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news “Better than a Grade One winner!” Nicky Henderson celebrates winning RoR’s Racing to Cricket Trophy

8th September 2021
  • Charity cricket day at Wormsley raises nearly £70,000 for Retraining of Racehorses (RoR)

The RoR Racing to Cricket Tournament took place in glorious weather at the beautiful Wormsley Cricket Ground on Sunday, raising a record amount of money for Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) before concluding with a hard-fought victory in the final for Nicky Henderson’s Seven Barrows Racing team.

A total of eight teams came under starters’ orders in the limited overs knock-out competition, with the final played out between Nicky Henderson’s team and Charlie Hills’ team.

Batting first, team Hills scored 61 in their six overs, which looked a formidable total until the team from Seven Barrows, led by an unbeaten 29 from Tom Fillery, turned on the style to win the tournament with an over to spare.

Henderson’s Seven Barrows team have taken part in the Racing to Cricket Tournament since it started in 2017 and reached the plate final in 2019 where they were defeated by Ben Pauling’s team, so the six-time Champion National Hunt trainer took particular pleasure from his team’s win.

On receiving the Racing to Cricket trophy from RoR Chairman, Philip Freedman, Nicky Henderson said: “I am as proud as punch! It’s better than a Grade One winner!”

Under blue skies and in the beautiful setting of the Wormsley Estate in Buckinghamshire, over 230 guests attended the day in support of Retraining of Racehorses (RoR), British racing’s official charity for the welfare of retired racehorses.

During the lunch break, charity auctioneer Martin Pope offered up seven fantastic lots, including Centre Court seats at Wimbledon and the use of a private box at Ascot. Donated by Paul Roy and included among the auction items was a third share in a yearling filly by Twilight Son out of Dutch Princess, the mare of Group winner Dutch Connection, which raised £20,000.

In total, the event raised nearly £70,000 with stallion nominations for Nathaniel and Time Test also helping to raise money at auction.

The cricket was of a consistently competitive standard, none more so than the clash in this year’s plate final between Mick Channon’s team and Ben Pauling’s team, with Channon’s team battling to win to finish in third place.

Tournament organiser David Sumpter awarded the Player of the Tournament to James Lugham playing in Ben Pauling’s team, and there were notable performances across the board, which included teams representing Richard Hannon, John Pearce Racing and Paul Roy Racing, as well as a Newmarket team featuring trainers Charlie Fellowes, George Boughey and James Ferguson.

Di Arbuthnot, Chief Executive of RoR, said: “It was a wonderful day and we are so grateful to all those who supported it, including the trainers and owners playing in the tournament.”

“The generosity of donors of the auction lots including former chairman, Paul Roy, Lady Bamford and RoR Trustee Anita Wigan and the guests on the day has been amazing. Our warmest thanks to everyone for helping to raise funds for the important work RoR does, at a time when such support is much needed.”

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