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Ripon Ladies’ Day – ‘The Royal Ascot Of The North’

As the nation gears up for a big week of sporting action with Royal Ascot and England kicking off their World Cup Campaign, Ripon Races stage their very own ‘Royal Ascot of the North’ as they host two-days of action with a fantastic evening of racing on Wednesday 20th June followed by their annual Ladies’ Day on Thursday 21st June.

Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse has again teamed up with Stray FM and Heli-jet to offer four racegoers the chance to win the ultimate VIP day at the races. Not only does the winner win full hospitality for four people, they will also be transported to the racecourse by helicopter! Entries close on 17th June with Harrogate based radio station Stray FM taking entries online.

One of the highlights of the afternoon is the traditional ‘Best Dressed’ and ‘Best Hat’ competitions, with prizes courtesy of and judged by sponsors Snooty Frox and Milliner Jenny Roberts, both of Harrogate.

Ripon hosted the first ever recorded race for Lady Amateur riders back in 1723 so, in keeping with the theme, Ladies’ Day is a fitting stage for the historic ‘Ladies’ Derby’ – an amateur race for Lady Riders only. The Ladies’ Day Handicap and the Slingsby Gin Handicap are other feature races on a highly competitive card.

Ripon also host an evening of racing on Wednesday 20th, the meeting features six races including the ‘Wells Memorial Challenge Trophy’. are sponsors on the night and with the World Cup in full swing, they will be running a charity penalty shootout for jockeys, stable staff and racegoers with donations made for each penalty scored past ex-Professional stopper David Preece.

James Hutchinson, Managing Director and Clerk of the Course said:

“Ladies’ Day is always a highlight of our racing calendar and we are thrilled to be able to offer racegoers the chance to do it in real style in conjunction with Stray FM! We have some great competitions over both days and some fantastic sponsors so we’re looking forward to a terrific occasion’

You can keep up to date with all the latest news and offers from Ripon racecourse on their social media pages, or by visiting their website. Website:


TRAINER David Simcock is planning to have runners in Listed company at York on both this Friday and Saturday, as the Knavesmire hosts a pair of £50,000 contests.

Newmarket-based Simcock expects to send out either Breton Rock or Arod in the Live Casino Ganton Stakes on the opening day of the latest two-day meeting on the Knavesmire.

He also has Algometer and Curbyourenthusiasm entered in Saturday’s Sky Bet Grand Cup, with the former most likely to run.

The four horses have a cumulative age of 27 and Simcock loves having such seasoned campaigners in his string.

The master of Trillium Place said: “It doesn’t matter who you are, anybody would want those type of horses. They’re fun and every one of them is likely to have their day or be there and thereabouts.”

Underfoot conditions will determine whether eight-year-old Breton Rock or the year younger Arod lines up in the Live Casino Ganton Stakes, staged over a mile.

Breton Rock, who won a Group 2 at the Qatar Goodwood Festival last year, could have his second start of the season after finishing fifth of seven in the Group 3 Diomed Stakes at Epsom on Derby day. That was a race that Arod, a Listed winner at Windsor a month ago, was pulled out of due to ground that was softer than his preference.

Simcock said: “Breton Rock going to Epsom was an afterthought. It wouldn’t be an ideal track for him but the ground came up easy and it was a chance to get a run into him. He’ll be much better for it.

“He will run at York if it’s on the slow side and Arod will run if it’s on the faster side.

“Arod is in very good order at the moment. He was second at Kempton first time out this year – he dusted away a few cobwebs. And then he was good at Windsor. We would love to have run him at Epsom but in my opinion he’s definitely better on faster ground.

“He is a horse that looks good at home. He is not short of speed and a mile is probably his perfect trip.”

Saturday’s Sky Bet Grand Cup, which is contested over a mile and three-quarters, is being run a little later this season to accommodate the new Group 3 Al Basti Equiworld Brontë Cup, which formed part of the card on Saturday 26 May at York.

Simcock is likely to be represented in the race by Algometer, a previous Group 3 winner. The trainer feels the five-year-old will build on his seasonal bow at Goodwood where he finished sixth of seven in a mile and a quarter Listed race.

He said: “I’d like to think Algometer will definitely run – I’ll probably leave Curbyourenthusiasm until the Northumberland Plate.

“Algometer lacked sharpness, pace at Goodwood. Now he is another year older he is probably a touch slower. He will have been rusty – he’d been a long time off. And he had a health issue at the end of April which cost us a couple of weeks.”

Simcock’s best chance of a winner at York’s next meeting may just be Sarshampla who is returning to the course after finishing fifth of 11 in the British Stallion Studs EBF Westow Stakes, a Listed race held at the Dante Festival.

That assignment was over five furlongs and on Friday she returns to six furlongs for the first time since her debut as she tackles the EBF Breeders’ Series Fillies Handicap.

