Varma takes over Aintree role

Sulekha Varma will oversee her first Randox Health Grand National meeting in April after being revealed as the new Clerk of the Course at Aintree.

The 34-year-old succeeds Andrew Tulloch and will also have the title of North West Head of Racing for Jockey Club Racecourses.

Varma began her career with JCR at Haydock before spells as Clerk of the Course at Nottingham, Market Rasen, Warwick and Huntingdon.

For the last three years she has been Racing Manager and Clerk of the Course at Hamilton in Scotland.

Varma said: “I am honoured to be taking on the role of Clerk of the Course at Aintree racecourse and North West Head of Racing for Jockey Club Racecourses. I will be sad to leave the fantastic team at Hamilton Park but it is a hugely exciting opportunity to join the team who stage the UK’s most famous horserace and I am very much looking forward to getting started.

“While British racing has faced and will face challenges, I hope that Aintree racecourse will continue to be at the forefront of addressing many of those and showcasing our wonderful sport to an ever-wider audience.”

Today’s racing

A bumper day’s action after the recent abandonments with five UK fixtures and one meeting in Ireland.

The management at Leicester will be delighted to be racing again, staging a seven-race jumps card, while they also race over timber at Market Rasen, Wincanton and Clonmel.

Kempton’s twilight meeting could unearth a future a star or two with no less than five maiden races for two-year-olds on its eight-race programme.

One juvenile to watch out for is the Roger Varian-trained Delta’s Royalty, who runs in the mile fillies’ maiden at 6.45pm. The daughter of Galileo is out of Royal Delta, a multiple Grade 1 winner in the USA who landed the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (now called the Breeders’ Cup Distaff) in 2012.

Southwell also race on the all-weather today while Meydan’s card includes two Listed contests on dirt.

Fantastic Tingle Creek in prospect

Saturday’s Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown looks a potential showstopper with eight runners entered for the Grade 1 prize.
Defi Du Seuil, winner of the Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase over 2m4f at the track last season, will bid to enhance his reputation as a specialist two-miler against previous Tingle Creek victors Un De Sceaux and Politologue.