like me were equally impressed.

I managed to collect £337.82 for Dementia UK today, so a huge thank you to the racegoers at Donny.

I left the course at around 6pm to drive to our house in Clitheroe knowing a pit-stop was needed as one of the challenge's sponsors Purple Reins Racing had their syndicate horse Odd Socks Havana running in the 7.00 race at Newcastle and I really wanted to watch it.

So I pulled into a service station on the M56 to watch and guess what? He only went and won again, completing the double for the fantastic bunch of people involved in this consistent six year old. I was so pleased for them all as it has been a tough 12 months for them, due to unforeseen circumstances but what a little warrior he his.

This was his 7th win and his form figures in 2024 alone read as follows: 363623411

If anyone would like to get involved as an owner in him shares until September are just £69 and believe me you will have some fun along the way. Well done to my wife, who bought the horse, their Racing Manager Stuart Lewis, trainer Rebecca Menzies and all the Purple Reiners, you deserve all the success he brings you.

That's 15 courses of the 59 ticked off and I am still going strong and thank everybody that has donated so far, for their kind words and encouragement.

By speaking to people at the racecourses I have realised how many people this dreadful condition effects. I am so proud of the amount raised so far for Dementia UK, which at the time of writing stands at £4,572. Well on target to reach the £20,000 I set myself to raise.

I am at Ripon on Saturday and delighted that my wife Julie will be with me and Wetherby on Sunday. However I will not be bucket collecting at either as they have other charity commitments there so this weekend is the time to donate online if you have been thinking about doing so, it would be great to go through the £5k barrier with some payments made to the Just Giving page:

Because please remember:

"Together we can make a difference"

Graham Arnold 26th April 2024

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