Simcock said: “It was a very good run last time. She found it all happening a little bit quickly but she stayed on well. The six furlongs on a flat fast track should suit her.”


Building on 48 years of popularity with racing fans and with over £7.5 million already raised for good causes, Macmillan Charity Raceday at York Racecourse this Saturday (16 June) promises to be an afternoon of quality racing that again helps those in most need.

Saturday’s principal race is The Pavers Foundation Catherine Memorial Sprint, run in memory of the inspirational shoe retailer, Cathy Paver, who died last year.  One of Britain’s richest sprint handicaps for three-year-olds, it offers prize money of £100,000. The roll of honour in this race over six furlongs includes top sprinters such as Cadeaux Genereux, Sheikh Albadou and more recently, Twilight Sun.

Still a relative new aspect of the event, the day will end with Best Western Hotels & Macmillan Ride of their Lives, a chance for a dozen supporters to participate in a nine furlong race around the famous Knavesmire. Each has pledged at least £3,000 to the charity and you can help them beat last year’s contribution of over £150,000 by visiting their donation pages on Just Giving.

The charity auction so generously supported over the years is now available to view online in advance of the raceday.  This means everyone can place a bid for the many stunning lots. One of the more unusual lots this year comes courtesy of comedian Russ Noble who has offered two tickets to any of his UK tour dates with the chance to meet him. Visit<> for more information on how to make your bid.

Since 2012, a Listed race has featured on the Saturday racing programme supported alongside the Charity Race by York-based, Best Western Hotels.  This year the Sky Bet Grand Cup over fourteen furlongs takes that slot with the Mr Green’s Ganton Stakes run over a mile, moving to the Friday card. Both offer prize money of £50,000 and so provide another reason to attend the meeting, just by attending on Saturday, racegoers will increase the money raised for charity.

Racing on Saturday begins at 1.50pm, with the 30th running of The Queen Mother’s Cup, the richest race for lady amateur riders in Britain and a contest won by The Princess Royal in 1988 as well as by ITV Racing presenter, Francesca Cumani in 2006.  It offers an opportunity for the successful rider to toast her success in her own weight of G.H. Mumm champagne.

Known as a world leader in construction technology, JCB, support a valuable handicap over seven furlongs.  The high standard continues on this Charity Raceday with The Reg Griffin Appreciation EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes – a contest for two-year-olds named in honour of the founder of this Charity Day in 1971.  The Ice Co° back a competitive handicap for the sixth year that denotes their support of Macmillan, a link that was cemented when company director, Polly Marr, rode in the Ride of Their Lives Race of 2013.

Macmillan Charity Day is part of a two-day meeting with racing on the Friday beginning with one of twenty-two contests at York to benefit from the backing of the European Breeders’ Fund in conjunction with Jigsaw Sports Branding. The Newmarket based organisation also support a valuable contest that forms part of their progressive fillies series, with £30,000 on offer for this handicap over six furlongs.

The switch of the Listed Ganton Stakes, backed by online casino and gaming brand, Mr Green, means that the York policy of every card on the Knavesmire being worth six figures is cemented, on this occasion, some £160,000, is the cumulative prize money sum.

With an on course presence on every Friday at York, Irish Thoroughbred Marketing sponsor a valuable handicap contest over the seven furlong trip.  The SKF Rous Selling Stakes has now been supported for more than a dozen years by engineering company, SKF (UK) Ltd.  Then Goffs UK will bring the excitement of the Sales Ring to the Winner’s Enclosure with an auction straight after the race.  Apprentices get their chance in the finale, backed by Coopers Marquees.

On a card full of variety both on and off the track, Mr Green are offering racegoers the chance for a complimentary shave, shoe shine or proper shirt fitting, as part of their fun Gentleman’s Corner activity.

The ‘Punters’ Panel’ takes place prior to racing on both days from the winner’s podium as a preview to the action on each day, while giant screens will provide racegoers with an even closer view of proceedings on the track.

As part of a series of initiatives to get closer to the sport, groups of racegoers will be able to enjoy accompanied, complimentary trips to the round course starts.  On Saturday, they will also have the chance to meet a retired racehorse, Harry, courtesy of equine charity, New Beginnings.

The wider sporting tastes of the weekend will be catered for a dedicated giant screen showing the FIFA World Cup matches that coincide with the raceday.

True to York’s reputation, a bottle of champagne will be available from £33.  Other tastes are catered for with an extended range of craft beers brewed by Ainsty Ales just beyond the six furlong start, the introduction of premium mixers from Fever-Tree to join the premium spirits served on the smart Moët Ice Roof Terrace, or the easy availability of Heineken 0.0 as a refreshing, zero alcohol option.

Musical accompaniment to the action will take the form of three different bands; Dr Thirsty performing with their upbeat fun in the Knavesmire Courtyard, whilst the equally upbeat Superlicks will draw proceedings will be brought to a close on Saturday.  On both afternoons, Dr Jazz will entertain the crowds.