Showcase awards

Pontefract Crowned Showcase Champions

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The Racecourse Association (RCA) is delighted to announce that Pontefract Racecourse has been crowned Showcase Champion for 2019 at the tenth annual RCA Showcase & Awards.

Held this year at Hamilton Park Racecourse, the Showcase & Awards, partnered by Moët Hennessy, Racing Post and Great British Racing (GBR), celebrate excellence and innovation in racecourse customer experience.

As well as being named overall Showcase Champion, Pontefract’s Guinness World Record-winning Uniquely Yorkshire raceday wowed the judges in the Events category by creating the world’s biggest image of a whippet made up of racegoers. Newmarket was also rewarded with a Highly Commended award in this category for the world’s first official Peaky Blinders Raceday which proved exceptionally popular with racegoers.

Norman Gundill MBE, Managing Director of Pontefract Racecourse, commented “We are thrilled to be named as the Showcase Champion Racecourse. To have been named as Champion by a panel of expert judges and amongst our peers means the world.

“I believe that with Pontefract winning the Champion accolade it shows that any racecourse can achieve great things with the right mindset. We’re a proud member of Go Racing in Yorkshire and strive to give our customers the best day out possible. My thanks must go to my incredible team.

“Of all the awards the racecourse has won during my tenure, this certainly means the most. It’s an evening we will never forget.”

Maggie Carver, Racecourse Association Chairman, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Pontefract Racecourse has been crowned with our most prestigious accolade, Showcase Champion.”

“This was an exceptional year for Pontefract, having been selected as Finalists in three categories. Under the astute leadership of Norman Gundill and Richard Hammill, the racecourse has continued to develop and innovate.  In 2019, with both an increase in attendance and racegoer satisfaction scores, Pontefract demonstrated an outstanding raceday experience for customers.

“The foundations of our Showcase & Awards, excellence and innovation, were on show amongst all of our Finalists and the eventual winners. With record numbers of submissions, the competition in 2019 was the strongest we have seen. Our winners and highly commended have shown exceptional commitment to delivering outstanding customer experiences.”

The Pontefract Racecourse team were crowned Champion Racecourse at Showcase 2019
Across a sparkling awards night held at Hamilton Park Racecourse, there were a total of 13 awards handed out by special guests Catriona Bissett and Chris Hughes.

Beginning the night, the two awards for individuals were presented. The Chairman’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Racing was given to Simon Bazalgette who recently stood down as Chief Executive of the Jockey Club after 11 years at the helm.

Petra Gough of Sandown Park Racecourse was honoured with the RCA Outstanding Achievement Award for her continued commitment to promoting racing at the Esher venue.

York Racecourse celebrated a wonderful evening by being crowned Champion Groundstaff team in the Racecourse Groundstaff Awards in association with Pitchcare, Watt Fences and Fornells. York were also named winners of the Racing Post Readers Award to celebrate customer service, the only award of the evening to be nominated by racegoers.

Musselburgh were crowned best racecourse for Owners’ Experience thanks to their fantastic raceday team led by Jane Walker. Racehorse Owners Association (ROA) Members were instrumental in placing Musselburgh on the shortlist for this award, with their nominations demonstrating how popular the racecourse is amongst this vital customer group.

The 2019 Best Campaign Award was won by ARC & Doncaster for their innovative take on family days. The dino-themed days were a mammoth success with racegoers, so much so that the campaign and raceday was rolled out across the ARC group.

Operational Excellence was awarded to the 2019 hosts Hamilton Park on account of the business-change project to include an onsite hotel, transforming Hamilton Park from racecourse to resort.

Hosts Hamilton Park were the Operational Excellence winners for their new onsite hotel development
Cheltenham made it back-to-back wins in the Food & Beverage category for the stunning Horse & Groom, a gastro-pub themed hospitality concept that proved a sell-out success at this year’s Festival™. Such was the fierce competition in this category, the judges awarded Perth a Highly Commended accolade for their partnership with Heritage Portfolio which has delighted racegoers throughout the season with fresh, innovative food and beverage options.

The Love of the Sport Award went the way of Salisbury Racecourse, who managed to beat off competition from some serious rivals to win with their Harvey the Horse Easter Trail which managed to secure a host of new attendees to the racecourse and cement the racecourse amongst the city’s tourist attractions.

Ripon’s green travel maps were a hit with the judges in the Spotlight Award, reserved for initiatives that were standalone and could be adopted by other racecourses to enhance the customer experience. These maps embrace the environmental nature of Ripon’s brand and provide racegoers with scenic cycle routes to the racecourse.

Aintree continued their outstanding record in the Racing Together Community Award by making it four wins in five years thanks to the recent innovations in the Aintree Community Strategy. Aintree worked alongside the Royal Marines to introduce a health & wellbeing element to their work and managed to interact with hundreds of local people. Due to the outstanding calibre of submissions in this category, the judges awarded a Highly Commended accolade to Ascot on account of their summer festival with Sebastian’s Action Trust.

The Digital & Social Media Excellence Award was reclaimed by Goodwood following a new initiative to leverage social media influencers around the Qatar Goodwood Festival, ensuring a stream of organic, positive content.

In its first year, the Diversity & Inclusion Award was won by Scottish Racing and their fantastic partnership with William Hill and Alzheimer’s Scotland to ensure that racing in Scotland was dementia-friendly and a welcoming day out for all who attended. Beverley’s stellar work in welcoming Syrian refugees to the racecourse was Highly Commended by the judges.

END

Scottish Racing won the inaugural Diversity & Inclusion Award
Notes

For more information about the Showcase & Awards please contact Paul Swain – paul.swain@racecourseassociation.co.uk or 01344 873536/07791 414027.

About the Showcase & Awards

This is the tenth annual Showcase & Awards, the marquee event of the Racecourse Association (RCA) to celebrate excellence and innovation amongst British Racecourses in partnership with Moët Hennessy, Great British Racing and Racing Post.

It is renowned as the event to attend, learn from, engage with, support and celebrate racecourses. The daytime seminar and evening black tie awards ceremony are both guided by the principle themes of excellence and innovation, which we encourage all racecourses to apply to every element of the raceday experience.

This year’s event will be held on Thursday 14th November at Hamilton Park Racecourse.

The independent judging panel this year was comprised of Pam Foden (Director, Pam Foden & Associates), Lee Mottershead (Senior Writer, Racing Post), Alan Park (Operations Director, Center Parcs), George Foster (Client Services Director, Two Circles), Peter Clare (Senior Partner, Seven League) and Pip Kirkby (Industry Liaison Officer, Racehorse Owners Association)

Nominations for the RCA Outstanding Achievement Award were considered by RCA Chairman Maggie Carver, Vice-Chairman Charles Barnett and Chief Executive David Armstrong.

Clearly delighted by his achievement, Kieran said,

“It’s a big achievement to win back to back series as it’s something that hasn’t been done before and I’m very happy with it.”

Having failed to score in the first round of the series, Kieran quickly made his way up the leader board by scoring in the second round at Ripon in April, aboard Canford Bay for Antony Brittain. Out of the points in the next three rounds, Kieran had a second win in the series at Redcar in July, taking his score to 36, where it remained for the rest of the season.

Side lined by injury, Kieran had to miss the next two races, allowing Harry Russell to get dangerously close to the leader and a split race at Catterick meant there were two chances for the rivals to get ahead but with Paula Muir taking most of the points and moving up to joint fourth, it blocked the chance for anyone else to get ahead.

Sadly, the last race of the season at Doncaster was lost with the cancellation of their meeting and therefore the points stand, with Kieran at the top of the leader board, Harry Russell in second and Zak Wheatley back in third.

Reflecting on the series, Kieran said,

“I thought I would be beaten when I missed two races through injury. It was a nerve-racking time but I was relieved to hold on.”

“The sponsorship has been very beneficial to me and my career. It is great to have the backing of an organisation like Go Racing In Yorkshire, which as well as the cash element has supported me with gym membership at Jack Berry House and I received a saddle from White Rose Saddlery.”

Charlotte Russell, General Manager of Go Racing In Yorkshire said,

“Kieran has been great to work with over the past year. He has been keen to get involved with everything we are doing to promote the sport of horse racing and has shown dedication and enthusiasm to win the series for a second time.”

The series is supported by White Rose Saddlery who gave a saddle to the winning rider and owner, Wendy Hoggard, said,

“Having been in the racing industry for over 30 years we feel it is really important to support the lads who are just starting out in their careers. We have seen first-hand how hard it is for them to get going and find rides and are therefore delighted to support a series that encourages and promotes this.”
Kieran has been a very worthy winner of the sponsorship and fully appreciates the help and support he has received from White Rose Saddlery and Go Racing In Yorkshire.”

“As a Yorkshire company we are delighted to support the Go Racing In Yorkshire Apprentice Series.” Added Wendy.

The Series will start again at Doncaster in March 2020.

ENDS

Editors Notes
Go Racing In Yorkshire is the marketing organisation for Yorkshire’s nine racecourses. It is funded by the racecourses and the sale of the annual season ticket which allows admission to all of Yorkshire’s race meetings.

Yorkshire’s nine racecourses are Beverley, Catterick, Doncaster, Pontefract, Redcar, Ripon, Thirsk, Wetherby and York.

The apprentice series starts at Doncaster on Saturday 28th March and finishes at Doncaster on Saturday 7th November with a race at each Yorkshire course over the summer.

For more information please contact Charlotte Russell, General Manager on 01937 580051 / 07305 932411 or email charlotte.russell@goracing.co.uk

Three keen racegoers, who have been Go Racing In Yorkshire season ticket holders since its launch in 1979, will be the special guests at Catterick on Tuesday (Oct 29) when the 40th anniversary of the best value in racing will be celebrated.

Stephen McCann, Tommy Leith and Philip Gibb have all been in from the beginning and will be presenting the prizes after the ’40 Years of Go-Racing-In-Yorkshire Season Tickets Stakes’.

The Go Racing In Yorkshire season ticket offers admission to all race meetings across the county, equating to around 180 days of action on nine top class racecourses at a cost of less than £3 a day.

Started in 1979, it was the brainchild of Simon Channon, who was then the General Manager of Go Racing In Yorkshire, the marketing organisation for Yorkshire’s nine racecourses.

“We were in a recession and it was a dark time in England in 1979. It was the winter of discontent and there wasn’t much money around so the Yorkshire racecourses were trying to combat this and it was decided that the season ticket would provide the bedrock of funding for Go Racing In Yorkshire that year” remembered Simon.

For current Go Racing In Yorkshire Season Ticket holders Stephen McCann, Tommy Leith and Philip Gibb the value was clear.

“I was told about it by a friend and then saw it advertised,” said Stephen. “It was a good way of saving money and I’ve introduced no end of people since,” he added.

Tommy and Philip told similar stories. Both were keen racegoers and found out about the ticket from a friend.

In those days, bus companies would run regular trips to race meetings, often taking bookies and their pitches.

“I used to go with Wallace Arnold, but when they stopped, I started driving and would regularly take my neighbours,” said Stephen.

Tommy agreed, “We used to travel by bus, but when the bookies started to take their own cars there weren’t enough people using the bus, so my friend Bill Fawcett said if he could get someone to go with him he would take his own car. I agreed and we sent away for the tickets,” he said.

Recalling the last forty years, Stephen spoke fondly about the people he has met through racing.

“I’ve made a lot of friends. There was a good team from Doncaster and we all used to go racing together. I’ve had a lot of pleasure from racing and long may it last” he added.

The season ticket runs from the beginning of March to the end of February and season tickets for the 2020/21 season will go on sale from Monday, November 4. They can be purchased by calling the office or online at www.goracing.co.uk.

There are over 180 fixtures across Yorkshire’s nine racecourses and new applicants will receive 15 months for the price of 12 as admission cards are valid from December 1, 2019.

Picture by Hannah Ali

  • Sports Psychologist Aodhagán Conlon – Bath
  • Plumbing and Heating Engineer Anthony Freeman – Warwickshire
  • Racecourse & TV Presenter Adele Mulrennan – Yorkshire

The three finalists for The Jockey Club Achievement Award have been selected by the judging panel for this year’s JETS Richard Davis Awards.  The winner and runners-up will be announced at a special presentation ceremony at Cheltenham Racecourse on Sunday 17th November along with the winners of the IJF Progress Award winner and the BHA Current Jockey CPD Award.

Aodhagán Conlon, Anthony Freeman and Adele Mulrennan were shortlisted for this prestigious Career Development Award, acknowledged across the sporting industry for the profile and recognition it gives its winners.

Aodhagán Conlon began pursuing his career as a Sports Psychologist whilst still riding as a Jump jockey when he started studying for a degree at Bath Spa University.  His passion for this aspect of sporting performance and mental well-being has seen him continue his studies for five years building up his practical experience alongside his academic qualifications.  He works with athletes across sport and is a Performance Consultant for the PJA.   Anthony Freeman also went back to studies, gaining a range of qualifications required to become a Plumbing and Heating Engineer.  He has used many of his racing contacts to build up his own business in Warwickshire.  Adele Mulrennan has overcome issues with her confidence to pursue her dream of working in the racing industry and is now a successful Raceday Presenter for Go Racing in Yorkshire.  She has built up experience working on high profile racedays and across a range of media which has led to her being offered a role for ITV Racing in 2020.

Lisa Delany, JETS Manager, said, “Every year we’re impressed with the quality of entries for these Awards.  All of this year’s finalists have shown immense dedication to their chosen second careers, boosting their skill set in a range of different areas and showing complete commitment to developing themselves to their full potential.  This has led them all to having great success and it is clear how rewarding they find their post riding lives.  We are delighted to recognise their achievements and they are great role models for the career development of jockeys.”

The three Richard Davis Award categories are:

The Jockey Club Achievement Award is worth £3,000 to the winner and is designed for those jockeys who have significantly achieved in pursuing their new chosen careers.  Two runners-up receive £500 each.

The IJF Progress Award, worth £2,000, rewards the early progress of those jockeys who have more recently started out on a new career/training path.

The BHA Current Jockey CPD Award, worth £1,000, was introduced in 2017 for currently licensed jockeys who have shown real commitment to their CPD (Continued Personal Development) whilst riding or during injury time out in order to enhance their development as a jockey or to assist with their dual career development.

With thanks to JETS for the copy.

Now that the flat racing season is drawing to a close, all eyes are on the jumping game and we can look forward to some thrilling racing.  But during the Autumn and Winter months, fashion continues to play a big part in a day at the races.

While the summer months are associated with high fashion stakes and best dressed lady competitions, the theme is being continued with the changing seasons.

Fashion was on the agenda at the recent Yorkshire Jump Season Launch which took place at Wetherby Racecourse.  Millbry Hill, an independent family-run business with 5 Equestrian and Country Stores based in the North of England, were on hand to showcase some key looks.

Emma Jones, Business Coordinator said: “Winter dressing is about combating the elements.  We have put together some looks that are not only stylish and on trend but provide warmth as well.  We stock a range of brands so there is plenty of choice and accessories are a great way of changing or freshening up an outfit.”

Photo 1 – Fairfax & Favour handbag and shoes are great for accessorising any outfit, Sophie wears the newly launched grey colourway, which looks fabulous alongside the Holland Cooper pink tweed suit.

Photo 2 –Chris is wearing the exclusive Barbour Icon jacket, produced to celebrate Barbour’s 125 years of trading. Sophie wears the Schoffel Burley fleece which is great for keeping you warm at the races and has finished the outfit off with a Clare Haggas scarf.

Both outfits on display at the Yorkshire Jumps Launch are available at any Millbry Hill Store and at www.millbryhill.co.uk.

This was highlighted by the Clare Haggas Classic Magenta Scarf, which is exclusive to Millbry Hill

Celebrating their 30th anniversary, Joules have released their classic Fieldcoat in the popular Mr Toad tweed which is lined with special edition navy and bright flowers.

“This is one of our top selling styles in women’s wear,” reported Emma.

Another brand celebrating their anniversary, although considerably older than Joules, is Barbour who have been on the go for 125 years.  To mark the occasion, they have launched the icons range and the reengineering of the classic Beaufort coat was on display at the Yorkshire Jumps Launch.

Performance wear is key to jockeys and riders of all abilities, particularly at this time of year when protection from the weather is required.  Yorkshire’s racing specialist saddler, White Rose Saddlery showcased new Italian brand Jobea which was modelled by jump jockey Sean Quinlan.

Highlighting the qualities of the garments, Wendy said: “The shirt fabric is fleece lined for warmth, breathable, showerproof and windproof, but the most important part is that it is lightweight.”

Sean’s weighing room colleague Henry Brooke sported a Jomiluti waterproof, all weather suit, designed for riding out and exercising horses.

“This suit will keep the rider completely dry while allowing the skin to breath and transport moisture away from the body.  The trouser and jacket have elastic insets at the sides which prevent the jacket riding up and causing a cold gap.  It is also almost silent, which is a great advantage when riding and working with young thoroughbred horses.” Said Wendy.

A real talking piece of the outfit was the earmuffs which velcro into the side of the rider’s helmet and are fleece lined.

“They are very popular with staff in the racing industry, who spend a lot of time riding on windy hills, but they are ideal for any rider or equestrian discipline,” commented Wendy.

The Yorkshire jump season starts tomorrow (Wednesday, October 15) at Wetherby Racecourse.  They will be hosting a ‘Best Peaky’ competition on Saturday, November 16 at the Peaky Blinder style raceday.

Doncaster’s opening jump meeting on Saturday, November 30, hosts a best dressed couple competition, while Catterick’s jumping finale fixture will include a best dressed competition on Wednesday, March 4.

 

Duke DeBarry and Definitly Red                                    Whoshotthesherriff and Top Ville Ben

Sharp Response and Vintage Clouds

Yorkshire’s equine stars turned out in force ahead of the jump season’s return to the county this Wednesday, (October 16) at a special preview event held at Wetherby today.

Yorkshire’s Grand National hopes continue to ride on Sue Smith’s Vintage Clouds who was an unfortunate first fence faller in this year’s renewal. He galloped with North Yorkshire Grand National winner, Sharp Response.

Jockey Danny Cook said of the grey: “He jumped the first fence at Aintree too well and came down steeply.  The plan is to run him in the Becher Chase in November to get some experience of the fences before another attempt at the Grand National.”

Danny Cook also rode Definitly Red in a racecourse gallop for trainer Brian Ellison.  The popular chaser is on course to secure back to back wins of Wetherby’s Charlie Hall Chase on Saturday 2nd November and Cook reported the horse to be in great form.

Definitly Red galloped with stablemate Duke Debarry who goes for the Durham National at Sedgefield on Sunday.

Popular mare Lady Buttons joined the parade and has targets similar to last year, running over both hurdles and fences according to her trainer Phil Kirby.

“She is a star and without her we wouldn’t be where we are today.  We look forward to returning to Wetherby with her at the beginning of November, for a race she won last year,” he said.

Another of Kirby’s horses, Top Ville Ben, who is also aiming for the Charlie Hall, looked in great form as he took part in a racecourse gallop with regular work rider Jenny Durrans. He worked with Whoshotthesherrif, a horse nominated by Phil Kirby as his one to follow for the season.

Malton based Ruth Jefferson paraded chasing star Waiting Patiently who doesn’t as yet have any specific plans but will run when the ground is right for him.  Last season he was brought to a standstill and unseated Brian Hughes, when Bristol De Mai fell in front of him in the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day.

Regular jockey Brian Hughes said: “Although we still had a mile and a half to go and I couldn’t be sure that he would stay, he was giving me a great feel.  We were going quite quickly over the first four fences but it felt like he was just doing a hack canter.”

He was accompanied by stablemate Mega Yeats and Ruth said that the five year old, who has been lightly campaigned, but won four of his six starts will stay hurdling.

With 38 fixtures across Yorkshire’s three jump courses, Catterick, Doncaster and Wetherby, there is plenty to look forward to.

John Sexton, Chairman of Go Racing In Yorkshire said:  “Jump racing is an exciting part of Yorkshire’s fixture list.  We are looking forward to a brilliant season, which will feature some top class racing.”

Wetherby’s closed season has been used to carry out some behind the scenes work and prepare for future projects.  A new e-ticketing system has been implemented which is phase one of a new admission system which will result in the redevelopment of the main turnstile entrance building and entrance road next summer.

In terms of ongoing maintenance, the canter track has been resurfaced, along with the horsebox park and the stables have been re-roofed.

There is a new Peaky Blinders theme for the meeting on Saturday November 16 and the Christmas meeting, Thursday 26 and Friday 27 December, will have a traditional circus sideshow vibe.  

Catterick Racecourse are looking forward to welcoming the national hunt crowd to their new weighing room and parade ring, which has been in use since June this year.  The £600,000 investment into facilities includes an extended Weighing Room complex, complete with a new warm-up area, state-of-the-art facilities and space to relax between races.

The enlarged Parade Ring gives racegoers an improved view of the runners and the Winner’s Enclosure has been incorporated into the Parade Ring, making it easier for racegoers to circulate.

A new theme for Catterick’s jumping finale fixture is a Countryside Ladies Day on Wednesday, March 4, 2020.  There will be a fashion showcase, as well as a best dressed competition.

Their most prestigious race takes place in January, with the Watt Fences sponsored North Yorkshire Grand National. This race has been won by the Sue Smith yard for the last four years and would be quite a feat if the yard could make it five in a row.

Jumping returns at Doncaster on Friday, November 29 and 30.  The two day meeting will have a 1920’s styled Beer Festival across the two days, with music from Cheaky Blinders live after racing on Saturday.

Looking ahead to December, Santa’s Great Giveaway will be back at the Festive Jumpers meeting on Friday and Saturday, December 13 and 14.

After Christmas, a Festive Family Fun Raceday takes place on Sunday, December 29 with activities for all ages to enjoy including the Markham Main Colliery Brass Band.

Early next year a new winter jumps box package will be available.

LEADING jumps trainer Donald McCain will turn his attention to the Flat on Friday when he sends Navajo Pass to the RaceBets Handicap at York.

The Grand National-winning trainer, whose father Ginger was indelibly associated with the Aintree showpiece through the exploits of three-time victor Red Rum, has experienced plenty of success on the level previously.

Most famously, McCain saddled top dual-purpose performer Overturn to win the Northumberland Plate and Chester Cup in 2010 and 2011 respectively – and Navajo Pass sports the same blue and yellow silks of owner, Tim Leslie.

The son of Nathaniel has run four times to date, breaking his maiden in tenacious fashion at Carlisle in August.

And while McCain acknowledged the stiff competition awaiting his charge in what is the twenty second race of the York season to offer at least a six figure prize, he issued an upbeat bulletin on both his future and well-being.

“He’s grand,” McCain said. “He’s set to go hurdling soon enough, but we thought we’d take a punt here.

“It’s a very competitive race and I don’t really know where we stand with the form – the race from Carlisle has worked out okay, but this is a big step up in grade.

“He was bought for the other job, and he’s been schooling away over hurdles since he was two, but we know he stays and running in a race of this nature will teach him a bit more about life.”

Reflecting on his win at Carlisle, in which Navajo Pass repelled the sustained challenge of the Tom Dascombe-trained Celestial Force by a short-head, McCain added: “He was always going to want further and slower ground.

“The ground looks to be drying out a bit at York, but hopefully it will be just slow enough.”

However, the Cholmondeley-based handler will be handing responsibility for race tactics over to his Gold Cup at Royal Ascot -winning jockey Graham Lee, who was also in the plate when Ginger saddled his fourth Grand National winner – Amberleigh House in 2004.

Asked about his approach to the race from stall one, McCain said: “I’ll leave that to G Lee – he knows a lot more about Flat racing than I do!”

The £100,000 RaceBets Handicap has attracted an 18-strong field, including the William Haggas-trained Hamish.

Carrying the colours of his father Brian, the three-year-old won the Sky Bet Melrose Race to the Ebor Handicap at the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival and will be bidding to enhance his career record to three wins from five starts. The yard is already eyeing the £1m Ebor of 2020.

Mark Johnston who is closing in on a record number of winners on the flat in a single year, landed the spoils last year with Elegiac and he is double-handed this time around, courtesy of Mondain and Mister Chiang. Current leading handler at York this season, John Gosden has also entered an interesting duo in El Misk and Koscluszko.

McCain will be able to keep an eye on future competition for Navajo Pass as the national hunt action from Downpatrick will join Newmarket in being shown in the Racing TV zone.

Friday’s seven-race card at York is scheduled to start at 2pm. The curtain comes down on another season on the Knavesmire after Saturday’s seven-race card, which gets underway at 2.05pm.

 

THE Flat Jockeys’ title may have eluded him this year, but there is no doubt that Danny Tudhope has been one of the stars of the 2019 season.

And he is the favourite to secure the Living North-sponsored riding crown at York with the course set to stage its final two-day meeting of the year, this Friday and Saturday (October 11-12).

The Thirsk-based Scot has notched eight winners on the Knavesmire so far – the same number as Frankie Dettori.

But Tudhope has the edge on the Italian pilot, based on the fact he has ridden three more second-place horses.

Another factor in Tudhope’s favour is that Dettori is likely to be in action elsewhere on both days of York’s finale fixture.

On the Friday, at least, Tudhope will be riding close to home. And he has a decent book of rides as he aims to add to his 2017 top-jockey-at-York title.

Tudhope said: “I’ve done it before, so it would be nice to do it again. It’s a good achievement but I need to probably bag another winner because I don’t think I’m going to be there on Saturday. Hopefully I can ride another winner on Friday to secure it. From what I know I’ve got a couple of good rides there.”

Tudhope has ridden almost 150 winners since January 1, smashing his previous best tally (122, set in 2017) for a calendar year.

It has not just been about quantity of victories, either. The 33-year-old enjoyed four winners at Royal Ascot, including one aboard Lord Glitters in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes, a horse he has also partnered to Ebor Festival pattern race success in the past.

Tudhope said: “It is my best year by far. Everything has gone great to be honest I’ve got that many memories of this year. It has been very good.”

Tudhope and Upper Helmsley-based trainer, David O’Meara, have become a formidable partnership over the last eight years, while the jockey is retained by Leeds business, Clipper Logistics.

Indeed, it was in the familiar grey silks of Steve Parkin, the founder of Clipper Logistics, that Tudhope booted home the Karl Burke-trained Living In The Past, in the Group 2 Sky Bet Lowther Stakes at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival 2019.

With all his successes at York over recent years it’s no wonder Tudhope is a fan of the racecourse.

He said: “It’s one of the best tracks – one of my favourites, obviously. A local track – I’m not far away from there. David likes to target a lot of his horses at York, so obviously I have a number of rides there.

“There’s a good atmosphere and it’s always busy. More importantly it’s a great track to ride around. It’s a very fair track – you can ride your horse to its own strengths. I think most jockeys enjoy riding around there.”

His growing number of admirers will be able to follow all the action from York on Racing TV as Friday’s seven-race card is scheduled to start at 2pm. The curtain comes down on another season on the Knavesmire after Saturday’s seven-race fixture, which gets underway at 2.05pm.

TIM EASTERBY is eying up a late bid to land the Charles Clinkard Top Trainer at York title for 2019.

The Habton Grange handler has sent out five winners on the Knavesmire so far this season – that puts him three behind Newmarket-based, John Gosden.

But at the racecourse’s concluding two-day fixture this Friday and Saturday (October 11-12) Easterby has made no fewer than 27 entries – albeit several horses are entered in more than one race.

And Easterby said: “Everything that gets in, runs.”

He has five entered in Saturday’s feature, the £100,000 Coral Sprint Trophy. But three of those have also been handed alternative engagements on the opening day of the meeting.

However, it does look as if Easterby will have a decent hand for the six-furlong race with Staxton and, almost certainly, Hyperfocus set to make the cut for what would be maximum 22-runner field.

Ayr Silver Cup winner, Golden Apollo, was successful over course and distance back in June 2017 and  is rated 93 so may also just get in at the bottom end of the weights. Ayr Bronze Cup winner, Music Society, and Flying Pursuit another with York form, make up the quintet but are rated in the 80s so are more likely to be seen in Friday engagements at York.

Looking at his Coral Sprint Trophy entries, Easterby said: “All are in good form. It’s a matter of what gets in and which gets the best draw.

”Staxton (rated 97) will get in alright. Both he and Golden Apollo handle soft ground. Hyperfocus (rated 94) loves soft ground if he got in.”

One horse that Easterby needn’t worry about in terms of making the cut for a race is Lampang, who is on schedule to contest the six-furlong coral.co.uk Rockingham Stakes on Saturday.

The unbeaten son of Dandy Man will move up into Listed company after running away with a novice race at Ripon on 28 September.

Easterby said: “A very good horse, he is. He runs. It’s a natural step up for him.”

And there are no concerns about the soft underfoot conditions for Lampang with Easterby adding: “He didn’t seem to mind the ground at Ripon – it was soft-ish that day.”

Fellow Yorkshire-based trainer, David O’Meara, can also harbour hopes of reining in Gosden in the race to finish as the Charles Clinkard Top Trainer at York. He has notched six winners at the track in 2019, so is just two adrift with a superior number of second place finishes, should there be a tie.

With over £400,000 in prize money on offer; Friday’s seven-race card is scheduled to start at 2pm. On Saturday the opener is at 2.05pm.

The flat season at Doncaster has been anything but flat as the racecourse has enjoyed increased attendance at key fixtures throughout the summer months. The racecourse has today reported attendance of 187,505 (accurate as of 1 October 2019) an increase of 32,240 year on year.

With a headline artist every month between May-August; 2019 has been the summer of music for Doncaster Racecourse. Jess Glynne performed to a record-breaking music live crowd of 18,911 racegoers after racing in May, and Rita Ora followed suit will a captivating show to a crowd of 11,380 in June.

Town favorites and ska legends Madness transformed the racecourse into a near sell-out House of Fun in July, performing to 18,733 baggy trouser sporting visitors, and British Indie Rocks most celebrated band James, made for a memorable night in August, as lead singer Tim Booth surfed across a jubilant crowd of 11,457.

Speaking in January Executive Director Russell Smith said: “2019 is going to be an incredible year, not only do we have fantastic music acts performing live after racing, we will also be launching a range of new themed race days, and vibrant family fun days, there’s something to look forward to for everyone.”

Bumper Father’s Day crowds in June reveled in Dinocaster, as the racecourse transformed into a scene akin to that of Jurassic Park. Over 15,000 visitors joined in the dinosaur inspired extravaganza, and families were left captivated as T-Rex’s, Raptors and Spinosaurus’s roamed the racecourse.

Anticipation for Dinocaster was ripe, with event posts achieving 710k organic impressions on social media, prompting a rise in advance ticket sales of 35%, and an increase in on the day general admissions of 40%.

The highlight of the flat season is of course the William Hill St Leger Festival.  The racecourse team excelled in reinvigorating the World’s Oldest Classic, reaching record audiences. In the month of August alone social and digital marketing activity reached over 5m, and generated 33k web visits.

The repositioning of the St Leger Festival as ‘Yorkshire’s Classic’ has breathed new life into the event, welcoming 27,688 visitors on St Leger Saturday.

Russell Smith Executive Director said: “The flat season has been fantastic for the race course, and against the backdrop of our ever-increasing offering, I am pleased to report that visitors have continued to come in their droves to show support for Yorkshire’s Classic, which I am delighted to report has maintained attendance year or year ”

Whilst the flat season is drawing to a close, the racecourse is gearing up for a Jumps season like no other, starting with the Return of the Jumps Beer Festival race day 29-30 November, featuring live music from the Cheaky Blinders the Official Tribute Band to the Peaky Blinders. So; grab your flat cap, shake off the threat of those winter blues and go racing, racing just got real!

The last chance to enjoy racing action at York in 2019 comes on Friday and Saturday (11 and 12 October). With prize money in excess of £400,000 on offer. 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 returning sponsor at York, RaceBets, is amongst the twenty-three races of the York season to have at least a six figure prize pot, offering £100,000. Only in its fifth 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, Elegiac, for trainer Mark Johnston, has had a truncated 2019 campaign.

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, Major Jumbo, has represented Kevin Ryan’s yard with credit in several Group One sprints this season. Always with the potential for drawing a full field, that would number twenty-two, courtesy of the supersize stalls recently purchased by York.

The Listed Coral Rockingham Stakes, which showcased smart juvenile, Vintage Brut for Malton based, Tim Easterby 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 £25,000 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 2pm 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 (this year in partnership with Brewin Dolphin), the IT provider that supports the racecourse team. Regulars at York and visitors to the city will recognize 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 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 mark the relationship with the Coldstream Guards Cup, courtesy of a middle-distance handicap that will bring the curtain down on 2019.

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, northern based Danny Tudhope has continued his fine form at York and sits ahead of a chasing of Frankie Dettori , albeit on countback, as they both sit on eight winners.

The leaderboard of the Charles Clinkard Top Trainer at York is headed by John Gosden in eight, with the Malton based, David O’Meara and Fellow Newmarket handler, William Haggas, on his heels, both just two behind.

Racegoers will be able to enjoy the Chris Brown quartet or an upbeat style of Superlicks.

A specially created Racing TV zone will cover both racing on the Knavesmire and the major contests from Newmarket. The Punters’ Panel will offer tips before racing on each day.

THE Two Thousand Guineas could be on the agenda for Summer Sands after his commanding victory in Redcar’s richest race of the year as North Yorkshire trainer Richard Fahey celebrated a four-timer at the seaside track.

The Coach House colt justified favouritism to come home clear of Michael Dods’ gallant runner-up Troubador in the £175,000 six-furlong Racing TV Redcar Two Year Old Trophy.

Jockey Barry McHugh, who won the race two years ago for the same trainer and owners – the Cool Silk Partnership – said: “It was just a matter of pointing him in the right direction. He’s a proper horse and I think he’ll get the mile next year and be even better.”

Summer Sands was well in at the weights after a progressive third at 100-1 in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket last week.

Assistant trainer Robin O’Ryan added: “The Guineas would be an option. We’ll get him home and have a think but he’s a fair horse. He’s unfurnished and you’d think he’d be a better three-year-old.”

Michael Dods, who trains near Darlington, was thrilled with Troubador who was giving the winner nine pounds. “We were always up against it at those weights, but he’s run a blinder,” he said.

The meeting started well for the Fahey stable when Embolden, ridden by Tony Hamilton, thrived on the heavy going to win the opening Andy Curtis Triple Paralympian 50th Birthday EBF Stallions Novice Stakes.

Hamilton was soon back in the winner’s enclosure when another Fahey charge, Lightning Attack, thundered home in the Every Race Live On Racing TV Selling Stakes.

The Fahey four-timer was secured in the final race of the day, the Watch Race Replays At racingtv.com Handicap Stakes, when the progressive Fairy Stories battled home for a happy ending in the hands of Sean Davis.

Assistant trainer Robin O’Ryan said: “She’s improving and is very tough – she just wants to win.”

Main Edition showed all the battling qualities associated with Mark Johnston horses when she stayed on stoutly under Joe Fanning to win the listed Racing TV British European Breeders’ Fund Stallions Guisborough Stakes.

Deidre Johnston said: “She’s been disappointing since she won the German 1000 Guineas in May but she’s been going through a growth spurt and she was fabulous today.”

There were emotional scenes in the winner’s enclosure as Redcar specialist Give It Some Teddy landed the Racing TV Straight-Mile Series Final for the second year running. The tough gelding, ridden by Duran Fentiman, made it four course and distance victories and trainer Tim Easterby said: “He just loves Redcar and when they love this track it’s a big factor.”

Tearful owner Lee Bond, who owns a packaging company in Dewsbury, said: “I’m sorry for being a bit soppy but I just love this horse. He never lets you down. I also want to give as much credit as possible to Tim Easterby who is arguably the best in the business.”

Barry McHugh made it a double after his win on Summer Sands by taking the Market Cross Jewellers Middlesbrough Handicap Stakes on James Fanshawe’s Newmarket raider Olympic Conquerer. Like Summer Sands, Olympic Conquerer is owned by The Cool Silk Partnership.

Pictures courtesy of Tony Knapton

JOINER James McCormick is feeling wunderbar today (Saturday) after winning an Oktoberfest fancy-dress competition…with his “close friend” Veronica.

James, from Saltburn, took first prize in the competition at the annual Oktoberfest Beer Festival meeting at Redcar Races for dressing in traditional lederhosen while “riding” a dummy fraulein.

He confessed to being a bit worried when he first arrived at the seaside racecourse because he thought no one else had turned up in fancy-dress.

