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Monday, 10 December, 2018

York chief set to swap his office for the outdoors in homeless charity event

Brightening your day with turf tales from beyond the tracks

William Derby will be spending the night sleeping outside to raise money for a homeless charity
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York Racecourse chief executive William Derby will sleep rough in the track’s pre-parade ring on Monday to help raise awareness and funds for homeless people in the city.

Derby will be joined by 50 other York business leaders braving the cold in aid of the CEO Sleepout, a charity encouraging executives to trade their briefcases for sleeping bags.

“This issue affects many individuals in towns and cities across Britain and it is important that help and support is offered to those who do not have a home,” he said, adding, “I’m glad the forecast for Monday night looks to be a bit drier and warmer than of late.”

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Community spirit

Racing Together Community Day, the sport’s national volunteering day, will return on Friday May, 11, when various groups within the racing industry will carry out simple acts to better their community.

John Blake, chief executive of Racing to School, which works in partnership with Racing Together, wants the sport to unite for the special day and repeat the success of last year’s event, in which 15 racecourses took part, some using it as an opportunity to announce year-long initiatives aimed at supporting local need.

Ascot donated items including spare Royal Ascot picnic blankets to local charities, while Aintree welcomed children from Kensington Primary School for a careers talk and a tour around the course to learn about the Grand National.

To get involved, contact Adam Harman on 07387 260980 or email:

National pride

Twenty years have passed since Earth Summit stormed to victory in the Grand National, and part-owner Ricky George still gets excited at the mere mention of it. 

Earth Summit, winner of the 1998 Aintree Grand National

To mark the anniversary, George has launched Corinthian Racing Club with breeder Fergus Anstock to extend the joy of ownership to fellow racing fans.

“The memory of winning the National first time will never leave me,” he said. “It was a massive ambition to part-own a horse and we want to offer people a way to get involved and feel part of it too.”

The club currently has four young horses on its books and members will receive part-ownership of them, as well as owners’ rights at racecourses and a share of prize-money.

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I’m glad the forecast for Monday night looks to be a bit drier and warmer than of late
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