Horse Racing: Royal Mile race new for Musselburgh unveils

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Musselburgh Racecourse is hoping to pull in more than 10,000 spectators over the Easter weekend as it kicks off the flat season with a new £50,000 race, the Betfred Royal Mile Handicap, the feature race of Musselburgh’s two-day Easter Festival of Racing.

The Class 2 one mile handicap, for three-year-old horses rated 0-100, is the main attraction of Easter Saturday Race Day (April 7) which boasts more than £100,000 in prize money.

The support race is the £20,000 Betfred Whistlejacket Condition Stakes and one of the country’s favourite sprinters, Borderlescott, is believed to be targeting the five-furlong race.

The East Lothian course’s annual Easter Sunday family day regularly pulls in 5000-strong crowds and this year hosts the £20,000 Musselburgh Gold Cup alongside a host of free family entertainment, topped by a visit by kids cartoon favourite Peppa Pig.

Musselburgh Racecourse general manager Bill Farnsworth believes a two-day flat event is an ideal follow-up to the start of the UK flat season at Doncaster’s Lincoln meeting on April 2.

He said: “Our ambition is to put Musselburgh on the map at the start of the flat season with our Easter Festival of Racing, combining a high quality card on the Saturday with our very popular family day on Easter Sunday.

“The Betfred Royal Mile Handicap will be a crowd pleaser and should attract top entries from stables looking to try out three year old horses which have matured and grown over the winter months.

“This race will feature horses which have the potential to contend in the prestigious Edinburgh Cup meseting at Musselburgh in June before going onto Royal Ascot and the other major flat fixtures across the UK.”