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UTTOXETER RACECOURSE’S BIG DAY: 16,000 RACEGOERS, 85 RACEHORSES, 5,256 GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE AND 75,000 CHIPS!

Tue, Mar 15, 2016

All the facts (and figures) add-up to another memorable day of racing at Uttoxeter Racecourse on Saturday 19 March, when more than 16,000 people will once again converge on the award-winning Staffordshire venue for a full card of 8 races, including the one-and-only Betfred Midlands Grand National.

While the racecourse itself measures 1 mile 2 1/2 furlongs, the Midlands Grand National is an endurance race over 4 miles and 1 1/2 furlongs.

Since its creation in 1969 this prestigious fixture has been a firm favourite on the racing calendar and with a £30,000 increase in prize money for the feature race in 2016, it attracted 61 entries which will be down to the field of 20, plus 2 reserves, for the big day itself.

While Irish trainers have won five out of the last 16 races, Somerset Trainer David Pipe, who has won the Midlands Grand National four times in his short time as a trainer is looking for his fifth winner. No horse has ever won the race twice.

Up in the stands, around 300 racegoers attending the 2016 Betfred Midlands Grand National will be the first diners to experience the all-new £600,000 1907 restaurant.

Around the entire course, some 1,118 three or four-course meals will be enjoyed and, at exactly the same time, around 330 catering staff and casuals will so busy they'll barely notice that a race meeting is even taking place.

An estimated 5,256 glasses of champagne will be quaffed from 876 bottles; 12,564 glasses of wine will be poured from 2,094 bottles; and 50,000 pints of beer will be pulled.

Sticking to food and drink, 800 portions of fish from the Nottingham Seafood Company (and 75,000 chips!) will be served from the ever popular Fish and Chips stand; 145kg of pork joints from Packington Moor Outdoor Reared Farm in Tamworth will be served-up at The Spinning Pig hog roast - along with 15kg of stuffing on 1000 baguettes from Spencers Bakery in Derbyshire. Elsewhere, some 230 Wrights Pies will be served-up to racegoers during the course of the day.

More than 85 race horses will be comfortably accommodated in Uttoxeter's 102 stables; while around 50 jockeys will jostle for position both in the weighing room and out on the course itself.

It's one of the most colourful and spectacular days out on the annual Midlands calendar and the second largest steeplechase in the UK, after the Aintree Grand National.

Away from the course itself, a full programme of entertainment and activities will include Mr Wilson's Second Liners (http://mrwilsons.org.uk) - playing their very own brand of music which they describe as "New Orleans meets 90s club classics; a rave funeral without a body". Well-known radio and TV pundit Derek "Tommo" Thompson has also agreed to be there, to pass-on his knowledge to race-goers in the parade ring during a not-to-be-missed guide to all of the runners and riders in this year's star race.

Entrance to this year's Betfred Midlands Grand National range from £15 - £42. Due high demand for Premier tickets it is advised to book in advance, however tickets can also be purchased on the day at the entrance. For further information and to book tickets online, visit http://www.uttoxeter-racecourse.co.uk/midlands-grand-national, or call 01889 562561.

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