Community hospital tipped for cash boost after grand gesture

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THE Friends of the Community Hospital will be hoping for a Grand National boost this weekend.

The Hawick News has got together with High Street bookmakers Ladbrokes who offered up a £50 charity bet to benefit a local good cause.

The Friends were chosen as the (hopefully) lucky recipients and we’ve pinned our hopes on a £25 each way gamble on 11/1 shot West End Rocker.

Customer services manager at the shop, Matthew Young, told the Hawick News: “We’re only too happy to do anything we can to help raise money for local charities and if this will help to make somebody’s stay in hospital a bit more comfortable then we’re delighted to be able to play a part.

“It will be a busy weekend for us and it would be nice to see West End Rocker coming in to help such a good cause.”

Although ten-year-old West End Rocker was brought down at Becher’s Brook, when ridden by Robert Thornton in last year’s National, he showed no aversion to the big obstacles when he returned in December to land the Betfred Becher Chase by 22 lengths under jockey Wayne Hutchison.

And should he take the glory at Aintree tomorrow – the 73rd running of the world’s greatest steeplechase – the Friends of the Community Hospital would scoop £393.75 from the bet.

Chairman of the organisation, John Oliver, said: “We’re a local cause which provides for the patients of the community hospital and we’re very honoured to have been chosen as the charity for this Grand National bet.

“I normally have a little flutter on the National, but I’m sure this time we’ll all be cheering on West End Rocker the whole way.”

Ladbrokes are expected to accept five million bets throughout the country for the race, which was first run in 1839.

And Hawick News tipster The Tout is expecting plenty of interest in our selection.

He said: “What a difference a week makes in racing. Seven or eight days ago West End Rocker was a doubtful runner as the sun baked the Aintree turf.

“But all his five wins have been on soft/heavy ground and now that the rain has come he could actually start favourite on Saturday.”