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WILLIAM HILL SUMMER CUP HIGHLIGHT OF A GREAT WEEKEND AT THIRSK

A BRILLIANT weekend of superb racing lies ahead at Thirsk this Friday and Saturday when one of the highlights of the course’s calendar takes centre stage.

The William Hill Thirsk Summer Cup, the feature race on Saturday’s card, was introduced in 2012 and has quickly established itself as one of the major events in the racing year.

So far, it has proved to be a great race for Northern trainers who have taken every running of the race and all but two have been trained in Yorkshire.

That includes both of last year’s ‘winners’ Florenza and Moonlightnavigator who battled out a thrilling dead-heat to give Middleham’s Chris Fairhurst and Malton’s John Quinn a share of the spoils.

For punters, winners have been hard to find with only the 2016 winner Ginger Jack, who started at 9-2 joint favourite and the 2014 winner Osteopathic Remedy at 8-1 starting at single figure prices.

On past results, the best advice is to go for a five-year-old trained in the North as that is the profile which fits four of the seven winners including Moonlightnavigator.

With an excellent supporting card including the seven furlong Peter Bell Memorial Handicap, a race run in memory of a man who did so much for racing at Thirsk and the 12 furlong JW 4×4 Northallerton Handicap, Saturday’s racing promises to be one of the best days of the season.

There will be live music by Ezee Goin’, who will be playing before racing and between races throughout the afternoon, while there will be lots for younger racegoers to enjoy, including a bouncy castle, in the Family Enclosure.

Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £29 on the day, Paddock Enclosure costs £17 and Family Enclosure starts from £8.  Discounts are available if booked in advance along with great reductions for the special packages and for group bookings while, as always, adult accompanied children under 18 get in free. For more information go to: www.thirskracecourse.net

Gates open on Saturday at 11am ahead of the first race at 1.45pm.

Super Saturday follows a fantastic Friday at Thirsk featuring the British EBF Conditions Stakes in which Silvestre De Sousa, fresh from a four-timer at Pontefract on Sunday, could team up with his former boss Mark Johnston to ride the promising Dream Today.

De Sousa and Johnston are also likely to join forces with dual winner New Winds, who heads the weights in the very competitive looking British Stallion Studs EBF Fillies Nursery Handicap.

The card, which also features the seventh round of the Go Racing In Yorkshire Future Stars Apprentice Series led by Sebastian Woods, gets underway with a first race at 1.40pm.

LADIES DAY IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Racing and fashion combine in the annual Pontefract Ladies Day on Wednesday 8th August and there’s never been a better excuse to buy a new outfit! Courtesy of RIU Hotels and Resorts, Pontefract Racecourse is offering an all inclusive, week long holiday for 2 to the Dominican Republic. The prize includes return flights from Manchester. RIU Hotels and Resorts are also providing a fabulous runners’ up prize of a 3 night break for 2 to their Gresham hotel in Dublin! With such fantastic prizes on offer, the competition is bound to be fiercely contested! And for the first time in 2018, the Racecourse will also have a Best Dressed Gentleman competition with a prize fund of £350 to the winner!

If you’d like to be considered for either competition, then the Heart Angels will be on the lookout for the Best Dressed Racegoers from the minute that the gates open at 12noon and they will allocate numbered cards to lucky finalists. The judging gets under way for the Best Dressed Gentleman in the Parade Ring at 1pm and then the prestigious Best Dressed Lady Competition starts at 1.15pm. This year, the judging panel will consist of the Heart Breakfast Show team of Dixie and Emma, along with the National Business Manager for RIU, Maria Battersby.

The Racecourse is urging anyone wishing to be considered for either of the Best Dressed Racegoer competitions to make sure that they arrive early on the day so that they do not miss out. There’s an added incentive to arrive early as the first 500 ladies through the Premier Enclosure entrance will also get a free glass of bubbly and a buttonhole as part of the track’s #Magic500 promotion.

There’s some fantastic action on the track too. The feature race is the £20,000 tiesplanet.com – Ladies Love Guys In Ties Handicap. Aside from being one of the best named races on the racing calendar, it’s also a high class handicap for horses aged 3 year olds and older. There’s an impressive role of honour as this years’ Stayers Hurdle winner at the Cheltenham Festival, Penhill, took part in this race in 2015!

Local bookmakers Jayne and Steve Robinson sponsor 2 races on the card on Ladies Day – a two year old Novice race and a handicap for 3 year olds and up. They’ll be on the track on the day offering up the best prices for their races! There’s a £10,000 bonus on offer to the winner of the 2 year old race, taking the prize money on offer to £20,000!

Sponsors of the Best Dressed Lady competition, RIU hotels and resorts, also sponsor the veterans handicap on the day while the Racecourse contract cleaners, Solutions 4 Cleaning, sponsor the opening race on the card for amateur Gentleman Riders.

With the Park Suite Restaurant, Marquee and Hospitality Boxes already fully booked on Ladies Day, racegoers are encouraged to book their admission tickets and badges early to avoid disappointment. With a small number of ‘Premier Packages’ still available, there’s still the chance to upgrade your Ladies Day out! To book, or to view full details of the day, please visit the course website (www.pontefract-races.co.uk ) or give the office a call on 01977 781307. Racing gets underway at 2.20pm and the gates open at 12noon.

CONTACT – RICHARD HAMMILL 01977 781307

Ripon Ready for Summer of Family Fun

Ripon Racecourse is gearing up for an action packed summer of racing and fun for racegoers of all ages. There are five meetings at Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse through August, starting with ‘Children’s Day’ on Monday 6th August. With bouncy castles, Cub-Karts, face-painting, balloon modelling, a mini petting farm, Punch & Judy and a Magic Show all free of charge, the kids are guaranteed a fun day out!

On Monday 13th August, ‘Alice In Wonderland Family Day’ there will again be lots of free entertainment and fantastic prizes to be won for the best fancy dress outfit, which will be judged by Minster FM. So get those Alice and Mad Hatter costumes ready! There will also be competitions to win tickets to Lightwater Valley and Ripon Museums, who are staging a production of Alice-In-Wonderland on Tuesday 14th August.

The William Hill Great St Wilfrid is one of the most competitive sprint handicaps of the racing season and takes centre stage on Saturday 18th August, with the ITV cameras present for the feature day of the season at Ripon. The last eight winners of the historic contest have been trained in Yorkshire and with the likes of Tim Easterby, Richard Fahey and David O’Meara likely to be mob-handed once more, who would bet against the trophy remaining in Yorkshire for a ninth consecutive year?

Bank Holiday Family Day on Monday 27th August features the Ripon Champion Two-Year-Old Trophy and alongside the fantastic racing there will once more be bouncy castles, face-painting, balloon modelling, Cub-Karts, Punch & Judy and Professor Dan to keep the children entertained. If that isn’t enough to satisfy your appetite for racing there is also a meeting on Tuesday 28th August to round off a great summer.

James Hutchinson, Managing Director of Ripon Racecourse said:

“We are renowned for our excellent Family Days here at Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse. It is great to see families and racegoers young and old enjoying the racing and entertainment.

“The William Hill Great St Wilfrid and the Ripon Champion Two-Year-Old Trophy are the two most high profile races of our season and we are very excited that we have some outstanding racedays to look forward to over the next few weeks”.

 

Gates open: Midday (11.30 on Sat 18th August)

Prices (if booked in advance): Club Enclosure £22, Paddock £14, Course £6.

Prices 18th August (if booked in advance): Club £25, Paddock 16, Course £6.

Website: www.ripon-races.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ripon.racecourse/