“I panicked because I didn’t want to look out of place, but it’s all worked out well in the end. It’s one of the best experiences of my life.”

Asked what had inspired him to enter the competition, James added: “It was Veronica’s idea to enter – she talked me into it. She’s very persuasive.”

James came for a day out to celebrate his friend Kris Dixon’s 33rd birthday. Kris and his wife Emma, from Redcar, came second in the fancy-dress competition.

Third place went to Steve and Kerri Hornby, also of Redcar.

James won four VIP tickets to a future Redcar meeting, complete with a three-course meal, as well as a Theakston Brewery tour.

Kris and Emma won four tickets to a Redcar meeting, while Steve and Kerri won two tickets.

Entertainment was provided throughout the day by the Yorkshire Oompah Band, who were back by popular request, and race-goers were also able to enjoy steins on tap and sizzling bratwurst.

The racegoers included Andy Wyness, who travelled from Motherwell, in Scotland, for his stag do ahead of his wedding to Sandra Wilson next week.

Andy said: “It’s been a brilliant day – it’s my first time at Redcar but I think I’ll be coming back next year with Sandra for our first anniversary.”

Redcar’s general manager Amy Fair said: “Oktoberfest day combines high quality racing with lots of fun and this year’s fancy-dress competition was probably the best yet. So many people enter into the spirit of the occasion by dressing up and it all adds up to a fantastic atmosphere.”

FOOLAND and Liam Keniry Win the William Hill Catterick Dash Handicap for trainer Roy Bowring
Catterick Racecourse
20th October 2018
Pic Louise Pollard/Racingfotos.com

As the Flat racing season draws to a close, Catterick Races is gearing up for the highlight of its season: The Catterick Dash on Saturday 19 October. The meeting is Catterick’s richest race day, with almost £100,000 prize money on offer.

The gates will be open to the public from 11.40am, with the first of seven races taking place at 1.40pm. The feature race of the afternoon, The William Hill Catterick Dash Handicap Stakes is scheduled for 3.25pm and offers a prize pot of £35,000. The minimum distance five-furlong sprint is sure to attract a field of good sprinters looking to claim this year’s title.

Fiona Needham, General Manager and Clerk of the Course said: “Following completion of our redevelopment works in June, we’ve had a busy summer with fantastic racing and excellent feedback on the new facilities. We’re looking forward to welcoming racegoers to the highlight of our season on Saturday 19 October.

“The William Hill Catterick Dash is always a thrilling race and we can’t wait to see whose name will be added to the role of honour this year!”

The final race on the card, scheduled for 5.00pm, is the penultimate round of the Go Racing in Yorkshire Future Stars Apprentice Series.

Defending champion Kieran Schofield, despite having been side-lined through injury, currently leads the competition by three points from Harry Russell with Toby Eley back in third, but with plenty of points still up for grabs, any of the young riders could be crowned champion at the Doncaster final on 9 November.

Alongside the action on the track, the course will also be showing live coverage from Champions Day at Ascot on the big screen and TV’s around the course.

As with all of Catterick’s fixtures, accompanied under 18’s are admitted free of charge and the free shuttle bus will leave Richmond Market Place approximately 1 hour prior to the first race to bring racegoers to the course.

Tickets will be available to purchase at the gates on the day, while advanced and group booking discounts are available at www.catterickbridge.co.uk.

The Catterick Dash meeting is the penultimate fixture on the 2019 Flat season calendar for Catterick, with the final meeting taking place on Tuesday 29 October.

Presentations will be made to the Champion Owner, Trainer and Jockey at the Flat Finale. This year’s Champion Owner Series has been tight, while Danny Tudhope currently has a 6-win lead over second placed Jason Hart in the Champion Jockey Series, sponsored by Millbry Hill Country Store. David O’Meara currently leads the Champion Trainer Series, just 2 wins ahead of Tim Easterby.

PUNTERS will be letting their “herr” down this weekend as a North-East racecourse prepares for another fun-packed invasion of pig-tailed Frauleins and lads in lederhosen.

The popular Oktoberfest Beer Festival returns to Redcar on Saturday with steins on tap, sizzling bratwurst, and rousing oompah music among the attractions alongside high-quality racing.

A Best Bavarian Outfit competition will again be staged, with the winners earning themselves four VIP tickets for a day’s racing at Redcar, including a table in the restaurant and three-course lunch. They will also be able to toast their victory with four places on a Theakston Brewery tour.

The runners-up will win four tickets to Redcar Races and third prize is two tickets to a future meeting at the seaside course.

Last year’s fancy-dress winners were Ben Johnson, a mechanical engineer from Middlesbrough, accompanied by fiancée Daniella Marchetta, and another big entry is expected.

The Yorkshire Oompah Band will be back by popular request after entertaining the crowds last year.

As well as lots of Bavarian fun, there’s also high-class racing on the card, with the highlight being the £175,000 Racing TV Two-Year-Old Trophy.

Redcar’s general manager Amy Fair said: “It never ceases to amaze us how much people in this area love to dress up – and the Oktoberfest meeting is always a spectacular showcase for the North-East sense of humour.

“The day is a unique blend of great fun and fantastic racing, with the fancy-dress extravaganza alongside our most valuable race of the year. We’re looking forward to another memorable day.

Gates open at 11am and the first race is scheduled for 1.45pm, with adult admission from just £6.

  • RCA announces York, Kelso and Lingfield Park Racecourses as Racecourse Groundstaff Award winners
  • Awards celebrate the best in class of racecourse groundsmanship and turf husbandry
  • Perth Racecourse win Special Merit Award
  • Market Rasen Racecourse’s Steve Bakin wins Neil Wyatt Lifetime Achievement Award

The Racecourse Association (RCA) is delighted to announce the winners of the Racecourse Groundstaff Awards for 2019.

Sponsored by Pitchcare, Watt Fences and Fornells, the award winners were decided by an industry panel made up of representatives from the Professional Jockeys Association (PJA), British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and National Trainers Federation (NTF).

The winners across the three racecourse categories are as follows;

Flat – York Racecourse
Jump – Kelso Racecourse
Dual purpose – Lingfield Park Racecourse

The winning teams are deemed to have demonstrated the highest levels of commitment, innovation and excellence across the year to racecourse groundsmanship and turf husbandry.

William Derby, Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course at York Racecourse, said “the racing surface is our most important asset, the stage on which the stars of our show perform.”

Jonathan Garratt, Managing Director of Kelso Racecourse said “ The Groundstaff are an excellent team, they are always open to trying something new and, above all, they are dedicated to presenting the track in the best possible condition for our participants.”

George Hill, Clerk of the Course, Lingfield Park said, “we are delighted to receive this award and it is brilliant for the team to get the recognition for their hard work throughout the year.”

In addition to this, two further awards were given; the Merit Award to Perth Racecourse, in recognition of the exceptional efforts to save a weather threatened fixture in August and also for the assistance they gave to Musselburgh Racecourse early in the season, and the Neil Wyatt Lifetime Achievement Award which went the way of Market Rasen Racecourse’s Steve Bakin to celebrate his fantastic 44 year career.

Hazel Peplinski, Chief Executive, Perth Racecourse said “2019 has been a very difficult year for our track team and I am grateful to them for how they have addressed each and every challenge which has been a monumental team effort of perseverance.”

Steve Bakin added “I am grateful to the judges for such a personal recognition and I leave Market Rasen Racecourse in good hands.”

The sponsors and judges highly commended the commitment and innovation these tracks have shown throughout the year and their tireless work to enhance the quality and safety of the racing surfaces and other areas of the course. George Noad, representing the NTF, said “the hard work undertaken by Groundstaff throughout the year is very important for the safety of all the sport’s participants and they deserve our thanks.” Dale Gibson, PJA Executive Director, said “racing on a consistent, well maintained and safe surface remains vitally important to all Jockeys.”

John Richards, Operations Director of sponsors Pitchcare, added on behalf of the sponsors, I would like to say how delighted we are to be able to recognise the outstanding contribution of Steve Bakin. I don’t think we have ever received so many supporting references for a nominee.”

York, Kelso and Lingfield Park will all be in the running to be crowned the 2019 Racecourse Groundstaff Champion, where the announcement will be made at the tenth annual RCA Showcase Awards held at Hamilton Park Racecourse on Thursday 14th November 2019.

Trainer Scott Dixon expects a big show from Dark Shot when he takes aim at the feature race at Beverley’s final meeting of the season on Tuesday.

The six-year-old gelding is one of seven declared runners for the £20,000 Eddie And Violet Smith Conditions Stakes – a race won by estimable sprinters like Tangerine Trees, Kingsgate Native and Alpha Delphini.

Dixon has this season set the son of Acclamation some stiff challenges, with Dark Shot last in action in a Listed race at Doncaster – a grade at which he claimed second spot at York in July.

Dark Shot has also this campaign filled the same position in both the Epsom Dash and a class two sprint handicap at York, when Duke Of Firenze, who renews rivalry on the Westwood, had his number by a neck.

Nottinghamshire-based Dixon said: “He’s tricky to win with, but we’ve always liked him and this looks a good opportunity for him.

“We’re pretty closely matched at the weights with Duke Of Firenze and if he can show his best form, you’d give him a good chance.

“The tactics were all wrong at Doncaster – he was too far back at the start and couldn’t get involved – so that run is probably best forgotten.

“It seems that the better company he’s in, the better he runs.

“He’s been in good form since Doncaster and we go there hopeful.”

Dark Of Shot’s cause is also aided by Dixon’s appointment of Ben Curtis, who is a maestro around the tricky Beverley sprint circuit.

The James Tate-trained Kyllang Rock, who won so well at Nottingham last month, is likely to be sent off favourite for the valuable five-furlong sprint.

Manton trainer Brian Meehan also saddles a rare Beverley runner in the shape of Amplify, who has already won three times this campaign.

The line-up is completed by a trio of course-and-distance winners in Fendale, Rapid Applause and Tarboosh.

Beverley’s going on Monday morning was reported as being good, good to soft in places following 10 millimetres of rainfall on Sunday night.

A cloudy afternoon with outbreaks of rain has been forecast for raceday.

It has been an action-packed 2019 at Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse and with 16 fixtures already completed, all that remains is to end the year in style with the Beer and BBQ Festival meeting, in conjunction with Theakston Brewery, on Saturday 28th September.

The action on the track is sure to be highly competitive, with almost £80,000 in prize money up for grabs. The feature race of the day, the 6f ‘Ripon Cathedral City of the Dales Handicap’, is a fast and furious affair which attracts some of the best sprinters in the North.

At the Theakston’s Beer Festival, situated in the Paddock Enclosure, racegoers will be able to sample ten of Masham’s finest beers. There will also be a pop-up BBQ with live music on the bandstand from the Ripon City Band and on the Claro lawn from fantastic local artist Rob Hiscoe.

James Hutchinson, Managing Director of Ripon Racecourse said:

“The end of season Beer and BBQ Festival has become a real highlight of our season. The 2019 season has fairly flown by! We have had a fantastic summer and what better way to end than with a fun afternoon of great racing, BBQ and beer!

“We are delighted to be working with Theakston Brewery of Masham once more. It is brilliant that as local businesses we can support each other and together we hope to put on a fantastic afternoon for our racegoers”.

Victoria Bramley, Marketing Manager at Theakston Ltd said:

“It is great to be coming back to Ripon Races once more. The Beer Festival is a fantastic event which is becoming increasingly popular year on year and it is an excellent opportunity for us to showcase our products. Hopefully this year will be the best yet!”.

Due to the UCI World Championships some traffic disruption is possible. We recommend using the A1M and turning off at Junction 48 ‘Boroughbridge’ as no problems are expected on this route. Full details of road closures can be found here: https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/uci-road-world-cycling-championships

Thirsk Racecource Logo

Another excellent season at Thirsk came to a close yesterday as the racecourse staged its 16th fixture of 2019 on Monday, September 16.

The 2019 season saw a total attendance increase of 6.5 per cent on the year before, while the racecourse’s enhanced owners and trainers facilities ensured a healthy average of more than 11 runners per race throughout the season, placing it in the top echelon of tracks across the country.

William Hill Summer Cup day on Saturday, August 3, the most valuable fixture of the year at Thirsk with more than £100,000 in prize money across seven races, attracted a modern day record crowd of 10,500 racegoers.

Thirsk’s feature race of the season, the £40,000 Cliff Stud Thirsk Hunt Cup on Saturday, May 4, was won by Hayadh, trained locally at Cowthorpe by Rebecca Bastiman and ridden by Lewis Edmunds. Paul Sutherland’s Cliff Stud, located just outside Helmsley, was unveiled as the sponsor in March on an initial three-year deal.

Scouting For Girls performed at Thirsk’s first music night on Friday, August 16. The after-racing gig was very well received and the racecourse hopes to announce its headline act for 2020 early in the New Year.

Sophie Brown and the Karl Burke-trained Baron Run captured the second edition of The Creditas Taking Care Of Business Stable Staff Stakes, run in aid of Racing Welfare, on Friday, August 30. Eleven stable staff took part in the charity contest and each runner was led up by a licenced jockey, who were keen to show their appreciation to the men and women who work tirelessly behind the scenes on a daily basis.

Richard Fahey captured the Harrowells top trainer award at Thirsk in 2019, with 13 winners from 77 runners at a strike rate of 17 per cent. The pick of his winners, Ventura Rebel, made a successful debut at Thirsk’s opening fixture on April 13 before going on to finish second in the G2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Musley Bank-based Fahey said: “Thirsk has been very good to us over the years. It is only 25 minutes away and we like having runners there.

“The new owners and trainer facilities are very good. In fairness, most racecourses are upping their game and when one does it, the others have to.

“It is great to see and can only be a benefit for the sport and industry as a whole.”

Other notable names to successfully grace the turf at Thirsk this year include the prolific King’s Advice. Trained by Mark Johnston and the winning-most horse of 2019 with eight victories, the five-year-old subsequently landed valuable handicaps at Newmarket’s July Festival and Glorious Goodwood.

The Harrowells leading jockey at Thirsk in 2019 was Danny Tudhope, who partnered 10 winners at a strike rate of 20 per cent, while Sean Davis claimed the Harrowells top apprentice award with five successes from 30 rides.

Weighing-room colleague Jack Garrity captured the popular Jockeys ‘Thimbledon’ Swingball Championship in the paddock before racing on Wednesday, July 3.

Thirsk director and former chairman Patrick Hibbert-Foy sadly passed away on Sunday, September 1, after a long and brave fight against cancer. Patrick, who spent many years in racing as a starter, stewards’ secretary and latterly a racecourse steward, made a huge contribution to the racecourse since joining the board in April, 2013. A horse named in his honour and in which Patrick was a part-owner, Idoapologise, produced a poignant moment at Thirsk yesterday when winning the opening Visit Sri Lanka Nursery Handicap under P J McDonald.

Racing returns to Thirsk in 2020 with the opening fixture taking place on Saturday, April 18.

During the close season, Thirsk will continue its very evident programme of recent investment in the facilities, with plans afoot to expand the capacity of the stable yard, re-roof the existing stable blocks and install a permanent ‘big screen’ within the Paddock.

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Sponsored by Arena Racing Company (ARC) and organised by Racing Welfare, this year’s Malton Open Day will take place on Sunday 15th September.  Malton is one of the most prominent and historic racing centres in the UK, and 13 yards in and around the town will welcome visitors on the day to meet the equine residents, alongside their trainers and teams of staff who keep the cogs turning on a daily basis.

Yards will open from 8.45am until 12noon, with buses sponsored by AFS Equine, Betdaq, Careers in Racing, Go Racing in Yorkshire, Parnaby’s and Wm McIvor & Son to ferry people from yard to yard.  Racing superstars on show include this year’s Acomb winner Valdermoro, whom the public will have the chance to meet alongside Richard Fahey’s other star turns at his Musley Bank yard.  These include the Group 2 winning Forest Ranger, Royal Ascot winner Space Traveller and the promising 2yo Show Me Show Me, making Fahey’s impressive base a must to visit on the day.

Fans of the Jumps shouldn’t miss the chance to meet top dual-purpose trainer Brian Ellison, who welcomes visitors to Spring Cottage Stables again this year.  Winner of both the Charlie Hall Chase and Cotswold Chase in 2018, Definitely Red will be amongst Ellison’s esteemed charges in residence on the day, joined by the 2018 Cheltenham Greatwood Handicap Hurdle victor Nietzsche.  Also enjoying a great season is Tim Easterby, and visitors will have the chance to meet Group 3 winner Wells Farhh Go alongside Listed winners Copper Knight and Vintage Brut amongst his team of horses.

The full list of trainers supporting Malton Open Day this year are:

Julie Camacho                     Brian Ellison                          Michael Herrington

Mark Campion                      Richard Fahey                      Ollie Pears

Mick Easterby                       Roger Fell                                John Quinn

Tim Easterby                         Suzzanne France                Nigel Tinkler

Lucy Egerton

Visitors will also have the chance to look around one of racing’s crown jewels in the form of the Injured Jockey’s Fund northern rehabilitation centre, Jack Berry House, which is open for tours from 10.00 – 14.00.

A full programme of family entertainment follows at Highfield Gallops in the afternoon, featuring the return of the ever-popular Linton Pet Shop dog show, which is open to all.  Also back this year is the Moneyweb jockey and Pony Club relay show jumping competition and terrier racing.  New for 2019 is a high octane flyball demonstration and Crombie Wilkinson and White Rose Saddlery jockey and Pony Club agility competition.   The entertainment carries on from 5pm until dark with a party in the gallops marquee.  Sure to deliver a friendly atmosphere and featuring a live DJ and hog roast sponsored by McClarrons Insurance, all are welcome to see the day out in style.  Entry is free to the gallops marquee is free from 5pm onwards.

As the organisers of the event, Racing Welfare will be the main beneficiary charity of the day.  The charity is very active in Malton, organising a number of social and sporting events for people working in racing throughout the year.  The area has a vibrant retired racing community also, well catered for with monthly coffee mornings and day trips and outings, including a popular racing reminiscence group, all of which aim to prevent loneliness and social isolation within the local community.

Lucy Miller, Racing Welfare’s Regional Welfare Manager for the North, said “This year’s Malton Open Day is jam-packed with family entertainment and we’re all set for a fantastic day.  We are very grateful to all 13 trainers who will be welcoming in the public on the day, their support really is crucial to the success of the event.  Malton is a fabulous training centre and the open day not only delivers the warm welcome that you would expect in this part of the world, but also provides a showcase for racing in the area by offering a fabulous variety of yards for people to visit on the day”.

Tickets for the event are on sale now at www.maltonopenday.co.uk.  Adult passes are £12.50 and include a programme, with concessions at £8.50 and under 16s go free of charge all day.

Catterick’s Flat season continues on Saturday 21 September with the return of the Yorkshire Beer Festival Race Day, in association with The Pennine Brewing Company.

The action packed seven-race card will kick off at 1.50pm with the British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes and the last race is scheduled for 5.20pm.

The highlight of the afternoon comes at 4:10pm when the course will host the 2019 Catterick Twelve Furlong Series Final – sponsored by Constant Security. Now in its seventh year, the series final offers £20,000 in prize money and is open to those who have run in one of the qualifying races since the season started in June.

Fiona Needham, General Manager and Clerk of the Course said:

“The Twelve Furlong Series brings some thrilling racing action to the track and last year we saw INDIA, half-sister to BIG ORANGE take the title. We’re looking forward to this year’s final and can’t wait to see who will be crowned Catterick’s 2019 Twelve Furlong Series Champion!”

Alongside the racing action, Pennine Brewing Co. will have twelve different ales and ciders for racegoers to sample throughout the afternoon. Based locally to the racecourse at Well, the Pennine Brewing Co. has several permanent brews, and their brewers also develop a number of seasonal specials throughout the year.

In addition, the Black Marcs will be playing live throughout the afternoon and after racing. The gates will be staying open longer than usual, until 6.30pm, allowing racegoers to enjoy the Beer Festival and live music into the evening once the racing has finished.

Emma Binnian, Sales & Marketing Manager said:

“We’re thrilled to welcome the Pennine Brewing Co. back to Catterick for our second annual Yorkshire Beer Festival Race Day. With quality racing action, family entertainment, live music and a beer festival, there really is something for everyone to enjoy at this fixture!”

The racecourse supports the Racecourse Association’s #PaceYourself campaign to encourage responsible drinking at the course. Racegoers are reminded to pace themselves when enjoying their day at the races by allowing one soft drink in between each alcoholic drink.

As with all of Catterick Racecourse’s fixtures, accompanied under 18’s will be admitted free of charge and in addition to the indoor and outdoor play areas, there will also be bouncy castles and a roundabout in the Course Enclosure to keep any younger racing fans entertained throughout the day.

A big screen will also be at the course on the day to enable racegoers to see even more of the action from the track, as well as showing the big race action from Ayr Races – featuring the Ayr Gold Cup.

The gates will be open to the public from 11.50am. While the free shuttle bus will bring racegoers from Richmond Market Place to the racecourse approximately one hour prior to the first race.

Tickets will be available to purchase at the gates on the day, while advanced and group booking discounts are available at www.catterickbridge.co.uk.

There’s fun for all at the annual Press Family Sunday at York Racecourse (Sunday 8 September), including valuable prize money for a seven-race thoroughbred card worth approaching £150,000.

The feature race, the Listed LNER supporting CALM Garrowby Stakes alone, backed by locally based train operator, LNER, in support of their charity partner, offers £50,000.

Back by popular demand to the day is children’s favourite, Chase, from the hit show, Paw Patrol, who will make appearances at intervals throughout the day on the Knavesmire.

The only Sunday of the season sees the return of the Finals as young riders take part in the Charles Owen Pony Racing Series.

It is a full day out for both the novice and regular racegoer and those under 18 years of age will be admitted free of charge into all enclosures, though the under 16s will need to be accompanied. Continuing from the previous years is the popular offer of a single admission combining both the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure with the improved Clocktower Enclosure for just £13. This will enable racegoers bringing a traditional picnic into the Clocktower Enclosure to enjoy their lunch and then take advantage of the special ‘picnic hamper cloakroom’ and then cross over the track to see the horses close up in the Parade Ring and sample the facilities on the stands side.

Also, for this special family meeting, the County Stand dress code is relaxed, with smart casual being the advice.

The action on the track begins at 12.50p.m. with a couple of races, the respective Conditions Finals in the 2019 Charles Owen Pony Racing Series, showcasing the talents of the next generation of riders.

Racing under rules starts at 1.50pm with the long term partners, Coopers Marquees backing a competitive looking handicap. At the close of play, the advertising agency used by the course, SHA & Carat, back an apprentice contest that forms part of the “Future Stars” Series created by Go Racing in Yorkshire.

In between, the card also remembers a regular York racegoer as the family and friends of Judith Marshall, continue to give their support to a race that carries her name.

Sprinters take part in the afternoon’s richest race, LNER supporting CALM Garrowby Stakes, this is the eighth running of this Listed race run over six furlongs, won last year by Limato for Henry Candy’s yard. Stayers have their opportunity in The Little Green Rascals Children’s Nurseries Stakes (a handicap contest over two miles), which sees the leading local nursery group continue on the roster of York supporter on the most appropriate of days. The sporting action also includes a chance for those whose specialism is the middle distance as Hanson Springs return to support the race run over the mile and a quarter trip.

The ongoing support of the European Breeders’ Fund is recognised in a pair of contests, part of their generous twenty-two race backing of the action at York of the season.

The final contest for the upcoming jockeys is part of the ‘Go Racing in Yorkshire’ Future Stars Apprentice Series – now in its seventh year – which culminates in a Final at Doncaster in November. Coming into this race, two time winner, Kieran Schofield, leads by three points from Harry Russell, but with the legs at York and Catterick plus the Final itself still to go, there are still enough races for the situation to change.

The Racing Interactive Zone will offer the chance to ride a virtual racehorse, to try on racing silks, question our experts and enter a colouring competition. Meanwhile, the retired racehorses are former stars of the track waiting to meet racegoers.

New this year is a range of Giant Inflatables such as the Giraffe Slide and Jungle Run, joining the perennial favourites, the bouncy castles, in the Big Top Entertainment Zone. The energetic can have a go at Zorb football, whilst those wanting a seat can take to the cab of one of the mighty machines from Diggerland.

Proven popular in recent years is Sam’s Safari, the chance to get close nature as well the face painting competition.

Younger racegoers can enjoy a Pony Ride either by using a voucher in the racecard or by paying a small charge. This is the only activity with a “top up charge” this year, after the Racecourse decided to include the other entertainments in the ticket price, bringing their operation more in-house and so not having the outdoor funfair rides this year.

‘Tommo’ – well-known broadcaster, Derek Thompson will share his knowledge of the sport. Listen out for his racing guide and be ready to say hello and see yourself on the big screens as he roams the stands.

Three-course Sunday lunches are being served from noon or you might want to enjoy a fresh sandwich on one of the many lawns; whatever your culinary choice, a great afternoon awaits.

  • York Racecourse voted Racecourse Of The Year by the Racegoers Club, British Racing’s official supporters Club.
  • Official presentation took place on day one of the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival.

York Racecourse has been crowned Racecourse Of The Year for the third year running by the Racegoers Club, the official supporters Club for British Racing fans.

On Juddmonte International Day of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival, three of the longest serving members of the York Racecourse team; Karen Dunbar, Alison Storey and Annette Wilks joined track Chairman, Lord Grimthorpe, to be presented with a commemorative plaque to celebrate their win in the Racegoers Club Racecourse of the Year Competition.

The award celebrates all aspects of the customer experience and asks Club members to nominate their favourite racecourse with this high benchmark in mind. One Club member said of York, “The staff at York are the most welcoming and helpful on any racecourse. We went to three days of the Ebor Festival and each day was enhanced by the wonderful staff.”

William Derby, Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course at York Racecourse, said “The Racegoers Club is a fantastic organisation which represents a membership who are committed followers of the sport with horseracing being both their hobby and passion. To be ranked as number one by some of the most knowledgeable visitors to Britain’s many great racecourses is a real honour.

“To retain the accolade of ‘Racecourse of the Year’ for three consecutive seasons is such a huge tribute to the hard work of so many that make racing at York such a special experience.”

Matthew Jones from the Racegoers Club said “It was an honour to attend day one of the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival at York racecourse. This is the third year in a row that our members have voted for York to be their champion racecourse, and with the raceday experience that is offered at every fixture it isn’t hard to see why.”

For more information, please contact Matthew Jones—matthew.jones@racecourseassociation.co.uk or 07791 562031

Daniel Tudhope today secured a century of winners in the season for the first time in his career with his victory on World Title at Ripon Racecourse.

The win marked a double on the day, after securing victory with Hot Affair in the opening race and resulted in his 19th win at Ripon and therefore his highest-performing racecourse of the campaign.

Tudhope, reached the 100-mark from 465 rides, and surpasses his previous season tallies of 92 in 2018, 93 in 2017 and 60 in 2016.

The 33-year-old is going head to head with Oisin Murphy to become Champion Jockey for the first time in their careers.

On reaching the milestone, he said: “It’s the first time in my career I have reached 100 wins for the season, so it’s a massive achievement for me personally. It has been a fantastic year for me so far, and I will keep trying my hardest to achieve my dream of becoming Champion Jockey.”

Stand-out performances for the Tudhope this season include four wins at Royal Ascot – most notably with Lord Glitters in the Queen Anne Stakes, which forms part of the 2019 QIPCO British Champions Series.

His most successful trainer partnership has been with David O’Meara, with the pair enjoying 43 victories together, and he has earned over £2.2m in prize money.

Performing at a strike-rate of 22%, Tudhope now sits 18 wins behind current-leader Murphy, but 29 clear of three-time Champion Jockey, Silvestre De Sousa who is in third place – see the latest 2019 Flat Jockeys’ Championship table here.

The 2019 Champion Flat Jockey will be crowned on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday 19th October. For more info & tickets, please visit: britishchampionsday.com

With thanks to Great British Racing for the editorial and graphic.

Popular sprinter Danzeno is reported in rude health for a possible tilt at the £65,000 William Hill Beverley Bullet on Saturday.

The Group Three-winning eight-year-old, trained in Rutland by Mick Appleby, is one of 18 possible runners for Beverley’s most prestigious race of the season.

Danzeno would arrive at Beverley in good nick, too, having won twice already this season.

He also finished third in both the Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Dash at the same track on August 10.

Appleby said: “He’s in great form and has done really well since the Shergar Cup Day, when he was a bit unlucky, really.

“He’s never run at Beverley before, but I’m sure he’ll handle the track nicely if he does run in the Beverley Bullet.

“He’s been in great form this season, and this looks a good race for him with great prize-money on offer. It’s all ground dependent at the minute, though.

“Hopefully they get some rain before the weekend. There are some thunderstorms forecast at the end of the week and that will help him no end.

“If they do get the rain, he’ll go to Beverley with a very good chance of winning.”

Danzeno is William Hill’s 7-2 second favourite, behind the Clive Cox-trained Tis Marvellous (9-4f).

Others prominent in the market include Paul Midgley’s Tarboosh (6-1), the Charlie Hills-trained Equilateral (8-1) and Beverley course-record holder Judicial (9-1), trained by Julie Camacho.

The now-retired Take Cover has won the Listed Beverley Bullet for the last two years, but his former trained David Griffiths could still be represented on Saturday with Ornate (12-1).

The big race at the weekend is the centrepiece for Beverley’s richest ever raceday that will also feature the £52,000 William Hill Silver Cup Handicap over a mile and a quarter.

Ante-post favourite is the William Haggas-trained Country, who has won his last three races and is a 2-1 chance with William Hill.

Stablemate Desert Icon is also short in the betting at odds of 9-2, while Sir Michael Stoute could saddle the unexposed Solid Stone (4-1) in a maximum field of 12 runners.

TEACHER Alex Moore is going to have to set his new designer watch for seven hours ahead after winning the Best-Dressed Couple competition at Redcar Races with partner Emma Carter.

Alex, who teaches PE, leaves to work in China next month but he and beautician Emma plan to stick together despite being nearly 5,000 miles apart.

The couple won stylish watches from sponsors, Market Cross Jewellers, as part of their prize in the competition at Redcar’s Gin and Gents’ Evening. Emma, from Redcar, won an Olivia Burton watch while Alex, from Hartlepool, won a Tommy Hilfiger watch.

They also won a one-day hat hire from Chic Hats, a cut and blow dry with styling products goodie bag from Orange Kerr and Beauty, a bouquet of flowers and bottle of champagne.

Alex, who has been teaching at the Endeavour Academy in Peterlee, added: “It’s going to be tough being so far apart but there’ll be lots of flowers and Skype calls. China’s seven hours ahead so I’ll have to re-set the new watch.”

Emma, who works at Hair Boutique in Saltburn, said: “We decided to enter the competition a week ago – I’d bought a new dress and hat, so I told Alex he had to match me.”

Lewis Cole and Korede Akintoye, from Brotton, were runners-up, while Hannah Polasek, from Ormesby, and James McCarthy, from Redcar, came third.

The winner of the Best-Dressed Gent competition was retired tailor and gentleman’s outfitter Maurice Dunn, of Redcar, in a fetching tweed blue suit with a green check.

Maurice, who retired in 2012 after nearly 40 years managing shops across Teesside for Greenwoods, hadn’t planned to enter the competition when he arrived at the races.

“I bought the suit in York two weeks ago when I saw it on a dummy in the shop and I had my arm twisted to enter the competition,” said Maurice.

Maurice won a new wardrobe – including suit, shirt, tie, handkerchief and shoes – from Bakers Tailoring, plus a Hugo Boss watch from Market Cross Jewellers and a bottle of champagne.

Runner-up was Paul Tidy, of Saltburn, and Jack Willett, of Eston, came third.

EVERGREEN jockey Joe Fanning was the toast of Redcar’s Gin and Gents’ Evening after riding his 2,500th British winner.

Dublin-born Fanning hit the admirable milestone when he drove the Keith Dalgleish-trained Universal Gleam to victory in the Racing TV Straight Mile Series Handicap Stakes.

Fanning, 48, who struck up an incredibly successful partnership with Middleham’s record-breaking trainer Mark Johnston from 1990, said after the race: “It’s hard to believe it’s 2,500 winners but it’s grand to do it. I thought it might be on this horse. I’ve had a great career and it pays to have a good job with a trainer like Mark.”

Only Frankie Dettori of the current crop of jockeys has ridden more winners than Fanning, who scored his first and only Group One success on Johnston’s The Last Lion in the Middle Park Stakes in 2016. He rode his first winner in a hurdle race at Sedgefield in 1989 but his fledgling jumps career came to an end when he broke three vertebrae in his neck in a fall.

Asked to name his personal career highlight, Fanning said: “There have been so many – I’ve been very lucky.”

The race was immediately followed by an emotional win for Valley of Fire in the Every Race Live On Racing TV Handicap Stakes. The gelding, trained at Beverley by Les Eyre and ridden by Lewis Edmunds, was off the course for two years after a ruptured tendon meant it was “touch and go” whether he would ever race again.

He has gradually regained his fitness and the patience of owners Billy Parker and son Steven paid off with the Redcar victory.

Steven, who runs a utility company in Wakefield, said: “Every winner’s special but this is extra-special in the circumstances.”

Steven and wife Tracy had made it to Redcar with 10 minutes to spare after driving up from Leeds where they had attended a family dinner, partly to celebrate their eldest daughter, Denver, giving birth to a baby called Canada.

Favourite-backers got off to a good start in the first race when Lambourn raider Regal Director justified odds of 6-4 for trainer Archie Watson and jockey Brodie Hampson in the Join Racing TV Now Handicap Stakes.

The following Best Flat Races Live On Racing TV Novice Auction Stakes was won in good style by Bond’s Boy, trained at Malton by the prolific Richard Fahey and ridden by claimer Connor Murtagh.

Nirodha, trained at Newmarket by Amy Murphy, led all the way under Sean Davis, and never looked in danger in the Bakers Tailoring and Formal Hire Fillies’ Novice Auction Stakes.

The best finish of the evening came in the Market Cross Jewellers Handicap Stakes when another Newmarket raider, the James Fanshawe-trained Selino, ridden by Daniel Muscutt, just got the better of a sustained battle with Danny Tudhope on Funny Man.

The meeting came to a climax with the Mick Easterby-trained Dahik dominating the Thank You And Good Luck Becky Shaw Handicap Stakes, with Ger O’Neill having the race in the bag two furlongs out.

Yorkshire-based jockey Joe Fanning today secured a landmark 2,500th UK victory with Universal Gleam at Redcar Racecourse, becoming only the second current flat jockey to do so.

Fanning, who is based in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, joins Frankie Dettori (3190 wins) as the only two current flat jockeys to have reached the magnificent milestone.

The win marked his 60th win at the racecourse. Fanning’s most successful track is Wolverhampton with 318, followed by Lingfield (247) and Southwell (238). The first ever success of Fanning’s career came on the 6th June 1990 with Henry Will at Yarmouth Racecourse.

On reaching the landmark, the 48-year-old, said: “It’s a brilliant achievement and I’m very pleased to have reached it. To win 2,500 times in any sport is massive. I’ve been lucky enough to ride some great horses over the years.”

The 2,500 wins have seen Fanning land over £23 million in prize money, with his most successful campaign being in 2012, when he secured a remarkable 188 victories in the year.

More than half (1,263) of his successes have come for Yorkshire-based Trainer, Mark Johnston.

One notable win amongst the 2,500 is Fanning’s only Group 1 triumph of his career to date – the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket Racecourse in 2016. The victory came with the Mark Johnston-trained The Last Lion, who was priced 25/1 for the race.

The favourite for the race that day was Blue Point, who has since gone onto become a Champion Sprinter – securing a tremendous Royal Ascot Group 1 double this year before being retired.

Discussing his career highlights, Fanning said: “There have been some great wins over the years. The Last Lion win has to be up there, but I have been lucky enough to enjoy many good days, particularly with Mark Johnston – he has been great for me and I thank him and all the trainers that have supported me.”

Thanks to Great British Racing for the content.

Harry Love attempts to maintain his hot run of form when he goes for gold in the feature race at Beverley on Sunday.

Trained in Norton, North Yorkshire, by Ollie Pears, the two-year-old son of Lawman bids for a hat-trick in the five-furlong Covers33 For All Your Vinyl Needs Nursery Handicap (3.15).

Having got off the mark on just his second start at Thirsk in early July, Harry Love then struck over this course and distance with a three-and-a-half-length triumph.

