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It’s a racing double for Duchess

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The Duchess of Cornwall is visiting Newmarket on Wednesday
The Duchess of Cornwall is visiting Newmarket on Wednesday

A statue of King Charles II, the monarch credited with establishing Newmarket as a centre for horseracing, will be officially unveiled at the Rowley Mile by another Royal visitor to the town on Wednesday.

The Duchess of Cornwall will not only unveil the specially commissioned tribute, which celebrates the town’s 350 year racing tradition, she is also due to visit Newmarket Academy where she will talk to students and staff about the school’s Godolphin Beacon Project, which is being delivered by the education charity Racing to School and is backed by Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin racing operation.

Launched in September last year, the £250,000 five-year partnership aims to boost education and employment opportunities among young people in Newmarket by aligning teaching in the classroom with the local horseracing and breeding industries.

Academy principal Nick Froy said he was delighted the partnership and the school’s achievements were being recognised by a Royal visitor.

“It is a great honour and very clear evidence of the awareness of the amazing work we are doing in the school,” he said.

Newmarket is only the second Beacon Project Academy in the country, after Aintree, with a comprehensive programme that engages all year groups.

Hugh Anderson, managing director of Godolphin, added: “Godolphin could not be more delighted with the progress of the Newmarket Academy Godolphin Beacon Project, which is largely down to the excellent work of the academy and Racing to School.”

The statue of King Charles, created by Victorian sculptor Henry Weekes, is an over-lifesize replica of the original marble likeness of the Merry Monarch which stands in the Old Bailey in London. Paid for through a donation from Dr Cyrus Poonawalla and fundraising organised by Frances Stanley, of Newmarket’s New England Stud, it was first unveiled at the July Course last summer at the 350th running of the Newmarket Town Plate, a race which has become synonymous with the King following its inception in 1665.

Newmarket racecourses boss Amy Starkey said: “It is fantastic that we are able to create a legacy and honour the contribution King Charles II has made to Newmarket as a town and also the sport of horseracing.”