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The jumps ARE BACK at Catterick races

Catterick’s 2018/19 National Hunt season starts on Friday 23 November

The jumps are back at Catterick Races, with the first fixture of the 2018/19 National Hunt season taking place on Friday 23 November.

Following on from a successful Flat season, the North Yorkshire track will host 10 National Hunt fixtures this winter featuring the ever popular Christmas and New Year’s Day fixtures as well as the prestigious North Yorkshire Grand National on Thursday 10 January and finishing with Countryside Day on Wednesday 6 March.

Fiona Needham, General Manager & Clerk of the Course said: “We’re excited for the start of the new Jumps season and have some thrilling days racing ahead of us this winter including the North Yorkshire Grand National which Sue Smith has won for the last three years, so her horses will be ones to watch for this year’s running!”

At the first meeting, The Start of the Jumps on Friday 23 November, presentations will be made to Catterick’s 2017/18 National Hunt Season Champions. The series was generously sponsored by The Black Bull Inn, Moulton and the Champion Owner, Trainer and Jockey will each receive a voucher for a meal for two people at The Black Bull Inn, located just 5 miles from the racecourse.

Last year’s Champion Owners were Mr & Mrs Duncan Davidson, while the Champion Trainer was taken by Donald McCain who finished just 9 points ahead of Sue Smith in second. The Champion Jockey series was close throughout the season between Brian Hughes and Danny Cook but in the end it was Hughes who took the top spot, with a total of 7 winners at Catterick last season.

The Black Bull Inn, Moulton have kindly agreed to continue their sponsorship of the Champion Owners and Trainer Series for the upcoming season, whilst Millbry Hill have kindly continued their Flat season winning jockey sponsorship for the upcoming National Hunt season and will be giving each winning jockey throughout Catterick’s National Hunt season a £20 voucher to spend at one of their stores, as well as giving a grand prize to the Champion Jockey at the end of the season.

The first race on Friday 23 November is scheduled for 12.15pm, with the gates opening two hours prior. The feature race of the afternoon, The Injured Jockeys Fund Handicap Steeple Chase (a qualifier for The Challenger Staying Chase Series Final) will take place at 1.50pm. The last race is scheduled for 3.35pm.

As with all Catterick’s fixtures a big screen will be at the course on the day to give racegoers the best views of all the action, and a free shuttle bus will leave approximately an hour before the first race to bring racegoers from Richmond Market Place to the racecourse, and returns again after the last race.

Tickets are available to purchase online, and remember accompanied under 18’s go free!

BEST DRESSED LADY FINAL

Katie Maini is certainly finding her local course at Doncaster to be a lucky venue as she was named the Go Racing In Yorkshire Best Dressed Lady for 2018 on Saturday (October 27).
It was the third time this year that Katie had been the big winner at Doncaster after she landed both the spring competition and the Doncaster Best Dressed Lady competition earlier this year.
“I can’t believe it” gasped Katie, who works for a legal firm in Doncaster, “it is just fantastic to win”.
Nine beautifully attired ladies lined up for the final, each representing the racecourse where they had been successful earlier in the year and the judges had their work cut out to decide between them.
The judges were Helen McIlroy from the Best Western Mount Pleasant Hotel and Spa at Bawtry, Annette and Emma Woolliams, who own the fashion boutique Yasmin of Bawtry and Epworth and Julie Short, a previous winner of the competition, who was representing loveVintageDiamonds.com.
Katie wins a gorgeous vintage diamond ring, a spa weekend at the Best Western Mount Pleasant Hotel and a £500 voucher to spend on a new outfit at Yasmin of Bawtry.

YORK RACECOURSE SEASON COMES TO A ROUSING CONCLUSION

York Racecourse concluded its 2018 season today after a hugely busy year which has seen a strong attendance, as over 350,000 racegoers witnessed 122 races over 18 fabulous days of racing action. Nearly 1,400 horses competed for a record of more than £8.2m prize money delivering an impressive average field size, which looks set to retain its position as the largest in British flat racing.

In other excitements this year, Macmillan Charity Raceday in June raised a record sum of well over £500,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support and other charities, making it the biggest charity raceday in British racing and Macmillan’s largest single fundraising event, having now raised over £8m during the last 48 years.

Showing the variety of its customer offer, York sold out in all enclosures, on Summer Music Saturday (30th June), when seven races including the innovative “jump jockeys Nunthorpe” plus a concert by Paloma Faith drew in the crowds.

The opening day of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival saw the million pound Group 1 Juddmonte International rewarded by a stellar field with seven of the eight runners having previously won at the highest level, eventually headed by Roaring Lion, currently the highest rated colt in Europe for his connections, Qatar Racing and trainer, John Gosden.

