A HOSPICE is in the running to win almost £1,000 at this weekend’s Grand National after the Hartlepool Mail staked an annual charity bet.
Now it’s down to 22/1 shot Double Seven to be first past the post and make this year’s race an event to remember for staff at Hartlepool & District Hospice.
Once again, the generous Chisholm Bookmakers, on the Bishop Cuthbert estate, offered the £50 free bet to the Mail for the horse racing showcase at Aintree.
Mail reporter Dominic Shaw went along to the bookies and cast an eye over the list of runners and riders before taking a £25 each-way punt on Double Seven.
And as well as kindly offering the free bet, shop manager Phil Allison also dipped into his pocket and put another £10 on the horse to win.
It means should Double Seven last the pace and outrun its rivals then the hospice will receive £737.50 from the Mail’s £50 bet and a further £230 from Phil’s stake.
And if the horse falls short but still manages to finish in the top four, the Wells Avenue-based facility will be £162.50 better off.
Phil, 32, who has worked at the Bishop Cuthbert bookies for three years, said: “As ever, we are absolutely delighted to be able to offer this bet to the Hartlepool Mail in support of Hartlepool & District Hospice.
“The hospice is a fantastic cause, the work the staff do is absolutely tremendous and that’s why, to show our support, I’ve added £10 of my own money to the bet.”
Mail staff and colleagues at the hospice are hoping for more luck than this time last year when our pick fell at an early hurdle.
Greg Hildreth, events fundraiser at Hartlepool & District Hospice, said he will be joining his colleagues around the TV screen to cheer the horse on.
Greg said: “We will definitely be tuning in.
“We would like to say a big thanks to the Hartlepool Mail and Chisholm for choosing the hospice.
“It’s a fantastic gesture and we are extremely grateful.
“Hopefully Double Seven can do the job on Saturday and boost the hospice.”
• Make sure you get your free £2 Grand National bet in Thursday’s newspaper.