ALBIE, the Piazza Shopping Centre's official mascot, is in training.

He will be donning his running shoes and warming up for the 2008 Mascot Gold Cup at Wetherby races at the end of the month.

This is the second year that Albie, who is being sponsored by The Examiner, has competed against his fellow mascots at Wetherby.

The event, which is organised by the Yorkshire Young Farmers, takes place on Sunday, April 27, and aims to raise funds for charities such as Sue Ryder Cancer Care who are co-organisers.

The Mascot Gold Cup is part of a full programme of horse racing at Wetherby. The fun begins at 2.45pm when the mascots run along the final furlong, hurdling, stumbling and falling over six small fences in the hope of being the first to cross the finish line.

John Beardall, general manager at the Piazza, said: "Albie has been out and about at the centre fundraising and has received an excellent response from tenants, shoppers and contractors. We all wish him the best of luck on the day."