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Grey horses in the spotlight today

August 14, 2010

Sixteen grey horses will line up for the starter at Newmarket today, for the eighth running of the £20,000 Racing Welfare Grey Horse Handicap.

Runners in last year's Racing Welfare Grey Horse Handicap.
The contest, first run in 2003, is restricted to horses registered as grey aged three and above. A field of 16 has been declared for this season's renewal and includes the first three horses home from last year, the Stef Higgins-trained Sarah's Art as well as Zowington and Bilberry, who are both trained in Newmarket by Stuart Williams.

Middleton Grey was a stalwart in the early years of the Grey Horse Handicap for trainer Tony Newcombe, landing back to back renewals in 2004 and 2005, finishing fourth in 2006 and eighth on his final attempt in 2007.

This year Newcombe, who trains at Barnstaple in Devon, is represented by Witchry who will be making his third appearance in the race, having finished fifth in 2008 and seventh last year. The eight-year-old Green Desert gelding has had a light campaign so far this year, having made just two appearances, most recently finishing third at Bath on 22nd July.

Newcombe said today: "We have targeted the Racing Welfare Grey Horse Handicap for Witchry. We don't run him too regularly as he is better when he is fresh and with a bit of cut in the ground. He is nicely handicapped and will like the stiff finish, while the big field will also help him as he likes coming through horses.

"I am not sure we have the best of draws (three) with the stalls positioned on the stands' side, but we have our horse in good nick and he ran well in it last year when he was only beaten just over four lengths.

"The race offers something different and to see 16 grey horses racing against each other is something in itself. I think the race has established itself in the calendar now and offers good prize money. It is run in the middle of the summer and owners appreciate the chance to pick up some decent prize money. We are all systems go and we will have a nice day whatever happens."

Other interesting contenders include Lady Florence, who has won two of her last three starts for local Ely handler Scobie Coogan.

The Racing Welfare Grey Horse Handicap forms part of a seven-race card at Newmarket today.



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