Newmarket jockey, Ryan Moore, will swap his whip for the Commonwealth Games baton when it passes through Newmarket next month.
Moore, who partnered the Queen’s horse Estimate to an emotional victory in last year’s Ascot Gold Cup, will take the baton from Ron Wallwork, former head of Newmarket’s New Astley Club and gold medal winning race walker at the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica, before riding with it down the Rowley Mile.
The Queen’s Baton Relay will be visiting a community sports festival at the racecourse which runs from 10am to 1pm on Monday, June 9, involving more than 500 pupils from 22 local schools across Forest Heath and East Cambridgeshire who will take part in a schools’ relay before the baton departs.
The baton relay is the traditional curtain-raiser to the Commonwealth Games. Before arriving in England, it has visited 68 nations and territories covering almost a third of the world’s population. It contains a message from the Queen to the Commonwealth that will be read out at the opening ceremony of the Glasgow games which start in July.
“Newmarket Racecourses, as the Home of Racing and one of the most famous racecourses in the world, is greatly honoured to be involved with such a prestigious event as the baton relay and to be hosting the Newmarket Community Sports Festival,” said Amy Starkey, regional director, east of Jockey Club racecourses.
“We are also delighted that Ryan Moore, a Newmarket jockey who has ridden for The Queen on many occasions including partnering her mare Estimate to victory in last year’s Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, will be carrying the baton on horseback on the Rowley Mile.
“The occasion offers members of the community of Newmarket and well beyond the chance to become involved in the 2014 Commonwealth Games which people across the country are looking forward to so much.”
And Cllr Warwick Hirst, Forest Heath District Council cabinet member for health, leisure and culture, added: “I am delighted that Newmarket will share the spirit of the games in a fantastic community event at an iconic venue.”
For more details, go to http://newmarket.onesuffolk.net/home/queen-s-baton-relay/