Phillips and Maguire carry torch for racing

The Olympic torch and the world of racing will combine twice over the next few days as the torch makes its relay journey around the United Kingdom.

Former occasional jockey Zara Phillips has the flame for the final 300 metres of today’s trip from Bristol to Cheltenham. She has the honour of carrying the torch on the same day as football’s European Champion’s winner Didier Drogba, who for some strange reason runs his 300 meters in Swindon. Perhaps he’ll do the magic roundabout!

Phillips doesn’t have to cover the ground herself, as she’ll be riding her own European Championship partner, her three day event horse Toytown. After the two ride up the finishing straight at Cheltenham racecourse at 6.30pm, she’ll light a cauldron to start the evening’s celebrations. Craig Mortiboys, from Cheltenham Borough Council said, "The racecourse is a fantastic amphitheatre and I think the moment she lights the cauldron will really mark the start of the Olympics in Cheltenham.”

Next Tuesday the slightly less glamorous surroundings of Chester racecourse car park mark the end of the day 11 of the trip. Here, Jason Maguire and Overturn combine to carry the torch onto the racecourse. Overturn’s trainer, Donald McCain is really proud they were asked to take part at the Roodee, his local track, where Overturn will return to the scene of his best victory on the flat in last year’s Chester Cup.

McCain can’t make the trip himself, and Maguire had some reservations, as McCain explained. “I’ll be at the Doncaster sales so, unfortunately, I won’t be able to be there. Jason was bothered at first about missing out on rides at Hexham but I’ll have nothing entered. He shouldn’t need too many instructions but I’ll be telling him not to go too fast.”

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