Yet Pears believes there is still a great deal more to come from the two-year-old gelding – starting with a big show in the £10,000 dash.

The trainer, who also jointly owns Harry Love with Ownaracehorse Ltd, said: “He’s a very nice horse and we’ve got high hopes for him.

“He’s definitely improved again since his last win at Beverley and took that race great.

“It was also good to see the runner-up that day (Vintage Times) win next time up at Ripon so the form looks to be working out really well.

“We were thinking of going to Redcar with him, but this race popped up and it’s worth good prize-money. We also know he likes Beverley so there’s a lot going for him.

“He’s drawn in stall one so Ben (Robinson) is likely to pop out and be as handy as he can.

“His work has been good. He’s a very straightforward horse, he has a good temperament and is very sound.

“I don’t just see him as a two-year-old, though – he’s definitely a horse with a big future.”

Harry Love takes on four rivals at Beverley, with the David O’Meara-trained Great Dame at the head of the weights.

Proper Beau (Bryan Smart), Tom Tulliver (Declan Carroll) and last-time-out Newbury winner Bushtucker Trial, trained by Michael Bell, complete the line-up.

Pears is triple-handed at Beverley on Sunday as he is also set to saddle Carry On Deryck in the John Jenkins Claiming Stakes (2.10) over seven and a half furlongs.

Stablemate Billyoaks later runs in the concluding five-furlong Pure Broadband Handicap at 6pm.

Pears said: “Billyoaks and Carry On Deryck have plenty on their plate, to be fair, so Harry Love is obviously our best chance of winner at Beverley on Sunday.”

The going at Beverley was on Friday morning described as good, though conditions are likely to dry out ahead of Circus Family Raceday, for which the forecast is for sunny spells and a high of 25C.

 

 

Today, 20 August, the line-up has been announced for the 10th ‘Leger Legends Race’, The Mondialiste Leger Legends Classified Stakes, to be held at Doncaster Racecourse on Wednesday 11th September at 3.35pm.

It includes former six-time British champion jockey, Kieren Fallon who is joined by former stars of the National Hunt weighing room including recently retired jockeys Noel Fehily and Andrew Thornton, who both rode over 1000 winners apiece.  Fallon says:

“‘I am looking forward to riding in the race in its 10th year. It is for two very worthy causes in the Injured Jockeys Fund and National Horseracing College and I am pleased to support them, as well of course as trying to win the race!”.

He will be trying to emulate Sir Anthony McCoy, President of the Injured Jockeys Fund, who won the race in 2015, on his first ride in public since retirement.

Since its inauguration in 2010 over £1million has been raised for the Injured Jockeys Fund’s Jack Berry House and the National Horseracing College (formerly Northern Racing College).

Geoff Turnbull, sponsor and owner of Elwick Stud says:

‘We’re delighted to be sponsoring the tenth running of the Leger Legends Stakes. We recognise the fantastic work carried out by the committee in organising an event to raise vital funds for Jack Berry House and the National Horseracing College, who provide excellent training and support to make this fantastic sport possible. The Mondialiste Leger Legends Classified Stakes has a very fitting venue as Doncaster was the first racecourse the horse carried our colours at.”

A full jockey line up is below and tickets can be purchased (choose the Leger Legends Lunch package) at https://tickets.doncaster-racecourse.co.uk/shop/cart.pl?myaction=choose_package&event_id=9999000043438252&filter=9999000000000676

Jockey Line Up

  1. Gary Bardwell
  2. Sammy Jo Bell
  3. Colin Bolger
  4. Kieren Fallon
  5. Noel Fehily
  6. Brian Harding
  7. Luke Harvey
  8. Barry Keniry
  9. Jamie Mackay
  10. Derek McGaffin
  11. Timmy Murphy
  12. Adrian Nicholls
  13. Ollie Pears
  14. Charlie Poste
  15. Victoria Smith
  16. Andrew Thornton

Reserves

  1. Ger Tummelty
  2. Russ Kennemore

The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival will receive a truly international shop window this week with the likes of NBC in the US, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), SuperSport in Africa, TV Poland, and Network 10 in Australia showcasing the week to their audiences.

The four-day fixture, which starts tomorrow (August 21), will offer record prize money of well over £5 million. The racecourse has attracted the highest-rated horse in the world (Crystal Ocean), the highest-rated mare in the world (Enable, below), the highest-rated filly in the world (Magical) and the highest-rated stayer in the world (Stradivarius).

Racecourse Media Group (RMG), the UK-based media rights organisation which produces and distributes top-class horseracing around the world, and York Racecourse, have generated global interest in the fixture.

The racing will receive an excellent shop window in the US, via NBC’s household reach of 80million and TVG’s reach of 40million, while neighbouring Canada can count on coverage from national public broadcaster, CBC, and horseracing channel HPI TV.

Forty-eight countries in Africa will be served by leading broadcaster SuperSport, while South Africa racefans can also watch via Tellytrack.

The eagerly-anticipated participation of the 2017 Japan Cup winner Cheval Grand means The Green Channel, Japan’s hugely popular horse-racing channel, will broadcast live coverage of the action tomorrow. Australia will receive coverage via Network 10’s Ten Play and Sky Thoroughbred Central Channel, with Trackside broadcasting the action in New Zealand.

The Dubai Racing Channel will broadcast the fixture to 17 countries in the MENA region, while Yas TV (Abu Dhabi) will also show live coverage from all four days.

In Europe, broadcasters include TV Poland, Match (Russia), Silknet (Georgia), Equidia (France) and Teleippica (Italy). Extensive domestic coverage will be provided by ITV in the UK, and Virgin Media in Ireland, while Racing TV is the only place to see all 25 races in both countries.

The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival will offer record prize money of well over £5 million, so looks set to attract the highest rated horse in the world (Crystal Ocean), the highest rated mare in the world (Enable), the highest rated filly in the world (Magical) and the highest rated stayer in the world (Stradivarius) for York’s flagship meeting, over four spectacular days of racing action from Wednesday 21 to Saturday 24 August.

The stellar racing action forms the centre-piece of a festival brimming with award winning hospitality, high summer fashion and all that contributes to the hoped-for fabulous atmosphere of the flagship meeting at Britain’s Racecourse of the Year (as voted  by the Racegoers Club in each of 2016, 2017 & 2018).

The increase in prize money of more than £600,000 is largely focused this year on Sky Bet Ebor Saturday, where the feature contest for four year olds and upwards becomes the richest flat handicap in Europe with prize money of £1,000,000; double that of last year.

York’s ongoing commitment to the sport and its partnership with Sky Bet has also meant that the Sky Bet City of York on Ebor day, will offer a record purse of £225,000 (+25%) reflecting its upgrade to Group Two status. Darling of Yorkshire racing, Laurens, has been entered by Owner John Dance.

Earlier in the week, both the Group One Darley Yorkshire Oaks and Group One Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes will see their prize money rise to £400,000; an increase of £50,000 on 2018. The highest rated mare in the world, Enable, is set to contest the former, with the highest rated sprinters in Europe (Ten Sovereigns & Battaash) contesting the big sprint.

The prize money threshold for all races is £70,000, including the richest Maiden (Friday’s Convivial as backed by the European Breeders’ Fund) as well as the richest nursery handicap, one of a dozen contests to be supported by Sky Bet.

Independently ranked in the top five races in the world last year, the Group 1 Juddmonte International, also has £1 million on offer to the horse seeking to follow such superstars as Frankel or Sea the Stars into the Winner’s Enclosure on the opening day. Star of Mark Johnston’s Middleham stable, Elarqam, has been given a supplementary entry and so is set to take on Crystal Ocean, the Sir Michael Stoute- trained thoroughbred who sits atop the world rankings.

The Sky Bet Lowther on Thursday is at £225,000 the same level as the Al Basti Equiworld Gimcrack, run this year on Friday, retaining them as Britain’s richest Group 2s for juvenile fillies and colts, respectively.

From sprinters to stayers on Friday, with the richest ever renewal of Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Lonsdale Cup, offering £225,000 for the best stayer, joining the Group One races as the fourth contest to be part of the Qipco British Champions Series.  A celebration of the best races of the season that culminates at the richest day of racing in this country, Qipco British Champions Day, in October.  The support of Qipco is clear on all four days; with the BCS racemakers in attendance to help guide less experienced visitors around the racecourse and share their knowledge. Once again the Lonsdale is the final leg of the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Bonus with Stradivarius in contention for the £1 million bonus, having won the Matchbook Yorkshire Cup, Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and Qatar Goodwood Cup.

York Racecourse and its home city are the only European destination amongst the 39 communities spread over six countries that will host the 17th annual Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour. The famous three handled Gold Cup, valued at £100,000, will be on secure display to racegoers on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; alongside the Sky Bet Ebor Trophy. As part of the partnership between the two tracks, the Winning Owners in the Sky Bet Ebor will receive a fabulous trip to Melbourne with exclusive invitations and VIP treatment for the Carnival. A lucky ticket in a Sky Bet supported raffle will see two racegoers travel to Melbourne to experience the race that stops a nation; the unlucky ticket-holders will have played their part in supporting New Beginnings, as all proceeds will go to this local “life after racing” charity.

Continuing the support of good causes, this is the first year of the Sky Bet Ebor Community Fund; an initiative that will award a local charity or community group a £5,000 grant; each good cause will be allocated a runner in the Sky Bet Ebor with the winning horse earning its partner, the cash.

On all four days, stand-side racegoers will be able to watch and participate in the Slingsby Ebor Fashion Lawn by simply registering before 12.30pm. The eye-catching, flower-clad catwalk, set in the picturesque surroundings in front of the Edwardian Weighing Room, will offer a touch of “modern vintage”.  A panel of judges will cast an expert eye over the preparations and attire before them, ready to decide winners on each day. On Thursday, the best dressed racegoer will win a very special prize, courtesy of Al Basti Equiworld, a short break for two people to Dubai including a trip to Meydan Racecourse. There will also be prizes for “Best Hat, Best Dressed Gent, Best Dressed Lady, Best Dressed Child and Best Dressed Couple” on each day. A rising star of the millinery world, Georgina Durdy, will be on hand to help assess the style and match hats to outfits.

Expect to see a host of world-class jockeys competing for top honours at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.  In a fitting tribute to popular racing journalist who passed away in 2015, the “Ray Gilpin Red Armband” will be worn by the leading rider during the week, with a special prize offered by Sky Bet to the most successful jockey over the twenty-five races.

The global nature of the top quality competition is reflected with the three Group Ones all being part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, and the Juddmonte International and Darley Yorkshire Oaks attracting huge bonuses for the winner to go to race in Japan. The Juddmonte International is the only contest in Europe to be designated as a “win and you’re in contest” for the Breeders Cup Classic. York will welcome representatives of international racing from Japan, Europe, the Middle East and Australia, in a meeting that continues to grow in global profile and reach.

There is horsepower of a different nature on display in the foyer of the Knavesmire Stand with the latest Volvos on show, courtesy of Ray Chapman Motors.

On Ladies Day and the closing day of the four day meeting at 1.20pm, parachute display teams are set to drop in on the Knavesmire with the RAF Falcons on Thursday and the Silver Stars of the Royal Logistics Corps on Ebor Saturday.

The first four races on each of the four days will be broadcast live on ITV1, in addition to every race being covered live on Racing TV and SIS.  GBI Racing will be transmitting the event to over 30 countries around the world. Ed Chamberlin and Francesca Cumani will head the BATFA winning ITV coverage which will feature use of the “Batcam” as well as capturing the fun with fashion experts, Mark Heyes and Charlotte Hawkins. For the first time, the festival will be broadcast live on NBC in the USA as well as on the national broadcasters of both Canada and Poland.

All runners will carry speed sensing equipment from Coursetrack who are working in partnership with Racecourse Media Group (RMG) to continue the development of sectional timings and race data information.  The intention is that the results, once they are processed and validated, will be shared both on course to racegoers via a noticeboard adjacent to the parade ring, as well as via social media @yorkracecourse.

This is only the second ever Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival for the renamed Clocktower Enclosure, the grassed infield area which runs parallel to the final furlong of the track. Retaining its great views back towards the main stands, it benefited from a £5 million improvement scheme in 2018. Main contractor, Lindum York, delivered two large, modern toilet blocks at either end of the grass banking, a row of canopies either side of the famous Clocktower that offer catering and betting facilities as well as some racegoer cover, improved access for pushchairs and wheelchairs plus a refurbishment of the turnstiles. The on the day entrance price for this Enclosure is just £12 with accompanied under 18’s free of charge. It is the first year for the Premier Racing Lounge, a space that offers a special atmosphere and reserved seating on the ground floor of the Melrose Stand, already popular with racegoers, it has sold out for this big week.

Away from the track, a brigade of some 80 chefs, backed by a wider raceday team of over two thousand staff, will provide the welcome, services and treats that come with a major sporting event.  Seafood will be delivered from the Yorkshire coast every morning including 2,000 crabs, joining Dales lamb and 3,000 home-made beef burgers, Hawes cheeses, 6,000 fresh baked fruit scones and locally made dairy ice cream, on the various menus. Extending the White Rose provenance this year will be fresh crustaceans provided by the Yorkshire Lobster Company, from the waters off Scarborough.

Partner Moët et Chandon support the meeting with Mercier champagne priced at £38, Moët et Chandon Brut Imperial NV at £56 and selected bars stocking York’s house champagne at even less.

An additional place to enjoy food and drinks this year is the Garden Pavilion, a pre-booked area that offers exactly what it sounds like, a beautiful garden in the centre of the course to compliment the hospitality and sporting action.

York is proud of its flowers and floral displays growing many of its displays and plants from seed or seedling and last year won a RHS Yorkshire in Bloom Gold Award. Very much a signature of 2018, the Ebor Festival this year will offer a new “selfie flower wall” by the Parade Ring for racegoers to show off their fashion and capture the moment on social media. So it is easier to share these images or also send pictures of the ice sculptures and chocolate fountains in the main restaurants, or simply to capture the feel good factor, racegoers will be able to use the free Wi-Fi service installed at the track by local tech firm, York Data Services.

Over the week, those seeking musical entertainment will have their choice, as Yorkshire based jazz and brass bands perform on the Edwardian Weighing Room Lawn, with Murphy’s Marbles playing their own blend of Irish foot stomping, good time tunes.  Local bands, The Monotones and Paradise Lane, will play to racegoers after the last race into the early evening on each of the four racedays from the Edwardian Weighing Room Lawn.

There will be a record number of eight giant screens relaying the action in HD quality, including a screen overlooking the both the Veuve Clicquot & Roberto Lawns. Live action from the Ashes Test Match cricket (Thursday onwards) and Premier League (Saturday lunchtime) will be shown.

William Derby, Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course, concluded “The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival is simply the highlight of our year. With the record investment in prize money, the stellar entries, ongoing investment across the site and all the countless initiatives and innovations, this year looks set to be a landmark event of top quality racing action as well as a tremendous social and fashion event. I very much hope racegoers, punters and viewers will enjoy the feast on offer.”

TATE JUVENILES SET TO CLASH AT YORK

TRAINER James Tate will be doubled-handed in the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes at York on Thursday having supplemented impressive Princess Margaret Stakes winner Under The Stars.

Connections of the Saeed Manana-owned filly paid £15,000 to add their unbeaten juvenile to the Group 2 line-up, which also includes stable companion Nasaiym.

A three-length winner on debut at Ripon, Under The Stars built significantly on that form when landing the Group 3 Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot last month, staying on strongly under PJ McDonald to win with something in hand.

Having pleased Tate in her recent homework, the daughter of Night Of Thunder will now test her credentials in the £225,000 Sky Bet Lowther Stakes – run on Thursday, August 22, the second day of The Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival.

“We supplemented her for the Lowther as this was the logical next step after Ascot,” said the Newmarket-based handler.

“Although she works nicely, she doesn’t overdo herself at home, so we didn’t know how much she had in hand before the Princess Margaret.

“But it was nice to see the improvement she made there and she seems to have come on again. Hopefully she can repeat that form, or even build on it.”

Under The Stars has been strong at the finish in both starts so far, but Tate has no fears about the sharp six furlongs on the Knavesmire.

“She hit the line hard in the Princess Margaret because we waited with her,” Tate added.

“PJ held her up and only asked her for her effort in the last furlong. She was very impressive there.

“She didn’t blow after the race and it didn’t take much out of her. The quicker six furlongs won’t hold any fears and I am very optimistic about her.”

Nasaiym is on an upward curve of her own having beaten a subsequent winner when breaking her maiden at Newbury and Tate has reason to be believe she is capable of further progress

He said: “Nasaiym has always been a filly we’ve liked. She won nicely enough at Newbury, but I thought she won in spite of the soft ground and she did it on class.

“These are lightly-raced horses and we’re still learning about them. While this is obviously a big step up, my gut would be that she could take a significant step forward on better ground.”

A total of 16 fillies remain engaged in the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes, while the card also includes the Group 1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks.

The seven-strong line-up for that £400,000 contest is spearheaded by the exceptional Enable, who won this race in 2017 and is unbeaten in her last 11 starts.

Old foe Magical, who finished behind the John Gosden-trained superstar in the Breeders’ Cup Turf and Eclipse Stakes at Sandown, has been supplemented by Aidan O’Brien at a cost of £30,000.

The Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival runs from Wednesday 21 August 21 until Saturday 24 August  inclusively.

IMPRESSIVE debut winner, Huraiz, is set to have his sights raised in the Group 3 Tattersalls Acomb Stakes at York on Wednesday.

The Mark Johnston-trained colt made a striking introduction at Newcastle earlier this month, pulling two and a half lengths clear of his 11 rivals.

A son of Sepoy, the talented juvenile is part of a 16-strong entry to have been received for the Tattersalls Acomb Stakes – one of three Group races to be run on the opening day of The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.

The £100,000 contest was won by subsequent Irish 2,000 Guineas winner, Phoenix Of Spain, twelve months ago, while Dutch Connection landed the spoils in 2014 prior to finishing placed twice in Group 1 company.

Huraiz has a long way to go before he emulates the exploits of those high-class individuals, but Richard Hills – assistant racing manager to owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum – issued a positive bulletin on their representative.

“I was quite impressed with him at Newcastle, coming across from a bad draw before winning alright,” Hills said.

“I don’t know how strong the race was and this will be a big step up from a maiden, but he stuck it out good and seven furlongs will definitely suit him.

“Mark has made some Group 1 entries for him – in the Middle Park and the Dewhurst – and his horses are flying at the moment.  If he’s keen to run, I can’t see why we won’t go to York.”

The famous blue and white silks of Sheikh Hamdan are set to be well represented across the four days of The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.

Huraiz’s stable companion, Elarqam, has been supplemented for the Juddmonte International where he could face up to 11 rivals in the £1 million showpiece.

The potential opposition includes Enable and Crystal Ocean, who finished first and second respectively in a thrilling renewal of the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot last month; although the John Gosden-trained Enable is being targeted at the Darley Yorkshire Oaks – run on the Thursday of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.

Charlie Hills will saddle Sheikh Hamdan’s Battaash in the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes on Friday as the brilliant speedster seeks to supplement his electrifying victory in the Group 2 King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.

On the same afternoon, the Roger Varian-trained Molatham could represent the same owner in The British Stallion Studs EBF Convivial Maiden Stakes, the richest maiden in the land.

The son of Night Thunder finished a neck second on debut at Ascot and Hills reported: “He’s come on for that run. He’s a nice horse.”

The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival kicks off with The Sky Bet and Symphony Group Handicap Stakes at 1.55pm on Wednesday, while the first-day action also includes the Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes.

The £170,000 Group 2, which is a traditional stepping stone to next month’s St Leger – the final Classic of the season – has attracted 11 confirmations.

They include six representatives from Aidan O’Brien’s powerful Ballydoyle stable, headlined by Epsom Derby fourth, Broome.

The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival runs from Wednesday 21 August until Saturday 24 August inclusively.

It’s time to dress to impress as Catterick Racecourse prepares for Ladies’ Day on Wednesday 28 August. Amongst the racing action, there will be fashion competitions, live music and complimentary cocktails!

The gates open at 12.20pm on Wednesday 28 August and racegoers will be keen to arrive early as the first 100 ladies to visit the Yorkshire Dales Distillery stand will be treated to a complimentary Rhubarb Gin or Bramble Berry Gin cocktail on arrival.

The first race gets under starters orders at 2.20pm, while the feature race, the Ernest Norris (1919 – 1992) Memorial Handicap Stakes is scheduled for 3.50pm.

In between races, racegoers can enjoy live music performed by Elena Larkin, a 21-year old singer-songwriter from Hartlepool and the fashion stakes are high as ladies (and gents!) have the chance to take part in fashion competitions during the afternoon and be in with the chance of winning some fabulous prizes!

Firstly, the Best Dressed Lady on the day will win a £500 voucher for a bespoke La Fille Rouge outfit of their choice. Based on a farm near Northallerton, Yvonne at La Fille Rouge makes bespoke and unique clothing, using 100% wool tweed from a Yorkshire based mill. In addition, the Best Dressed Lady will be given the opportunity to represent Catterick at the Go Racing in Yorkshire Grand Final in Doncaster on Saturday 26 October.

Kindly sponsored by the Secret Spa, near Bedale, the lady wearing the Best Hat on the day will receive a couple’s spa package worth £130 which includes two and a half hours private use of all the facilities which opened in September 2018.

Finally, there’s a new addition to the fashion programme this year as racegoers are invited to enter the Best Dressed Couple competition for a chance to win a voucher for a two-course dinner for two people at The Black Bull Inn, Moulton.

Emma Binnian, Sales & Marketing Manager said: “The style stakes are always high when it comes to Ladies’ Day; we’re very grateful to our sponsors for offering some wonderful prizes and are looking forward to seeing the fashions this year!”

With the meeting falling in the last week of the school holidays, it’s worth noting that there will be free children’s entertainment in the Course Enclosure during the afternoon and remember accompanied under 18’s race free at all of Catterick’s fixtures!

Adult tickets start at just £5 for the Course Enclosure, or £15 for the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure. Tickets are available to purchase on the day, while advanced booking discounts are available online on www.catterickbridge.co.uk.

There is a free shuttle bus which brings racegoers to the racecourse from Richmond Market Place. The bus leaves approximately one hour before the first race and will return after the last race.

A statue of racing legend, Lester Piggott, will be unveiled at York Racecourse on the opening day of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival, Wednesday 21 August.

Though born in Wantage, the Piggott family trace their roots back to the north and the eleven time champion jockey often described York as his favourite track.

It was also a successful venue for the man often known as “the Long Fellow”; with five victories in the Group One Juddmonte International, four in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks and seven in the fastest race of the season, the Coolmore Nunthorpe, all forming part of a career total of 4,493 wins.

The life size bronze, by sculptor William Newton, will be set in front of the Edwardian Weighing Room; the base for his rides on great horses such as Dahlia and Rodrigo de Triano.

The statue was commissioned by David and Christopher St George for whose family Piggott rode many top-class horses including dual Gold Cup at Royal Ascot winner Ardross, a fine stayer that also brought two Yorkshire Cups his way.

Racing journalist and broadcaster Brough Scott reported on the many highs of a career that saw winners spread over six decades and has been a key part of the project to see a permanent memory of Piggott on display at nine courses around the country, he said; ”Lester loved York, the crowd understood a good horse and a good ride, generous in their praise and astute in any criticism. Bringing home Jupiter Island as a 9/1 winner of the Ebor went down well in these parts”.

With the man himself due to be in attendance, it will be a pleasant duty for York Racecourse Chairman, Lord Grimthorpe, to unveil the statue; he commented, “as well as the many pattern race successes Lester enjoyed here, I have fond memories of the summer of ’69 when he partnered My Swannee to victories in a brace of traditionally competitive Knavesmire Handicaps, including the  Magnet Cup of that year”.

The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) and York Racecourse are to celebrate their close ties with the announcement of a new exciting initiative to further cement their global partnership.

The VRC will provide the winning connections of the £1 million Sky Bet Ebor Handicap with a once-in-a-lifetime experience for two to the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival. The package includes business class flights, accommodation and money-can’t-buy invitations to special events during Cup Week in Melbourne.

Similarly, York will conduct a public raffle throughout the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival to raise funds for local re-training and re-homing racehorse charity New Beginnings, with the star prize being a once-in-a-lifetime trip for two to Melbourne to enjoy the thrill of Cup Week racing.

The VRC’s celebrated Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour will visit York for the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival on 21-24 August as part of the iconic trophy’s annual journey across Australia and the globe.

VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott and the Cup will be there to officially mark the new partnership and present the winners with their prizes alongside York Racecourse.

Mrs Elliott said she was delighted to strengthen the VRC’s bond with York Racecourse and the Sky Bet Ebor Handicap.

“The Melbourne Cup Carnival and the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival are both icons of world racing, and our relationship has always been a strong one,” Mrs Elliott said

“The Ebor Handicap has built a reputation as an important international pathway to the Lexus Melbourne Cup.

“Four of the past five Ebor Handicap winners have gone on to run with tremendous credit in the Cup and we hope to see the 2019 winner at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.”

Mrs Elliott also said the experiences on offer were like no other.

“It is hard to describe the atmosphere at Flemington on Lexus Melbourne Cup Day.

“I’m delighted that four people will get to experience the magic of Cup Week and I thank York Racecourse Chairman Lord Grimthorpe and York Racecourse Chief Executive William Derby for embracing this global partnership between York and the VRC so enthusiastically.”

Chairman of York Racecourse, Lord Grimthorpe, said, “The Lexus Melbourne Cup and Sky Bet Ebor are both steeped in history and heritage and are central to very special weeks in the global racing calendar.

“For the connections of the winning horse in the Sky Bet Ebor to experience Flemington and Melbourne during Cup Week will provide a memory for a lifetime. Similarly, the lucky winner of the New Beginnings raffle will have an amazing reward for their support of a fantastic local equine charity.

“The links between the VRC and York were already strong, yet this initiative takes the partnership to a new level. I am grateful to Victoria Racing Club Chairman Amanda Elliott and her team at the VRC for all their support and we look forward to welcoming them and the Lexus Melbourne Cup to York for the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival next week.”

Champion Trainer John Gosden is looking forward to bringing back to York the outstanding Enable for the Darley Yorkshire Oaks on Thursday 22 August.

The five-year-old mare, owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah, has become a racing superstar over the last three seasons, winning 11 races on the trot.

Nine of those successes have been at Group 1 level, including the 2017 renewal of the Darley Yorkshire Oaks, which she landed by five lengths from stable-mate, Coronet.

This season has already seen her triumphing in the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown, followed up by a memorable win in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot last month.

Connections have long outlined that the big target is the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, which Enable will attempt to win for an unprecedented third straight season.

Newmarket-based Gosden said: “We are pointing at the Yorkshire Oaks – we were keen to stay at a mile and a half, rather than coming back in trip again – and obviously trying to use it as a springboard to the Arc.

“She has had a nice easy time since the King George. She just did a breeze on her own with Frankie (Dettori) on her on Saturday – into a strong headwind, so they just did a nice quiet bit. She’ll pick up again in her work this week, but she is out there enjoying herself, looking well and moving nicely.

“She’s a lovely filly, obviously, and she has done extremely well this year. She really enjoys her training and her racing, which obviously makes the trainer’s job a lot easier. Everyone is interested in her when she is out on the Heath. So we are very lucky to have a filly like that in the stables.

“Obviously it comes with plenty of responsibility but all being well we’ll be there next Thursday with her. She has been to York before. The crowd were thrilled to see her last time she was there when she came after the King George.”

From a raft of other entries in the £400,000 race Gosden expects Enable to be joined in it by Lah Ti Dar with the likes of Coronet, Anapurna and Star Catcher having planned assignments elsewhere.

Lah Ti Dar is proven at York, having won at last year’s Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival in the Listed British EBF and Sir Henry Cecil Galtres Stakes and also at Group Two level in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Stakes in May.

Gosden confirmed: “Lah Ti Dar may well be in the Oaks as well. The owner-breeders are very keen to run her – they’ve been wanting to run her in the race all year, so I’m sure that’s where she’ll probably be going. She is training nicely.”

The following day – Friday 23 August – Stradivarius will seek to win the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup for a second successive year. If he is victorious, the brilliant five-year-old will land the £1million Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers Bonus again; after pulling off a series of big-race successes in the past two years.

So far this season Stradivarius has once more triumphed in the Matchbook Yorkshire Cup, the Gold Cup at Royal and, late last month, the Qatar Goodwood Cup.

Gosden said: “He is as cheeky as ever!  He is full of himself, a very happy horse. He is training up nicely for the race. Obviously, the Goodwood Cup was not that long ago, so we come into the Lonsdale just trying to keep the freshness in him.

“He probably had tougher races coming through last year – the Gold Cup last year was a formidable race, whereas they probably didn’t go as hard this year. Therefore, for him, it didn’t drain him so much.

“We are looking forward to the race. He did struggle in it last year – no doubt about that. It’s quite a lot of races, but they are spaced well and he has already been to York once this year for the Yorkshire Cup.”

On the opening day of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival – Wednesday 21 August – Gosden is planning to send out King Of Comedy in the £1million Juddmonte International Stakes. The Kingman colt finished a narrowly-beaten second in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot last time out and will step up to an extended mile and a quarter for his Knavesmire appointment

Gosden said: “We feel that is his trip. Since Royal Ascot this has been the plan.”

On the same card, the Clarehaven  Stables based string is set to be represented by the unbeaten Logician in the Group Three Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes. The son of Frankel is three from three to date, running away with a Newbury handicap on his last start.

Gosden said: “We are planning at this moment to run Logician in the Voltigeur. Obviously it’s a considerable move up in class, but he has been going nicely at home.”

Such high-profile runners bring about scrutiny and pressure. But Gosden has a measured viewpoint on the situation.

He said: “It’s a whole lot tougher if you don’t have horses of the quality to compete at a meeting like York. If you have something that can compete there that is, funny enough, less pressure than not finding a horse that can compete there. That’s tough to live with if you’re a trainer and I think that’s something that people forget.”

So Gosden will enjoy next week when he steps onto the Knavesmire to saddle up some of his powerful yard’s stars.

He said: “We feel York is a phenomenal racecourse and the Ebor meeting is a real stand-out in the year. And I always say the Yorkshire crowd are definitely the most knowledgeable and the most passionate of race-goers. So it’s very fulfilling if you can find horses good enough to run in these races.”

The Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival runs from Wednesday 21 August until Saturday 24 August inclusively.

Champion Trainer John Gosden is looking forward to bringing back to York the outstanding Enable for the Darley Yorkshire Oaks on Thursday 22 August.

The five-year-old mare, owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah, has become a racing superstar over the last three seasons, winning 11 races on the trot.

Nine of those successes have been at Group 1 level, including the 2017 renewal of the Darley Yorkshire Oaks, which she landed by five lengths from stable-mate, Coronet.

This season has already seen her triumphing in the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown, followed up by a memorable win in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot last month.

Connections have long outlined that the big target is the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, which Enable will attempt to win for an unprecedented third straight season.

Newmarket-based Gosden said: “We are pointing at the Yorkshire Oaks – we were keen to stay at a mile and a half, rather than coming back in trip again – and obviously trying to use it as a springboard to the Arc.

“She has had a nice easy time since the King George. She just did a breeze on her own with Frankie (Dettori) on her on Saturday – into a strong headwind, so they just did a nice quiet bit. She’ll pick up again in her work this week, but she is out there enjoying herself, looking well and moving nicely.

“She’s a lovely filly, obviously, and she has done extremely well this year. She really enjoys her training and her racing, which obviously makes the trainer’s job a lot easier. Everyone is interested in her when she is out on the Heath. So we are very lucky to have a filly like that in the stables.

“Obviously it comes with plenty of responsibility but all being well we’ll be there next Thursday with her. She has been to York before. The crowd were thrilled to see her last time she was there when she came after the King George.”

From a raft of other entries in the £400,000 race Gosden expects Enable to be joined in it by Lah Ti Dar with the likes of Coronet, Anapurna and Star Catcher having planned assignments elsewhere.

Lah Ti Dar is proven at York, having won at last year’s Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival in the Listed British EBF and Sir Henry Cecil Galtres Stakes and also at Group Two level in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Stakes in May.

Gosden confirmed: “Lah Ti Dar may well be in the Oaks as well. The owner-breeders are very keen to run her – they’ve been wanting to run her in the race all year, so I’m sure that’s where she’ll probably be going. She is training nicely.”

The following day – Friday 23 August – Stradivarius will seek to win the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup for a second successive year. If he is victorious, the brilliant five-year-old will land the £1million Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers Bonus again; after pulling off a series of big-race successes in the past two years.

So far this season Stradivarius has once more triumphed in the Matchbook Yorkshire Cup, the Gold Cup at Royal and, late last month, the Qatar Goodwood Cup.

Gosden said: “He is as cheeky as ever!  He is full of himself, a very happy horse. He is training up nicely for the race. Obviously, the Goodwood Cup was not that long ago, so we come into the Lonsdale just trying to keep the freshness in him.

“He probably had tougher races coming through last year – the Gold Cup last year was a formidable race, whereas they probably didn’t go as hard this year. Therefore, for him, it didn’t drain him so much.

“We are looking forward to the race. He did struggle in it last year – no doubt about that. It’s quite a lot of races, but they are spaced well and he has already been to York once this year for the Yorkshire Cup.”

On the opening day of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival – Wednesday 21 August – Gosden is planning to send out King Of Comedy in the £1million Juddmonte International Stakes. The Kingman colt finished a narrowly-beaten second in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot last time out and will step up to an extended mile and a quarter for his Knavesmire appointment

Gosden said: “We feel that is his trip. Since Royal Ascot this has been the plan.”

On the same card, the Clarehaven  Stables based string is set to be represented by the unbeaten Logician in the Group Three Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes. The son of Frankel is three from three to date, running away with a Newbury handicap on his last start.

Gosden said: “We are planning at this moment to run Logician in the Voltigeur. Obviously it’s a considerable move up in class, but he has been going nicely at home.”

Such high-profile runners bring about scrutiny and pressure. But Gosden has a measured viewpoint on the situation.

He said: “It’s a whole lot tougher if you don’t have horses of the quality to compete at a meeting like York. If you have something that can compete there that is, funny enough, less pressure than not finding a horse that can compete there. That’s tough to live with if you’re a trainer and I think that’s something that people forget.”

So Gosden will enjoy next week when he steps onto the Knavesmire to saddle up some of his powerful yard’s stars.

He said: “We feel York is a phenomenal racecourse and the Ebor meeting is a real stand-out in the year. And I always say the Yorkshire crowd are definitely the most knowledgeable and the most passionate of race-goers. So it’s very fulfilling if you can find horses good enough to run in these races.”

The Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival runs from Wednesday 21 August until Saturday 24 August inclusively.

BATTAASH will spearhead a strong team for trainer Charlie Hills at The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival, which gets underway on Wednesday 21 August at York.

Battaash is currently the bookies’ favourite for August 23’s Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes after winning the King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood for the third straight year.

In 2017 and 2018 Sheikh Hamdan’s five-year-old speedster followed up by running in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes, finishing fourth on both occasions.

But Lambourn-based Hills is hoping it’s third time lucky in Battaash’s quest to land the Group 1 sprint on the Knavesmire.

Hills said: “Battaash has come out of Goodwood very well. He didn’t lose much weight there and is actually heavier now than what he was before, so that’s good news.

“We were quite conscious not to try and give him such a hard race at Goodwood this year. Maybe try and have him a bit fresher for York.

“So we are happy with him. He is back doing routine canter work at the moment. We’ll do that for another week and then we’ll just give him a couple of pieces of faster work leading up to the race.”

Battaash may have yet to win at York but Hills remains positive about the gelding’s future prospects at the course.

He added: “I would have thought a track like that should really suit him. For whatever reason so far it hasn’t. But at the same time he hasn’t run bad races. Anyway, we’ll give it another go.”

Battaash may well be joined by stable-mate Garrus in the £400,000 five-furlong contest. The four-year-old, owned by Paul and Susan Roy, won in Listed company at York’s Dante Festival and has since run second and third in respective Group 3 and Group 2 assignments.

Hills said: “I know from speaking to the owners of Garrus, they are quite keen to run him there. He has obviously won at York before. There is a Group 3 in France as well for him though, so we’ll have to decide nearer the time for that one. I think he’s done really well – he has grown a bit actually. He’ll be a lovely horse next year as well.”

