The Mascot Grand National – hosted every autumn by Huntingdon Racecourse in Cambridgeshire – is entering its third decade with an exciting new sponsor.
The original and best mascot race in the world, which began in 1999 and is now poised for its 12th running, is to be supported by Domino’s Pizza.
The event attracts a worldwide television and online audience for the crazy antics of the participants, and it’s the highlight of every year for Britain’s mascots.
Mascots the length and breadth of the country step up their training as they prepare for the big day.
It’s an hilarious occasion when lots of mascots run, walk, stagger and stumble over obstacles on a gruelling 220 yards course.
There’s been mayhem, controversy, accusations of gamesmanship, and claims of ‘ringers’ over the years since this madcap race was first run, but strict rules ensure good clean fun.
Georgina Wald, Corporate Communications Manager at Domino’s Pizza, said: “The Mascot Grand National is a fantastic event at Huntingdon Racecourse that represents exactly what Domino’s Pizza is all about - spending special time with friends and family, laughing, smiling and having great fun. We hope that sponsoring the race will inspire our own mascot – Danny Domino – to do better than he did last year!”
Sophie Hodgkinson, managing director of Huntingdon Racecourse, said: “The Mascot Grand National has grown in size and popularity year after year, and we are delighted to welcome such a fantastic brand as Domino’s Pizza as our new sponsor for the 2010 race.”
The Mascot Grand National kicks off an afternoon of jump racing at the Cambridgeshire racecourse on Sunday 3 October.
*Domino's Pizza is recognised as the world's leading pizza delivery company. The first UK store opened in 1985. More than 20,000 staff are employed in Britain and Ireland. There are more than 620 Domino's Pizza stores throughout the British Isles, including the Huntingdon restaurant at 1 Grammar School Walk - 01480 454700.
MASCOT GRAND NATIONAL HISTORY
1999: The Mascot Grand National was born as 17 mascots took part in one of the most unusual sights ever seen on a racecourse. Beau Brummie Bulldog, of Birmingham City FC, won.
2000: Word spread, and 49 mascots lined up, with Watford FC's Harry the Hornet stinging the bookmakers in a flying finish.
2001: Controversy as Freddie the Fox was first past the post, but turned out to be an Olympic athlete. Uproar ensued, and Dazzler the Lion (Rushden & Diamonds FC) roared as he was proclaimed the new winner.
2002: Chaddy the Owl (Oldham Athletic FC) flew to victory amidst claims that he was another ‘ringer’. The accusations were unfounded – it had been Chaddy’s vigorous training routine that enabled him to wing it.
2003: For the second year Chaddy the Owl was crowned victor, but only after several rivals were distracted by a female streaker. An attempted £10,000 betting coup using a Commonwealth Games gold medallist as Sedge the Field Mouse failed when one of the rodent’s feet fell off.
2004: The year of Graham the Gorilla, the mascot of local football club Finedon Volta FC, who sent the crowd bananas.
2005: The bookies expected Chaddy and Graham to dominate, but the Sun newspaper’s Scoop 6 Squirrel drove everyone nuts with a stunning turn of foot.
2006: Football charity Kick 4 Life’s mascot Mickey The Monkey proved he was the business despite an attempted ‘rugby’ tackle on him in the closing stages. Sammy Saint was second for the second year.
2007: Wacky Macky Bear saw off the 2006 winner Mickey the Monkey to win for Saffron Walden FC on his Grand National debut.
2008: The tenth running of the mascot race sees Wacky Macky Bear win for the second year in a row, with Cambridgeshire-based mascots filling second, third and fourth spots.
2009: At last a local winner, as Stag from Huntingdon Rugby Club triumphed. Inside the costume was Heath Crawford, a New Zealand-born rugby player.
RACECOURSE ADMISSION DETAILS
Admission on Sunday 3 October: Main Enclosure £15; Picnic Enclosure £8. Accompanied children under 18 – free. Tickets for the Main Enclosure can be purchased in advance, either online at www.huntingdon-racecourse.co.uk or via the ticket hotline on 0844 579 3007.
Times: Gates open at 12.10pm. Mascot Grand National at 1.10pm. First horse race 2.10pm.
Contact information: telephone 01480 453373