Musselburgh racecourse names new race after The Queen

Musselburgh racecourse has been given Royal approval to name a new race after The Queen.

Tuesday, 2nd August 2016, 12:03 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd August 2016, 1:08 pm
HRH The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attend two races at Musselburgh Racecourse. Picture; Greg Macvean
HRH The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attend two races at Musselburgh Racecourse. Picture; Greg Macvean

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The Queen’s Cup, a £100,000 staying heritage handicap over a mile and three-quarters, will be the feature race on a £200,000 card which launches a new Easter Saturday fixture for the East Lothian track.

Musselburgh chief executive, Bill Farnsworth, hopes The Queen’s Cup will be established as the first of the Flat season’s top staying handicaps.

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Picture; Greg Macvean

The announcement comes a month after Her Majesty visited Musselburgh to celebrate the course’s 200th anniversary.

“We are delighted to have obtained the personal approval of The Queen to name a race in her honour following her recent visit to the course to mark our bi-centenary year,” said Farnsworth.

“We hope to establish The Queen’s Cup as the Flat season’s first top-quality staying handicap, and while it was disappointing to lose our Good Friday meeting, we are excited about the prospect of building a first-class Easter Saturday fixture.”

In a shake-up of fixtures, Musselburgh has swapped its traditional Easter Sunday fixture with Ffos Las to allow it to extend the Scottish Cheltenham Trials event in February to a weekend festival.

Picture; Greg Macvean

The Scottish Cheltenham Trials weekend on February 4 and 5 will have prize money of £250,000.

A new four-mile contest, the £40,000 Edinburgh National, will be the longest race run at Musselburgh and a prep for the big staying events at the Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National.