In Dutch Connection (2014) and Phoenix Of Spain (2018) Hills has sent out two of the last five winners of the Tattersalls Acomb Stakes and he’ll have a ‘live’ chance with his candidate for the latest renewal on Wednesday 21 August in the shape of Persuasion.

He impressed with victory on his debut in a seven-furlong maiden at Glorious Goodwood and the Group 3 at York should prove informative for connections as they plan for the future of the Acclamation colt.

Hills said: “He is a very professional horse – he has got a great mind. And the Acomb looks the perfect race for him.”

Hills has a clutch of talented two-year-olds to run over the four days of the meeting. Flippa The Strippa will contest either the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes or the Sky Bet Nursery, while Royal Commando is under consideration for the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes

Hills said: “We’re probably going to run Royal Commando in the Gimcrack. He got a very unlucky run at Goodwood last week.”

In the same Goodwood race Hills charge Fleeting Prince was another to endure a less than straightforward passage. Connections are now eying up the Goffs UK Premier Yearling Stakes.

Hills confirmed: “Fleeting Prince is going to run in the sales race. He is a nice horse, has got a bit of a class and I think he’d have a good chance in a race like that.”

The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival is always one that Hills looks forward to and he said: “It’s certainly one of the highlights of the season – lots of championship races. And we’ve always enjoyed going up there. It’s always great to try and have winners there.”

The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival runs from Wednesday 21 August until Saturday 24 August inclusively.

GREAT-GRANDMA Janice Wilson pulled off a blooming spectacular victory in the adults’ fancy dress competition on Redcar Races’ Caribbean Carnival Day.

Judges said Janice, from Linthorpe, Middlesbrough, stood out not just because of her costume, but due to her pirate name of “Swashbuckle Fatknickers”.

Janice, who works as a senior carer, said: “I’m absolutely buzzing. I won this competition eight years ago, and it’s great to win it again. If you make the effort, then you get your rewards.”

She entered with her friend, Jon Fields, also from Middlesbrough, and helped him to dress as Captain John Longfellow.

Andrew Calder, from Eyemouth, took second place with his sharp island-inspired suit, while third place went to Liam Steer, from Hastings, who dressed as Polly the Parrot for his stag party.

The junior competition also showcased some excellent Caribbean costumes. The boys’ contest was won by eight-year-old Alfie Smith, from Eston, with his hula dancer costume, and the girls’ winner was pirate queen Rose Gleeson, who is just three years old.

Runners-up were twins Isaac and Esme Walker, both aged five, from Billingham.

Ripon’s most iconic race, The William Hill Great St. Wilfrid Handicap Stakes takes pride of place on an excellent card next Saturday, August 17th. The ITV4 cameras will be present for the most valuable raceday of the season at Yorkshire’s ‘Garden Racecourse’, with total prize money of £150,000 up for grabs.

The famous six-furlong Handicap has now been sponsored by William Hill for 26 years, their longest standing sports sponsorship and with £75,000 prize money on offer the 2019 renewal is sure to be fiercely competitive. The meeting also includes the seventh running of The William Hill Silver Trophy Handicap, a £20,000 ‘consolation’ race for the horses balloted out of the William Hill Great St. Wilfrid.

William Hill Spokesperson, Rupert Adams said: “We are very proud sponsors of the Great St Wilfrid Handicap, which delivers for us on a yearly basis. Amazingly this is our 26th year, by far the longest standing sponsorship in our portfolio and one we look forward to continuing with.”

The last nine winners of the historic contest have been trained in Yorkshire and with the likes of Tim Easterby, Richard Fahey and David O’Meara all likely to have multiple entries, who would bet against the trophy remaining in Yorkshire for a ninth consecutive year?

Last year’s contest was won by Gunmetal, trained locally in Maunby by David Barron and a bid to become only the second horse to win the race back-to-back is very much on the cards but Barron does have one eye on the skies.

His trainer David Barron said: “He’s in very good form, he’ll definitely be entered and the plan is to go and do exactly what he did last year. The potential problem would be soft ground. He prefers decent ground so we’re hoping there’s not too much rain in the next week”.

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

“William Hill Great St Wilfrid day is always an occasion we really look forward to and we’re very proud to be William Hill’s longest standing sports sponsorship. For the past nine years the race has been won by Yorkshire-based trainers and Yorkshire looks likely to be very strongly represented once again”.

Racing on Saturday August 17th starts with the first of seven races at 1:30pm with entry from 11.00am. Racegoers can gain entry from just £7 per person in the ever popular Course Enclosure with FREE entry for accompanied Under 18’s into all enclosures.

Saturday’s musical entertainment on the bandstand is provided by The Summerbridge and Dacre Band and there will be bouncy castles for children in the Course Enclosure

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

Tickets can be pre-booked for discounts or adult admission is available on the gates from £7 per person in the Course Enclosure (or Car to Course £20 – up to 4 adults), £17 in the Paddock and £26 for the Club Enclosure.

TRAINER Michael Dods is hoping Mabs Cross can go one better than last year in her quest for success in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York.

The five-year-old mare went down to Alpha Delphini by a nose in the thrilling 2018 renewal of the Group 1 sprint on the Knavesmire.

Mabs Cross went on to land a deserved success at the highest level with victory in the Prix de l’Abbaye last autumn.

And she returned in 2019 with success in a Group 3 at Newmarket and was last seen in public when finishing fourth to Blue Point in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Dods, based near Darlington, has since freshened up his stable star in readiness for a shot at the £400,000 five-furlong contest at York on Friday 23 August.

He said: “We are happy with Mabs Cross. She is in good form and we’re building the work up ready for having her A1 on the day.

“We just gave her a few easy weeks. The idea was to let her down a bit and then build her back up ready for York.

“The important thing to her is pace in the race. If she’s off the bridle at halfway you know she’ll come on at the end.

“I thought when she ran at Ascot she travelled too strongly throughout the race. But she’ll get a fast pace to aim at, at York.

“Last year, obviously we got pipped on the post but she ran a blinder. That set her up for France. So we’re aiming at going the same route.

“We’re happy where we’re at. We’re at a similar stage to where we were this time last year – we’re very pleased with her at the moment.”

Dods expects to bring a team of horses to the meeting over the four days.

The curtain-raising Sky Bet and Symphony Group Handicap could see him triple-handed with Dakota Gold, Jawwaal and Camacho Chief. The trio recently finished first, third and sixth respectively in the Sky Bet Dash at York.

Two more of Dods’ charges – Troubadour and Que Amoro – won at York last month. Both are pencilled in for return visits to the Knavesmire during the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival. The progressive Troubadour is ready to tackle the Sky Bet Nursery Handicap on Wednesday; while Que Amoro is being aimed at the closing race of the Festival, the Sky Bet Apprentice Stakes; both contests offer an eye catching £70,000 purse.

Dods confirmed: “We have a few that we intend to run there, all being well and if the ground conditions are what they want.

“We like to run at every York meeting but obviously at this fixture – and the horses seem to excel.

“There is never that many hard luck stories at York – it’s a great track, owners are well looked after, the facilities are fantastic for everybody, the horses, the staff.

“It’s just a fantastic racecourse, extremely well run and we like to have runners there.”

The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival runs from Wednesday 21 August until Saturday 24 August inclusively.

JOHN QUINN has nominated the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes at The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival as the intended target for improving filly, Liberty Beach.

The talented juvenile has been one of the success stories of the season, blitzing her nine rivals in the Listed Dragon Stakes at Sandown, prior to a taking success in the Group 3 Molecomb Stakes at the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

The daughter of Cable Bay holds an entry in both the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes and the Prix Morny at Deauville, but Quinn said the former engagement – a £225,000 Group 2 – is the preferred option.

“She’s in the Morny and the Lowther, but I think she’ll run in the Lowther,” Quinn said.

“She’s been absolutely fine since Goodwood. She’s had an easy-ish time since. She cantered lovely on Monday and I couldn’t be happier with her.”

Liberty Beach has yet to race beyond five furlongs, but Quinn remains open minded about the prospect of his charge stepping up in trip by a furlong on the Knavesmire.

The Malton-based handler is also relaxed regarding ground conditions for Liberty Beach, highlighting her versatility in a five-start career that has so far yielded four victories and a fourth-place finish in the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot.

“Obviously you never know until you try (six furlongs), but she hits the line hard and we shall see,” he said.

“She’s won on good-to-firm and good ground, while she ran very well on soft ground at Ascot. She’s not ground dependent.”

While Quinn is hopeful Liberty Beach can continue to climb through the ranks, he said a potential supplementary entry for the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes – run on the Friday of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival – had never been under consideration.

“We’ll leave the Nunthorpe until next year!” the trainer added. “She hasn’t done much wrong against some very good horses. Hopefully she can keep going.”

The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival has been a fruitful hunting ground for Quinn before, saddling New Planet to success in the 2010 renewal of the Listed Julia Graves Roses Stakes, and he reaffirmed the importance of York’s flagship fixture.

Quinn said: “Obviously, everybody would love to have a winner at the Ebor Meeting.”

The Sky Bet Lowther Stakes is scheduled for the second day of The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival, which runs from Wednesday 21 August until Saturday 24 August inclusively.

 

PIRATES are poised to invade the North-East coast this weekend as a seaside racecourse stages one of its most fun-packed days of the year.

Redcar Races stages its annual Caribbean Carnival Day this Saturday with landlubbers rubbing shoulders with fancy-dress Long John Silvers and Captain Jack Sparrows.

This year, Redcar has teamed up with the National Museum of the Royal Navy at Hartlepool to offer exciting prizes for the winners of fancy-dress competitions for children and adults.

The junior and adult winner will receive 12-month family passes for the award-winning museum, which is a recreation of an 18th century seaport in the time of Lord Nelson, Napoleon and The Battle of Trafalgar.

Hartlepool’s Historic Quay features HMS Trincomalee, an 1817 sailing frigate, plus an adventure play ship, explosive re-enactments, and other family attractions.

The winner of the adults’ competition will also receive admission for four to a future race meeting, while the runner-up and third-placed will win raceday passes for two. The winner of the children’s competition will also win a gift voucher for a haul of sweets.

To add to the carnival atmosphere, the North Tyneside Steel Band will be playing throughout the day and mermaids and pirates will be mixing with the crowd. Children will also get the chance to join in a pirate training camp.

Redcar’s general manager Amy Fair said: “Caribbean Carnival Day is always one of our most popular family fixtures, combing great racing and lots of fun. Every year, it’s a joy to see racegoers – young and old – letting their hair down in an array of colourful costumes.”

Gates open at 11am, with the first race at 1.15pm. Under-18s go free with a paying adult.

Japan Cup winner, Cheval Grand, is being prepared for a tilt at the Group One Juddmonte International Stakes on the opening day of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival at York, a fortnight today.

Trained in Japan by Yasuo Tomomichi, the seven-year-old has been a top-tier performer for a number of seasons, winning the 2017 Japan Cup, prior to finishing fourth behind fellow international star Almond Eye, in the latest renewal at Tokyo in November.

Cheval Grand has subsequently embarked on an international campaign, running second behind Old Persian in the Dubai Sheema Classic before his arrival at Abington Place Stables in Newmarket, where he is housed alongside last week’s Nassau Stakes winner and compatriot, Deirdre.

Cheval Grand made his first British outing in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, finishing sixth behind the all-conquering Enable, but his chance of a stronger finish seems to have been scuppered by late rainfall.

“Cheval Grand is in very good form. He’s training towards York and we’re trying to get him better than last time,” said assistant trainer Yusuke Oe.

“The ground was too soft for him in the King George. It was very unfortunate that it kept raining from the night before until the afternoon of the race and it was too slippy for him. He is a horse who prefers firm ground.”

Despite the inclement weather, Oe said Cheval Grand’s preparation had gone smoothly since his Ascot outing.

Riding arrangements have yet to be finalised for the son of Heart’s Cry, who was partnered by Oisin Murphy at Ascot.

“He will have another few gallops before York. He was fit in the King George, but he was beaten by two very brilliant horses in Enable and Crystal Ocean,” Oe added.

While Cheval Grand will be making his first outing at York in the £1 million showpiece, Oe himself has already gained experience of the Knavesmire having made his maiden trip to the track in July.

He said: “Last month, I visited York myself to see the racecourse and meet with the Clerk of the Course, William Derby. It felt like a racecourse with a good atmosphere.”

Cheval Grand is part of a 21 strong entry that remain engaged in the Juddmonte International – the feature contest on the Wednesday afternoon of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.

Included among the potential opposition are the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Crystal Ocean, who finished a gallant second in the King George, and John Gosden’s St James’s Palace Stakes runner-up, King Of Comedy.

The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival runs from Wednesday, August 21 until Saturday, August 24 inclusively.

• Total and average attendances for January to June 2019 rise 2%
• Bumper Easter weekend sees over 100,000 enjoy a day at the races
• Drive for advance sales continues to reap reward with 6% increase
• Attendance figures withstand impact of equine influenza outbreak

British Horseracing has welcomed the latest Levy Board (HBLB) attendance figures which indicate a 2% rise in both total and average attendances for the first half of 2019.

These were boosted by the brilliant weather and excellent racing over Easter, with over 100,000 people heading to the races from Good Friday to Easter Monday.

A total of 704 fixtures took place during the first six months of both 2018 and 2019.

The impact of the equine flu outbreak, which saw a national postponement of racing from Thursday 7th February to Tuesday 12th February inclusive, was significant for the sport, however overall attendance figures indicate the durability of the public’s appetite and affection for horseracing.

In a like-for-like comparison with 2018, the first six months of 2019 have seen a 2% rise in total attendance to 2,801,512 whilst the average attendance per fixture has also risen 2% to 3,979.

Some of the sport’s most iconic events helped boost these figures, including The Festival™ at Cheltenham and the Investec Derby Festival at Epsom Downs where each day of both events saw an increase in attendance from 2018.

Advance ticket sales have continued to show sustained growth with a 6% year-on-year increase[1]. This remains of utmost importance to racecourses to protect attendances and revenue in a crowded leisure market and provides racegoers with better value given the price incentives on offer by purchasing tickets in advance.

The Easter weekend, occurring later in the year than in 2018, saw four fantastic days of racing action taking place across 20 fixtures on 19 different British racecourses. More than 102,000 racegoers were in attendance with an increase[2] of 123% in advance sales over the weekend, which saw some 45,000 tickets purchased ahead of the raceday.

As we enter the second half of 2019, there is plenty to look forward to with summer jumps racing and major flat festivals at York, Doncaster and Newmarket followed by the climax of the Flat season with QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot.

The GBR-led national Under 18s Race Free campaign will also be in full swing alongside the summer school holidays, led by Strictly Come Dancing superstar and mother of two Tess Daly as campaign ambassador.

David Armstrong, Chief Executive of the Racecourse Association, said: “I am delighted to see the hard work of racecourses pay off and result in an increase to both the total and average attendance figures, with excellent performances by racecourses of all sizes.

“The equine flu outbreak was a difficult period for the sport, but it is hugely reassuring to see that attendances increased despite the national postponement of racing.

“Working collaboratively with Great British Racing, our focus on data has allowed us to give bespoke, targeted support to racecourses via our Marketing Services programme.

We will continue this programme and look forward to helping racecourses attract more customers to the sport and enhance the experience of those customers whilst they are on site.”

Rod Street, Chief Executive of Great British Racing, added “competition for the leisure pound is getting fiercer and racing is rising to the challenge. Racegoing provides a big opportunity to get people closer to the sport and grow their interest, so these latest figures are encouraging.”

Coming to the end of the school holidays and looking for something to keep the kids entertained? We have just the day for you! We know how hard it can be keeping the children occupied whilst you endure the summer holidays, and our final Family Day can finish off their holiday in style and they’re sure to be entertained all day!

Our Family Days come to a conclusion on Sunday 18th August when we will be hosting our In The Zone Family Day. Ditch the lazy Sundays and join us for a fun filled day of action on and off the course. We have some fantastic ‘zones’ for you allowing you to get close to the action and see the raceday  from many angles and also have the chance to learn a little more about different parts of the industry:

  • The industry zone – Behind the Scenes Tour in the Weighing Room from 12.30pm – 12.45pm
  • The horse zone – We will be joined by ex-racehorses and vets during a parade of ex-racers from 12.45pm
  • The quiet zone – Enjoy a free tea or coffee with us while you read the Racing Post and pick out your selections. 12.30pm – 1pm in the Betting Hall
  • The newcomers zone – New to racing? Meet our ‘Here to Help’ team who’ll show you the ropes and explain how an afternoon at the races works, on the Marquee site from 1pm
  • The tipster zone – our experts will give you some pointers on the action from 1.30pm in the Winners Enclosure
  • The kids zone – Get the kids involved with live demonstrations of horse handling and care. Watch them enjoy the Interactive Kids zone throughout the afternoon in the Picnic Enclosure.

As on all of our family days, we will have a children’s funfair, free sweets, children’s racecards, pony rides, face painting, bus trips to the start of races and loads more for the kids to enjoy. If it’s a fun day out with the family you’re after, this is the place to be. We are also hosting a ‘Kids Takeover’ day where the kids can take the reins on trying out a number of key raceday roles.

There’s some great action on track with seven fantastic races lined up. The feature of the day is our richest race of the season, the EBF Highfield Farm Flying Fillies’ Stakes for a £60,000 prize. There’s an impressive role of honour including 2015 winner, Divine, who went on to compete in Dubai.

Local business, Moor Top Farm Shop are sponsoring our third race on the card, whilst bookmakers William Hill are sponsoring two races, the fifth and six, both over a mile. Nova Display are sponsoring the final race of the day for three-year-olds over six furlongs.

Join us for our final Family Day of the season. We are offering a family ticket in advance for just £25 which admits 2 adults and their children (under 18) into the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure. To book, or view full details, please visit www.pontefract-races.co.uk to secure your tickets now.

  • Pontefract Racecourse transform their Raceday Experience offering
  • Discover a slice of contemporary city-life in the heart of Yorkshire
  • A new Guinness World RecordTM set on Flat Cap & Whippet raceday

With their recent success at the RCA Showcase & Awards it should come as no surprise to racegoers that racing at Pontefract really is a top day out. From Pizza in the Paddock, an eye-catching addition to the Owners & Trainers experience and a Guinness World RecordTM this is a racecourse striving for excellence in everything they do.

Last Sunday was a prime example of this as Pontefract hosted their Tribute Bands Family Day to bring the Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival to a close. This fun-filled day featured the likes of Totally Take ThatTotOlly Murs and Classic Kylie, a tribute to pint-sized Australian megastar, and Pontefract Racecourse favourite, Kylie Minogue!

In recent years, the Pontefract Racecourse team have transformed their raceday experience for both racegoers and horses alike. Managing Director, Norman Gundill MBE and Chief Operating Officer, Richard Hammill have looked at every aspect of the site to ensure that they are always improving their racecourse experience offering.

Having completed extensive renovation work to the pre-parade, parade ring and horsewalk the Pontefract team’s 2019 challenge was to go about transforming their enclosures and stands to improve the facilities available to all racegoers. This work started in the Owners & Trainers area.

“We knew that the Owners & Trainers facilities desperately needed to be upgraded. Having canvassed opinion from local Owners and Trainers and the ROA, everyone was unanimous in their agreement that the current O&T bar was in the correct location but was just too small. We basically took a sledgehammer to the whole area and started again from scratch, taking in an old Tote position, a beer cellar and a number of storage units and redesigned the whole area to create a new facility which had, in effect, tripled in size” explained Hammill.

However, the improvements for Owners & Trainers didn’t stop there. The racecourse also forged a new partnership with local farmshop, Farmer Copleys to enhance the experience for winning connections.

“Farmer Copleys provide a gorgeous Yorkshire hamper for all winning connections and have created a new room for them to celebrate their victory.  We have had fantastic feedback following these improvements and look forward to welcoming Owners and Trainers to see the new facilities through the rest of the season” said Hammill.

Nevertheless, it wasn’t just the raceday experience for Owners & Trainers that the team at Pontefract were looking to improve. 2019 also saw the grand opening of Pontefract’s Pizza in the Paddock bar.

“Following the Raceday Experience Forum’s Revive:Live Tour, I arrived back in Pontefract armed with new ideas to transform one of our most underused bars into something more akin to what the consumer might expect to find on the high street.

“While we created a new terraced area outside the bar, the bar itself was simply refurbished to give a more contemporary look using industrial themes with brushed steel and neon featuring heavily in the design. We wanted to give the bar a clear concept and, in conjunction with our caterers, the Pizza in the Paddock bar was born serving premium lagers with a selection of bottled and cask craft ales and pizza.

“Since the bar opened on the 24th May 2019, takings have increased by at least 50% at every meeting compared with the corresponding day in 2018” said Hammill.

It isn’t just the structural improvements that have added to the raceday experience though. The team have also set about reorganising and streamlining some of the enclosures and offerings that racegoers can enjoy.

“The first change was to add a new Premier Gold experience within the Premier Enclosure, an option which included their admission, a seat for the entire race meeting and their food. We therefore created a new entry level option at £55 which utilised unused hospitality boxes.

“While availability for this new option was limited, it gave us an added sales tool to upsell. We’ve seen a huge demand for Premier Gold options at every race meeting, so much so that historically quiet midweek meetings are now fully booked” explained Hammill.

It isn’t just the improved facilities and customer packages at Pontefract that they are proud of, but their people and heritage as well. From their Racing For Generations timeline displayed across the site to their Flat Cap & Whippet Family Day the racecourse encompasses a little bit of Yorkshire spirit in everything they do.

To celebrate this Yorkshire spirit, the team at Pontefract wanted to rewrite the record books by setting a new, official Guinness World RecordTM. The challenge was to create the largest human image of a dog, and what’s more Yorkshire than a giant whippet made out of people wearing flat caps. The event saw racegoers of all ages get involved and a new record set at 691 people.

Hammill said There was such a fantastic atmosphere on the day and racegoers seemed really thrilled to have been able to be a part of it. Mums, dads and kids of all ages all took part with the youngest being just a few months old and the eldest in their 90s! Everyone who took their place will always be able to say they were part of history!”

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PAT Cosgrave was riding at Glorious Goodwood today but the experienced southern-based jockey makes the trip north for one mount at Redcar tomorrow (Wednesday, July 31).

Cosgrave, who has gone on to be a Group One-winning rider since being Ireland’s champion apprentice in 2003, takes the ride on Mina Vagante for Newmarket trainer Hugo Palmer in the Every Race Live On Racing TV Handicap.

The filly, also Palmer’s sole Redcar raider, looked like a winner in waiting when a neck second to Whatwouldyouknow at the last Redcar meeting, with the pair well clear of the rest.

Redcar’s reigning champion trainer Tim Easterby could also be one to follow during another eight-race card at the seaside course.

Malton-based Easterby has made no secret of his admiration for the quality of the Redcar track and he sends a strong list of runners for the competitive midweek meeting.

Easterby’s Perfect Swiss, ridden by the reliable David Allan, looks a likely contender for the Get So Much More With Racing TV Handicap (Division One). The gelding has been knocking on the door with a third and second on his last two runs at Ayr and Ripon and looks ready to complete the sequence with a win.

Easterby goes into battle in Division Two with War Ensign, a highly encouraging neck runner-up at Musselburgh a week ago. Wearing cheek-pieces for the first time to help him concentrate, and with Allan again in the saddle, he looks a decent bet to land the double.
Last year’s winner Someone Exciting, trained at Darlington by David Thompson, also has to be respected.

The meeting gets underway at 2.10pm with the Best Flat Races Live On TV British EBF Novice Stakes. Leyburn trainer Karl Burke has a wealth of talent among his two-year-olds and Macho Time can defy a penalty for winning on his debut at Ayr.

Jockey Ben Curtis is flying, including riding a Redcar four-timer earlier in the season, and he can get among the winners on David Barron’s Sorbonne in the Watch Racing TV In Stunning HD Novice Stakes. Second in a Catterick maiden on his only start two weeks ago, he looks the progressive type.

Newmarket trainer Roger Varian won the race last year and it’s worth checking the market for signs of confidence in Farzeen, who was halfway down the field of 14 at Kempton on his only run in January and hasn’t been seen since.

Whatever the fate of Farzeen, Varian will be confident of landing the racingtv.com Straight Mile Series Handicap with Edaraat, who swooped late to win a 10-runner Kempton handicap last time and is likely to improve despite being 9lbs higher.

Jupiter Road, a new inmate for Nigel Tinkler at Malton after leaving the Joseph O’Brien yard in Ireland, looks the danger.

The Join Racing TV Now Selling Stakes sees a remarkable fall from grace for Carry On Deryck, who was thought good enough to run in the Dubai Carnival for Godolphin when trained by Saeed bin Suroor last season. Now trained by Ollie Pears, this is a huge drop in class, although he has a lot to prove.

Any weaknesses in Carry On Deryck’s armoury could be exposed by Brian Ellison’s First Flight, who was seven lengths clear of the third when beaten a head by Anif at the last Redcar meeting.

The card concludes at 6pm with the AJA Novice Flat Amateur Riders Handicap. Last year’s winner Thornaby Nash is back for more, having moved from Karen Tutty to Jason Ward, but maintains the relationship with last year’s victorious rider Amy Collier.

Preference, however, is for Fieldsman, who makes the long trip from Tony Carroll’s Worcestershire yard. He makes a quick reappearance after running on well to finish third in an Ascot lady riders’ handicap four days ago and is ridden by Sarah Bowen, who had her first winner under rules on Carroll’s Windsorlot last season.

                               

Heatwave to hail stones set the backdrop to some really competitive racing at the Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival, sponsored by Sky Bet.

Glorious sunshine started the week at Ripon on Saturday, July 20 and continued for much of the week, including the hottest day of the year at Doncaster on Thursday, July 25.

But like all good things it came to an end and after thunderstorms hit Thirsk in the middle of Friday afternoon it was rain to the end with the worst of the weather apparently reserved for York’s high-class card on Saturday. which featured the Group 2 Sky Bet York Stakes.

The final day of the Festival at Pontefract on Sunday, July 28 escaped most if not all of the rain, but it certainly didn’t dampen spirits among the family crowd.

Highlights of the week on the track saw Mark Johnston’s Elarqam take the Sky Bet York Stakes with the Middleham trainer also landing Pontefract’s listed race, the Sky Bet Go-Racing-In-Yorkshire Summer Festival Pomfret Stakes with Marie’s Diamond. The biggest priced winner of the week was Mick Easterby’s 40-1 shot Bankawi winning at Ripon in the hands of James Sullivan.

As well as the superb racing, there was plenty to keep the crowds happy with the jockeys showing off their football skills before racing every day with the Sky Bet sponsored ‘Paddock and Chips’, a week long competition that earned winner Cam Hardie an overnight stay at Rudding Park.

Fun for all the family is the keynote of the Festival, together with some great music provided by Tears For Fears at York on the Friday, James Arthur on the Saturday and three tribute bands performing throughout the day at Pontefract

Richard Fahey was leading trainer of the week for the second year in a row landing seven winners, the same number as Tim Easterby, but claiming the prize of a luxury stay at the superb Goldsborough Hall, who sponsor the award, by virtue of more second places.

There was also a repeat winner of the jockeys’ award, sponsored by Sky Bet, with Danny Tudhope’s nine winners making him the winner for the second year in a row. The sponsors also gave a £500 donation to Racing Welfare, the nominated charity of the week.

Go Racing In Yorkshire chairman John Sexton said: “The Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival has been another great success and we are delighted to work with such brilliant sponsors who come back year after year. Every year it proves a terrific way to showcase Yorkshire’s fantastic racecourses, the uniqueness of each one and the all-encompassing activity that goes with a raceday.

The 2020 Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival will begin at Ripon on Saturday, July 18 and continues until Sunday July 26.

Robin O’Ryan, Assistant to Richard Fahey, receiving the Byerley Turk trophy from Clare and Mark Oglesby of Goldsborough Hall
Michael Shinners, Sky Bet Head of Sports PR presenting the leading jockey prize to Danny Tudhope.

Children will take the reins of key raceday roles at Catterick Bridge Racecourse on 12 August 2019, as part of Great British Racing’s Under 18s Race Free campaign

(Full range of images available to download here)

29 July 2019, London: Young visitors to Racing Careers Day at Catterick Bridge Racecourse on Monday 12 August will be given the thrilling opportunity to try their hand at a number of key raceday roles, from raceday presenter and weighing room operative, to serving in the racecourse’s hospitality facilities and reporting on the ground conditions.

The Kids’ Takeover Day has been brought to Catterick Bridge by Great British Racing as part of its Under 18s Race Free campaign, which has been created to highlight the fact that under 18s go free to almost every racecourse, at almost every raceday. This summer sees more than 200 fixtures taking place up and down the country, 50 of which are special family days, where additional activities are put on for families and young people to enjoy alongside the racing.

Facilitated by Racing to School, an education charity which delivers free outdoor learning activities for young people at racecourses, studs and trainers’ yards across the country, the Kids’ Takeover Day was first trialled at Bath Racecourse, and is being rolled out at a number of racecourses across the summer by Great British Racing, offering children unprecedented access to the races and the chance to turn their hand to some of horseracing’s greatest job roles.

In addition to the Kids’ Takeover, visitors to Catterick Bridge Racecourse on 12 August can learn all about the different careers in racing, from finding out how the jockeys and trainers got started in racing, to actually having a go at riding a winner on the mechanical racehorse (equicisor). Tickets start at just £5 for the Course enclosure, which also features an outdoor playground, and under 18s are admitted completely free of charge. All children are invited to participate in the Kids’ Takeover Day and can sign up in advance by contacting the Racecourse Office.

This news follows Great British Racing’s recent survey findings that 83% of UK parents feel that cost prohibits children from participating in outdoor activities; 86% of parents wanted their children to spend more time outside during the school holidays; 77% of parents have been put off taking their children to live sport as a result of the cost; and 60% of parents do not take their children to live sport at all.

This year’s campaign is also fronted by ambassador and mother-of-two Tess Daly, who commented: “As a parent, the school holidays are a fantastic opportunity to spend quality time with your children, yet finding activities that are stimulating, healthy and affordable can be a challenge.

“As a child, my parents went out of their way to take me to live sport and I do the same for my kids now – there’s nothing better than a day at the races. As well as the thrill of the racing, the kids are able to run around in the fresh air and there’s plenty of activities for them too, from having their faces painted to meeting race horses.”

Watch Tess as she explores a racing yard here and a day at the races here.

Toby Shaw, Director of Communications & Marketing at Great British Racing, added: “Racing remains one of Britain’s most popular spectator sports, with millions enjoying the excitement of race meets each year. At Great British Racing, we want to introduce more youngsters to the thrill of the sport: with more than 50 dedicated family days, our ‘Under 18s Race Free’ campaign provides an unforgettable day out in the fresh air for the whole family, without having to break the bank.”

Go to under18sracefree.com to find your local family raceday this Summer.

Trainer Liam Bailey insists How Bizarre has what it takes to once again trouble the judge at Beverley on Tuesday.

The rookie North Yorkshire handler is not yet a household name, but he made a grand entrance at the East Yorkshire circuit following How Bizarre’s impressive course-and-distance victory on July 16.

Leyburn-based Bailey spent his formative years with Gold Cup-winning handler Peter Beaumont before joining David O’Meara’s operation.

Based at Foulrice Park, in Middleham, he is in his first season with a licence and has claimed three winners under both codes.

And How Bizarre, a four-year-old son of Society Rock, looked so good at Beverley earlier in the month that his trainer wants another go in the Wilford Watts Memorial Handicap (4.20) over eight and a half furlongs.

Bailey said: “He loves racing – it’s as simple as that, really.

“We don’t do anything with him at home, other than put him in a field and take him out on a night, and he seems to really enjoy that routine.

“He was a really nice winner at Beverley and clearly he likes running at the course.

“Fingers crossed he’ll go well again as he might still be on the right side of the handicapper.”

How Bizarre won by a short head at Beverley, but the manner in which he battled back to deny Welcoming provided connections with plenty of optimism for the future.

He has since held his form with honour, having finished a close second to Northernpowerhouse in a seven-furlong handicap at Musselburgh a week ago.

How Bizarre faces seven rivals in the eight-and-a-half-furlong Wilford Watts Memorial Handicap, including the hat-trick-seeking Seductive Moment and enigmatic course winner Detachment.

But Bailey is confident that his inmate has plenty in his favour upon his return to Beverley.

He added: “He likes to get to the front in his race, so a place like Beverley seems to suit him.

“When we bought him from Kevin Ryan, Kevin told us exactly what to do with him – run him at right-handed tracks and let him stride along – and he was absolutely spot-on.

“I thought he even upped that Beverley win at Musselburgh, which was a really grand effort, and he seems to have come out of that really well.

“Seven (furlongs) at Musselburgh is probably his best trip, but we go up in trip every now and again and it seems to work.

“He’ll probably be the quickest horse in the field on Tuesday so hopefully he can to the front again.

“Jonathan (Fisher) rode a winner for me at York earlier in the season and he takes off 7lb again, so will be handy.

“He’s in great form and we’re expecting another big run.”

Beverley’s seven-race card starts at 2.05pm, with the going reported as good following weekend rain.

The forecast on Tuesday is for sunny spells, a chance of thunder, and a high of 22C.

PONTEFRACT RACECOURSE WEDNESDAY 7th AUGUST 2019 LADIES DAY

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to buy a new outfit, then look no further as our annual Ladies Day is just around the corner. With an array of hats, fascinators and stilettos, the ladies of Yorkshire truly do to ‘dress to impress’ in an effort to win the coveted Best Dressed Lady Competition. And once again in 2019, we’ll have a Best Dressed Gents competition which will take place before the ladies.

Both winners will be receiving top prizes with the Best Dressed Lady jetting off to the wonderful island of Jamaica, courtesy of RIU Hotels and Resorts! The runner-up of the competition will also be jetting off, as they will be heading for a luxurious three-night stay in Madrid. There is also a prize for second runner-up, who will be treated to a VIP day out at Pontefract Races. The Best Dressed Lady Competition will start around 1.15pm in the parade ring, after The Best Dressed Gent Competition has come to its conclusion. The winner of the Gents will be walking away with £350 cash in his pocket, £100 for the runner-up and £50 for second runner-up.

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 the gates open at 12noon and will allocate numbered cards to lucky finalists. The judging gets under way for the Best Dressed Gentlemen in the Parade Ring at 1pm and the prestigious Best Dressed Lady Competition starts at 1.15pm. This year’s panel is made up of Heart Drivetime Show hosts, Dixie and Emma, the National Business Manager for RIU, Maria Battersby and last year’s Best Dressed Lady winner, Lisa McArdle.

The Racecourse is urging anyone wishing to be considered for either of the Best Dressed competitions to arrive early so they don’t miss out. There is a further incentive of arriving early, as the first 500 ladies through the Premier Enclosure entrance will be welcomed with a glass of bubbly on the house, as part of the track’s #Magic500 promotion.

There’s some great action on track with seven fantastic races lined up. The feature on the day is tiesplanet.com – Ladies Love Guys In Ties Handicap for a £15,000 prize. There’s an impressive role of honour with 2016 winner, Stars Over The Sea, going on to win last year’s Cesarewitch Trial Handicap at Newmarket.

Catterick Races August Family Days are always one of the highlights in the fixture calendar and this year is no exception.

First of the two family days, Forces’ Family Day in association with ABF The Soldier’s Charity, falls on Tuesday 6 August when the gates will be open from 12pm.

Alongside the racing action, children can enjoy a variety of free entertainment available in the Course Enclosure throughout the afternoon.  Amongst the fun they can test their skills on the Bootcamp Challenge, an inflatable obstacle course, and box with former world champion Charles ‘The Bull’ Shepherd.

Minster FM radio can also be found in the Course Enclosure, where young racegoers will have the chance to race hobby horses and enter a prize draw to win a PlayStation 4.

The racing action on the day gets underway at 2pm, while the feature race The Racing TV Profits Returned to Racing Handicap Stakes is scheduled for 4.10pm.

As with all Catterick’s fixtures, under 18’s race free and do not require a ticket and on Tuesday 6 August the racecourse is also offering free admission to all military personnel and their families. Military personnel will need to collect complimentary tickets in advance, either from the Garrison Headquarters or from the Racecourse Office.

