A new Listed race for mares to be run at the opening fixture of 2018 at Market Rasen Racecourse will be a tribute to late racing trainer Alan Swinbank.
The 188Bet Alan Swinbank Mares Listed National Hunt Flat Race - on Wednesday, January 17 - will be a permanent memorial to the Yorkshireman who died suddenly in May at the age of 72.
He made his mark on the flat and over jumps during a training career in which he sent out nearly 800 winners in Britain.
He also enjoyed notable success internationally thanks to Collier Hill, who won 15 races in eight countries including at the highest level in the Irish St Leger, Canadian International and Hong Kong Vase.
Less than a week after Mr Swinbank’s death, his partner Sally Haynes – who took over the training licence at the north Yorkshire stables – sent out Brecon Hill for a poignant victory in a bumper race at Market Rasen.
During his training career, which stretched back to 1982, Alan Swinbank saddled 25 winners at Market Rasen – at an excellent winner-to-runner ratio of 27 per cent.
Nadia Powell, general manager of Market Rasen Racecourse, said: “Alan Swinbank was a good friend of Market Rasen Racecourse and we always enjoyed welcoming him with his horses to run here.
“He was a brilliant trainer of racehorses and enjoyed considerable success.
“Our race-goers were thrilled when Sally Haynes sent out the yard’s first winner following Alan’s untimely death.
“We are most pleased that the Swinbank family has accepted our offer to stage a permanent race in his memory at our first meeting of 2018.”
Alan’s son Julian said: “The whole Swinbank family are honoured that Market Rasen Racecourse has decided on this tribute to the ‘boss’.
“He had a good record at the track in National Hunt Flat races over the years and, more importantly, loved to have runners there.
“It’s a huge honour.”
Wednesday, January 17 launches an exciting year at the racecourse, with the races worth £80,000 in prize-money, including the 188Bet Alan Swinbank Mares Listed National Hunt Flat Race and a graduation chase.
Further details about Market Rasen Racecourse, including all fixtures, can be found by logging on to the website: marketrasen.thejockeyclub.co.uk.