SIX newcomers, two ever-presents and a rider defending an unbeaten record are among the 16 jockeys limbering up to take part in the Leger Legends charity race, the one-mile feature event on the opening day of the William Hill St Leger Festival at Doncaster on 12 September.
First staged in 2010, this unique event for ex-professional jockeys raises funds for the Injured Jockeys Fund and Northern Racing College, and this year stands on the brink of breaking through the £1 million mark for the total amount raised.
Heading the list of those appearing in the race for the first time are Ted Durcan, winner of the St Leger at Doncaster in 2009, Timmy Murphy, whose record includes wins in the Aintree, Irish and Scottish Grand Nationals, and Andrew Thornton, who brought up a career tally of 1,007 wins on his last day in the saddle in June.
The other newcomers are former champion amateur rider and apprentice Amy Ryan, Willy Twiston-Davies, who won the famous Fox Hunters’ Chase over the Grand National fences at the age of 16, and ex-jump jockey Barry Keniry.
Leger Legends committee members Gay Kelleway and Dale Gibson are back to continue their full house of rides in the race. Dale, who now works for the Professional Jockeys Association, is one of two previous winners in the field, after his success on Bob in 2014, while Newmarket-based trainer Gay, still the only female jockey to have a Royal Ascot victory to her name, was pipped on the post in 2013.
Former jump jockey Brian Harding returns with a perfect record, after winning on Off Art for Yorkshire trainer Tim Easterby on his first ride in the race 12 months ago.
The rest of the line-up – Ian Mongan, Luke Harvey, Ollie Pears, Gary Bardwell, Adrian Nicholls, Tony Culhane and Jamie Mackay – are seeking their first wins.
Previous winners including riding legends Julie Krone, Mick Kinane, Sir Anthony McCoy and Joseph O’Brien.
Funds raised over the past eight years have helped to improve facilities at the Northern Racing College near Doncaster, and have been allocated to the IJF’s Jack Berry House in Malton.
The silent auction is now LIVE! Fancy visiting the legendary Frankel? Or staying a night in The Jockey Club rooms followed by breakfast with Sir Mark Prescott in Newmarket? All proceeds go to IJF’s Jack Berry House and Northern Racing College. Follow the link to bid; http://www.legerlegends-auction.com