On the second family day, Monday 19 August, the Carnival is coming to Catterick! There will be 7 thrilling races, with the first at 2pm and the last at 5pm. The Carnival atmosphere will bring side stall games and fairground rides into the Course Enclosure for younger racegoers to enjoy free of charge throughout the afternoon.

Minster FM radio will also be in the Course Enclosure on 19 August, with another chance for young racing fans to enter the prize draw to win a PlayStation 4, while Mary Webb, a local singer-songwriter, will be entertaining the crowds in the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure in between races.

A new study conducted by Great British Racing revealed that 85% of parents in Yorkshire want their children to spend more time outdoors during the school holidays. With under 18’s racing free at all Yorkshire racecourses, they’ve got the summer covered.

Emma Binnian, Sales & Marketing Manager said: “An afternoon of racing gets the whole family outdoors, spending time together and enjoying the action on the track – we always look forward to August, with some of the course’s most popular race days. This year we have two fun-filled family days, as well as Ladies’ Day on 28 August and Racing Careers Day is back on Monday 12 August.”

Adult tickets start at just £5 for the Course Enclosure, or £15 for the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure. Discounts are available online in advance at www.catterickbridge.co.uk. Tickets will also be available to purchase on the day.

There is a free shuttle bus which brings racegoers to the racecourse from Richmond Market Place. The bus leaves approximately one hour before the first race and will return after the last race.

TALENTED apprentice Megan Nicholls will be looking to maintain her unbeaten record in the eventmasters.co.uk<http://eventmasters.co.uk> Silk Series Lady Riders’ Handicap at York on Friday.

Nicholls, who is apprenticed to her father, 11-time champion National Hunt Trainer Paul, won the inaugural renewal of the race last year when guiding the Richard Fahey-trained, International Man, to a one-length success.

Nicholls has since had her claim reduced to 3lb, which she will put to good use aboard the Simon Crisford-trained, Chance. Her mount goes in search of a hat-trick having posted convincing victories at Chepstow and Nottingham, on his last two starts.

“He’s two from two since going handicapping and he’s a horse who has taken a bit of time to relax,” Nicholls said.

“He used to run very keen, but the penny seems to be dropping and he looks progressive. He’s up to a mark of 81, but he’s going in the right direction and if he relaxes again, he’s open to more improvement.”

Nicholls also believes this test will suit the upwardly mobile three-year-old, who will face a slight step up in trip and is versatile regarding underfoot conditions.

“I imagine it will be beautiful ground, but if it did end up with a bit more cut, he should handle it being a son of Lope De Vega,” Nicholls added.

“I can’t imagine it will be too much of a problem either way. I also think he’s a horse who will get further in time.”

Nicholls will be partnering Chance for the first time on the track tomorrow, but she has experience of the three-year-old having sat on him at Crisford’s Newmarket base.

Indeed, Nicholls has been a familiar figure on work mornings at Kremlin House Stables this summer.

“Some weeks I ride out for Simon two or three days, others I can’t get in – Simon has been very good and he leaves it to me,” Nicholls said.

“I link it with my rides and so far it has worked out quite nicely. I very much enjoy going in and riding out and sitting on some nice horses – it’s great to be part of the team and to be getting a couple of chances. Long may it continue.”

Regarding Chance, Nicholls added: “I’ve ridden him at home and he seems very well in himself. I’m looking forward to sitting on him on the track.”

Chance is one of ten runners set to line up in the eventmasters.co.uk<http://eventmasters.co.uk> Silk Series Lady Riders’ Handicap, which kicks off York’s six-race card at 6pm on the only evening of the Knavesmire season.

The £50,000 feature contest, is the Listed British Stallion Studs EBF Lyric Fillies’ Stakes, which has attracted a field of eight fillies and mares.

They include William Haggas’ Frankellina, who finished placed in the Tattersalls Musidora over course and distance then sixth in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot. Also entered is Encapsulation, who made a highly-promising debut for Andrew Balding when running on strongly to grab second in Listed company at Sandown, suggesting this extended mile and a quarter will suit her well. Both face the unbeaten charge of James Fanshawe, Kirstenbosch, who is the market leader despite  her step up in class.

The action continues on Saturday with a high-class seven-race card, spearheaded by the Group 2 Sky Bet York Stakes.

Excitement is building for one of the most prestigious race weeks of the British horse racing calendar. Today marks just 50 days to go to the William Hill St Leger Festival.

Tickets to the premier enclosure on Saturday 14 September have already sold out, and tickets for the Lincoln & Conduit Restaurants on Ladies Day and St Leger Saturday were snapped up before June 2019, much earlier than in previous years.

The St Leger Festival, is Yorkshire’s only classic, and with visitors travelling from across the globe, the 2019 festival has been named a finalist in the prestigious White Rose Awards for Tourism Event of the Year.

Established in 1776, the festival is undoubtedly the oldest classic in the horse racing calendar. However; the 2019 festival also boasts a star-studded line up of after racing entertainment including Melanie C on Ladies Day 12 September and Yorkshire’s own Ricky Wilson on Gentleman’s Day 13 September.

Speaking about the 50-day countdown, Racecourse Executive Director Russell Smith said: “Today is a milestone occasion that takes us a step closer to the beginning of a fantastic festival, that kicks off with Leger Legends Day on September 11th then culminates with the flagship St Leger Day on September 14th, a celebration of all things Yorkshire.”

Russell continued: “I am eagerly looking forward to the four-day festival and would encourage anyone who has not previously attended, to join us for what will be a Yorkshire festival of great racing and music.’

Today also marks the opening of entries for the St Leger Stakes, the 3 stage entry process results in only the best horses going forward to compete in the final leg of the English Triple Crown, worth £700k in prize money, the winner taking home £396k. The St Leger is the last classic to be run each year, and boasts the longest distance of any of the other four.

The St Leger Festival also sees the return of the Doncaster Cup on its penultimate day, a key race in the QIPCO British Champions Series. Along with the Gold Cup at Ascot and the Qatar Goodwood Cup, Doncaster’s oldest race is part of the Stayers’ Triple Crown.

For tickets and further information visit: www.doncaster-racecourse.co.uk or call the racecourse on: 01302 304200

Doncaster Racecourse Logo

Redcar Racecourse voted Best Small Racecourse in Scotland & The North by British Racing’s official supporters Club.
-An official presentation took place on Redcar’s 1940s Revival Raceday fixture
-Amy Fair, Managing Director of Redcar Racecourse, “Delighted to win this award, especially because it comes from the racing public”

Redcar Racecourse has been crowned Best Small Racecourse in Scotland & The North by the Racegoers Club, the official supporters Club for British Racing fans.

On Sunday 21st July at their 1940s Revival Day fixture the team at Redcar Racecourse were presented with a commemorative plaque to celebrate their regional win in the Racegoers Club Racecourse of the Year Competition.

The award, voted for by members of the Racegoers Club, celebrates the best of British Racing. One Club member said of Redcar, “the quality of service is truly fantastic, and they always make you feel an important part of every raceday.”

Amy Fair, General Manager of Redcar Racecourse, said, “We are delighted to win this award, especially because it comes from the racing public – the very people we are there to serve.

“It is a real feather in Redcar’s cap and testament to the enormous efforts put in behind the scenes by a dedicated and skilled team. Everyone does their best to make the race-day experience at Redcar the best it can be and it’s wonderful for that to be recognised in this way.”

The Racecourse Association has announced today that a further trial of lunchtime racing will take place this Autumn over a five-week period. The first trial earlier in 2019, initiated at the behest of the Horserace Betting Levy Board’s Betting Liaison Group, consisted of three fixtures during May and June commencing at 12 noon in a bid to assess the impact on turnover of widening the time in which racing is available for betting customers, potentially providing additional income for the sport.

One fixture per week from 25 September will now start at 12.15pm, with the first four races at each fixture taking place at 30-minute intervals.

The initiative is again being supported by the Levy Board and is based upon promising signs from the betting turnover on the three lunchtime fixtures held earlier this year, particularly in terms of online customers.

The lunchtime trial fixtures are as follows:

 

Wednesday 25 September: REDCAR

Wednesday 2 October: BANGOR-ON-DEE

Wednesday 9 October: LUDLOW

Thursday 17 October: CARLISLE

Wednesday 23 October: WORCESTER

 

Andy Clifton, Racing Director at the Racecourse Association, said: “The trial of lunchtime racing earlier this year demonstrated that there is an appetite from betting customers for racing at this time of day and I am grateful to all of the racecourses taking part this Autumn.

“We wanted to gain further evidence from bookmakers, horsemen, racecourses and racegoers from an extended trial over five consecutive weeks to ascertain whether this might become a more permanent part of the fixture mix moving forward, especially in a time of falling revenues.”

IRISH trainer Katy Brown was planning to head back home to County Kildare on Sunday night – but changed her mind after Effernock Fizz romped home on the second day of the Go Racing In Yorkshire Festival at Redcar.

“I think we’ll be reviewing our plans now and having a drink before going back in the morning,” said Katy after the four-year-old dual-purpose mare had triumphed under five-pound claimer David Simmonson in the Celebrate The Life of Peter Chapman Handicap Stakes (Division Two).

The trainer had set off from home on the 4am ferry on Friday and ran two-year-old Petite Steps at Ripon on the opening day of Yorkshire’s summer festival.

“She missed the break and just never travelled but we were hopeful that Effernock Fizz would make up for it,” she said.

She revealed that the mare had been treated for sinus problems before winning consecutive hurdle races at Tipperary and Wexford.

“The owner’s goal was to win on the flat and we were already coming over with Petite Steps so the Redcar race looked ideal,” said Katy. “It’s really hard to find a nice level course in Ireland but Redcar is a lovely track and it really suited her.”

Middleham maestro Mark Johnston looks to have an exciting prospect on his hands with Derby entry Thunderous who defied a 7lbs penalty in good style under Joe Fanning in the opening SkyBet Britain’s Most Popular Online Bookmaker EBF Novice Stakes.

The Night of Thunder colt had won unchallenged on his debut at Doncaster and showed a great attitude to follow up ahead of Richard Fahey’s Saint of Katowice. The pair finished seven lengths clear of third placed Arthur’s Court and Thunderous looks a horse with a future.

Johnston said: “That was very pleasing but there are no immediate plans. He’s quite laid back at home, so he doesn’t stand out from the crowd, but he’s clearly very capable. It’s a case of so far so good.”

The enduring Johnston-Fanning partnership completed a double when Warning Fire, a daughter of French Derby winner Shamardal, battled on gamely to win the Redcar Cricket Club Fillies’ Handicap Stakes.

There was also a double for Hawick trainer Alistair Whillans, starting with Firsteen, ridden by former champion jockey Paul Hanagan, in the Jacks Coaches Handicap Stakes.

A superb ride by last year’s Yorkshire champion apprentice, Kieran Schofield, secured the double for Whillans in the final race on the card, The Go Racing In Yorkshire Future Stars Apprentice Handicap Stakes. Schofield looked beaten a furlong out but galvanised Donnachies Girl to regain the lead from Jan De Heem close home.

Two former Grand National winning jockeys joined forces to win division one of the Celebrate The Life of Peter Chapman Handicap Stakes, with Graham Lee driving home Whatwouldyouknow for North Yorkshire trainer Richard Guest. Lee won the 2004 Grand National on Amberleigh House, while Guest was victorious three years earlier on Red Marauder.

Lee went on to secure a double by winning the SkyBet Go-Racing-In-Yorkshire Summer Festival Handicap Stakes for Malton trainer Julie Camacho on Royal Prospect.

The remaining Help For Heroes and Royal British Legion Classified Claiming Stakes produced a thrilling finished with Anif, trained in Wales by David Evans, just getting the better of Brian Ellison’s First Flight.

  • The Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival continues today (Monday) at Beverley, with the first race at 5.55pm.

York’s two-day Music Showcase weekend on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon (July 26 & 27), supported by Sky Bet, combines Pattern race quality action on the track and live performances on the music stage, so it is no surprise that each event has a track record of being the best attended meeting of its type, in the country.

Given the forecast for a sunny week ahead, racegoers in County Stand are being advised that a formal jacket is not required, however Gentlemen still need to wear a collared shirt and tie.

An act that has already sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, will perform after racing on Friday evening 26 July, as Tears For Fears will be on stage.

After racing on Saturday 27 July, James Arthur, a northern pop powerhouse, with a string of hits including the Number Ones, “Impossible” & “Say you won’t let go” will perform.

The only evening fixture of the season at York gets underway at 6.00 pm on Friday with gates opening at 4pm.

The highlight of a six race card has prize money of £125,000; is the eleventh running of a Listed race for fillies and mares, the British Stallion Studs EBF Lyric Stakes. On its own, it offers an impressive prize fund of £50,000 and is one of twenty-two contests on the Knavesmire this year supported by The European Breeders’ Fund. Last year’s race was won by the Juddmonte Farms owned, Desert Diamond, giving Sir Michael Stoute a third success in the race (after Diploma in 2016 and Nouriya in 2010) and a first win for jockey, Oisin Murphy.

Also featured on a Friday evening this year is a handicap contest over five and a half furlongs that demonstrates Sky Bet’s commitment to the sport as they help celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Professional Jockeys Association.

Both days form part of the Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival, an initiative that links the eight flat courses in the county, over nine days of fantastic sport. The Leeds based online betting firm have also taken the chance to demonstrate their support for racing in the County by backing this entire week.

Lady riders are in the spotlight in the opening race, The Silks Series Handicap, as this nationwide initiative that focuses on female riders. It gains the support of eventmasters, a leading nationwide supplier of high quality event hospitality at major sporting occasions, including at York.

Whilst a competitive handicap takes the name of Irish Thoroughbred Marketing, confirming that the minimum value of any race at York this season is £15,000.

Saturday’s quality seven-race programme means the prize money for the two days will approach £400,000. The action starts at 2-05 p.m. with the entire card sponsored by Sky Bet – the Leeds based firm who are also the sponsors of the first £1m Ebor Handicap at York.

The principal race on Saturday is the fourteenth running of The Sky Bet York Stakes, with prize money of  £120,000; this Group 2 contest is run over the extended one mile and a quarter. Won to emotional scenes last year by Thundering Blue, a first pattern race victory for the star of David Menuisier’s yard who returned to York to take third place in the Group One Juddmonte International. So watch for this year’s champion in the richest race of York’s season, the £1,000,000 Juddmonte International on Wednesday 21 August.

Also featured on Saturday’s strong card is the fastest race of the two days, the Sky Bet Dash. This £50,000 sprint is over six furlongs. Last year’s winner was Flying Pursuit, who defended the race won in 2017 for Malton-based trainer Tim Easterby, though Nathan Evans and Rachel Richardson share the rider credits.

Several giant screens will enable racegoers to enjoy even more of the action from both the track and the stage on both days, as well as following the action from the other big Saturday race meeting at Ascot.

Away from the main stage, there will be music from both Doctor Thirsty and The Monotones. The popular ‘Punter’s Panel’ takes place prior to racing helping racegoers to identify possible winners.

For the best in racing and live music York is the perfect venue.

 

Ginger Jam attempts to claim a fantastic Beverley hat-trick when he runs in the Jaimie Kerr Memorial Handicap (7.00) on Monday evening.

The four-year-old gelding, trained by red-hot North Yorkshire trainer Nigel Tinkler, has won on his last two visits to the East Yorkshire circuit.

He now goes for a third consecutive course success in a competitive five-furlong dash which has attracted 12 runners.

Tinkler said: “He’s very well in himself and is eating a lot better these days, which is always a good sign.

“He’s got bags of confidence at the moment and whenever a horse has lots of confidence anything can happen.

“It would be lovely to get three straight wins at Beverley with him, but I can’t help but feel this is quite a tall order for him.

“On his last two wins the horses in front grew tired and that’s why he was able to come off the pace and look so visually impressive.

“I can’t see that happening on Monday as there’s a lot of pace in the field and this is a different league.

“He’s at his best on fast ground, though, and clearly loves it at Beverley so you could never rule him out.”

The Malton-based handler has been in inspired form at Beverley this year, having already claimed seven victories.

And Tinkler also has another live chance of adding to his gains on Monday evening when he sends Allux Boy into battle in the George Kilburn Memorial Handicap.

The five-year-old son of Iffraaj has held his form well all year, most significantly at Wolverhampton on July 15.

Allux Boy won an eight-and-a-half-furlong handicap by six lengths and will carry a 5lb penalty for that facile all-weather triumph.

Tinkler said: “It looks like he’s going to go up 10lb for that Wolverhampton win, so he’s theoretically well treated at the weights.

“That’s one of the main reasons we are running him, but he’s another horse who is on very good terms with himself right now.

“He’s stepping up to just short of a mile and quarter which might be stretching his stamina a bit. Ideally, I’d love the race to be a furlong shorter, but it looks like he’s still improving.

“And when horses are in such good form, you’ve got to strike while the iron’s hot.”

Beverley’s seven-race evening card begins at 5.55pm and is part of the Sky Bet-sponsored Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival.

The festival is a week-long celebration of Flat racing and sees action at eight of the nine courses across the county.

The Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival not only highlights the fabulous racing in Yorkshire, but also supports Racing Welfare.

Beverley’s going is currently good, good to firm in places, while the forecast for Monday evening is for glorious sunshine and a high of 26C.

Jockey Daniel Tudhope is hoping he can continue his recent fantastic form into the Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival, which begins on Saturday 20th July, as the race to be crowned Champion Flat Jockey heats up.

The 33-year-old has enjoyed a superb start to the season, securing 62 wins and finding himself at the top of the 2019 Flat Jockeys’ Championship.

Tudhope, who is based in Thirsk, was named top jockey at the 2017 and 2018 Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festivals and securing the hat-trick is firm on his mind.

He said: “The Go Racing In Yorkshire Festival is great, I have been top jockey for the last two years and I’m certainly hoping to repeat that this year. I love riding in Yorkshire and for local trainers, so it’s brilliant when I get the chance to do that. The festival also adds a bit of healthy competition amongst us jockeys, which is good, as everyone wants to be top jockey at the end.”

The Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival takes place from Saturday 20th July – Sunday 28th July, featuring ten race meetings across eight racecourses in Yorkshire:

  • Saturday 20th July – Ripon
  • Saturday 20th July (Evening) – Doncaster
  • Sunday 21st July – Redcar
  • Monday 22nd July (Evening) – Beverley
  • Wednesday 24th July – Catterick
  • Thursday 25th July (Evening) – Doncaster
  • Friday 26th July – Thirsk
  • Friday 26th July (Evening) – York
  • Saturday 27th July – York
  • Sunday 28th July – Pontefract

39 of Tudhope’s victories this season have been at Yorkshire tracks, including his 1,000th UK career victory with the David O’Meara-trained Ingleby Hollow at Thirsk Racecourse last month.

Tudhope and O’Meara, who is also based in Yorkshire, have enjoyed 29 wins together this year and a staggering 420 throughout Tudhope’s career.

Other notable wins for Tudhope this season include a terrific double on the opening day of Royal Ascot, firstly with Lord Glitters in the Queen Anne Stakes, which is part of the 2019 QIPCO British Champions Series, and then with Addeybb in the Wolferston Stakes.

He then secured two additional Royal Ascot wins, aboard Move Swiftly in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes and Space Traveller in the Jersey Stakes.

Tudhope’s win with Lord Glitters in the Queen Anne Stakes was his first success in the 2019 QIPCO British Champions Series.

Tudhope continued: “Obviously I would love to be Champion Jockey, that would be the dream, but there is a long way to go and I just want to ride as many winners as possible.”

Editorial and photograph courtesy of Great British Racing

Our second of three Sunday meetings takes place on 28th July as we host our Lookalike Legends Family Day. After a hugely successful Flat Cap & Whippet Family Day in June, we are looking forward to another busy meeting and have even more going on for the crowds to get enjoy.

This meeting is also the last meeting of the Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival 2019 and we have seven fantastic races to wrap it up. The Festival kicks off on Saturday 20th July at Ripon with seven other Yorkshire Racecourses playing host to a further nine meetings over nine days.

Joining us on our Lookalike Legends day are three fantastic tribute acts who will be playing throughout the day. Classic Kylie (12.00-12.40), TotOlly Murs (12.50-13.30) will be performing prior to racing and the final act, Totally Take That (17.50-18.40), hit the stage after the conclusion of our final race.

As all of our family days, we will have a children’s funfair, free sweets, children’s racecards, pony rides, face painting, bus trips to the start of races and loads more for the kids to enjoy. If it’s a fun day out with the family you’re after, this is the place to be.

The feature on track is The Sky Bet Go-Racing-In-Yorkshire Summer Festival Pomfret Stakes and is our third listed race of the season, and was won last year by Big Country, who went on to run in Group races in Norway and Sweden. That victory was the second of four on the day for Silvestre De Sousa and trainer Michael Appleby. Champion jockey, De Sousa, has already enjoyed success at Ponte this season having ridden a treble here in June. Their first winner of last year’s meeting came in the way of Michele Strogoff who won well in our third race of the day.

The meeting kicks off with The British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes run over 5 furlongs and won last year by Richard Fahey’s Flawless Jewel who bolted up to win by an astonishing 16 lengths. Fahey was top trainer for last year’s Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival and will certainly have his eye on retaining the prize this year.

The ITV7 Starts Now Handicap Stakes is our second race on the card and has been won by David Allan and Tim Easterby for the past two years, most recently with Multellie. The final race of the afternoon is The Fly High Faye Nickels Handicap Stakes and was won convincingly by Classic Pursuit to seal a four-timer for De Sousa. Following this race, the top trainer and jockey of the Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival will be presented with a prize (unless this has been decided prior to Sunday 28th).  Join us for the finale of the Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival on what promises to be a fun filled day! We are offering a family ticket for just £25 which admits 2 adults and their children (under 18) into the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure. Head to www.pontefract-races.co.uk to secure your tickets now.

Racehorse Trainer, Karl Burke feels there’s no better place to live and work than in Yorkshire as he prepares for the Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival which begins this Saturday 20th July.

Discussing his love for Yorkshire in an interview with Great British Racing, the 56-year-old said: “First and foremost it’s a beautiful place to live. I’ve always been somebody who wanted the workplace to be separate from the living place and here you get the best of both worlds – a great place to work in and a great place to live in.”

Burke is based at Spigot Lodge in Leyburn and has been there ever since he moved to Yorkshire from Newmarket back in 2001. One of the biggest wins of his career to date came at York Racecourse when Libertarian stormed to victory in the 2013 Dante Stakes at the huge price of 33/1.

As a day that still lives as Karl’s fondest memory of racing in Yorkshire, he said: “That was pretty special. At the time it was the first Yorkshire-trained winner in the race for 70 odd years, that was a great thrill.”

Discussing the Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival, Burke said: “It’s a great concept. A great advert for Yorkshire, advertising not only the tracks, but the trainers, the facilities that we’ve all got as well as Yorkshire in general.

“We’ve got a couple of horses that could be competitive in the two-year-old races during the festival – Seize The Time is a nice filly. Divinity will do very well, she’s already won at Ripon earlier this year and if there’s one of those Handicaps at Ripon and she turns up there, she’ll be very competitive.”

On the fixtures he’s most looking forward to during the festival, he said: “The obvious one is York. It’s a fantastic track, great facilities for Owners and Trainers and fantastic prize money. I equally enjoy those meetings at Thirsk and Ripon – They’re so close and that makes it a pleasure to go to.”

The Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival takes place from Saturday 20th July – Sunday 28th July, featuring 10 race meetings across eight racecourses in Yorkshire:

  • Saturday 20th July – Ripon
  • Saturday 20th July (Evening) – Doncaster
  • Sunday 21st July – Redcar
  • Monday 22nd July (Evening) – Beverley
  • Wednesday 24th July – Catterick
  • Thursday 25th July (Evening) – Doncaster
  • Friday 26th July – Thirsk
  • Friday 26th July (Evening) – York
  • Saturday 27th July – York
  • Sunday 28th July – Pontefract

Go Racing In Yorkshire will also host an open afternoon at Jack Berry House in Malton on Tuesday 23rd July.

A 97-year-old former cook, who became one of the first women to land at Normandy after D-Day, is to be guest of honour as a North-East racecourse salutes the country’s war heroes.

Joyce Dowding will receive VIP treatment at the 1940s Revival Day at Redcar Races on Sunday, July 21, in support of the Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes.

Joyce, who was born in Redcar and still lives locally, said it would be “a great honour” to be part of an occasion marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

In 1940, at the age of 18, Joyce was conscripted into the Navy, Army and Air Force Institute (NAAFI), catering for servicemen in combat zones.

She volunteered for special work building up to an unspecified operation and was billeted at a secret camp in a Hampshire forest, not knowing she was helping prepare men for the largest seaborne invasion in history.

After the D-Day landings on June 6 1944, she answered another call for volunteers to help the Liberation Army, and became the only Northern Command member of the NAAFI aboard a hospital ship bound for France.

She landed on Arromanches beach and served in Caen before going on to Ypres, where she was stationed on VE Day. She continued to serve in Germany for five years after the war before returning home to work as a nursery nurse.

“It was quite frightening when we landed in France because we had to climb down a rope ladder and it kept swinging away from the ship,” she recalled. “But I was just proud to have been able to do something to help.”

Joyce has only ever been to the races twice before but says the 1940s Revival Day is an important event. “It’s good of Redcar Races to remember what people did in the war, and to support the Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes.”

Joyce will be treated to lunch on the day and be invited to present the trophy after the Help for Heroes and Royal British Legion Classified Claiming Stakes.

Redcar’s general manager Amy Fair said: “It will be a privilege to have Joyce as our guest of honour. Throughout the war, she prepared countless meals for servicemen in the midst of war – now it’s her turn to be treated to lunch and recognised for her dedicated service to this country.”

A parade will be held on the racecourse, led by Eric Howden, chairman of the Redcar branch of the Royal British Legion, and there will be displays of wartime history and vehicles from the Middleton St George Memorial Association and Sedgefield Veterans Association.

Nostalgic music will be performed by The Fenner Sisters, and a “Best Revival Outfit” competition takes place after the fifth race.

There will be plenty of free fun for children, including a camouflage boot camp, Cleveland Cadets’ climbing wall, bouncy castles and face-painter.

The meeting is the second day of the SkyBet Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival and under-18s, accompanied by an adult, go free. Gates open at 11am and the first race is at 2.20pm.

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The Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival, sponsored by Sky Bet, celebrates all that is great about racing in the White Rose County with 10 race meetings, over 9 days at 8 different Yorkshire racecourses, starting at Ripon on Saturday 20 July and finishing at Pontefract on Sunday 28 July.
The festival visits Catterick on the sixth day, Wednesday 24 July, following an open afternoon at Jack Berry House on the Tuesday, 23 July.
Racing Welfare is the official charity of the Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival this year and they will be presenting two Lifetime in Racing awards at Catterick on 24 July.
The Lifetime in Racing Awards are organised by Racing Welfare and are awarded to those that have dedicated their career to working in the horseracing industry to publicly acknowledge their achievement and hard work.
On 24 July, the award will be presented to both Jock Bennett and Kenny Williams who are great friends and have asked if they could be awarded together.
Jock has been in the industry all his life and started out with Bill Watts in 1972 before moving to Mark Johnston’s in 1997 where he is now Assistant Trainer and an integral part of the operation. He has been associated with many great horses over the years including Bill Watt’s Teleprompter who won many top races including the Arlington Million.
Kenny started his career in 1970 and worked for few different trainers including Ken Payne at Kingsley House in Middleham before joining Jock at Bill Watts for 17 years where the two became firm pals. He was then with Linda Ramsden for seven years before seven years with Alan Swinbank ahead of moving to Michael Dodd’s where he is now Travelling Head Lad.
Sarah Fanning, Regional Welfare Manager at Racing Welfare said: “We are delighted to award these two great characters and stalwarts of the Northern Racing community with these thoroughly well-deserved awards and would like to give our thanks to Catterick Racecourse for hosting them.”
The racing action on Wednesday 24 July will get underway at 2.10pm, with the gates opening approximately 2 hours prior to that. The feature race of the afternoon is the Unlimited Free Race Replays at sportinglife.com Handicap Stakes at 4.10pm.
As with all Catterick’s fixtures, under 18’s race free when accompanied by an adult and do not require a ticket. There will also be free children’s entertainment, including bouncy castles and a roundabout, in the Course Enclosure throughout the afternoon.
The free shuttle bus will leave from Richmond Market Place one hour before the first race to bring racegoers to the racecourse and will return after the last race.
Tickets will be available to purchase at the gates on the day, while advanced and group booking discounts are available at www.catterickbridge.co.uk.

Local owner Keith Brown on Tuesday throws two darts at the board in his quest to land a first Beverley winner of the season.

Brown, who resides in nearby Swanland, is best known in the racing game for his association with Top Notch Tonto, runner-up in the 2013 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.

But he loves nothing more than a Beverley winner, and hopes Dream Walker and Moonlit Sands can do the business on Tuesday’s eight-race card.

Ten-year-old Dream Walker is a popular horse, having earned nearly £200,000 in prize-money – largely through his exploits in big races in Ireland.

Following a spell with Co Kildare trainer Jarlath Fahey, he is now back in the care of Brian Ellison ahead of the irishbigracetrends.com Handicap (4.15).

Brown said: “Jarlath is a brilliant guy – there was no falling-out, or anything like that – but we just couldn’t get the ground for him over there.

“Ireland had one of the driest summers in memory so we thought it would be a good idea to send him back to Brian’s.

“He’s in super form, but we’d be really hoping for a bit of rain before racing as he loves cut in the ground.

“He doesn’t owe us a penny as he’s been such a great horse over the years.

“But if we do get that bit of rain, he’d definitely take all the beating, I’d say.”

Dream Walker must shoulder top weight in the eight-and-a-half-furlong test, with perhaps recent Carlisle runner-up Ghayyar his biggest rival.

Ellison and Brown combine earlier on the card with Moonlit Sands, who runs in the five-furlong Malcolm Greenslade Doncaster LVA Stalwart Memorial Handicap (2.15).

The four-year-old daughter of Footstepsinthesand has not raced since September 2018, but her sole career victory came over this course and distance in May.

Brown said: “She’s in great order and loves Beverley, having won there before and finishing second a few times.

“She’ll go well, I hope, but it’s her first run of the season and she might need the outing.

“I love having Beverley winners as it’s my local track. We’ve had some bad luck in recent years, though, but hopefully that will change on Tuesday.”

Brown also had an update on the nine-year-old Top Notch Tonto, who is still game as ever – even if his recent performances have not reflected his enthusiasm.

He said: “I think this will be his last season, but he loves life and we love him.

“He’s been a major part of my life and there are no shortage of offers from people when we do call it a day.

“I imagine he’ll end up as a riding horse somewhere, but it would be lovely if we can get him another win on his way out.”

The first of eight races at Beverley starts at 1.45pm, with the feature event being the historic 133rd Year of the Watt Memorial Handicap (2.45) for stayers

The going is good to firm, with watering taking place to preserve conditions, while the forecast on Tuesday is for sunny spells, the risk of a shower in the afternoon, and a high of 19C.

Racing Welfare, a registered charity which supports the workforce of British horseracing, is to be the beneficiary of this year’s Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival, sponsored by Sky Bet.

Richard Hammill, Chief Operating Officer and Clerk of the Course at Pontefract Racecourse and member of the Go Racing in Yorkshire Marketing Committee said,

“We wanted to work with Racing Welfare because they are the dominant charity that looks after people who work in the racing industry.  We are particularly keen for them to focus on mental health and wellbeing as this is a very current and relevant subject and Racing Welfare have services to help people who might be suffering and, just as importantly teach people to look after their mental health, as they would their physical health.”

A representative from Racing Welfare will be at each of the Summer Festival race meetings, talking about the work that the charity does, who they can help and how.  There will also be an exit collection from some courses.

Dawn Goodfellow, Chief Executive of Racing Welfare said,

“The Summer Festival is a superb initiative and we are delighted to be the beneficiary charity for this year.  Go Racing in Yorkshire does a fantastic job of promoting the rich offering of racing in the county and funds raised from our association will go towards extending the reach of our mental health support services.  We’re very proud to be involved with the Summer Festival this year and hope that many people will come racing over the nine days.”

As the charity of the week, Racing Welfare will also receive a £500 cheque, courtesy of the leading jockey of the festival which is sponsored by Sky Bet.

The Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival takes place from Saturday, July 20 to Sunday, July 28, when there will 10 race meetings, over nine days at eight courses.  In addition, there will be an open afternoon at Jack Berry House on Tuesday, July 23.

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NEWMARKET trainer Simon Crisford is looking forward to running the high-quality Mordin in the John Smith’s Diamond Jubilee Cup at York on Saturday.

The consistent five-year-old, who recorded a fourth career success when easily winning on his seasonal reappearance at Haydock, already boasts significant form in heritage handicap company having finished runner-up in the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket last season.

Mordin was last seen lining up in the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot where he was beaten just over four lengths into tenth, and the son of Invincible Spirit will return to the extended mile and a quarter on the Knavesmire having run midfield in the corresponding race last season.

However, the in-form Crisford – whose fine season was headlined by a first success at the Royal meeting last month – is under no illusions of the task facing Mordin as he goes to post for a red-hot renewal of the £200,000 feature contest.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Crisford said. “It’s such a famous, historic race and it’s one of those races that is so difficult to win because it’s so competitive.

“The horse is approaching the race in good form – he ran in the contest last year – and we’re very pleased with him.”

A maximum field of 22 are set to enter the new larger stalls at York for the 2019 running of the John Smith’s Diamond Jubilee Cup – a race first staged in 1960 and one that has often produced a subsequent Group-level winner.

Mordin has been drawn in stall 20 on Saturday and Crisford admits he would have preferred a lower stall.

“He’s got an awkward post position, which doesn’t give us a lot of options being drawn out wide,” the trainer said.

Mordin, rated 106, will be partnered for the first time by apprentice Seamus Cronin, who will claim a handy 5lb on what is his second ride for the stable; seeking to emulate subsequent Champion Jockey Paul Hanagan who took the contest back in 2002.

“Mordin has reached a very respectable level and he’s obviously a very good horse, but with the rating he has it makes life tough for him in handicaps, but also tough if he steps beyond handicap company,” Crisford added.

“He’s in one of those areas where the racing is particularly competitive and it’s hard for him to be winning, but he deserves to take his chance.

“I was looking for someone to take a bit of weight off his back. Seamus is a very promising young jockey and hopefully the horse can give him a good ride.”

The action begins on Saturday with the John Smith’s City Walls Stakes, a Listed contest run over five furlongs, and the ten-strong field includes veteran speedster Caspian Prince.

Later on the card, Gold Mount – who won the Listed Sky Bet Race To The Ebor Grand Cup Stakes over York’s one mile and six furlong-trip last month – will return to the same course and distance in the Group 3 John Smith’s Silver Cup Stakes where a number of contenders for the £1m Sky Bet Ebor itself will be put to the test.

The six-year-old was mooted as a potential Melbourne Cup aspirant following that two and a quarter-length victory and he will face seven rivals as he bids to maintain his unbeaten record for Ian Williams.

The high-class, seven-race card gets underway at 2.05pm.

ARCHER’S DREAM will bid to protect her 100 per cent record when she contests the Group 3 William Hill Summer Stakes at York on Friday.

The James Fanshawe-trained filly has kept improving since making a winning debut at Doncaster back in April.

She made it three from three when dead-heating in the Listed Cathedral Stakes at Salisbury last month.

Now she is being asked to step up again in class as part of a 17-strong field for Friday’s six-furlong feature on the Knavesmire.

Newmarket-based Fanshawe said: “She has done nothing but progress all season.

“We’re trying to take it step by step. She’s strong and a powerful filly but she’s not the biggest.

“You’re only going to learn on the racecourse how good she really is because at home she never actually shows you a great deal. She’s pretty relaxed about things.

“But saying that, at the two-furlong pole at Salisbury she really did go and quicken up well there, so I think she’s got a good turn of foot. Will that be effective as she goes up in grade? Well, we’ll see.

“At Salisbury she was really tough and probably took it up soon enough – she was in front a long time up the hill. Hopefully at York she can take her time a bit more.”

Whatever happens, Archer’s Dream is proving another success story for Fred Archer Racing who have gone from strength to strength since Fanshawe’s wife Jacko established the partnerships ahead of the 2014 season.

Their chief flag-bearer has been Group 1 hero The Tin Man but Archer’s Dream is just the latest in a series of successful horses to run in the increasingly recognisable dark blue and dark red silks.