The balance of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival saw an outstanding four days of racing action with Stradivarius taking the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup as the final leg in earning the £1m WH Stayers Bonus, supported by the same sponsors. Leading filly, Sea of Class took the Darley Yorkshire Oaks as part of her sparkling season, which culminated in a thrilling close up second to last year’s York heroine, Enable, in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, just last weekend. Arguably the most dramatic moments of the season unfolded in the photo finish that decided the Coolmore Nunthorpe as Bryan Smart’s Alpha Delphini shaded Mabs Cross, trained by Michael Dods, in a battle of northern handlers. The gracious losers had their reward, last weekend when winning the Group One Prix de l’Abbaye. Tet another highlight of a tremendous week, was seeing Mark Johnston becoming the winningmost British trainer of all time after a dramatic win by 25-1 outsider, Poet’s Society, in the Clipper Logistics Stakes under Frankie Dettori.

The total attendance for the year of 350,998 showed a modest increase on last year, reflecting the highs of Summer Music Saturday, the glorious distraction of the Football World Cup, the disruption caused by train strikes on several racedays and the ill luck of some disappointing weather during a generally pleasant summer.

A wider challenge in July was the disappointing abandonment of the Tom Jones concert after thunderstorms in the South East disrupted the travel plans of the Welsh singer.

The final day saw nearly 19,000 racegoers brave Storm Callum to watch Josephine Gordon partner Major Jumbo to success in the Coral Sprint Trophy, for Hambleton based trainer Kevin Ryan. Indeed northern stables achieved a clean sweep on the final day, with five different Yorkshire yards adding a double for Tom Dascombe, based over the Pennines.

Malton based, Richard Fahey was crowned as the Charles Clinkard York Top Trainer; his hugely impressive sixteen winners giving him a ninth title. So the wonderful Skeaping Bronze will be heading to a familiar mantelpiece. The conclusion of the season long contest to be top jockey at York saw Oisin Murphy win the Living North-sponsored race after seven victories.

The 2018 season saw the £5million refurbishment of the infield of the course, as the newly named Clocktower Enclosure saw two new toilet blocks, improved pathways and infrastructure, which helped boost summer attendance and improve the experience in this important picnic area.

William Derby, Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course at York Racecourse said “What a memorable season 2018 has been. The continued investment in prize money, the track and facilities has been rewarded with tremendous sporting action. Thanks must go to all the horseman and connections of the stars for bringing them to the Knavesmire. York racegoers are rightly lauded for their love of the sport and they have been treated to some of the very best horses ridden by the very best jockeys once again this year. The achievement of Richard Fahey in setting a record for seasonal winners at York, as well the history making victory for Mark Johnston are the headliners to the underlying strength of flat racing in Yorkshire and we are proud to be part of a part of that community.”

“It is only proper to acknowledge the dedication and hard work of the permanent York Racecourse and York Racecourse Hospitality teams based at the racecourse, it is their efforts that have delivered such a memorable and successful season. The award winning experience for visitors to the Knavesmire is added to by the raceday team and our partners and suppliers who help provide the welcome. Some 2,000 people have given their time, talent and energy to make every York raceday so special.

“We remain hugely appreciative of the support of racegoers, boxholders, hospitality guests and sponsors, so very much hope they have enjoyed their own racedays at York in 2018 and will both look back on many happy memories, as well as look forward to many more!”

Head of Sponsorship and Marketing at York Racecourse, James Brennan, noted “The turn-out this year is a remarkable achievement. Competition for leisure spending is intense and we continue to strive to offer quality racing, value for money and a great day out. I am pleased our programme of entertainment, investment and innovation has been so well received. The performance of Paloma Faith as well as that by Boyzone will provide memories into the winter nights. Another record number of participants enjoying the Ebor Fashion Lawn, a Family Sunday with a record number of young racegoers and the Countryside Raceday in October, were all exciting aspects which combined with top-class racing, service and facilities to provide great entertainment. The 2018 attendance and ongoing commitment of the course to buying fresh, local produce further support the independent economic study that concluded the racecourse was worth over £60 million to the York economy per annum.”

Summarising the year, Lord Grimthorpe, Chairman of York Racecourse, concluded “It has been an honour and privilege to be involved with such an exciting, enjoyable and successful season and I would like to thank everyone connected to York for their attendance, enthusiasm and support. Work will continue during the winter on both the race programme, facilities and innovations across the site to help us continue to attract horses and racegoers back to York for what already looks set to be an exciting 2019 season starting on Wednesday 15 May”