Speedway: Tully honoured with invite to ride at top charity event

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Andrew TULLY has created history by becoming the first Scottish-based competitor to be invited to compete in the Ben Fund Bonanza meeting which is staged in aid of the Speedway Riders’ Benevolent Fund which assists seriously injured riders.

The fourth staging of the event is at Birmingham’s Perry Barr Stadium a week on Sunday and Tully is hoping his liking for the Midland circuit could work to his advantage.

But with eight past and present Grand Prix aces in the strong field, including triple world champion Nicki Pedersen, Tully concedes he faces a tough battle to clamber aboard the winner’s rostrum.

Nonetheless, he is honoured to be riding having been the recipient of help from the fund in the past and he said: “I’m really pleased that I’m in the field. Although the way the line-up is going I might be thought of as something of a lesser light in such company, but it’s all in a good cause.”

Tully, who will be wearing the No. 1 race jacket for Monarchs this season, continued: “I like Birmingham as a race track and was disappointed when they moved up into the Elite League as it meant I couldn’t ride there as regularly as I did when they were in the Premier League.”

One of just five Premier League riders who have been selected for the meeting which has now become the traditional season opener in the UK since its inception in 2009, Tully added: “I have had my fair share of help from the fund so it’s good to be able to give something back.”

Meanwhile, Monarchs officials have paid a visit to Ingliston as they eye a possible move to the Royal Highland Showground site in 2013 with their current home at Armadale rumoured to be up for sale.

Monarchs chairman Alex Harkess approached the Royal Highland Society a few weeks ago about the possibility of staging speedway racing there and revealed talks are currently very much on going.

With Ingliston keen to maximise the use of their facilities in the wake of receiving the green light to proceed with a £30 million upgrade last April, Harkess feels moving his side back within the city boundaries could secure it’s long-term future.

Harkess said: “It has been rumoured that somebody has acquired Armadale for house building subject to planning permission, but that’s as much as I know. We have a year-to-year agreement with Armadale owner Kenny Waugh and we are fine for this season, but as regards to 2013 we haven’t even thought about that yet.

“We have spoken to Ingliston and will speak to them again. It’s a bit of a question and answer session at the moment.”

Monarchs open their Armadale campaign with the Scottish Open Championship on Friday, March 23.

The Capital club stage their pre-season video show at the Thomas Morton Hall, Ferry Road, on Saturday, at 7.30pm, most of the squad should be in attendance including new Aussie signing Micky Dyer.