To celebrate 125 years of racing at Hexham Racecourse, Hexham Racing Club has been formed in partnership with the course’ leading trainer Lucinda Russell.
Paul Brierley, who works as an agent to many jockeys in the north, is the brains behind the operation. Having had success with Outlaw Tom and Milanthort Racing, it was during a days racing with friends who didn’t know much about the sport, Brierley decided that it would be a great way to get people involved with a horse.
Brierley said: “Everyone who lives in Hexham knows about the course, so I gave Hexham a ring and said there’s a market for this.
“The response has been fantastic, I went from thinking that it wouldn’t be set up until the end of November but in the space of 10 days we’ve become officially registered.
“Using Twitter and putting up flyers in local pubs has help spread the word. We’re going to cap the club at 100 shares and if we continue to have a number of people involved there’ll be the potential to get a second horse.
“What I find most interesting is that 80 per cent of the people who have bought a share are females, even the daughter of the groundsman at Hexham has taken a share.”
The club’s first horse is the dual Hexham winner Simarthur, a half-brother to Simonsig, who won his bumper and hurdle debut at the track. Both Brierley and Russell are keen to run the seven-year-old at the track due to his record there.
Brierley added: “Lucinda rang me at about midday to say that he’s coming into form quicker than expected. His first run will be in a 0-110 chase at Ayr on November 12.
“He’ll probably need another run after that but we’ll then head to Hexham for the December 10 to go over fences and then it’s a case of going from there.”
To tie in with the club’s launch, the Tynedale Box at Hexham has been secured to further promote the initiative and help racegoers find out more. Racing UK’s Andy Richmond will also be on hand to preview the meeting, offering selections and eyecatchers on the card.