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Betting opens for the Cheltenham Festival Charity Race

The Festival Charity race, also know as the St Patrick’s Derby, has become a well-established and integral part of the Cheltenham Festival.

The sixth renewal of the contest will be staged as the final race on Thursday, day 3 of the meeting, and will see 12 amateur riders compete over 1m5f on the flat for the benefit of the Injured Jockeys Fund.

The charity event was opened to any amateur rider who was able to raise a minimum of £5,000 in sponsorship and will include a mix of recognised figures in the racing world ranging from Paul Nicholls’ head lad, Clifford Baker, to Coral’s PR Director Simon Clare.

Clare, announced that “this is the first time we have opened an ante-post book on the St Patricks Derby and we will donate any profits that we make on the market to the race’s charity, the Injured Jockeys Fund”.

Rainy City, set to be partnered by Clifford Baker, was installed as the 5/4 favourite with the Gordon Elliot trainer Knight’s Parade a close second favourite at 6/4.

Beyond the two at the head of the betting Coral go 14/1 or bigger with Clare taking the ride on the 33/1 outsider Lexington Bay.

When discussing the horse and jockey pairings, Clare added that “Clifford Baker is definitely riding the least exposed horse in the race in Rainy City and Knight’s Parade won easily on his last start and couldn’t be in better form for James Collins so they do look the most likely winners”.

He also added that “the fact that my own Coral colleagues have written me off as the 33/1 outsider, has made me even more determined than I was already to outrun those odds and surprise a few people”

Thomas Williams has yet to choose between his two mounts, Al Debtor and Future Security, so Coral is offering odds on both with bets refunded on the horse that does not run. The race is also non runner no bet.