Lewis heads star names at Towcester

HORSE RACING: Punters at Towcester Racecourse are used to setting ambitious sights on the Jackpot, but the challenge could be a different one next Tuesday evening when racing starts at 5pm.

The first evening card of the season for the Northants track will coincide with the appearance of some of the biggest names in the world of darts such as Keith Deller, Eric “The Crafty Cockney” Bristow and Adrian “Jackpot” Lewis.

Lewis, the 26 year-old from Stoke-on-Trent who is the 2011 Ladbrokes.com world darts champion, should provide an interesting distraction as a challenge to punters searching for the more traditional quest for winners.

Deller and Bristow were at Towcester a year ago to provide a fresh opportunity for racegoers keen to take flight, rather than the eight flights of hurdles the equine athletes will be attempting to negotiate during the evening.

The card is the first of three meetings inside a hectic 13-day spell at Towcester, as there is also racing on the following Monday afternoon (April 18) which acts as a build-up to the Easter Sunday fixture on April 24. The start times for these fixtures are 2.10pm and 2.15pm.

History continues to be made at Towcester, a sporting arena where events are always exciting and unpredictable.

On the back of the recent void novice chase where none of the four runners managed to complete the course, leading National Hunt jockey Robert Thornton rode his 1,000th winner at the track last week when he partnered the Alan King-trained Araldur to victory in the 2m novices’ hurdle.

Thornton could again be the man to follow next Monday.

Last week’s Towcester meeting also brought respite from a gruelling schedule for Northampton Saints and England rugby players.

Skipper Dylan Hartley and his team mates enjoyed a restful afternoon just 24 hours after thumping Wasps 39-3 at Franklin’s Gardens. Also at Towcester on that afternoon were footballers from Kettering Town.