THE curtain comes down on the 2006/7 National Hunt racing season on Saturday.

When the awards are handed out, once again the Champion Jockey will be Tony McCoy and the Champion Trainer - for the second time - will be Paul Nicholls.

While the top rider has enjoyed a vintage year at Hereford Racecourse - as has the Hereford-born runner-up Richard Johnson - each with 10 winners, the leading trainer had just one local victory.

So, although 2006/7 will be over this weekend, it won't be long for the 2007/8 season to begin. Just one day in fact, because the new campaign starts on Sunday!

And local racing fans don't have to wait an eternity either for their own sport. For the horses are running at Hereford Racecourse on Thursday, May 3.

It's Wye Valley Brewery raceday when large numbers of the brewery's staff and pub customers enjoy an afternoon at the races.

Twelve months ago, the day turned into a Welsh benefit', as trainers from The Principality won four of the seven races.

The brewery sponsors six of the seven races during the afternoon, including the Steve Gibbs Memorial Selling Handicap Hurdle, in memory of Steve Gibbs, who ran the brewery's Rose and Lion pub in Bromyard with his wife Pip until his death in January last year.

The local point-to-point community will also be out in strength for the final race of the day, the Julian Graves Hunters' Chase.

Congratulations to Little Marcle trainer Kevin Morgan who sent out his first winner over jumps since moving to Herefordshire from the East Midlands earlier this year. Sahara Prince scored in a maiden hurdle at Exeter under Seamus Durack. The trainer had a bumper winner at Lingfield Park earlier in the year, but this was the first over obstacles.

After Wye Valley Brewery raceday, it's more than a month until the next racing at Hereford Racecourse. But tickets for Ladies' Day on Sunday, June 3 are already selling fast. The added attraction is that tribute band Counterfeit Abba will be playing on the Pimms Lawn after racing, so we're expecting a large crowd for our principal meeting of the year.

*The next racing at Hereford Racecourse is Wye Valley Brewery raceday on Thursday, May 3 when the first race is scheduled for 2.10pm. Admission into the Grandstand Enclosure is £13. Accompanied children under 16 enter free of charge. More information can be found on web site or by telephoning the racecourse on 01432 273560.