By Simon Jackson.
Chelmsford City Racecourse look set to have their official opening on February 1 after the successful completion of a seven-race card in front of invited guests on Sunday.
Sunday’s meeting was the first of possibly three ‘trial fixtures’ scheduled at the Essex racecourse which is located five miles north of Chelmsford. The next two meetings are programmed for Thursday January 22 and Wednesday January 28; with the grand opening likely to take place four days later.
The all-weather track has been awarded 58 race meetings for 2015 and Chelmsford City managing director Phil Siers was pleased with the outcome of the first fixture.
“It’s been a great day and it was wonderful to see everyone here enjoying themselves,” Siers said. “The racing proved to be very competitive and provided some thrilling finishes. It’s a solid foundation to build on and bodes very well for the future.
“We’ll now have a good look at the feedback, both good and bad, and take what we’ve learned onto our next meeting.”
Betfred spokesman Andrew Griffiths added: “It was easily our busiest meeting of the day. There’s clearly an appetite for good quality all-weather racing and it’s very encouraging for the future.”
Chelmsford City races on the site of the former Great Leighs track which was the first new racecourse in the UK for over 80 years when it opened in 2008 and went into administration in 2009 after just 44 meetings.
Tryster was the first winner at the new venue when landing the 10 furlong Class 2 race that opened the seven-race card. His success was the first of three for Godolphin who also scored with Blue Aegean in the five furlong Class 4 and Tempus Temporis, a five-length winner of the one mile feature race that was also a fast-track qualifier for the all-weather finals at Lingfield on Good Friday.
Tempus Temporis’ jockey Robert Havlin said: “The blinkers have been a revelation on him and he enjoyed the turns here.
“Every time it felt like he was coming halfway-back at his bridle, he started turning and was taking me back into the bridle again so it was very good.
“He gets into the Good Friday race now which is excellent and has probably beaten a few non-stayers today which explains the winning margin.”
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