A charity Flat race, involving the now-retired 20-time champion jump jockey A P McCoy and former top Flat jockey turned trainer Johnny Murtagh, is staged at Doncaster Racecourse on the first day of the Ladbrokes St Leger Festival, J20 Spritz Leger Legends Day, Wednesday, September 9.
The Clipper Logistics Leger Legends Classified Stakes (3.35pm) takes place for the sixth consecutive year and will gain more attention than ever before. It is run under the Rules of Racing, unlike almost all other charity races.
The contest, over Doncaster’s straight mile, sees 16 ex-jockeys return to the saddle in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund’s Jack Berry House and the Northern Racing College.
There is also a charity lunch and auction beforehand which is expected to attract over 450 guests, including HRH The Princess Royal who is a patron of the Injured Jockeys Fund.
The charity event, supported by the Reuben Foundation, has raised over £500,000 in the last five years and is aiming to generate at least another £100,000 in 2015.
A P McCoy, who retired after his record-breaking career in April, 2015, is making a one-off return to race riding on September 9.
Tim Adams, Chairman of the Leger Legends Committee, said: “The Leger Legends race has been a great success for the past five years raising over £500,000 for the Northern Racing College and the Injured Jockeys Fund, Jack Berry House.
“We are hopeful that this year’s event will surpass all expectations with the visit of HRH The Princess Royal for the second time adding to the presence of A P McCoy and Johnny Murtagh in the race itself, which it is going to be the best yet.”
Dale Gibson, who is the Professional Jockeys Association’s Industry Liaison Officer and helps with the organisation of the day, said: “I am delighted that we have secured the services of A P McCoy and Johnny Murtagh to add to the list of leading jockeys to have ridden in the Leger Legends.
“The only charity race in the UK to be run under the Rules of Racing continues to gather momentum and has become the feature on the opening day of the Leger Festival.
“Not only does the race bring people together for a terrific social occasion but it raises funds and awareness for Jack Berry House and the NRC.
“I would personally like to thank all the jockeys for giving up their time and getting fit again for this wonderful day.”
The full list of intended participants is: A P McCoy OBE, Johnny Murtagh, Dale Gibson, Gary Bardwell, Jim Culloty, Kevin Darley, George Duffield MBE, Kelly Harrison, Luke Harvey, Michael Hills, Gay Kelleway, Jimmy McCarthy, Billy Newnes, Ollie Pears, Willie Supple and Kim Tinkler.
Luke Harvey, a former jump jockey who works as a presenter for At The Races, commented: “I almost feel a fraud riding as a jockey against the likes of A P and Johnny Murtagh. However, it’s a real privilege to be involved.
“As well as the race being for such a great cause, it’s also fantastic fun. I would love to be in a driving finish with A P who hopefully won’t be on a favourite for a change!”