Testimonial race for Greene and Kinsella breaks new ground

Rodi Greene on The Giant Bolster

York racecourse makes a little bit of history tonight when it stages the first testimonial race for jockeys. Rodi Greene and Phil Kinsella will benefit. Greene, 42, who regularly piloted one of Geegeez favourite horses, The Giant Bolster, had to retire after a fall at Lingfield left him partially paralysed. Kinsella, 29, has also had to leave his place in the saddle after he sustained a fractured skull at Market Rasen last year.

The track is backfilling for Carlisle, where the race was first due to take place. Earlier this month Madness were due to perform at the Stobart Summer Festival, but the meeting and concert were cancelled after days of heavy rain left the ground waterlogged.

The Stobart Group, which works closely with the Professional Jockeys’ Association, has transferred the testimonial by sponsoring the EBF Stobart PJA Lyric Fillies’ Stakes, a Listed race over a miles and a quarter. It sees four three year old fillies matched against four older rivals, with Luca Cumani’s Emirates Queen leading the way for the younger brigade and Richard Fahey’s Barefoot Lady expected to do well for the older group.

The race is the highlight of the first day of York’s Music Showcase Weekend, with four of the singers of the 1980s who are now regulars on the post race concert circuit taking part: Tony Hadley, Marc Almond, ABC and Altered Images.

Andrew Tinkler, chief executive of the Stobart Group, said: "The Stobart Group is pleased to create this link between its two sponsorships so that such a worthy cause can benefit. It is a great opportunity to inform a big crowd about the work that jockeys do and will hopefully encourage some of them to take an active interest in the sport.”

How many of the additional fund raising activities which were planned for Carlisle will take place isn’t clear, so racegoers may not be able to see Tony McCoy trying his hand at the bucking bronco machine.

As part of its sponsorship of the PJA, the Stobart Group revived an insurance scheme to compensate riders whose career is cut short by injury. Unfortunately for Greene, this came into play 12 days after his fall, so he missed out on a payout of £100,000.

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