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Somerset cricketers to meet racegoers at Wincanton Racecourse opening meet

Wincanton Racecourse will be welcoming retired England and Somerset county cricketer Marcus Trescothick to the official opening meeting of its new season on Thursday, October 17, along with a number of his county team-mates.

After 40,000 runs and 96 centuries across formats, Trescothick, aged 43, retired from cricket this month and as part of his retirement celebrations, will enjoy a day at the races.

Somerset closed their season on a high having won the Royal London One-day Cup, and players from the county will be mingling with the crowds, talking about their season, and meeting racegoers.

General manager, Huw Williams, said: “Marcus has undoubtedly had a fantastic career, and during that time, has become a household name. In Somerset he’s regarded as a hero and we’re delighted to welcome him and his team mates here as our guests on October 17 as part of his retirement celebrations, and our own celebrations for the start of the new season.”

Huw added: “We’ve had a five-month break from racing during which time we’ve made ongoing improvements, when we look at ways we can improve what we offer here to give everyone a thoroughly enjoyable day at the races.

“The ground staff have also been hard at work on the course, to ensure the ground is in the best possible condition ahead of the new season, and several chase fences have been rebuilt too. The track is looking fantastic, and with plenty of rain at present, we’re expecting near perfect going.”

Last year, Wincanton Racecourse played a significant part in the preparation of several horses who became leading contenders for The Festival presented by Magners at Cheltenham Racecourse, and racegoers will be marking their cards for stars of the bigger stage.

Eleven times champion Paul Nicholls is a huge supporter of his local track and will run many horses, including those he hopes will be destined big race success.

He said: “I love having winners at Wincanton. It’s my local track, and we always have a lot of friends and supporters there, and this year we hope to have plenty of runners too.”

Gates open at noon with the first of seven races off at 2.10pm, featuring the Bruton Handicap Steeple Chase, which is a Challenger Middle Distance Chase Series Qualifier.

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