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The Gunners come to Sandown Park Racecourse for a top day of racing at the Royal Artillery Gold Cup Day on Friday 15th February 2013. The day’s proceedings will start early at 10.30am when a special parade in support of the Royal Artillery charities will take place in Esher High Street and the racecourse is pleased to welcome the return of the Military Wives Choir.
The parade steps off at the top end of Esher High Street and will march down the main high street straight to Sandown Park Racecourse. This year the parade will consist of marching troops from 1st Artillery Brigade including troops from 22 Battery, 32 Regiment Royal Artillery. The men and women of 1st Artillery Brigade are permanently on operations in Afghanistan.
The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery will also be on parade, as will the Royal Artillery Band, and cadets from the local Surrey Army Cadet Force. A Rapier, a surface to air missile system which is permanently based on and used to defend the Falkland Islands, will also be part of the parade.
This year sees the return of the much loved singing sensation the Military Wives Choir who will be performing live during racing and singing a selection of their songs. The choir, which is formed of the wives and girlfriends of British servicemen fighting in Afghanistan, was brought together by choirmaster Gareth Malone for the BBC2 series The Choir.
At 12.30pm, a 13lb World War One gun will be fired to announce the start of the racing and The Royal Artillery Hunt will be on parade in between the racing - racegoers can head down to the course to mingle with the hounds and hear the calling of the Huntsman Horn. The Royal Artillery Band will play around the racecourse enclosures from 11.30am until 1.00pm
The feature race – the Royal Artillery Gold Cup - is one of Sandown Park’s oldest races having been first run in 1863 and then moved to Sandown Park for the first time in 1878. It has been run at the racecourse every season since 1921. The race is restricted to horses that are owned or have been leased by those who are serving or have served in the Royal Artillery or one of its recognised Establishments or Units. The jockeys must be amateurs and either part or existing members of any of the Armed Forces, making the race unique in every sense.
With a great supporting card of competitive jump racing, there really is something for everyone and accompanied children aged under 18 go free. For further information or to book in advance general admission, please visit www.sandown.co.uk or call 01372 47 00 47.