Fanshawe added: “Jacko started it off and the first decent horse was The Tin Man but the syndicate had ten winners from 11 horses last year. It’s always difficult to follow that up, but Archer’s Dream has won three and been another good example for Fred Archer Racing – and she didn’t cost a fortune either. We bought her because I trained her dam and she was pretty useful and it’s a good family.”

York’s two-day meeting begins on Friday at 2.05pm with a seven-race card. Saturday’s feature is the renowned John Smith’s Diamond Jubilee Cup, worth £200,000.

STAR filly Laurens has been given an upbeat assessment by her trainer as she recovers from a minor injury and prepares to add another Group 1 victory to her glittering career.

Karl Burke, based near Leyburn, was speaking today at the launch of the Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival.

The Spigot Lodge trainer reported that John Dance’s brilliant filly had suffered a minor injury when sixth in Royal Ascot’s Queen Anne Stakes but she is now on target for the Group 1 Prix Rothschild at Deauville in July 28.

“It’s very frustrating but it’s a small strain on the tendon below the hock on her hind leg so we’ve been very cautious with her,” said Burke.

“She’s been walking round free as a bird and cantering great and I’m sure we can get her back. We’ve got a couple of weeks ahead of the race in Deauville and there’s still four or five more chances to get another Group 1 before she retires. She owes us nothing.”

After Deauville, the plan is to defend her crown in the Group 1 Matron Stakes at Leopardstown on September 14, and connections hope she will end her career with a tilt at the Breeders Cup Mile.

Laurens was the star turn at the launch of the 14th Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival, which is now in its 14th year, with ten meetings over nine days at eight racecourses: Ripon, July 20; Doncaster July 20 (evening); Redcar, July 21; Beverley, July 22 (evening); Catterick, July 24; Doncaster, July 25 (evening);  Thirsk, July 26; York, July 26 (evening);  York, July 27; Pontefract, July 28.

“It’s a great initiative to showcase the Yorkshire racecourses,” said Burke, who is in his 18th year at Spigot Lodge, having moved north from Newmarket. “I honestly wouldn’t want to train anywhere else now – the quality of life in Yorkshire is great, and the facilities at Middleham are as good as anywhere.”

This year’s festival is sponsored by Sky Bet with a £1,000 prize up for grabs for the champion jockey in the series.

Jockey Ben Curtis, who regularly rides for Burke, said: “Danny Tudhope won it last year so there’s a bit of banter between the lads because it creates a bit more interest. We’ve got some brilliant courses in Yorkshire and anything that encourages people to come racing is great to see.”

Asked for horses to watch out for at the festival, Burke nominated Gin Gembre, who is scheduled to run in a Ripon seller on the first day of the festival, and three-year-old filly Divinity, described as “a very good handicapper”.

Meanwhile, Burke expects a big run from two-year-old colt Classy Moon in the Group 2 July Stakes at Newmarket tomorrow (Thursday). “He’s a lovely horse who could run very well. The bare form of his last run at Carlisle looks nothing special but he could make up four or five lengths on that performance at Newmarket. He’s shown us a high level at home.”

The trainer also thinks another two-year-old, Miss Lucy, is also capable of running well at a big price in the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes tomorrow.

Further ahead, Burke is hoping for a tilt at the Ebor Handicap at York in August with Kelly’s Dino,  comfortable winner of the Old Newton Cup Handicap at Haydock on Saturday.

“He won with his ears pricked so we think there’s plenty in the tank,” he said.

Kelly’s Dino is entered in the Group 3 John Smith’s Silver Cup Stakes over 1m 6f at York on Saturday and the trainer explained: “He’s rated 102 at the moment but it might need a bit more than that to get into the Ebor this year so the idea is that if he runs well in a Group 3 on Saturday, he might get the extra couple of pounds from the handicapper that he needs.”

Dubai Station, third in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot, could also be destined for the York Ebor Festival, with connections keen to go for the Gimcrack Stakes.

“He’s a progressive horse and he’s done really well since Ascot,” said Burke.

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THE North-East is creating a real buzz in sporting circles by staking a claim to have the UK’s most bee-friendly racecourse.

Redcar Racecourse is backing the environment by becoming home to eight beehives and hopes to get onto a winner with its own brand of honey.

The hives were established by passionate beekeeper Dave Metcalfe, whose business relationship with the seaside racecourse has blossomed over 20 years.

Father-of-three Dave, 64, owned Wilton Signs, which had a contract to produce the signs around the racecourse.

After selling the business, Dave approached the racecourse with a plan to turn a plot of land behind the stands into a bee-friendly corner.

To his surprise, Redcar’s management gave him an enthusiastic thumbs up and the hives were moved onto the racecourse site six weeks ago.

“I think it’s great that a racecourse like Redcar had the foresight to say ‘yes’ and it’s gone really well so far,” said Dave, who was speaking during Bees’ Needs Week. “They had the spare land and I wanted somewhere to develop my hobby, so it made sense.”

The plan now is to have up to 15 hives, grow a wildflower meadow, and increase honey production.

There are approximately 170,000 bees on the site and Dave expects them to produce around 60 jars of honey this year. Initial sales will be to friends but, as the operation grows, Dave plans to target farmers’ markets with profits being used to make the business self-sustainable.

Amy Fair, Redcar’s general manager, said: “We have gorgeous gardens and lots of pollinating plants, so we were delighted when Dave came along with the idea because it fits perfectly with our aim to be as environmentally-friendly as possible. Bees are fundamental to the ecology and we want to play our part in protecting them.”

Father-of-three Dave, who lives near the racecourse, first became interested in beekeeping while serving in the Army as a young man. He is a member of both the British Beekeepers Association and the Cleveland Beekeepers Association, known as Tees Bees.

“I’m fascinated by the way bees communicate and work together,” he said. “They are one of the most important pollinators, but they are under threat because of modern farming practices and climate change. If we lose pollinators, we lose food production and that threatens the biggest race of all – the human race.”

  • To find out more about the Cleveland Beekeepers Association, go to teesbees.co.uk

 

THE BEEKEEPERS’ STAKES

To celebrate Bees’ Needs Week, which runs until July 14, we’ve come up with our own line-up of racehorses with connections to bees. We’d love to hear of other suggestions.

  1. BEE FRIENDLY (Champion Sprinter of Europe in the 1960s, owned by Sir Peter O’Sullivan)
  2. BEESWING (Winner of the 1842 Ascot Gold Cup and winner of 51 races)
  3. S.BEE (Grand National winner 1956)
  4. SAVE THE BEES (Trained in North Yorkshire by Declan Carroll to win at Redcar in 2017)
  5. BEE BEE BEE (Won The Preakness Stakes in America in 1972)
  6. DEE EX BEE (Trained at Middleham by Mark Johnston to be fourth in last year’s St Leger and an Ascot winner this year)
  7. DEANO’S BEE-NO (Trained by Martin Pipe, one of racing’s top staying hurdlers)
  8. ROYAL BEEKEEPER (Dual winner trained by Dan Skelton)
  9. HONEY END (Unlucky runner-up when favourite in Foinavon’s legendary Grand National in 1967)
  10. ANYTHING OWNED BY THE QUEEN

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Yorkshire racing enthusiasts are bracing themselves for an exciting week as the Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival is nearly upon us.

Starting at Ripon on Saturday, July 20, there will be 10 race meetings, over nine days at eight different racecourses, culminating in an exciting finale at Pontefract on Sunday, July 28.

Sponsored by Sky Bet, the festival, now in its 12th year, continues to grow, along with the enthusiasm for the event.

“It’s been great working with the Yorkshire racecourses who have made this festival a fantastic success.  Together, we have grown it and it’s good fun.  Each racecourse has something different going on and it’s a fabulous showcase of the different Yorkshire courses.”  Said Michael Shinners, Head of Sports PR at Sky Bet.

“The dates conveniently fall in the school summer holidays so families can come,” continued Michael.  “They can take picnics into some areas of the courses and with the different activities on offer it creates a fun chilled out atmosphere.”

Throughout the week, the title for leading trainer and leading jockey will be fiercely contested with some great prizes on offer.  The leading trainer award is sponsored by Goldsborough Hall, the former residence of HRH Princess Mary and now a privately-owned historic house and gardens that you can visit, dine and stay in.

“We know how important racing is to Yorkshire and are delighted to sponsor the leading trainer award at the Summer Festival.” Said Clare Oglesby, who, along with her husband Mark, owns Goldsborough Hall.

“Legend says that the Byerly Turk, recognised as one of the founding stallions, is buried on the estate so our connections to the racing industry are very strong.” Enthused Clare.

Sky Bet also sponsor the leading jockey prize, the winner of which receives £1,000 plus a £500 donation to charity.

And it’s not just action on the track during the week as Jack Berry House, the injured jockeys’ rehabilitation centre in Malton opens its doors to the public for an open afternoon on Tuesday, July 23.

“We are very important to the racing community in Yorkshire, playing our part in the recovery of injured jockeys and racing staff in the area.  In addition, our gym is available to all those involved in racing, as well as access to our expert staff who can help with fitness, physio and nutrition.” Said Jo Russell, Resident Manager of Jack Berry House.

The open afternoon, which starts at 1.30pm will give visitors the opportunity to have a tour of the centre, take part in some jockey training activities and artefacts from Malton Museum’s exhibition of the horse will also be on show.

At 3.30pm there will be a screening of the film Seabiscuit, the legendary American horse that raised the hopes of the Americans through the difficult depression era and is based on a true story.  Tickets will be limited and cost £7.50 each.  They need to be booked through Go Racing in Yorkshire by contacting charlotte.russell@goracing.co.uk.

sky-bet

ARCHER’S DREAM will bid to protect her 100 per cent record when she contests the Group 3 William Hill Summer Stakes at York on Friday.

The James Fanshawe-trained filly has kept improving since making a winning debut at Doncaster back in April.

She made it three from three when dead-heating in the Listed Cathedral Stakes at Salisbury last month.

Now she is being asked to step up again in class as part of a 17-strong field for Friday’s six-furlong feature on the Knavesmire.

Newmarket-based Fanshawe said: “She has done nothing but progress all season.

“We’re trying to take it step by step. She’s strong and a powerful filly but she’s not the biggest.

“You’re only going to learn on the racecourse how good she really is because at home she never actually shows you a great deal. She’s pretty relaxed about things.

“But saying that, at the two-furlong pole at Salisbury she really did go and quicken up well there, so I think she’s got a good turn of foot. Will that be effective as she goes up in grade? Well, we’ll see.

“At Salisbury she was really tough and probably took it up soon enough – she was in front a long time up the hill. Hopefully at York she can take her time a bit more.”

Whatever happens, Archer’s Dream is proving another success story for Fred Archer Racing who have gone from strength to strength since Fanshawe’s wife Jacko established the partnerships ahead of the 2014 season.

Their chief flag-bearer has been Group 1 hero The Tin Man but Archer’s Dream is just the latest in a series of successful horses to run in the increasingly recognisable dark blue and dark red silks.

Fanshawe added: “Jacko started it off and the first decent horse was The Tin Man but the syndicate had ten winners from 11 horses last year. It’s always difficult to follow that up, but Archer’s Dream has won three and been another good example for Fred Archer Racing – and she didn’t cost a fortune either. We bought her because I trained her dam and she was pretty useful and it’s a good family.”

York’s two-day meeting begins on Friday at 2.05pm with a seven-race card. Saturday’s feature is the renowned John Smith’s Diamond Jubilee Cup, worth £200,000.

A new study has revealed that 78% of parents in Yorkshire believe there aren’t enough low-cost activities available for children during the summer holidays, leading to more children spending fewer hours outside.

In research commissioned by Great British Racing for its ‘Under 18s Race Free’ campaign, it was found that parents across the county are becoming increasingly concerned with the sedentary lifestyle of their children, with 85% of parents wanting their children to spend more time outdoors during the school holidays.

The majority of outdoor activities on offer, however, are considered to be too expensive, with live sporting events highlighted as being particularly pricey – 78% of parents have been put off taking their children to live sport because of the cost of the ticket, while 57% of parents surveyed do not take their children to live sport at all.

Great British Racing ambassador, and parent of two, Tess Daly commented, “As a parent, the school holidays provide the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with your children, yet finding activities that are stimulating, healthy and affordable can be a challenge. As a child my parents went out of their way to take me to live sport and I do the same for my kids now – there’s nothing better than a day at the races. As well as the thrill of the racing, the kids are able to run around in the fresh air and there are plenty of activities for them too, from having their faces painted to meeting race horses.”

Tess recently visited a racehorse training yard to see the preparation that goes into getting horses ready for the races. You can watch this here.

Tess is promoting Great British Racing’s unique ‘Under 18s Race Free’ offering through which accompanied under 18s are admitted free of charge to the vast majority of fixtures at Britain’s 60 racecourses throughout the year, when accompanied by an adult . Yorkshire is home to nine racecourses that will be filling the summer holidays with ten fantastic family fixtures among 41 race meetings during the summer holidays.

From circus events to Lego themed days, Yorkshire racecourses have got holiday fun covered. Beverley and Thirsk both host themed family days with a PAW Patrol day on 30th July and a Circus themed day on 25th August at Beverley, and a James Herriot ‘All Creatures Great & Small’ family day on 9th August at Thirsk. Catterick hosts two family days with a Forces Family Day on 6th August for military families and a Carnival Day on 19th August with fayre ground games. Pontefract, York, Redcar and Ripon also host dedicated family race days with many free activities for children, including inflatable as face painting.

Charlotte Russell, General Manager of Go Racing In Yorkshire said, “We are thrilled to be part of Great British Racing’s ‘U18s Race Free’ campaign and offer children the chance to be part of 41 live sporting events throughout the summer holidays. Yorkshire’s racecourses offer ten specific family days over the summer holiday period, providing a fantastic value for money, full day out. We are proud to be home to nine racecourses across the county, each one offering unique family fun for everyone, combined with competitive racing.”

As well as unmissable action on the track, racecourses provide a range of free experiences for under 18s including pony rides, the chance to meet a racehorse and fairground attractions, making it a great and affordable day out for all the family.
Find your local family race day here – under18sracefree.com

[1] Please check individual racecourses for Terms and Conditions.  For more information visit under18sracefree.com

KEVIN FROST holds lofty aspirations for progressive five-year-old Francis Xavier and the Staffordshire-based trainer is looking forward to unleashing his “raging bull” in the John Smith’s Diamond Jubilee Cup at York on Saturday.

Purchased from the Tattersalls July Sale during the corresponding week last year, Francis Xavier won his first two outings for Frost, including a smooth success on the Knavesmire in September.

Pitched into Listed company on his seasonal reappearance at Goodwood, the son of High Chaparral finished seventh behind subsequent winner Elarqam, but Frost outlined how his charge had legitimate excuses for that performance.

“I’m hoping he’s better than a handicapper – he didn’t show that at Goodwood, but he came home ill and was all wrong there,” Frost said.

“He’s bouncing now – like a raging bull – and the plan is very much to run at York. I think he’s improved physically this year.”

One of 46 confirmations for the John Smith’s Diamond Jubilee Cup, Francis Xavier looks likely to have conditions to suit in the £200,000 feature.

“I think he’ll get a mile and a half, and that’s a trip I would like to try in a few runs time when he’s got the tickle out of his toes, but a strongly-run mile and a quarter will be right up his street,” Frost added.

“I know this is a better contest, but he tanked through the race when he won over course and distance last year.”

Reflecting on his purchase of Francis Xavier, a 22,000 guineas buy having won two of his previous four starts for Hugo Palmer, Frost said the gelding is not be the most straightforward to train, but is one with plenty of ability.

“He’s a horse who came with a bit of a reputation – I think he spent more time galloping loose on the main road in Newmarket than he did on the gallops themselves,” Frost said.  

“We’ve had our moments with him. We treat him differently – he goes out before the main string first thing and he’s happier to get done and dusted that way. But so far he’s been professional on the racecourse for us.”

The John Smith’s Diamond Jubilee Cup was first run in 1960 and the race boasts an illustrious roll of honour, including subsequent Group 1 winners Cezanne and Wigmore Hall.

The contest is one of seven scheduled on a high-class card at York, which also features the Listed John Smith’s City Walls Stakes, run over five furlongs, and the John Smith’s Silver Cup Stakes – a one mile and six furlong Group 3.

York’s latest two-day meeting gets underway on Friday, when the afternoon feature will be the Group 3 William Hill Summer Stakes – a six-furlong contest for fillies and mares.

That £65,000 race has attracted 23 entries and they include sprint star Mabs Cross, who was beaten a nose in the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York last season prior to landing the Group 1 Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp.

The Royal Patron of York Racecourse, His Royal Highness The Duke of York, KG will help celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of the John Smith’s Cup. The longest running sponsorship in flat racing will mark its 60th running on Saturday 13 July at York Racecourse.

First won by Fougalle back in 1960, the milestone will be noted by a Royal presentation of the unique Wedgewood Trophy, after the completion of the £200,000 contest.

Throughout the afternoon celebrations will continue with a giant flag, fun installations for the selfie generation as well as a display of images of both the race and the wider world over those six decades.

The Duke will lay a time capsule near the Parade Ring, that marks that history and points to the future of the race; containing memorabilia from down the years, as well as the raw ingredients of the brew from its Yorkshire homeland and samples of the finished product, both Magnet Ale and Johns Smith’s.

Watching from the stands will be previous winning jockeys in the race such as Philip Makin (2015) and Jimmy Quinn (1998) as well as successful Yorkshire trainers David Barron, Richard Fahey and Karl Burke who have been proud to land the prize. Regular racegoers at the meeting and members of the brewery staff at Tadcaster will be amongst those who will be introduced to His Royal Highness.

Of course, there will be a special commemorative cake.

On the track the £200,000 prize money of the feature contest makes the John Smith’s Cup the richest middle distance handicap in Britain.

Named after Britain’s best-selling ale, it is the centrepiece of a seven-race programme that now includes the recently upgraded John Smith’s Silver Cup as a Group Three contest worth £65,000 and the Listed John Smith’s City Walls sprint..

The opening day on the Friday features a commemorative fly past by RAF Tucano aircraft from nearby Linton-on-Ouse; regular if fleeting visitors to this occasion. There will be a collection for an RAF charity on the ground.

As a racing highlight on Friday is the Group Three William Hill Summer Stakes, offering a black type opportunity to the fastest filly down the six furlong course, as well as marking the provider of SP Betting shop services on the Knavesmire.

One of Europe’s most prestigious and competitive middle-distance heritage handicap contests, the winning owner will join His Royal Highness on the podium on Saturday as he presents the specially-commissioned perpetual Wedgwood challenge trophy as well as a special diamond themed memento

Since Fougalle was the first winner back in 1960, there have been many dramatic moments, with the race becoming a major betting heat of the summer. In 2018, Euchen Glen provided trainer Jim Goldie with a first win in the race, indeed a first win for a thoroughbred stabled in Scotland. It was a big day for jockey Alistair Rawlinson who also landed his first win in the race.

The Group Three John Smith’s Silver Cup continues to be a valued title for stayers, last year, the Marco Botti trained Dylan Mouth, recorded his final victory before starting a new career at stud.

The sprinters have their say in the Listed John Smith’s City Walls over five furlongs and the 2016 winner, Marsha, went on to multiple success at Group One level, including the Coolmore Nunthorpe, before going into the record books when she was sold to become a broodmare.

Always one of the big days of the year, this event has become a showcase for ‘Yorkshire’s Finest’, and sees John Smith’s treasuring its Yorkshire roots with a full Yorkshire menu of locally-sourced and home-made food. In addition, there will be a number of cask ales available at the racecourse, thanks to collaboration with fellow Yorkshire brewers, Theakston’s.

The highlight on Friday, The William Hill Summer Stakes, is a Group Three sprint contest over six furlongs for fillies and mares, with a purse of £65,000. Last year’s race was won by Raven’s Lady for Newmarket trainer, Marco Botti; further success at Group Two level in Germany followed and she now races on the American stage.

Friday sees a number of other long-standing supporters of the Knavesmire return with Acturis back in attendance; alongside the accountancy firm responsible for audit matters at the track, Garbutt + Elliott. Once again, it is an “ITM Friday” as the Irish organisation responsible for promoting bloodstock sales from the emerald isle back a five furlong handicap.

The two days of racing get underway with an interesting novice contest over the unusual distance of five and a half furlongs. It is among the twenty-one contests backed by the European Breeders’ Fund.

Catering for broad musical tastes, both days offer the summer vibe of a steel band or the upbeat fun of Doctor Thirsty and after racing, The Monotones.

The Giant Screen overlooking the Roberto Lawn will continue to provide a home to Wimbledon coverage on Friday and earlier on Saturday.

A number of other giant screens will enable racegoers to enjoy even more of the action on both days, along with racing from Newmarket’s July Meeting and Ascot. The popular punters’ panel held prior to racing on the winners’ podium will preview the card on both days.

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Master Beverley trainer Richard Fahey admitted the lure of big prize-money was too good to resist when he saddles Sootability in the feature race on Saturday.

Malton-based Fahey sends a strong team to the Westwood, and holds seven live chances of adding to his exemplary record at the East Yorkshire circuit.

One of which, Sootability, takes up the challenge in the D&P Palletways Delivery Fillies’ Handicap (3.45), which is worth £25,000.

Fahey said: “It’s a competitive race for Sootability, and she’ll need to up her game to win it, but it’s a decent amount of prize-money and we’re happy to have a go.”

Sootability faces five rivals in the eight-and-a-half-furlong test, including the mighty Kylie Rules, who has won four times from four starts at Beverley this year, and the hat-trick-seeking Big Hearted.

Fahey is hoping for a brisk start to the Big Saturday Raceday at Beverley when he goes into battle with Lion’s Vigil and Typsy Toad in the dandphaulage.co.uk Novice Auction Stakes (2.00).

He said: “Both Lion’s Vigil and Typsy Toad could be horses for handicaps a little further down the line.

“I’d be pleasantly surprised if either of them were able to win a novice, to be honest, but I’ve been surprised before.”

Fahey is perhaps sweeter on the claims of Istanbul, who runs in the D&P Pallet Distribution EBF Maiden Stakes (2.35).

He told www.sportinglife.com: “He’s a colt I really like. He just over-raced a little bit first time out when third at Ripon last month.

“I’d like to think he’ll go on to prove himself to be pretty smart.

“The form of his debut run isn’t bad and it’ll be good to see if he can settle better now.”

The Group One-winning handler is then responsible for Requinto Dawn in the five-furlong D&P Warehousing Handicap (3.10), and expects the four-year-old gelding to enjoy running at Beverley.

He said: “Slowly but surely the handicapper has given him a chance and dropping back to five furlongs I don’t think will bother him.

“I think the track will suit and I’ve been quite happy with him lately in his home-work.

“He looks like he’s coming back to a bit of form and runs from a career-low mark of 68.“

Later on the card, Fahey saddles Indomeneo in the D&P UK And European Distribution Handicap (4.20).

The trainer said: “He’s creeping down the weights now having been a very good two-year-old.

“He’s got a chance from his current mark and as long as the ground is not too quick I could see him showing up quite well.”

Fahey’s seventh runner at Beverley on Saturday is the John Dance-owned Ivory Charm, who picks up the gauntlet in the D&P Haulage Contract Distribution Fillies’ Handicap (4.55).

The North Yorkshire handler added: “She ran OK at Chester when we stepped her up in trip and it seemed to suit.

“She’s in the sales next week, but she’s honest and she tries.”

Gates open at 11.30am for East Yorkshire’s biggest racing weekend of the year, with the going good to firm and a Saturday forecast of sunny intervals and a high of 18C.

 

Our final evening meeting of the season takes place at Pontefract on Friday 19th July and is the second night of our Music Night Series, accompanied by our Red Shirt Night and Beer Festival. It promises to be a fantastic evening with six great races followed by the UK’s best Abba tribute band, Fabba Girls, performing after the conclusion of the last race.

We will be raising money for the incredible Injured Jockeys Fund through Jack Berry’s historic ‘Red Shirt Night’. The Red Shirt is purely optional – just bring yourself, your friends and your party spirit. This amazing charity has helped injured jockeys get back to race riding fitter and quicker than imagined.

We welcome back a whole host of old friends for our Beer Festival. Pennie Brewery, Revolutions Brewing Co, Ossett Brewery and Bier Huis will all be joining us, where they will be offering some of the best beers, lagers and ales that Yorkshire has to offer.

The feature on track is the VW Volkswagen Van Centre (Leeds) Ltd Optional Handicap Stakes run over a mile, and was won last year by Waarif in a competitive race. Waarif has gone on to register four wins over the same distance, the most recent at Windsor at the end of June.

Our third race on the card, the Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Handicap Stakes, will catch the eye of racing fans, having produced horses that have gone on to perform at the highest level. The race is run over 5f and last year was won by Watchable, who cruised home to win by a 1½ lengths for David O’Meara. Final Venture won this race in 2016 and just five months later headed to Meydan (Dubai), and won twice there for his current trainer Paul Midgley, who boasts an impressive four wins in this race.

The meeting kicks off with the Lucy Steven’s 30th Birthday Celebrations EBF Novice Auction Stakes for 2-year olds. This will be third running of the race and Richard Fahey’s Metallic Black won this convincingly by 4 lengths last year to Forcetoreckon.

The final race on the card is the John Nixon Supports Jack Berry House Handicap Stakes, run over 6 furlongs, which was won by Etikaal last year, steered home by the season’s leading jockey at Pontefract Ben Curtis. After the conclusion of this race, the critically acclaimed Fabba Girls will be performing on the raised grass area next to the Parade Ring. If you want a night out with racing, music and a beer festival, this is the place for you. Head to www.pontefract-races.co.uk to secure your tickets now!

Brazilian-born trainer Ivan Furtado challenged Hector’s Here to a continue his fine run of form when he reports for duty at the first leg of Beverley’s big double-header on Friday evening.

The three-year-old colt has been in solid nick all year, and neatly illustrated the point at Hamilton on June 19.

Sent off a 5-1 chance for a nine-furlong handicap at the Scottish circuit, the son of Cityscape made absolutely no mistake under Trevor Whelan.

That two-and-a-quarter triumph, which was achieved on fast ground, has seen Hector’s Here rise 6lb in the ratings.

But Furtado is convinced his inmate is still progressing ahead of the Gemma Platten Memorial Handicap (7.45) over eight and a half furlongs.

The Nottinghamshire-based handler said: “He won well at Hamilton last time and is ready to run again.

“I thought the trip might have been too far for him that day, but he got away with and hopefully it will be the same at Beverley.

“Ideally, we’d like to see a bit of cut in the ground, though. He can handle it fast but when there’s a bit of rain around you will see more improvement from him as he has the right action for that sort ground.

“He’s done well all year and deserved to win at Hamilton, but we’ve decided to put the cheekpieces on for the first time to help him concentrate a bit better.

“I’d be disappointed if he didn’t run well again.”

Hector’s Here faces five rivals on the Westwood, including Hunterwali, who won by seven lengths at Beverley last time out.

The race is named in loving memory of Gemma Platten, who tragically died last year at the age of 41. Gemma was a keen racing fan and used to work in the industry for a long time.

Furtado will have added interest on the card as he saddles Diamond Pursuit in the Pure Broadband Selling Stakes (6.10) over seven and a half furlongs.

The trainer, who has secured three winners from 37 runners at Beverley, added: “She’s a limited horse, to be honest, and it’s debatable whether this trip will suit her.

“We’ll give it a go from a tricky draw, though, and this is at least a drop in grade.

“She’ll win one day when things drop her way, but I’d be more hopeful than confident.”

Gates open for 70s Racenight, featuring legendary dance troupe Bus Stop, at 4pm, with the first of six races due off at 6.10pm.

The going is reported as being good to firm, with a high of 20C forecast for Friday evening.

Catterick Racecourse continues to support local, Darlington-based charity St Teresa’s Hospice this year with its annual race day on Wednesday 10 July.

This year marks the thirteenth running of the St Teresa’s Charity Race Day, where racegoers can enjoy Pantomime Horse Racing action ahead of an action-packed seven race card. The first race on the day is scheduled for 2pm, with the gates opening to the public at 12 noon.

Ahead of the first race, at approximately 12.45pm, the Pantomime Horses will have their turn in the Parade Ring. This year’s entries include two horses, a donkey and a cow: Looker’s VW Darlington’s “Wonky Donkey” and “Vin Petrol”, Clark Willis Solicitors “Lucky Legal Legs” and Purple Creative’s “Moo-dy Blues”

The St Teresa’s Hospice Pantomime Horse Race will take place at 1pm on the final furlong of the track, where contenders sprint to the winning post in a bid to be crowned this year’s champion.

John Paul Stabler, Fundraising & Marketing Manager at St Teresa’s Hospice said: “We are thrilled to be returning to Catterick Racecourse for our 13th Charity Race Day, and we aim to bring some extra fun and excitement with our annual Panto Horse Race. We’re glad to see Lookers VW Darlington’s “Wonky Donkey” returning for another go after their disastrous (but hilarious) performance in 2018, and we encourage everyone to come along to cheer all of the runners and riders on at 1pm.”

Footage from last year’s Pantomime Horse Race went viral, with over 4.5 million views on the racecourse’s Facebook page alone, following Wonky Donkey’s altercation with the rails.

St Teresa’s will also be holding a raffle on the day, with fantastic prizes on offer including Annual Membership for two people at Catterick Races in 2020, Sunday Lunch for four guests at Headlam Hall Country Hotel & Spa and Go Karting for four people at Teesside Karting. Tickets (£1 each) will be available to purchase from St Teresa’s stand by the Parade Ring throughout the afternoon.

The raffle will be drawn ahead of the last race on the card, scheduled for 5pm.

John Paul added: “This event is an important fundraiser for St Teresa’s Hospice, and we are incredibly grateful to Fiona and the team for their support, helping us to continue providing free care and support to the residents of North Yorkshire and South Durham, completely free of charge. The cost of our services is now over £3 million each year and we rely on the support of our local community, so please support the Hospice by buying a raffle ticket or giving your loose change to our collectors as you leave.”

Last year, the race day at Catterick Racecourse raised £4,255.79 for St Teresa’s Hospice.

As with all Catterick’s fixtures, a free shuttle bus will bring racegoers from Richmond Market Place to the racecourse approximately an hour before the first race and will return after the last race. Accompanied under 18’s race free and a big screen will be at the course on the day to give racegoers the best views of all the action.

For more information and to book tickets, visit www.catterickbridge.co.uk.

 

 

 

Ripon Racecourse is preparing to host the second ‘Visit Ripon’ Community Raceday on Monday 15th July. Following the success of last year’s event, the day will see a number of local attractions, along with Welcome To Yorkshire, join forces at Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse to showcase what they each have to offer and to collectively promote the City of Ripon as a destination.

Ripon Cathedral, Newby Hall & Gardens, Ripon Museums, Lightwater Valley and Fountains Abbey, which collectively attract over a million visitors to Ripon each year, will each sponsor a race on the day and will have trade stands set up on course where racegoers can obtain information and insight about their attractions and the City of Ripon.

Welcome To Yorkshire’s North Yorkshire Area Director David Shields said:

“It’s wonderful to see Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse coming together with all the other local visitor attractions to celebrate and promote the area. Ripon is a perfect example of the huge variety of experiences we have on offer right across Yorkshire with so much to see and do there.

“From stunning countryside, heritage and culture and world beating food and drink to high octane activities and attractions and fast paced sport, Ripon has it all and a great day out is guaranteed”.

Linda Furniss, Market Development Manager at Ripon Museums, is also embracing the opportunity:

“Although many of the inmates of the workhouse and prison wouldn’t have had the opportunity for a day at the races, we are looking forward to the Ripon Museums Maiden Stakes. It’s a great opportunity to promote our three museums and we will be there dressed in museum character to add fun and colour to the day”.

James Hutchinson, Managing Director of Ripon Racecourse said:

“The City of Ripon has a very rich heritage, strong community spirit and is renowned for its customs and traditions such as the Hornblower, Bell-Ringer, the Wakeman and the St Wilfrid Procession. We’re looking forward to having the other fantastic attractions in the area join us again, for the second ‘Visit Ripon’ Raceday, to work together and promote our wonderful corner of North Yorkshire”.

Ripon Races

Catterick Racecourse continues to support local, Darlington-based charity St Teresa’s Hospice this year with its annual race day on Wednesday 10 July.

This year marks the thirteenth running of the St Teresa’s Charity Race Day, where racegoers can enjoy Pantomime Horse Racing action ahead of an action-packed seven race card. The first race on the day is scheduled for 2pm, with the gates opening to the public at 12 noon.

Ahead of the first race, at approximately 12.45pm, the Pantomime Horses will have their turn in the Parade Ring. This year’s entries include two horses, a donkey and a cow: Looker’s VW Darlington’s “Wonky Donkey” and “Vin Petrol”, Clark Willis Solicitors “Lucky Legal Legs” and Purple Creative’s “Moo-dy Blues”

The St Teresa’s Hospice Pantomime Horse Race will take place at 1pm on the final furlong of the track, where contenders sprint to the winning post in a bid to be crowned this year’s champion.

John Paul Stabler, Fundraising & Marketing Manager at St Teresa’s Hospice said: “We are thrilled to be returning to Catterick Racecourse for our 13th Charity Race Day, and we aim to bring some extra fun and excitement with our annual Panto Horse Race. We’re glad to see Lookers VW Darlington’s “Wonky Donkey” returning for another go after their disastrous (but hilarious) performance in 2018, and we encourage everyone to come along to cheer all of the runners and riders on at 1pm.”

Footage from last year’s Pantomime Horse Race went viral, with over 4.5 million views on the racecourse’s Facebook page alone, following Wonky Donkey’s altercation with the rails.

St Teresa’s will also be holding a raffle on the day, with fantastic prizes on offer including Annual Membership for two people at Catterick Races in 2020, Sunday Lunch for four guests at Headlam Hall Country Hotel & Spa and Go Karting for four people at Teesside Karting. Tickets (£1 each) will be available to purchase from St Teresa’s stand by the Parade Ring throughout the afternoon.

The raffle will be drawn ahead of the last race on the card, scheduled for 5pm.

John Paul added: “This event is an important fundraiser for St Teresa’s Hospice, and we are incredibly grateful to Fiona and the team for their support, helping us to continue providing free care and support to the residents of North Yorkshire and South Durham, completely free of charge. The cost of our services is now over £3 million each year and we rely on the support of our local community, so please support the Hospice by buying a raffle ticket or giving your loose change to our collectors as you leave.”

Last year, the race day at Catterick Racecourse raised £4,255.79 for St Teresa’s Hospice.

As with all Catterick’s fixtures, a free shuttle bus will bring racegoers from Richmond Market Place to the racecourse approximately an hour before the first race and will return after the last race. Accompanied under 18’s race free and a big screen will be at the course on the day to give racegoers the best views of all the action.

For more information and to book tickets, visit www.catterickbridge.co.uk.

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A FORMER MP with experience in North-East industry has joined the board of his local racecourse.

Ian Swales has spoken of his pride and excitement at becoming a director of Redcar Racecourse, having served the town as MP between 2010 and 2015.

Mr Swales is originally from Leeds but moved to Redcar in 1978 to work in finance and business development for ICI.

He said: “When I became MP, my first staff Christmas do was at the racecourse and I’ve been a regular visitor over the years. I got to know the directors and I didn’t hesitate when I was asked to join the board.

“The racecourse is so important to the local community, it’s the green lungs of the town, and brings so many people in from elsewhere. I want to play my full part in helping it prosper.

“Apart from the obvious attractions of racedays, the local community shouldn’t underestimate the facilities at the racecourse and make use of them all year round.”

Mr Swales, a qualified accountant, has experience at board level within ICI and, after retiring as MP, served for three years as non-executive chairman of the North East Process Industry Cluster. He is also a director of Sirius Minerals Foundation Ltd, and chair of the children’s mental health charity, The Link Tees Valley Ltd.

Redcar racecourse chairman John Sanderson said: “Ian brings invaluable experience and connections from his time as Redcar’s MP and working at a high level in local industry. He will add huge value to our board, and we are thrilled he has joined us.”

 

The inaugural ‘Art of Racing’ Raceday won an award at the prestigious Showcase Awards in 2016 for it’s unique innovation and the second of our Art of Racing Racedays in 2019 takes place at Pontefract on Tuesday 9th July. It once again promises to be a brilliant day for both racing fanatics and those going racing for the first time as the race meeting celebrates everything we know and love about The Sport of Kings!

