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PROSCHEMA TO TACKLE £100,000 RACEBETS HANDICAP AT YORK

TRAINER Tom Dascombe sends three ‘live’ chances to York tomorrow on the opening afternoon of the racecourse’s seasonal finale.

Dascombe’s trio includes, Proschema,105-rated so topping the weights in the £100,000 RaceBets Handicap – the twenty-second contest of the York season to offer at least six figure prize money.

Running in the feature of a seven race card, Proschema will be making his second appearance of the season at York after finishing a very creditable third in the Sky Bet Melrose Stakes at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival in August.

The three-year-old colt has since finished eighth to Kew Gardens in the Group 1 William Hill St Leger at Doncaster.

Eased in grade for his latest assignment, Dascombe is hoping his charge can be very competitive over a course and distance – a mile and three-quarters – that he has previously shown a liking for.

Cheshire-based Dascombe said: “Proschema has run well at York before. I think this is a more realistic target, maybe, than the Leger. But we wanted to have a go and he ran really well. He probably ran the race of his life.

“We’re very excited, hoping that he can keep up his consistent level of form and give us one more good effort in what would be a real nice race to win before the end of the season.

“He goes on any ground but he handles soft where other horses don’t. So I think any rain will probably help us.”

Proschema, who runs in the colours of the Empire State Racing Partnership, is already under consideration for next year’s £1 million Sky Bet Ebor Handicap.

Dascombe confirmed: “Yes, that sort of race is his long-term target. He ran really well in the Melrose, 50 per cent of his ownership lives in York and it’s one of the reasons why we want to run there.”

Dascombe’s Manor House Stables will be represented by Blyton in the card-opening (2.05pm) TSG Keeping IT Real Nursery over five and a half furlongs. The two-year-old heads to York in good form, having won a similar race at Haydock two weeks ago.

He said: “A horse that he beat – that finished third – (She Can Boogie, also trained by Dascombe) won at Nottingham on Wednesday. So it sort of franked the form and he has got a great chance.”

Also in action at York for Dascombe will be Angel Alexander. He was second on his debut at Haydock last month and he’ll have his second career start in the British EBF supporting Racing To School Novice Stakes.

Dascombe, who is set to have runners at York on Saturday as well, added: “Angel Alexander is a really nice horse, who was beaten at Haydock by a horse with experience. He comes to York, so we are hoping it’s going to be a good couple of days.”

All 14 races from Friday and Saturday’s fixtures at York, which carry record prize money of almost £500,000, will be shown live on Racing UK. For on-course racegoers there is a dedicated ‘Racing UK Zone’ showing all the action from home and away – at Newmarket – on a giant screen that overlooks the Roberto Lawn.

FAHEY WILL SET A RECORD WHEN CLAIMING NINTH YORK CROWN

RICHARD Fahey is on the brink of landing the Charles Clinkard Top Trainer at York title for a record ninth time.

Musley Bank-based Fahey is also all set to claim the crown with a record number of winners for a single year.

York’s two-day seasonal finale begins on Friday and Fahey goes into it with 16 seasonal successes on the Knavesmire – already one more than the previous record, that he established in 2010. Consider also, that the yard has posted a further ten silver medal spots, as well as providing ten horses that finished in third place, so far this season.

Last year the York trainers’ title went down south to William Haggas, a Yorkshireman who trains in Newmarket.

When this season started Fahey was keen to bring the crown back to Malton and he signalled his intentions with a brilliant treble on the opening day of the curtain-raising Dante Festival.

Five doubles have followed, along with three single successes; with well known names like Mr Lupton adding to the tally in both May and July, as Fahey kept on extending his lead, which currently stands at seven from John Gosden.

“I wasn’t too happy when William won it last year. The difference was, this year, I set my stall out early – I didn’t want Haggas getting it again,” said Fahey with a chuckle.

“The thought at the beginning of the season was to try and get it put to bed. It doesn’t always happen that way, but luckily it did.

“There has been some good days this year but we never take York for granted – it’s a tough place to get a winner. But to get 16 is quite a lot, so the team have done well.”

His Musley Bank team may have not had top-class miler Ribchester among their number this year but horses such as Sands of Mali, Forest Ranger, Kimberella and Red Balloons have ensured plenty of big-race successes.

“We’ve had 170 winners, we shouldn’t complain,” assessed Fahey. “But we’ve missed the big horse Ribchester – we’re just trying to find another one.”

Fahey will be represented by a strong team over Friday and Saturday at York, including in the Listed Coral Rockingham Stakes and the £100,000 Coral Sprint Trophy- the twenty third contest at York to offer at least six figure prize money.

