By Simon Jackson.
Racing officials at Newbury have confirmed that the name of the track will revert back to Newbury Racecourse after the title ‘The Racecourse Newbury’ proved to be unpopular.
The Berkshire track, that hosts the popular three-day bet365 Hennessy Festival next month, changed the name of the racecourse as part of a wider rebranding exercise two years ago but confirmed on Monday that they would be returning to the original title.
“The Racecourse Newbury name was part of a wider project to wrap up all the elements of the site here, and whilst there was solid logic behind it as an over-arching brand, it has not proved popular with our customers and other stakeholder groups, so we have made the decision to use Newbury Racecourse from now on,” Newbury chief executive Julian Thick said.
“As we embark on an important chapter in our history, I am pleased that we will be doing so under the banner of Newbury Racecourse. The business is performing well and with the redevelopment now well underway, I am confident about the future,” he said.
Meanwhile trainer Philip Hobbs has revealed that Fingal Bay, winner of the Pertemps Network Final at this year’s Cheltenham Festival, is being targeted at the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on November 29.
“He’s being aimed at the Hennessy and I hope he’s on an attractive mark when you consider as a novice he was four lengths off Dynaste, giving him 5lb,” said Hobbs whose charge could kick-off his season this week.
“There are three options for his first run – the £100,000 chase at Ascot on Saturday, which is the least likely option as I want to protect his handicap mark, the Grade 3 hurdle at Wetherby, or a graduation chase at Kempton two days later,” he told the Racing Post.
“His latest run at Punchestown, when he was seven lengths off Jetson in the World Series Hurdle, told me he is not going to end up a Grade 1 hurdler, but he might be a Grade 1 chaser and so the Hennessy is the perfect stepping stone.”
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