Sandown was a course where Josh Gifford enjoyed some notable victoriesPICTURE: Martin Lynch
Sandown names race in honour of Josh Gifford
SANDOWN has decided to name the opening race of the bet365 Gold Cup card on April 28 in honour of Josh Gifford.
Gifford, a four-time champion jockey and the trainer of the 1981 Grand National winner Aldaniti, died in Febuary from a heart attack. He was 70.
Josh Gifford: trainer saddled his last runner at SandownPICTURE: David Dew (racingpost.com/photos)
The inaugural running of the race, which carries a £25,000 prize, will be named the bet365 Josh Gifford Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.
Andrew Cooper, director of racing at Sandown, said: "Josh Gifford was one of jump racing's most prolific trainers and had a tremendous record at Sandown Park as both rider and trainer.
"His last runner was Skycab, which won at Sandown Park in 2003 - it is an honour to name a race after him."
Gifford's son Nick, who took over from his father as trainer in 2003, said: "It is an honour to have a race named after my father, particularly on a day when my father won the Whitbread Gold Cup in 1982 with Shady Deal.
"He also won the Whitbread Gold Cup as a jockey in 1969 on Larbawn, the year after his brother Macer won the race on the same horse.
"Sandown Park was a racecourse he always enjoyed visiting and over the years had many horses entered into races at the course. We look forward to being there on the day."