And, of course, his relentless desire for winners means that he’s hoping to add to that total of 16 before the curtain comes down on the Knavesmire, late on Saturday afternoon; so viewers on Racing UK may be treated to seeing the record extended as they complete their 100% coverage of action from the Knavesmire.

“There’s never any gimmes at York, so if we got one or two I’d be delighted,” said Fahey, who secured his first Top Trainer at York award, more than a decade ago, back in 2006.

“We’ve got two in the Rockingham – Cosmic Law and Space Traveller. You’d like to think they’ll be competitive.

“We’ve got George Bowen, Brian The Snail, Kimberella and Bengali Boys in the Sprint. I’d say they’ll all run if they get in.”

The first race of the meeting gets underway on Friday at 2.05pm. All 14 races from the two days, which carry record prize money of almost £500,000, will be shown live on Racing UK. For on-course race-goers there is a dedicated ‘Racing UK Zone’ showing all the action from home and away at Newmarket, on a giant screen that overlooks the Roberto Lawn.

TWO-DAY OCTOBER MEETING IS RICHEST EVER SEASONAL CONCLUSION TO YORK RACES

The last chance to enjoy racing action at York in 2018 comes on Friday and Saturday (12 and 13 October).  With record prize money approaching £500,000 on offer, it is the most valuable October finale ever held on the Knavesmire. Since 2014, the prize money for these two days has almost doubled in value, with all races seeing a boost in that time.

The feature of Friday, a handicap for three year old stayers backed by new sponsor at York, RaceBets, is the twenty-first race of the York season to have a six figure prize pot, offering £100,000. Only in its fourth year, this race is intended to provide an autumn opportunity for the highly rated horses that may well have competed in the Sky Bet Melrose Stakes at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival. Last year’s winner, Brimham Rocks, for trainer Ralph Beckett, is now competing in Group One contests in Australia for his new connections.

The feature race of the Saturday meeting is also worth £100,000, the Coral Sprint Trophy, an ultra-competitive sprint handicap. Last year’s victor, Teruntum Star, has represented Kevin Ryan’s yard in feature handicaps this season.

The Listed Coral Rockingham Stakes, which showcased smart juvenile, Rebel Assault for the record breaking Mark Johnston yard last season, once again offers £50,000.

The ITV cameras will be at the track for both days, covering two races on Friday, including the £30,000 RaceBets Money Back 2nd 3rd 4th Stakes Handicap over a mile.

Friday will see the seventh staging of ‘Countryside Raceday’ with its biggest ever Countryside Market.

Looking to combine the delights of the rural life with the excitement of a raceday, the ‘Countryside Raceday’ on Friday will mean seven races being complemented by rural activity and products; including a sheepdog display.  For those wishing to start their Christmas shopping early, there is a Countryside Market of local produce and crafts.

Friday’s card begins at 2.05pm and blends competitive handicaps with contests to develop the two year olds, as well as honing the talents of apprentice jockeys.  Regular race sponsors on this day include TSG, the IT provider that supports the racecourse team.  Regulars at York and visitors to the city will recognise The Parsonage Country House Hotel & Cloisters Spa at Escrick who return in support of a race on this day.  The European Breeders’ Fund continue their backing of York with support of the contest for maiden two-year-olds that acknowledges their links to the Racing to School organisation.  Completing a day of returning sponsors are Irish Thoroughbred Marketing and The Elevator Company.

Saturday’s quality seven race programme also begins at 2.05pm with the first of six races backed by Coral, a brand that first supported this day back in 1979. The last day of the season will be accompanied by the sound of the Corps of Drums in support of the Coldstream Guards Cup, a middle-distance handicap that will bring the curtain down on 2018.

The meeting will also see the conclusion of the season long contests to be top jockey and trainer at York. In the Living North-sponsored jockeys’ race, the Juddmonte International winning rider, Oisin Murphy, sits tied with Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup victor, Frankie Dettori, on seven winners apiece. A pair of former champions, Paul Hanagan (6) and Danny Tudhope (5) retain hopes that their northern connections may herald a late charge.

The leaderboard of the Charles Clinkard Top Trainer at York is headed by Richard Fahey, with the Malton based handler the long-time leader, having already sent out sixteen winners from his Musley Bank base. Comfortably on track to record a ninth York title, being seven clear of Newmarket’s John Gosden.

As well as the sound of fife and drum, racegoers will be able to enjoy the Chris Brown quartet or an upbeat Steel Band.

Six large screens will cover both racing on the Knavesmire and the major contests from Newmarket.  The Punters’ Panel will offer tips before racing on each day.