For those who think they know a bit about racing, the Racecourse are looking for 7 guest tipsters to preview one race each on the day. These form experts will then visit the course on the day to share their knowledge to other racegoers before their race takes place! Pontefract are also looking for those with a keen eye for the horse to join them to pick out the Best Turned Out Horse in each race as well. If you’d like to be considered for either of these roles, please contact the Racecourse on 01977 781307 or email info@pontefract-races.co.uk. Spaces are limited.

There will also be a beginner’s commentary booth for people to have a go at commentating on a race ‘behind the scenes’ – everyone taking part will be able to take home a recording of their commentary! With bus trips to see the starts down at the start as well, it’s going to be a fun packed day with plenty going on!

The feature on the track is the Weatherbys General Stud Book Pipalong Stakes – named after one of the best northern sprinting fillies in recent years. The race always produces a decent filly or mare as it’s the last opportunity for the fairer sex to gain Listed ‘black type’ over this trip. Indeed, the role call of former winners includes the likes of Chorist, Red Bloom and Gifted Girl who all went on to compete at the highest level. The 2018 winner was Clon Coulis for the David Barron team who went on to win another Listed race at Ascot last year before being agonisingly beaten a nose in the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot in June.

The meeting kicks off with The Dianne Nursery handicap for 2-year olds. It’s one of the first handicaps for 2 year olds to be run in the country in 2019. The 2018 winner Octave took the contest last year ½ length from William Haggas’ Red Hut Red.

The Pontefract Sports and Education Foundation hold a charity event throughout this day and three of the races on the card are sponsored by their supporters. Sochall Smith Chartered Accounts, Pontefract Squash & Leisure Club and Atlas Leisure Homes Ltd are all fervent supporters of the foundation who aim to promote the advancement of education and sport amongst the underprivileged and disadvantaged in the Pontefract and District area.

There’s a varied supporting card including the 35th running of the £15,000 King Richard lll Stakes Handicap. The race commemorates the granting of a Royal Charter to the Borough of Pontefract in 1484 and the successful owner will receive a perpetual challenge trophy provided by Pontefract Civic Society. Ower Fly and Watchable fought out the finish in 2017 with Ruth Carr’s inmate getting the verdict.

The Racecourse Postcode Lottery gives the opportunity for anyone based in the Leeds area to come racing for free. By sending a stamped addressed envelope to the Racecourse, residents with an ‘LS’ postcode can get a ticket to the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure free of charge

ROYAL fan Kayleigh Imiela felt like a princess after winning an annual fashion competition at a North-East racecourse.

Kayleigh, 31, from Middlesbrough, was “absolutely flabbergasted” after winning the Best-Dressed Lady competition on Ladies’ Day at Redcar Races on Saturday.

Kayleigh, 31, who works for Yorkshire Bank, at Stockton, said: “I wasn’t going to enter until my friends said I should and I can’t believe I’ve won. There were so many beautiful ladies here, I didn’t think I stand a chance.

“I’m a real fan of the Royals and Disney and have always dreamed of being a princess so it’s a dream come true.”

Kayleigh won an overnight stay for two at Rockliffe Hall with dinner in the Orangery, a spa treatment each and a session in the Spa Garden. She also collected a Gucci necklace, bracelet and £150 gift voucher from Market Cross Jewellers, a Personal Shopping Experience and £50 voucher from Betty Leigh Boutique, and hospitality for four from The Prosecco Quarter.

More than £3,000 worth of prizes were up for grabs on Ladies’ Day with other prizes donated by Chic Hats and Orange Kerr and Beauty.

The winner of the Best Hat competition was Tracey Raw, of Redcar, who said: “I’m proper buzzing. I can’t believe I’ve won.”

Tracey, who made her own fuscia pink and baby blue hat, was second in the competition in 2017 and a finalist in 2016.

She recently turned a hobby into something more serious by launching a business called Shanley’s Bespoke Fascinators.

Following its opening meeting, the newly refurbished Catterick Racecourse will stage its inaugural Cocktails & Casino Race Night on Monday 1 July.

Seven races are scheduled for the fun-packed evening meeting, with the first race at 6pm and the last race at 9pm.

The feature race, the KC Ethical British Caviar Handicap Stakes is a qualifier for the 2019 Catterick Twelve Furlong Series Final, with an £11,500 prize fund. The race has been generously sponsored by the North Yorkshire based KC Caviar, who lead the way in ethical Caviar production.

Another local firm, Maxwell’s of Northallerton, have also sponsored a race on the evening, the Buy Bosch Appliances at Maxwells Northallerton Handicap Stakes is scheduled for 7pm.

In addition to the action on the track, racegoers can try their luck at three free-to-play ‘fun money’ casino tables in the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure – choose from Roulette, Blackjack and Wheel of Fortune!

Singer-songwriter Elena Larkin, from Hartlepool, will treat racegoers to live music throughout the evening to enjoy in between the racing action, and a selection of cocktails will be available to purchase from the cocktail bar in the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure.

Emma Binnian, Sales & Marketing Manager said: “We’re looking forward to our first Cocktails & Casino Race Night, giving our racegoers the opportunity to enjoy an evening of sophistication and style at the races!

“Catterick is known for offering a friendly welcome to everyone and provides a number of family fun days throughout the year, so we thought it would be exciting to put on an evening for the grown-ups!”

This fixture falls within Racing Welfare’s Racing Staff Week (26 June – 6 July) and to celebrate, the racecourse will be offering a complimentary meal voucher to stable staff working at Catterick on July 1st, in addition to the £50 cash prize given to the lad or lass with the Best Turned Out horse in each race at every meeting. There will also be a collection on the day in support of Racing Welfare.

As with all Catterick’s fixtures, a free shuttle bus will bring racegoers from Richmond Market Place to the racecourse approximately an hour before the first race and will return after the last race. Accompanied under 18’s race free and a big screen will be at the course on the day to give racegoers the best views of all the action.

For more information and to book tickets, visit www.catterickbridge.co.uk.

With Royal Ascot grabbing many of the sporting headlines this week, Pontefract Racecourse is keeping its feet firmly on the ground with a proper Yorkshire Family Day out with a twist. While there’s high fashion, top hats and morning suits for racing at Royal Ascot, Pontefract host a very Yorkshire ‘Flat Cap and Whippet’ Family Day on Sunday 23rd June.

Aside from some fantastic horse racing action on the track, Pontefract will be involved in a new Guinness World Records ™ attempt to create the largest human image of a dog!

With family days a firm fixture in the Pontefract racing calendar, the Racecourse is embracing it’s Yorkshire heritage and will stage whippet racing before the first race and ferret racing through the afternoon as well as encouraging racegoers of all ages to come racing and bring along their flat cap.

The exciting Guinness World Records ™ attempt will take place at 1.15pm on Sunday 23rd June and racegoers are encouraged to take part in creating the shape of a huge ‘whippet’ which will be laid out on the lawns in front of the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure. To set the record, the Racecourse will be looking for between 500 and 750 people to get involved. Racegoers will need to make sure that they have a flat cap and will be presented with a commemorative t-shirt to wear for the attempt which they will be able to keep and cherish to remember the day!

It’s a brilliant opportunity for Yorkshire racegoers to claim their spot in history and be a part of the attempt to set an incredible record with Guinness World Records ™ as well as have a fantastic day out.

The first of three popular Family Day race meetings at Pontefract in 2019 is just around the corner with Flat Cap and Whippet Day on Sunday 23rd June.

There are 7 fantastic horse races but there are tonnes of exciting things to do before the horses take centre stage.

The gates open at 11.30am and we’ve got a thrilling day lined up including an official Guinness World Records ® attempt to form the largest human image of a dog. The attempt will take place at 1.15pm and the Racecourse will be asking Racegoers to form the outline of a whippet!

In keeping with the day, if you’d like to take part in this record-breaking attempt, you’ll need to be wearing a flat cap. Racegoers wanting to get involved should arrive early and meet at the back of the Second Stand at around 1pm where they will be given further instruction by safety marshals on the day.

There’s an added incentive to wear your flat cap too – the first 500 people sporting theirs will pick up either a free drinks voucher, a free bet or a free racecard!

Before then, whippets from the Yorkshire Pedigree Whippet Racing Club will take to the Racecourse from 12.30pm as they set the scene for their equine counterparts later in the afternoon. With around 30 whippets racing over a series of races, it’s going to be a fast and furious way to start proceedings!

Whippets and horses are not the only races taking place – a team of ferrets will also be stepping into the spot light with racing in the Picnic Enclosure throughout the afternoon!

As has become tradition on Sundays at Pontefract, young racegoers will be well looked after throughout the day – especially in the Picnic Enclosure where there are kids rides, a circus, face painting and free activity books and racecards.

Eagle eyed kids need to look out for the Golden Horseshoe too – there’s a hamper of sweets to be won for the first person to find it! There are also free Pony rides as well – plenty to keep even the most active little ones occupied while mum and dad enjoy some top class racing.

If you’ve ever wondered what happens down at the start of races – in the calm before the race explodes in to action – then you’ll be able to pick up our free minibus which will take you down to the starting stalls where you’ll see the horses and jockeys in the moments before the race starts. The minibus will bring you straight back after the race. Available for any race over 5f or 6f, it provides a fascinating insight into what goes on in the open space of the Parkland.

On the track, the £50,000 Listed Pontefract Castle Fillies’ Stakes is the highlight. The race was won last year by Ralph Beckett’s Isabel De Urbina who got up in the shadows of the post to deny Alwaysandforever.

It’s always a competitive affair with some of the toughest middle distance fillies in training. The 2019 Pontefract Stayers Championship is also shaping up to be a really competitive affair and Round 4 is the Stephane Osborne Pontefract Cup. Micky Hammond normally has a strong hand in these races and his ‘Becky The Thatcher’ took the championship last season despite just being touched off in this race.

As always Family Tickets (£25) are available in advance for 2 adults and their children along with a range of alternative packages. Please view the course website (www.pontefract-races.co.uk) or give them a call on 01977 781307. Racing gets underway at 2.20pm, and the gates open at 11.30am!

Ornate bids to claim a significant double when he lines up in the £14,000 Tecknodev British EBF Conditions Stakes at Beverley on Tuesday evening.

Trained in Bawtry, South Yorkshire, by David Griffiths, the six-year-old gelding was sent off a largely unconsidered 33-1 chance for the Investec Dash on Derby Day at Epsom.

Yet despite his inflated odds, Ornate blitzed out of stall five and never saw another rival en route to a neck defeat of Dark Shot.

The classy sprinter has recovered well from those exertions and is now ready for his next big test in the valuable five-furlong sprint at Beverley.

Griffiths said: “He won well at Epsom and has come out of the race in great order.

“He wasn’t right all last year. He was wrong in his coat and if you looked a picture of him last season you wouldn’t think it was the same horse.

“He’s grown and filled out and is a lot stronger horse. I think he’s finally showing his true ability for me.

“He’s about where he should be at the weights and he should go really go well on Tuesday.

“Potentially, he’s still a Group horse. I’m really happy with where Ornate is and I’d be quietly confident of a big run.”

Crack sprinter Judicial has won the Tecknodev British EBF Conditions Stakes for the last two seasons, with 2017 Beverley Bullet runner-up Final Venture the highest-rated horse in this year’s renewal.

Lightly-raced filly Fairy Falcon has also been given the chance to shine by North Yorkshire trainer Bryan Smart.

She is a half-sister to Beverley heroes Tangerine Trees and Alpha Delphini and was, like her esteemed siblings, bred locally by Marie Matthews.

Gates open for the Great Big Beverley Charity Racenight – the first evening meeting of the season – at 4pm.

The first of seven races starts at 6pm, with the official going reported as being good to soft, soft in places.

The forecast for Beverley on Tuesday evening is for warm, dry weather and a high of 20C.

Yorkshire-based jockey Paul Mulrennan secured his 1,000th UK career victory with Camacho Chief at Doncaster Racecourse this afternoon. He joins an illustrious list of jockeys to have reached the landmark, including Frankie Dettori and three-time Champion Flat Jockey, Silvestre De Sousa.

The win marked his 26th success at the racecourse, with Mulrennan’s highest performing tracks being Ayr (79), Southwell (75), and Wolverhampton (72).

On reaching the milestone, The 37-year-old, said: “It’s a massive achievement, especially when you consider I grew up in Ealing, West London and didn’t sit on a horse until I was 16. On top of that, I’ve been slightly unlucky with injuries and having to maintain my weight, so that makes it even more of a proud moment for me. There’s some fantastic jockeys who have reached 1,000 wins, and to join them is an amazing feeling.”

Camacho Chief is trained by Michael Dods and Mulrennan has enjoyed a total of 152 wins with the Durham-based trainer. It is also within that partnership that Mulrennan achieved his biggest wins to date.

In 2015 and 2016, Mulrennan secured back to back wins with the Dods-trained Mecca’s Angel in the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York Racecourse, which forms part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.

The duo have also enjoyed great success with Mabs Cross who they have had six wins with, most recently in the 2019 Zoustar Palace House Stakes at Newmarket. The pair are set to renew their partnership on the opening day of Royal Ascot next week (18th June) in the King’s Stand Stakes, the first sprint race in this year’s QIPCO British Champions Series and are currently third favourites at 6-1.

Talking of his partnership with Dods, Mulrennan said: “There has been some brilliant days amongst the 1,000 wins. I have a great relationship with Michael Dods and we’ve enjoyed many good days together especially with Meccas’s Angel.

The jockey, now based in York, added, “Riding my first win at Royal Ascot with Dandino for James Given in 2010 was a dream come true. Mick Easterby has always been good to me, as has Brian Meehan who I started off with and Patrick Haslam who I rode my first winner for back in 2001. I also need to thank my agent Richard Hale who I’ve been with for 17 years, and of course my wife Adele for putting up with me!

“Reaching 1,000 winners is great advert for racing and any young jockey. It proves you just have to keep working hard and never give up.”

The 49th staging of Macmillan Charity Raceday at York Racecourse raised a record amount for charity, with over £640,000 and counting.  With people still able to make donations, the aggregate figure since its inception in 1971 is now approaching £9 million.

The long-lasting partnership between York Racecourse and Macmillan Cancer Support remains the biggest single fundraising event for Macmillan Cancer Support as well as being the largest charity raceday in British Racing.

Over 20,000 racegoers enjoyed an action-packed afternoon which saw the £100,000 Pavers Foundation Catherine Memorial Sprint go to Recon Mission, trained by Tony Carroll and ridden by Robert Winston.

The finale to Macmillan Charity Raceday saw a further record as the supporters of the eleven riders in the Ernest Cooper Macmillan Ride of their Lives contributed more than £300,000 to the overall figure raised. On the track, the honours went to Charlotte Atkinson from Ireland riding Instant Attraction, however all participants should feel like winners as they all braved torrential rain to complete the race.

The group of riders included Macmillan Cancer Support President Lady Halifax who went the extra mile, or perhaps that should read ‘the extra mile and a furlong’. One of her many supporters commented “You are crazy – but awesome!”; in truth it is all the supporters of the riders who are the truly awesome ones.

Over 200 Macmillan volunteers helped with the fundraising events across the day with in addition to the support of countless individuals and organisations with fundraising activities of auctions, raffles, fundraising lunch and donations.  Of the near £9m raised, 90% goes to Macmillan Cancer Support to improve the lives of people living with cancer.  The remaining 10% goes to a number of charities such as York Against Cancer, St Leonard’s Hospice, Eye Cancer Moghissi Trust, Racing Welfare and the Injured Jockeys Fund.

Lynda Thomas, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, said:

“On behalf of all our Macmillan nurses, doctors, support workers and cancer experts, I wanted to say a massive thank-you to everyone who made this year’s Macmillan Charity Raceday such a success. Macmillan Cancer Support receives no government funding and relies almost entirely on donations – we simply couldn’t help the growing number of people who need us, without the support and generosity of everyone here today. You will help ensure Macmillan can continue to be there for people living with cancer, from the moment of their diagnosis.”

Sarah Proud, Macmillan Counsellor at York Hospital, explained how the annual York Racecourse fundraiser would help Macmillan:

“Just £140 could pay for a Macmillan grant to help cover a patient’s cancer treatment travel costs. While £204 could pay for a Macmillan nurse for a day, who can help patients and their families by providing essential medical, practical and emotional support. So, it’s thanks to the likes of our fantastic fundraising jockeys, not to mention the countless York racegoers, that Macmillan can help anyone impacted by cancer find their best way through.”

William Derby, York Racecourse Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course commented; “To have raised a record amount at the 49th time of asking is an amazing achievement and a tribute to everyone who has contributed to make this raceday such a wonderful event.  Countless individuals and organisations have been so generous with their time, involvement and support of the day from throughout the racing and Yorkshire community – it is a special day everyone associated with it can be very proud of.”

Lee Cooper, Director at Ernest Cooper Transport sponsor of the Ride of Their Lives race said: “All the riders are doing this for an amazing charity which is close to all of our hearts. Passionate individuals riding for one common goal, raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support and Ernest Cooper is proud to be supporting Macmillan and the riders for this year’s running of the incredible Ride of Their Lives.”

Macmillan Charity Raceday is a fundraising collaboration between York Racecourse and Macmillan Cancer Support. The day of professional racing and fundraising has been held annually since 1971.

You can still donate to the riders’ fundraising pages at: www.macmillan.org.uk/charityraceday

Macmillan Charity Raceday will be back to celebrate its 50th anniversary on Saturday 13 June 2020.

MORE than £3,000 of glittering prizes are up for grabs when a North-East racecourse celebrates “Ladies’ Day” next week.

Thousands of glamorous ladies, along with partners, will be putting on the style at Redcar Races on Saturday, June 22.

As well as a packed programme of racing, the day will feature a fashion show by Redcar-based Betty Leigh Boutique, as well as Best-Dressed Lady and Best Hat competitions.

First prize for Best-Dressed Lady comprises:

  • Overnight stay for two at luxurious Rockliffe Hall, near Darlington, with dinner in The Orangery, a spa treatment each, and Spa Garden session.
  • Gucci necklace, Gucci bracelet, and £150 gift voucher from Market Cross Jewellers.
  • Personal shopping experience and £50 gift voucher from Betty Leigh Boutique.
  • Hospitality for four, including champagne and cocktails, provided by The Prosecco Quarter.•
  • Bouquet and bottle of champagne

 

Second prize features an Olivia Burton watch, Olivia Burton necklace, Olivia Burton bracelet and £100 gift voucher from  Market Cross Jewellers, plus a Moroccan Oil gift, provided by Orange Kerr Hair & Beauty.

Third prize is a Guess watch, Guess necklace, and Guess earrings from Market Cross Jewellers, plus Swarcroft hair products, provided by Orange Kerr Hair & Beauty

First prize in the Best Hat competition is a bespoke Hat, provided by Chic Hats, plus Cloud 9 curling wand, mini-straighteners, and gift voucher from Orange Kerr Hair & Beauty. A bouquet of flowers and bottle of champagne will also be presented to the winner.

Second prize is a Swarovski Bracelet, Swarovski earrings and £150 gift voucher from Market Cross Jewellers. And third prize is a Tommy Hilfiger watch, Les Georgette bangle, and £50 gift voucher, provided by Market Cross Jewellers.

For “little ladies”, Cinderella and her friends will be mixing with the racegoers on a day fit for a princess.

Amy Fair, Redcar’s general manager, said: “We are thrilled with the standard of prizes kindly donated by our generous sponsors. We know the ladies of the North-East will again put on a spectacular show, but we want to see the gents coming along too to show their support.”

Meanwhile, last year’s Best-dressed Lady, Jodie Lawson, from Redcar, has revealed that she donated her prizes to be auctioned for a cancer charity foundation.

Jodie raised £2,000 for the foundation after meeting the family of 10-year-old Ethan Maull, from Lincolnshire, who died of bone cancer in May 2014.

The Ethan Maull Up Yours To Cancer Foundation is raising money to build a house near Lincoln Hospital so cancer patients and their families can have a “home from home” while receiving treatment.

Jodie said: “It was a thrill to win the competition and the prizes were lovely but I wanted to use them to help towards a great cause.”

MARK JOHNSTON has enjoyed a fine season with his staying types and the Middleham-based trainer looks to hold another strong hand in the Listed feature of Saturday at York, the Sky Bet Race To The Ebor Grand Cup.

Johnston saddled three of the first four home in the Group 3 Henry II Stakes at Sandown last month, with Dee Ex Bee landing the spoils as Austrian School and Making Miracles finished third and fourth respectively.

Both Austrian School and Making Miracles are set to lock horns again on the Knavesmire, which will be their fourth clash of the season.

The score currently stands at two-one to Austrian School, who put eight and a half lengths on his stable companion in the Queen’s Cup at Musselburgh, although Making Miracles comprehensively reversed that form when romping home in the Chester Cup.

Charlie Johnston, assistant trainer to his father, believes the duo will be closely matched in the £50,000 prize this weekend, although he thinks the drop back to one mile and six furlongs will be more in favour of Austrian School.

“I think trip wise, coming back to a mile and six will probably suit Austrian School in particular,” Johnston said.

“I think he has another gear that Making Miracles doesn’t have and maybe just a bit more class and speed – he showed plenty of the latter when he won at Musselburgh.”

Reflecting on his Sandown exploits, Johnston added: “Austrian School has a neck to find with Mekong on that form, but he’s quite versatile regarding ground. I expect him to go well and this is on the way to either the Northumberland Plate or the Curragh Cup at the end of the month.”

A similar programme awaits the strong staying Making Miracles, who had been mooted for a potential tilt at Royal Ascot’s Queen Alexandra Stakes before connections opted to target the Sky Bet Race To The Ebor Grand Cup.

“We know Making Miracles stays very well and he, too, will be going onto the Northumberland Plate,” Johnston added.

“There is some good prize money to be picked up and I hope both of them will be in the shake-up.”

Tomorrow’s £50,000 prize has attracted eight declarations, including Henry II runner-up Mekong, who is trained in Newmarket by Sir Michael Stoute, and Raheen House, who will make his first outing for William Haggas.

Later on the card, Kingsley House is set to saddle top weight Blown By Wind in the £100,000 Pavers Foundation Catherine Memorial Sprint Handicap.

The son of Invincible Spirit chased home fellow progressive three-year-old Awe in a competitive Newmarket contest last Saturday and Johnston is hopeful his colt can make another step of improvement tomorrow.

“We were very pleased with his run at Newmarket and I think time will tell trying to give 11lb to Awe was a big ask,” Johnston said.

“Unusually for one of ours, I think he’ll still come forward again, even from his second run.

“He had a long time off after getting injured in midsummer last year and I think he went to Leicester first time at about 560 kilos – we wouldn’t send many horses to the races that heavy.

“He’s done really well from two to three and he’s a great big brute of a thing now.”

In respect to the return to six furlongs, Johnston added: “Obviously it was seven furlongs last week and James Doyle was very happy with him at that trip. But he did say afterwards he has enough speed to come back to six.”

A maximum field of 22 runners has been assembled for the Pavers Foundation Catherine Memorial Sprint Handicap, the most valuable prize on Macmillan Charity Raceday. First held in 1971, the annual event has raised over £8 million for the charity.

Saturday’s seven-race card is scheduled to get underway at 1.50pm.

York Racecourse and its home city are delighted at the recent announcement by the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) that it will be host to the 17th annual Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour.

York is the only European destination amongst the 39 communities spread over six countries that will host the $200,000 Gold Trophy.

This year holds special significance for Australia’s most iconic trophy, with the VRC celebrating 100 years of the renowned three-handled design.

As part of the Cup Tour’s overseas expedition, the trophy will attend the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival (August 21-24) as well as visiting some of the famous landmarks in the City.

Speaking at the announcement of the schedule, VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott said this year’s Tour will celebrate the appeal of racing and the iconic Lexus Melbourne Cup trophy with more communities than ever before.

“Since the Tour began in 2003, we have delighted in bringing communities together in the shared history and magic of the Melbourne Cup,” Mrs Elliott said.

“This year is especially significant, with 2019 marking the 100th anniversary of the three- handled Melbourne Cup trophy design.”

In response to the news, Chairman of York Racecourse, Lord Grimthorpe said; “We’re extremely honoured and excited to be playing host to the Melbourne Cup. The links between the most famous races at our respective tracks, the Lexus Melbourne Cup and Sky Bet Ebor, grow ever closer and this is a tremendous example of the partnership between the venues”.

Since its beginning, the Tour has travelled more than 600,000 kilometres and visited more than 450 regional, rural and metropolitan destinations. It has provided communities with an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the magic of the Melbourne Cup and hear the many stories connected with Australia’s greatest horse race.

PAM SLY plans to bring smart speedster Dazzling Dan to York this Saturday for the £100,000 Pavers Foundation Catherine Memorial Sprint.

The Thorney-based trainer hit the headlines in 2006 when she took on the big guns and won, thanks to Speciosa’s heroics in the Qipco 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Now her comparatively small operation has unearthed another talented performer in the shape of Dazzling Dan.

Apart from his debut, the gelding by Dandy Man has not finished out of the first two in five subsequent starts.

Indeed on his last outing – on May 18 – he triumphed in a £50,000 handicap at Newmarket.

And, in terms of the horses she has trained, Sly has no doubt about Dazzling Dan’s level of ability.

She said: “He’d be the best one since Speciosa, wouldn’t he – he definitely is.”

Dazzling Dan is owned by four people, one of whom also had a stake in Speciosa. The lucky man is Dr Tom Davies, but he won’t be at York on Saturday.

Sly said: “He has just retired as a doctor – I think, he’s North London way. And they’re giving him a big party, so he said, ‘I can’t come.’

“I said, ‘Tell them to get on with the party and you come racing!’”

Dazzling Dan was raised in the handicap to 99 after his Newmarket success. As a result he is the second-highest rated horse in this Saturday’s six-furlong showdown on the Knavesmire.

The horse has been ticking over since his victory on the Rowley Mile and worked last morning ahead of his York engagement.

Sly assessed: “He’s absolutely fine. He’s in good form.

“He’s not over big but he’s just a ball of muscle, really. He’s gradually stepping up the whole time, which is good and he’s got a great mind.”

With rather unseasonal weather hitting much of the country Sly wouldn’t want extreme underfoot conditions for Dazzling Dan.

But she added: “When he won at Doncaster as a two-year-old it was on the soft side there.

“We won’t mind if it’s good to soft or on the soft side. I don’t suppose he’d want it heavy.”

The Pavers Foundation Catherine Memorial Sprint is one of seven races at York’s Macmillan Charity Raceday. The longstanding fixture has raised over £8.5million since its launch in 1971.

York’s latest two-day meeting gets underway on Friday afternoon (1.50pm) with a seven-race card.

It’s East Yorkshire’s hottest summer day out, but stylish racegoers at Flemingate Ladies Day will have one eye on Christmas this year.

Beverley Racecourse has teamed up with Humberside Airport to award the winner of the coveted Most Stylish Lady competition an unforgettable weekend at the Christmas Markets of Cologne, one of the world’s most magical festive experiences.

The prestigious raceday, presented in partnership with Beverley’s Flemingate centre, returns on August 14 with all the glitz, glamour and celebrity stardust that makes it the most anticipated event in the region’s social calendar.

Staff at the Westwood venue have revealed this year’s hosts, judges and prizes as they prepare for what is expected to be the most exciting Ladies Day yet.

Leading the way will be Alex and Ellie, the popular presenters of the morning show on Viking FM, the official media partner for Ladies Day. The DJ duo will be playing the biggest tunes of the summer throughout the day and will host the Flemingate Most Stylish competition, sponsored by Humberside Airport.

They will be joined in the beautiful English-rose themed marquee by the competition judges – Lee Wardell, founder of VERB fashion store, based at Flemingate; fashion expert Mandy Buchanan; and previous champion Julie Short – who will choose the winning lady and the best-dressed man.

A mystery celebrity will also be joining in the fun, although the racecourse team are keeping their name under wraps for now.

Chief Executive Sally Iggulden said: “We’re keeping the celebrity’s name close to our chests, but we know they’re really excited about meeting their many fans at this year’s Flemingate Ladies Day.

“We’re also delighted to welcome Alex and Ellie, from our media partner Viking FM. They will be bringing a fresh vibe to this year’s event and we can’t wait to hear their playlist for the big day.

“Humberside Airport has once again provided a fantastic prize for the Most Stylish Lady. We’re always impressed by how many wonderful outfits we see on Ladies Day, and we’re sure the prospect of winning a truly unforgettable Christmas trip to Cologne will spur on our racegoers to do their very best to be winners in the fashion stakes.

“We want this to be one of the best afternoons you’ll spend with your friends this year, whether that’s by enjoying a laid-back picnic in the Course Enclosure, or experiencing the glamour and vibrancy of the Premier Enclosure. It really is the social event of the summer.”

The winning lady in the Flemingate Most Stylish competition will enjoy a weekend for two to the Christmas Markets of Cologne, departing on December 6.

The prize will include a private flight experience from Humberside Airport, including complimentary parking and a luxury breakfast, refreshments onboard the flight and two nights’ accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis.

Last year’s best-dressed lady, Liz Hallett, a retired district nurse from Tickton, near Beverley, wore a dress from InWear and accessories from local independent traders, while the most stylish man, 22-year-old Sam Sharp, bought his suit from VERB at Flemingate and was surprised to win after being entered by his friends.

He was rewarded with a watch from jeweller Guest and Philips at Flemingate, worth £500. A similar prize is expected to be offered in the men’s category this year.

“It goes to show that it’s a very open competition and the judges may pick you out even if you’re not expecting to win,” said Ms Iggulden. “It’s great fun as well, so enjoy getting that outfit just right and don’t forget to enter!”

This is the third year of the racecourse’s partnership with Flemingate for the hugely-popular Ladies Day meeting.

Flemingate Centre Manager Graham Tait said: “We’ve very proud to once again support the Beverley Racecourse team in creating a day to remember.

“We’re now heading into the summer months when thoughts turn to the area’s social highlight of the season, which is undoubtedly Ladies Day.

“It promises to be an amazing occasion, with fantastic prizes as an added incentive for fashion-conscious racegoers to turn on the style.”

Beverley Racecourse is renowned for its award-winning raceday experience, which offers an unbeatable combination of socialising, sport and first-class hospitality.

Flemingate Ladies Day is the best-attended meeting in Beverley’s busy calendar and last year attracted a bumper crowd of 12,000. With a similar number expected this year, racegoers are being encouraged to book early.

Gates for Flemingate Ladies Day will open at 11.30am with the last race at 5.30pm (times to be confirmed). For more information, or to book tickets, visit www.beverley-racecourse.co.uk/event/flemingate-ladies-day or call 01482 867488.

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(For immediate release, Saturday, June 8)
(Please feel free to use attached image of Liberty Beach – credit Hannah Ali)

Liberty Beach will head to Royal Ascot on top of her game after she won the £40,000 Hilary Needler Trophy at Beverley on Saturday.

Trained in Malton by John Quinn and ridden by David Allan, the two-year-old daughter of Cable Bay (11-2) claimed the historic five-furlong dash by two and a half lengths from Rose Of Kildare.

Liberty Beach had won on her debut at Redcar on May 27 and again showed impressive pace when it mattered in the silks of Peter Wilkins.

Quinn said: “She had to be pushed along the first two furlongs and it was almost like she’d had two races.

“But she’s a very nice filly and stayed on really nicely.

“Visually, she was very impressive so it was a lovely result.

“We’ll definitely think about Royal Ascot. There’s obviously the Queen Mary and she’ll also be put in the Windsor Castle.”

David Allan added: “She’s a brave ‘un, and I wouldn’t put them off from running at Royal Ascot.”

Scunthorpe Utd chairman Peter Swann is optimistic of another successful cross-Humber raid on Beverley in two of the biggest races of the season on Saturday.

Swann is an enthusiastic owner and, along with mother-in-law Barbara Wilkinson and other family members, has enjoyed great success at Beverley under the Cool Silk Partnership banner.

The Cool Silk Partnership have won the last two renewals of the historic Hilary Needler Trophy (2.00), courtesy of Chica La Habana and Kodyanna, and bid for a stunning hat-trick with Moon Of Love.

Significantly, the owners are also responsible for Summer Sands in the £40,000 Truckingby Brian Yeardley Two-Year-Old-Trophy (3.15) – a race the Cool Silk Partnership won in 2016 with subsequent Royal Ascot hero Prince Of Lir.

Swann said: “We enjoy coming to Beverley and have been very lucky there over the years.

“We’ve two very good chances in the big races and hopefully the Hilary Needler and the Brian Yeardley will again end up being platforms for having runners at Royal Ascot.”

Moon Of Love, a £140,000 two-year-old daughter of Kodiac, has not yet raced competitively ahead of the Hilary Needler Trophy, which is this year worth £40,000 in prize-money.

But she is prominent in the ante-post betting and Swann, who also won the 2012 Hilary Needler with Jadanna, believes the positive market vibes for Richard Fahey’s filly could be on the money.

He said: “Moon Of Love is from a good staying family and we’d be hopeful she’d get a mile in time.

“We got her from the breeze-ups, which we’ve gone into a lot of depth with for the last five or six years. Everything has to be right – mentality, confirmation, looks – when we buy a horse, and she fit the bill.

“She’ll probably end up favourite on Saturday but she is a horse we are very excited about.

“It’s not going to be easy against horses that have already raced, but Richard likes her a lot.”

Summer Sands, also trained in Malton by Fahey, was well backed on his debut in a hot York novice stakes, in which he overcame early naivety to finish fast and strong for third place.

Swann expects the young son of Coach House to have improved immeasurably for that run in the five-furlong Brian Yeardley Two-Year-Old Trophy.

He said: “We were delighted with York and he didn’t have a hard race. He’s a big, rangy sort and the form from York has picked up really well.

“Coach Houses have won on good to firm and good to soft, so if there is cut in the ground it wouldn’t bother him at all.

“We know that there’s a lot more to come from him.”

Cool Sphere, under the same ownership, is still engaged for the Brian Yeardley Two-Year-Old Trophy, but Robert Cowell’s inmate is scheduled to run at Bath on Friday evening.

Swann added: “Cool Sphere is another horse we really like, but, whatever happens, we’ve at least two very good horses heading to Beverley.

“If pressed, though, I’d say Moon Of Love has the better chance.”

The first of eight races – the Dadie Oughtred Memorial Handicap – on A Very British Raceday at Beverley on Saturday begins at 1.25pm and will, along with the Hilary Needler and Brian Yeardley trophies, be televised live on ITV Racing.

Hotel creates new cocktails
for Ladies’ Day at Redcar

A LUXURY hotel has added two unique cocktails to its menu to celebrate a glamorous new partnership with a North-East racecourse.

The cocktails, including one with a “Red Rum” base to capture the racing spirit, have been created to coincide with Rockliffe Hall being unveiled as a new sponsor for Ladies Day at Redcar on June 22.

And Jodie Lawson, winner of last year’s best-dressed lady competition at Redcar, was invited to the hotel to be the first to taste the new cocktails, which have been called “Wabber-Jockey” and “Lady At The Races”.

Wabber-Jockey was named in honour of Alice in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll, who grew up close to Rockliffe Hall, in Croft-on-Tees, near Darlington.

The hotel recently celebrated its local connections to the writer by opening the whimsical world of MischMasch in its gardens, and one of the “curious cabins” in the grounds is called Jabberwocky.

The Wabber-Jockey cocktail is a delicious margarita-style combination of Sailor Jerry Spiced Caribbean (Red) Rum, with fresh lime, Fever Tree ginger beer, and salt on half of the rim to symbolise the seaside at Redcar.

Lady At The Races comprises French Martini, vodka, Chambord, and pineapple to evoke the spirit of summer. Mixing it creates a foam, depicting the tide, and it also wears a “Ladies’ Day hat” of raspberries and blackberries.

The drinks were the creation of Owen Gooding, Rockliffe’s Old Hall Manager and expert mixologist, who said: “I wanted the cocktails to reflect a summer’s day at the races and make people think of the seaside.”

Jodie, an events manager from Redcar, said: “I think ‘Lady At The Races’ will be more suitable for women because it’s sweeter, while ‘Wabber-Jockey’ will be a hit with the men.”

This year’s best-dressed lady will win an overnight stay for two at Rockliffe Hall, with dinner in The Orangery, a spa treatment, and Spa Garden session.

