Rob Burrow watched on as Burrow Seven shaped with significant promise when fifth on his long-awaited racecourse debut at Catterick on Tuesday.
The four-year-old gelding is owned by the Burrow Seven Racing Club, which was launched in November 2020 to raise money for the former rugby league star’s motor neurone disease Fight Back Fund.
Profits raised from the club are split equally between the MND Association and Leeds Hospital Charities, with funds raised so far totalling more than £100,000.
Trained by Jedd O’Keeffe, Burrow Seven was a 5-1 shot for his first competitive appearance in the Racing Again 28th December Open NH Flat Race under 5lb claimer Oakley Brown.
With Burrow making the trip with his family to North Yorkshire to watch the race, the four-year-old looked to be struggling turning for home but finished to good effect to be beaten less than 10 lengths.
Burrow said: “It’s been amazing to finally watch Burrow Seven race. We’ve all waited a long time for this day and it was great to have my mum, sisters and Barrie (McDermott, former Leeds Rhinos teammate and Burrow Seven brand ambassador) watching with me, together with lots of Burrow racing club members.
“It’s been an emotional rollercoaster, but a fantastic day out for me and my family. We’re delighted he came in fifth – our trainer Jedd said Burrow Seven is sure to improve so we’re already looking forward to future races.”
Burrow Racing Club manager Phil Hawthorn said: “Burrow Seven gave a very promising run, it was his first day at school and he’ll learn a lot from the experience.
“The trip was probably a bit on the sharp side, but he really stayed on well at the end. Everybody was really happy with the race and we’re already looking forward to his next run.”
Victory went to 11-4 favourite Kracka Nut, representing the formidable combination of Dan and Harry Skelton, as favourites or joint-favourites won all seven races on the card.