Ten members of the public will be trained to race at this year’s Grand National Festival, it was announced today.
The 10 riders will be picked by a panel of racing experts and trained as jockeys.
They will compete in a Flat race at Liverpool’s Aintree racecourse on Saturday April 14 – the day of the Grand National.
Organisers say the amateur race, which will also raise cash for charity, will be watched by 70,000 live spectators and a potential television audience of millions.
The race will be sponsored by Ladbrokes and John Smith’s brewery, which also sponsors the Grand National.
John Smith’s marketing manager, Claire Kennedy, said: “The Grand National holds a special place in the hearts of both the racing fraternity and the general public.
“We plan to take this special relationship to an unprecedented level by giving the ordinary man or woman in the street a priceless opportunity to experience the thrills of Grand National day as a jockey.
“The training programme will cover everything from the basic riding skills to the tactics required to win a race, which means that riding experience is less important than their desire and commitment to raise money for charity.”
Each jockey will win £5,000 for their chosen charity, and the winner’s charity will receive a further £50,000.
Application forms, which are available from Ladbrokes betting shops or www.johnsmiths.co.uk, must be sent in by January 19.
Entrants must be adults and UK residents.