WORCESTER Racecourse have paired up with the University of Worcester Students’ Union to host the first Student Raceday at the season-opening fixture on Thursday.

For £9 students with a valid identification card will receive a County Enclosure ticket and a free drink.

The new raceday was devised by a University of Worcester second year sport business management student Harry Lonsdale who is the Raise & Give (RAG) officer for their students’ union.

Lonsdale has worked with the racecourse with the support of the assistant director of hospitality at the university Lucy Clark and orchestrated the majority of the promotional activity with the racecourse marketing team and students’ union.

Racecourse executive director Jenny Cheshire said: “We are really excited to be working alongside the university and Harry to host the inaugural Student Raceday.

"We are always seeking ways to bring National Hunt racing to a new audience and are looking forward to welcoming the students to the racecourse, many of whom may not have experienced racing before.

“I have been impressed with Harry’s business acumen from the start and we’re sure with his involvement the event will be well supported in its first year.

"If it proves a success we hope this will become a regular fixture in our racing calendar.”

Lonsdale said: “As an avid sportsman I am thrilled to be able to introduce my fellow students to a sport many of them have not experienced before and to be able to offer them an excellent value social opportunity.

“Through my role as RAG officer for the students’ union we are always looking for new ways to raise money for our chosen charities. For this event our charity of the day will be Mencap so it is a real pleasure to indulge in my sporting passion as well as raise money for this worthy cause.

“Organising the event with the support of the university, the students’ union and working with Jenny and her team has given me invaluable experience and we hope this event will enhance the day for the racecourse."

The first race on Thursday is off at 2.15pm.

Hosting 20 fixtures in 2017 between May and October the season ahead is a busy one for the Pitchcroft racecourse.

Organisers hope CrownGate Ladies Day on Saturday, June 3, will be bigger and better than ever before with the Take That Experience playing live after racing as well as prizes on offer in this year’s best dressed competition.

The racecourse will be looking for the CrownGate County Enclosure Queen of 2017.

There are plenty of new racedays to look forward to this year.

A highlight promises to be Gentlemen’s Evening on Friday, May 26, where there is a live band playing after racing.

Malvern's Morgan Motors are showcasing their cars and offering a customer a chance to win a Morgan for the weekend while the Go Dad Run Big Blue Pants Relay Race will raise awareness of men’s health issues and city centre bar Tonic will sample their cocktails to racegoers.

Irish Night on Tuesday, July 18, is set to be full of emerald-isle themed entertainment and the season finale the Half Term Halloween Raceday on Wednesday, October 25, will cater for the whole family.

To view the full fixture list for 2017 visit worcester-racecourse.co.uk.