More fabulous prizes will be on offer from regular sponsors Market Cross Jewellers, with Betty Leigh Boutique, Chic Hats, and Orange Kerr Hair & Beauty also supporting the event.

Rockliffe Hall chief executive, Eamonn Elliott, said: “We are delighted to be involved with Ladies’ Day at Redcar for the first time. The new cocktails will be on the menu in the lead up to Ladies’ Day and we might even retain them if they prove to be winners!”

Amy Fair, Redcar’s general manager, added: “Ladies’ Day is always such a lovely occasion and the addition of Rockliffe Hall as a new sponsor makes it even more special.”

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Catterick Racecourse commences its 2019 Flat racing season on Monday 17 June following a £600,000 investment into its facilities.

When the gates open, both racegoers and racing professionals will notice a spectacular difference as a result of the most recent improvements, designed by local, Richmond-based, architects Harris Irwin Associates [HIA].

Jockeys will benefit from an extended Weighing Room complex, complete with a new warm-up area, state-of-the-art facilities and space to relax between races.

An enlarged Parade Ring will give racegoers an improved view of the runners when making their selections ahead of each race. In addition the new Winner’s Enclosure has been incorporated in the Parade Ring, bringing the winning connections into the heart of the action following each race.

Moving the Winner’s Enclosure into the Parade Ring and dispensing with the fenced-off walkway though the public area has also enhanced public safety and generally made it easier for racegoers to circulate.

Katie Craggs, Project Architect for Harris Irwin Associates said: “HIA have been delighted to be part of the team to help deliver the next stage of the redevelopment works at Catterick Racecourse. The Weighing Room and Parade Room are an integral part of racing with the arrangement and organisation of spaces paramount to a successful day.

This is the second stage in a three-phase development plan. The first stage, which opened in December 2018, included the new main entrance, offices and saddling boxes, as well as a new horse box park.

Craggs adds: “The reconfiguration of the Parade Ring and introduction of the new Winners Podium not only improves the flow and movement for the horses but complements and completes the New Entrance and Saddling Boxes.”

Fiona Needham, General Manager and Clerk of the Course at Catterick said: “We are really pleased that the second phase of our significant improvements programme has been completed on time; the improvements will greatly enhance the race day experience for both racing professionals and racegoers alike.

“We’re looking forward to starting the final stage of Catterick’s £3.5 million investment plan shortly. This is a new two-storey trackside Owners and Trainers facility, which is due to be ready in the early part of our 2020 Flat season.”

The opening meeting, on Monday 17 June, marks the first of 15 Flat fixtures at Catterick this season where under 18’s race free with accompanying adults at all our fixtures. The racecourse also offers discounted admission for all military personnel.

To celebrate the opening of the new facilities, racegoers will have the opportunity to win a visit into the new Parade Ring by entering the race card competition on the day.

The lucky winners will judge the Best Turned Out horse in the new Parade Ring ahead of the race and present a memento to the winning connections on the new Winner’s Enclosure podium immediately after the race.

The first of seven races on Monday 17 June is scheduled for 2.15pm and the gates will be open from 12.15pm onwards. The feature race on the day is the Every Race Live on Racing TV Handicap Stakes at 3.45pm, with £11,600 prize money up for grabs, but who will be the first to step onto the new winner’s podium at Catterick Races?

For more information and to book tickets, visit www.catterickbridge.co.uk.

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The celebrate 100 days to go until the 2019 William Hill St Leger Festival, organisers have decided to reward 100 Yorkshire charities with the offer of Free Tickets, which can be used to either reward volunteers or to support a charity’s fundraising activities.

Russell Smith Executive Director said: “Charities work tirelessly on a daily basis to support others, and we want to mark 100 days to go by giving something back to those charities who do so much every year for Yorkshire’s communities.”

One of the most prestigious race weeks of the British horse racing calendar, the St Leger is a unique blend of history, top class horse racing and fabulous live entertainment.

Established in 1776 the St Leger Festival, is the World’s Oldest Classic, having been run in Doncaster since 1778, it is the last classic to be run each year, and boasts the longest distance of any of the other four.

The St Leger is also the final leg of the English Triple Crown, and follows the Derby, which took place last weekend at Epsom Downs Racecourse.

The 2019 William Hill St Leger Festival accentuates St Leger’s prominence as the only classic in Yorkshire, placing emphasise on the ideal of experiencing Yorkshire’s classic.

The decision to reward Yorkshire’s charities, is just part of a wider strategy to give new energy to the St Leger, repositioning the festival as both a classic and as a community event.

Registered Charities are invited to apply for up to 20 tickets each by emailing competition@doncaster-racecourse.co.uk with the full contact details of the charity, and their preferred St Leger date. Tickets are subject to availability.

Make sure September 11-14th is down on your calendar!

To find out more about the 2019 St Leger Festival, including the line-up for evening entertainment visit: https://www.doncaster-racecourse.co.uk/racing-highlights/the-william-hill-st-leger-festival/

A FUN-PACKED mascot race in aid of a pioneering North-East charity ended up in a dramatic photo-finish in front of cheering punters.

Watch the race here!

The first “Royal Mascot” race took place on Racing UK Zetland Gold Cup Day at Redcar races, with six runners going to post – a horse and jockey, crocodile, hedgehog, panda, griffin, and monkey.

H’angus The Monkey, representing Hartlepool United, blazed a trail down the final furlong of the seaside racecourse and thought he’d won, only to be pipped on the post by Vauxhall Griffin, sponsored by Bristol Street Motors.

Killer Croc, who was badly hampered when his head kept swiveling round, finished a gallant third and the hedgehog, called Snowdrop The Spikeshuffler, finished fourth. Meanwhile, the horse and jockey – named Face of Society – collapsed exhausted in a heap, and poor old Pawsum the Panda trailed in last because he didn’t realise the race had started.

A bucket collection was held at the end of racing for the North-East Autism Society which marks its 40th anniversary next year.

Amy Fair, general manager of Redcar Racecourse, said: “This was our first mascot race and it was great fun in aid of a charity that has been doing important work in the North-East for the past 40 years. Congratulations to Vauxhall Griffin and special commiserations to H’Angus The Monkey who was clearly gutted to have gone so close.”

John Phillipson, chief executive of the North East Autism Society, said: “This was the first time we’ve linked up with Redcar Racecourse and it was just a fantastic day. Thank you to everyone who made us feel so welcome.”

PROGRESSIVE four-year-old, Enbihaar, will take the next step up the ladder when she lines up in the William Hill Brontë Cup at York on Saturday.

Trained by John Gosden, who won the inaugural £90,000 contest with Precious Ramotswe, Enbihaar is one of nine declarations received for the most recent Group 3 to join the York programme.

Unraced at two, the daughter of Redoute’s Choice improved across her three outings last season, supplementing her victory in a Kempton novices’ race in September with a close fourth in a competitive Listed contest at Ascot.

Given another winter to mature, Enbihaar produced her best performance to date when accounting for the improving Klassique in a Listed contest at Goodwood on May 4, pulling away to score by a length and three quarters at the line.

Enbihaar, who carries the colours of Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, will tackle one mile and six furlongs for the first time on the Knavesmire and Richard Hills, assistant racing manager to the owner, expects the step up in trip to suit.

“She improved from three to four and I thought she did it really well at Goodwood as she had to make her own running,” Hills said. “Hopefully she’s improved again and this is the next step up.

“We kept her in training as a staying mare. She’s by Redoute’s Choice – she’ll love the ground – and she’s come out of her last race well. She’d have a really good chance.”

On official figures, Enbihaar is rated equal second-highest of the runners in the William Hill Brontë Cup – a perch she shares with the Andrew Balding-trained Maid Up, who finished ninth in the St Leger last campaign.

Roger Varian’s Pilaster is the highest-rated member of the line-up having got the better of Maid Up by a short-head in the Group 2 Lillie Langtry Stakes at Goodwood in August, while she finished third in the Listed Further Flight Stakes on her return at Nottingham. This pair both hold entries for the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot so are clearly well regarded at home.

Fellow Newmarket handler William Haggas is double handed courtesy of the lightly raced Alexana and Listed winner, Dramatic Queen; while Middleham-based trainer Mark Johnston has declared the hat-trick seeking Bayshore Freeway.

Later on the card, a competitive field of 19 speedsters will assemble for the William Hill Leading On Course Bookmaker Sprint Handicap.

They include a brace of representatives for Tim Easterby, spearheaded by recent course and distance winner Copper Knight, while John Quinn’s El Astronaute will return to handicap class following a fine sixth in the Group 2 Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes at the Dante Festival.

Queensland-based trainer Toby Edmonds certainly gains the plaudits for the longest traveller at the meeting as he prepares to take the wraps off Acqume, a Listed-placed daughter of Sepoy, in the £50,000 contest.

The seven-race card gets underway at 2pm.

Glamour, sophistication and socialising are all synonymous with a day at the races, but it is ramped up when it comes to Ladies Day.

Each of the nine racecourses in Yorkshire will be offering superb prizes for their Best Dressed Lady. The first competition is at Wetherby on Thursday, May 30 and they continue across Yorkshire throughout the summer before the final Ladies Day at Doncaster on Friday, September 13.

These are exciting days when everyone gets the chance to dress to impress and, uniquely in Yorkshire, all nine winners are invited to attend a Grand Final at Doncaster on Saturday, October 26 where they and their guest will be wined and dined in a private box for the day as well as having the chance to be crowned Go Racing In Yorkshire’s Best Dressed Lady 2019.

In addition to the title, the winner will take home a diamond ring worth £2,000 from loveVintageDiamonds.com, a two-night spa break at the Best Western Mount Pleasant Hotel and a £500 clothing voucher from new sponsor, Incognito.

So just what do you wear for Ladies Day? For Malton racehorse trainer Ruth Jefferson, choosing an outfit on a normal race day is fairly standard.

“I had 15 pairs of the same brand of black trousers at the last count,” said Ruth, when asked how she plans what to wear for the races. “Being practical is a must, there’s no point wearing a skirt that’s too tight for me to leg the jockey up!”

However, when it comes to special occasions like Ladies Day, Ruth who took over the training licence from her late father Malcolm, admits she needs a bit of help.

After an invite to Royal Ascot last year was followed up with a social media post along the lines of, “Can I wear trousers to Royal Ascot? Mum says no but I haven’t got a dress,” it was evident a spot of shopping was required!

Like all trainers, Ruth puts the needs of the horses and staff before herself and while she likes to keep an eye on the fashion scene, having the time to follow it up comes way down the ‘to do’ list.

“I need to be smart yet comfortable and able to work. It’s a balance between being able to be hands on with the horses but presentable to the owners and in the racecourse enclosures. I only wear white trousers if we’re running a grey!” Ruth added.

Just what to wear is an age-old problem for female racegoers, but fashion boutique, Incognito can certainly come up with the answer. The business which is now based in Bawtry has been in existence for over 30 years and has a keen racing clientele.

“Doncaster racecourse is just up the road and both my sister and I are regular attendees” said Jackie Reynolds, joint partner.

“We stock collections from very well-known designer brands, plus we are always careful to guide clients as we know that friends will be attending the same social events and don’t want to be wearing the same dress as someone else. Our personal service also helps to mitigate any fashion faux pas!” she added.

The boutique has a range of styles for all tastes and the sisters have an eye for knowing what will suit clients as soon as they walk through the door. With so much variety and expert guidance, finding the perfect outfit for Ladies Day will not be a problem.

Jackie and her sister Bernie took on the challenge of kitting out Ruth in garments that are both practical and stylish and did so with fantastic results.

“I live in jodhpurs and a fleece, so it’s really nice to be pushed out of my comfort zone. I’ve worn things at Incognito that I wouldn’t normally pick up in a shop and I’m pleasantly surprised by the outcome!” said Ruth, who also put herself in the hands of students from the White Rose College of Beauty for her hair and make-up.

“I definitely look younger and must try harder on a daily basis,” she joked when she saw the final result.

However, it wasn’t all about work as Jackie and Bernie prepared a glamorous look for Ruth and her mum Sue in readiness for their annual trip to York’s Ebor meeting in August, when Ladies Day is on Thursday, August 22.

“We’ve always loved going to York,” said Sue, “it’s a fantastic racecourse and it comes at a time when we are less busy at home so can relax and enjoy ourselves among colleagues and friends”.

While the outfits are the main focus of attention it is the accessories that enhance the detail. The winner of the Best Dressed Lady Final will have the perfect accompaniment as she sports a glistening 1920’s vintage ring made of 18 carat white gold from loveVintageDiamonds.com.

The two-stone twist crown is set with oval, cushion-shaped, rose-cut diamonds of the period and the total diamond weight is approximately 0.70 carats with a value of £2,000!

The winner will be able to tie in their trip to Incognito with a two night stay in a Spa Suite at the Best Western Mount Pleasant Hotel, a stay which includes champagne and home-made chocolates produced by the hotel’s own chocolatier on arrival, dinner with wine in the newly-refurbished Brassiere Artisan from the Table D’Hote menu, a full English breakfast on both days as well as a luxury fruit basket and Espa gift bag.

Helen McIlroy, of the Mount Pleasant Hotel said, “Given our proximity to Doncaster Racecourse we regularly have owners and trainers staying with us for the races or the sales and like to offer them some high-end luxury, whether their visit is for pleasure or for work purposes. It’s fitting that we should be able to offer something similar to Go Racing In Yorkshire’s Best Dressed Lady.”

ACQUME is poised to add an international dimension to proceedings at York on Saturday, as the Australian sprinter tries to emulate some illustrious compatriots who have succeeded on the Knavesmire.

The Paul Messara-trained Ortensia produced a devastating turn of foot to land the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes in 2012 and Acqume, who is trained in Queensland by Toby Edmonds, is one of 25 entries for the William Hill Leading On Course Bookmaker Sprint Handicap.

The daughter of Sepoy has spent the last two months in Britain as a galloping companion to her stable-mate, Houtzen, who is being prepared for a tilt at Royal Ascot next month.

But Edmonds is set to take the wraps of Acqume this week following a pleasing racecourse gallop at Ascot on Monday.

While the three-time winner holds an alternative engagement over six furlongs on Friday, Trent Edmonds – assistant trainer to his father and the man tasked with overseeing Acqume this week – said an outing over the minimum trip at York was the preferred option.

“We want to run her this week and we’ll have a look at both races, but I think the five-furlong option would be more up her alley first up and we’ll probably kick her off over that trip,” Edmonds said.

Having arrived on these shores at the end of March, Acqume has been stabled at Abington Place in Newmarket and Edmonds reports the mare to have flourished in her new surroundings.

“She took a little while to settle in and she had a few little niggles, but she seems to be through all of that now,” he said.

“The last four or five weeks have been super – she’s thriving.”

Allocated an official rating of 96, Edmonds admits to being unsure of how well handicapped Acqume is ahead of her first start outside of Australia.

However, he is confident conditions at York will suit the mare, who has straight course experience having been beaten just over two lengths in a Listed race at Flemington in November.

“Whatever she does in her first run she’ll improve on, but it’s also a matter of us getting a grasp on the form,” Edmonds added. “I think she’s probably been rated a touch high, but we’ll see where she fits in.

“She didn’t get beaten very far at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day and she handled that well. She’s a big, heavy mare and I don’t think she’s necessarily a firm, firm track horse so the ground in Britain should suit her.”

While Acqume is likely to be a new name for racing fans in this country, plenty of old favourites have also been entered in the £50,000 contest.

They include a trio of representatives for Yorkshire trainer, Tim Easterby, spearheaded by last week’s impressive Knavesmire winner Copper Knight, while David Griffiths has made an entry for the admirable veteran Duke Of Firenze, who has won twice before over this course and distance.

Earlier on the card, the Group 3 William Hill Brontë Cup Fillies’ Stakes will be run for the second time.

John Gosden landed the inaugural renewal of the mile and three-quarter £90,000 contest with Precious Ramotswe and the champion trainer has made two entries this year, including impressive recent Goodwood winner, Enbihaar.

William Haggas may also be double handed courtesy of Alexana and Dramatic Queen, while the Mark Johnston-trained Bayshore Freeway, could try to complete a hat-trick having won handicaps at Bath and Musselburgh earlier this month.

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EXCITEMENT is building with just over a week to go to the first “Royal Mascot” race at Redcar.

A strong line-up of mascots are confirmed for the race on Zetland Gold Cup Day, on Bank Holiday Monday, May 27, with Hartlepool United confirming the club’s famous mascot, H’Angus The Monkey, as a late entry.

Companies are being invited to join in the fun by sponsoring one of the runners and raising money for the pioneering North-East Autism Society.

The charity’s own mascots – Snowdrop The Hedgehog and Pawsum The Panda – will be taking part, with other competitors including a horse and jockey, a crocodile, and a dragon.

A Hartlepool United spokesman said: “H’Angus has stepped up his training and will be in prime condition for the big race. He’s there to win – not just monkey around.”

Meanwhile, Snowdrop and Pawsum visited Redcar this week to test the going on the course and also took the opportunity to pop down to the seafront for one of the resort’s famous lemon-top ice creams.

A North-East Autism Society spokesman said: “You can’t visit Redcar without having a lemon-top but Snowdrop and Pawsum are now on a strict diet to prepare for the race.”

Redcar’s general manager Amy Fair said: “This is the first time we’ve held a mascot race and it’s for a fantastic cause so we hope companies will show their support and join in the fun. We’re delighted that H’Angus the Monkey is now a confirmed entry.”

Businesses can either enter their own mascot if they have one, or “back” one of the mascots already running. The cost is £100 and companies will have their names printed in the racecard, benefit from racecourse announcements through the day, and receive four free Grandstand tickets to the races.

The mascot event will take place after the first race on Zetland Gold Cup Day, with competitors racing down the final furlong in front of the grandstand. They will parade in the paddock beforehand and the winner will be presented with a chocolate trophy by “The Queen”.

Zetland Gold Cup Day will also feature traditional children’s races, including the sack race and egg and spoon, so there is guaranteed to be lots of family fun.

One of the races on the card will be named in honour of the North East Autism Society and a bucket collection will be held for the charity.

• Any companies wishing to take part in the Royal Mascot race should contact Sophie Clarke on 0191 410 9974 or email sophie.clarke@ne-as.org.uk.

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TOO DARN Hot is ready for his eagerly anticipated seasonal return this Thursday when he’ll contest the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes at York.

Last year’s champion juvenile will face seven rivals in the £165,000 Group 2 race, regarded by many to be the leading Investec Derby trial.

The unbeaten son of Dubawi, owned by Lord Lloyd Webber, has raced up to a mile before, but his fifth career engagement will see him tackling an extended mile and a quarter.

Trainer John Gosden said: “In the case of Too Darn Hot we had to change the programme.

“A few days before the Greenham he came up with a splint issue and he had two weeks of walking.

“So, the Dante became the obvious place to go. And although we are happy with the horse it has been a very tight schedule to get him to this race.

“I’ve no doubt in my mind he will improve for it. Certainly, another ten days to prepare him would have been suitable, but we have no more time to play with now.

“Obviously we see the Dante as the best trial and it looks a very good field – and from the race we will know whether to point towards the Derby or the St James’s Palace.”

Gosden has won three of the last four renewals of the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante and he will also saddle Turgenev alongside stable-mate, Too Darn Hot. Turgenev was third at Epsom in the Blue Riband Trial last month.

Gosden added: “He has improved in himself and he’s there on his own merit, but he is a horse who likes to go at an even pace. He’s a lengthener, not a quickener.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a crawl, looking at the field.”

Amongst a host of notable runners in the line-up is the Aidan O-Brien trained, Japan, who won the Group 2 Beresford Stakes on his last start – in September. Ballydoyle has swept all before them in this year’s recognised Derby trials but O’Brien has not won the Dante since Cape Blanco triumphed in 2010.

Surfman (Roger Varian) and Line Of Duty (Charlie Appleby) are two further interesting big-race contenders from powerhouse stables.

The Group 2 contest on Thursday’s card for fillies and mares is the Al Basti Equiworld Middleton Stakes. Again, the spotlight in this £125,000 contest, will fall on a Gosden contender as Lah Ti Dar makes her seasonal bow.

A year older than her full brother Too Darn Hot, she has previous course experience having won the Sir Henry Cecil EBF Galtres Stakes last August, before finishing second in the St Leger.

Gosden said: “We’ve been pleased with Lah Ti Dar. This has been planned for some time.

“So, you might say this has been Plan A – with her brother it has not been Plan A!

“She’s happy in herself. It is a good starting point for any filly and we’re looking forward to running her.

“The Middleton is a lovely race, placed well in the calendar.”

The Dante Festival runs from Wednesday, May 15 – Friday 17 May inclusive.

ENTITLE will seek to enhance her Investec Oaks credentials when she lines up in the £100,000 Tattersalls Musidora Stakes at York tomorrow.

Prince Khalid Abdullah’s filly is sure to be the focus of understandable attention in the race preliminaries as she is a half-sister to the outstanding Enable, winner of the last two renewals of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Like her elder sibling, Entitle is trained by John Gosden. So far she has raced just twice, the second of those bringing a one-length victory in a novice stakes at Lingfield.

The Tattersalls Musidora Stakes will be a much stiffer challenge as she progresses into Group 3 class. She will face nine rivals over an extended mile and a quarter on the Knavesmire.

Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager to Prince Khalid, said: “It’s only Entitle’s third race and so she is still very much a work in progress. But she has always been a very likeable filly.

“Obviously this will be a big step up for her, but she has been in good form – John has been pleased with her. I think this will be an interesting assignment for her.”

Prince Khalid will also be represented in the same race by Sand Share. Unlike Entitle she doesn’t hold an entry for Epsom but does have more experience in Pattern class. She was third, two lengths behind the winner, in the Group 2 May Hill Stakes at Doncaster last September before finishing fourth – albeit beaten by just a length and a quarter – in a Group 3 in Deauville late last autumn.

Lord Grimthorpe assessed: “I thought Sand Share ran a decent race in the May Hill. Then in France she wasn’t beaten very far but we slightly expected a little bit better.

“She has taken a while to come to hand – a month ago she was quite wintery. But she has been moving forward and (the Musidora) will tell us where we ought to be. Sand Share isn’t in the Oaks. I would think she’s probably more a mile-and-a-quarter filly at this stage.”

On the same card Prince Khalid will also have two runners in the Sky Bet Race to the Ebor Jorvik Handicap. First Eleven, from the stable of champion trainer John Gosden, and the Hugo Palmer-trained, Collide, will contest the mile-and-a-half race, offering both a £50,000 purse and a berth in the handicap feature of York’s season, the £1m, Sky Bet Ebor itself. First Eleven will be having his first start since tackling a Group 3 at Ascot last October, while Collide comes into the race off the back of an all-weather triumph at Kempton last month.

Lord Grimthorpe assessed: “Collide has been a very progressive horse. He did well to get up and win at Kempton after a little bit of a battle in the straight. He showed that he was back on course. He wouldn’t want it too firm.

“First Eleven is starting out for this year. He’s a nice horse. He was third in the Cumberland Lodge – it was probably just a bit too soft for him, but he ran pretty decently and won a good handicap the time before. He’s in pretty good shape – I’d hope he’ll do himself justice.”

The Dante Festival runs from Wednesday, May 15 – Friday, May 17 inclusively.

PROGRESSIVE four-year-old, Yafta, is reported to be in fine form ahead of his outing in the Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes at York on Wednesday.

Trained by Richard Hannon, Yafta was one of ten declarations received for the £125,000 Group 2 – the opening-day sprint feature, as racing gets underway on the Knavesmire for 2019.

A dual winner last year, including the Group 3 Hackwood Stakes at Newbury, Yafta was a narrowly beaten runner-up on his seasonal return in Newmarket’s Abernant Stakes last month.

The son of Dark Angel suffered a less than straightforward passage on the Rowley Mile before eventually going down by a head.

But he is in sparkling shape ahead of his York engagement, according to Richard Hills, assistant racing manager and former retained rider to owner, Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.

Hills said: “He’s absolutely flying and Richard’s team are really, really chuffed with him.

“He was making a challenge between horses at Newmarket but was stopped in his run and lost momentum. It wasn’t anybody’s fault, but I thought he was an unlucky loser.”

A four-time winner who has finished second on a further six occasions in 12 career outings, Yafta holds an entry in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

While Hills said he could not be sure if Yafta could reach such heights, he highlighted the horse’s toughness and versatility as key attributes.

Hills added: “He was hardly out of the first two last year. He’s a proper warrior, hence why we kept him as a four-year-old.

“He’s got the speed for six furlongs and the stamina for seven, so he’s a versatile horse and I couldn’t say what his best trip is. Obviously we’re stepping up in grade at York and it’s a cracking race, but he’s a decent horse.

“Whether he can get to Group 1 level we don’t know, but this is the next step up and he tries so hard.”

Included among Yafta’s nine opponents for the Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes is the Henry Candy-trained Limato, who secured the Listed Garrowby Stakes over this course and distance last season.

Yorkshire-based trainer Kevin Ryan is a familiar face in the Knavesmire Winner’s Enclosure and he is set to launch a three-pronged challenge on a contest he has won twice before. Brando – who finished runner-up to champion sprinter Harry Angel twelve months ago, is set to be joined by stable companions, Hey Jonesy and Major Jumbo.

Malton handler John Quinn has declared fellow course regular El Astronaute, while James Tate will try to take the prize back to Newmarket courtesy of the progressive Invincible Army, who won the Listed Cammidge Trophy on his seasonal return at Doncaster.

The Dante Festival runs from Wednesday 15 May 15 – Friday 17 May inclusive.

York Racecourse is looking forward to the opening of its latest racegoer facility, the Premier Racing Lounge, which will see its first racegoers on Wednesday 15 May, the opening day of the Dante Festival.

The new concept has converted the ground floor of the existing Melrose Stand into a pre booked Premier Lounge, which offers a reserved seat in a great location (adjacent to the Parade Ring) combined with the benefits of modern technology, all delivered with a touch of luxury. The project has seen the transformation of a space that was previously a back of house area behind a bank of tote windows. New Tote positions on the exterior of both sides of Lounge are part of the reconfiguration.

As an indication that the new area looks set to prove popular, it has already sold out for all three days of this May Festival.

Designed as an upgrade from the traditional County Stand Badge, the Premier Racing Lounge will have a capacity of 132 racegoers, who will benefit from the reserved seat in a first class location, a bar serving premium drinks, dedicated betting facilities from both Totepool and William Hill, as well as having its own toilets.

Floor to ceiling windows towards both the track and Parade Ring aspects offer a bright feel, as well as creating a connection with the live sport unfolding outside. Tables are configured for parties of four, with new furniture handmade in Yorkshire by Andy Thornton, offering the choice of a comfortable casual chair with arm rests or the elevated style of a plush poseur stool.

There will be the convenience of table service for a range of premium drinks including local artisan gins such as Slingsby or Brittains. A courier service will offer the ability to place bets from a seat that the racegoers will have reserved in advance.

Located with easy access to a range of existing places that serve lunch, the decision was taken to devote the maximum space to racegoer use, so it does not include a kitchen. There will however be the option to enjoy a range of Proper Platters as well as premium treats from behind the bar. The Gimcrack Restaurant, Princess Mary Seafood Bar, as well as the John Carr Griddle are all easily reached for guests looking for something a little more substantial, safe in the knowledge that their seat is reserved in the Premier Racing Lounge.

Three 86 inch HD screens, alongside multiple conventional sized televisions, will showcase the racing from York as well as from other racecourses and the wider sporting world; as Yorkshire looks forward to hosting an Ashes Test Match and the World UCI Cycling Championships in 2019. This means the Lounge has the ability to host Premier Sports Events on non racedays; whether that is coverage of international racing or global sports events, such as World Cup Finals.

The popular William Hill Betting Shop at the southern end of the development, has also benefited from a refurbishment, serving racegoers inside the Premier Racing Lounge as well as in the wider County Stand.

For those with a sweet tooth, the Yorkshire Ice Cream counter remains in the area with the sweetie shop being found a new home, next to the nearby Ebor Stand.

Racegoers are able to book their seats and Proper Platters from the York Racecourse website (yorkracecourse.co.uk) with the benefits of the Premier Racing Lounge being priced to reflect the wider raceday. Starting at £56 for the Friday afternoons in June, July, October; with the Dante Festival at £65; £82 for Summer Saturdays & Music events; then £115 at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival in August. These prices are inclusive of admission to the wider County Stand as well as VAT and a racecard. Special advance booking deals will continue to be a part of the wider York proposition.

A six figure budget has been invested in the project, which follows the successful redevelopments of both the wider Northern End of the Racecourse and the Clocktower Enclosure, in the last five years. Up and coming Yorkshire architecture practice, Dawson Williamson Architects, have designed the scheme; with the structural works delivered by Lindum Construction of York.

Commenting on the new opening, William Derby, Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course said; “This latest scheme makes a great use of premium space near the Parade Ring and I believe will bring an extra dimension to coming racing at York. The opportunity to reserve a seat in a well-appointed racegoer facility in a prime location is new for racegoers outside hospitality. I am proud of how the team have worked hard to deliver this next phase in the development of York, as part of our ongoing programme to continue to improve the experience of racing at the Knavesmire; it is a tribute to them that it is already proving so popular.”

ROGER Varian is hoping that his Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes entry, Surfman, can deliver on his significant promise for owner breeder Peter Winkworth.

Surfman, a half-brother to Group 1-winning filly Kitesurf, has already shown huge potential in easily winning his last two races, after making his debut at Nottingham last October.

Now the son of Juddmonte Farms star Kingman, is poised for a step up in class at York after yesterday’s confirmation stage saw 12 colts remain in the £165,000 Group 2.

Varian said: “We’ve always held him in the highest regard and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that he’s as good as we think he might be.”

Surfman broke through in a Nottingham novice race a month after his first outing. But it was on his seasonal reappearance at Newcastle on April 30 that he really stood out as an exciting prospect, landing a mile and a quarter novice contest by 14 lengths.

Varian assessed: “He beat a poor field, let’s be honest. He didn’t beat a lot but he beat them 14 lengths on the bridle. And it did the horse good to get out there – get an away-day from Newmarket.

“We didn’t learn much about him – we knew he was a nice horse and he proved he was a nice horse. But we didn’t learn how nice he is. His next start, we will do.”

That next engagement looks likely to be on Thursday in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai backed Dante Stakes, the mile and a quarter race, still regarded by many shrewd observers as the most informative Derby trial.

Surfman, who holds an entry for the most famous Classic of them all, warmed up for York with a piece of fast work in Newmarket on Friday morning.

Varian added: “He has worked well and he has come on for his run.

“He’s a highly promising colt. He has always worked at home like a pretty smart colt – we’ve got high hopes for him going forward.

“And if we do run in the Dante that’s going to tell us a little bit more where we are.

“I think York – a galloping track, a flat track – should suit him well. It looks a very hot race – we’ll have to see what shows up and see how we measure up. But I think he’s pretty good himself, so fingers crossed.”

If Surfman could triumph on the Knavesmire it would be a romantic result as Varian and Winkworth are old allies, stemming back to the days when the latter used to train.

“Peter is one of the sport’s enthusiasts and he has put a lot into the game over the years,” said Varian.

“I actually rode him a winner in my very short and undistinguished riding career. He supported me back then as a teenager – I was a 7lb claimer and it was over hurdles that I rode him that winner – and it’s nice that he has supported me as a trainer as well.”

Among the possible rivals that Surfman may face is last year’s champion two-year-old, Too Darn Hot, who was forced to miss the Qipco 2,000 Guineas after suffering a small setback. His trainer John Gosden is also represented by Turgenev at the latest forfeit stage.

Ballydoyle trainer, Aidan O’Brien, has left in a brace of geographically named contenders in Japan and Western Australia. While there are three Yorkshire based entries; record-breaking Mark Johnston from Middleham, has Dark Vision and Nayef Road as possible runners, while Karl Burke from nearby Coverham, could saddle Kadar.

The Dante Festival runs from Wednesday 15 May 15 – Friday 17 May 17 inclusively.
For tickets please call 01904 620911 x 225 or visit www.yorkracecourse.co.uk

Evening meetings are always extremely popular at Pontefract and the first of three this season is 80s Night on Friday Evening 24th May. It’s the first of two Music Nights (the other being on Friday Evening 19th July) and with one of the world’s biggest international male soloists from the 80s, Billy Ocean, playing after the last race, it promises to be the best 80’s Night yet!

Billy Ocean has sold over 30 million records in his lifetime to date. With number one hits in the UK, USA, Australia, Germany and Holland, he’s achieved extraordinary success as both an artist and songwriter.

Born in Trinidad, Billy settled in London’s East End when he was just seven and was quickly inspired by the likes of Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
His first big break came when ‘Love Really Hurts Without You’ reached No. 2 in the UK charts and No. 12 in the US. Other huge hits, including ‘Red Light Spells Danger’, followed on, before the million selling, Grammy Award winning, US Number 1 ‘Caribbean Queen’, ‘Loverboy’ and ‘Suddenly’.

There were even more huge hits with ‘When The Going Gets Tough (the tough get going)’ and ‘There’ll Be Sad Songs (to make you cry)’ before the now classic ‘Get Outta My Dreams; Get Into My Car’ gave Billy his third US No. 1.

With a back catalogue like this, the 24th May promises to be one of the best music nights that Pontefract has ever seen! With tickets limited, Racegoers are encouraged to secure their place early.

On the track, the highlight is the 6 furlong £25,000 EBF VW Van Centre [Leeds] Ltd Youngsters Conditions Stakes. There is an impressive list of previous winners and last year’s victor, Ninetythreetwenty, went on to finish 6th to Calyx at Royal Ascot and has now been sold to continue his racing career in Hong Kong. The race always attracts some interesting and precocious juveniles looking to stake their claim for Royal Ascot glory the following month.

The Racecourse welcome back Alamo Business Systems, Constant Security and Napoleons Casino Bradford who are all continuing their generous sponsorship of races at the West Yorkshire track.

There’s also a special mention for Virginia Beardsley who will be celebrating a very special birthday at the Course on this day!

If you’re bringing a car to this meeting, don’t forget to pick up your voucher for two free bottles of Harrogate Spa Spring Water water. Keep an eye out for the Ponte team handing out vouchers in the car parks. You’ll be able to redeem these at any of the ‘Designated Driver’ points around the Racecourse.

It’s going to be a fantastic night of racing, laughter, music and nostalgia and many racegoers will be taking advantage of the fact that the dress code is relaxed on this night when they pick out their best fancy dress outfit and hope to pick up one of the spot prizes provided by tiesplanet.com!

There are still discounted tickets available. The Premier Enclosure badges are currently £23 while Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure tickets are £15 – both prices include the concert after racing. Entrance tickets bought on the night will be full price (£25 and £17 respectively) so make sure you get your tickets before the night! Advance tickets can be purchased via the racecourse website at www.pontefract-races.co.uk or over the phone on 01977 781307.

LIMATO and Snazzy Jazzy remain under consideration for the Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes, the £165,000 sprint feature on the opening day of York’s new season – Wednesday 15 May.

The Henry Candy-trained Limato and Clive Cox’s charge, Snazzy Jazzy, both stood their ground at yesterday’s confirmation stage as 16 entries were left in the six-furlong Group 2 contest.

But the prospect of a clash between the two speedsters looks unlikely given their contrasting ground preferences. Candy wants good ground or better for Limato, while Cox is hoping for underfoot ease to suit Snazzy Jazzy.

However, both trainers appear eager to take the wraps of their respective charges, issuing positive bulletins. Indeed Candy was particularly upbeat in assessing two-time Group 1 hero Limato, who has previous strong course & distance form at York. He landed the Listed Ryedale House Garrowby Stakes last September, while in 2016 he was runner-up behind sprint star, Mecca’s Angel, in the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes..

Candy said: “I’m delighted with the way he looks and he’s certainly retained all of his old enthusiasm – he’s in great form.

“As ever with Limato, him running is entirely ground dependent. He scrambled home on good-to-soft ground in the Garrowby at York last year and he didn’t like it much. I think in a race of that class next week he ought to have good ground or firmer.”

Cox, who saddled champion sprinter Harry Angel to a two-length success in this contest last year, also issued a positive update on rising force Snazzy Jazzy.

The son of Red Jazz progressed sharply last year, ending his three-year-old campaign with a Group 3 victory in France and he will be Knavesmire-bound next week as long as there is sufficient give in the ground for him.

“He has wintered really well,” Cox said. “He has been a prolific prize-money winner, landing the valuable sales race in Ireland as a two-year-old before excelling in the Silver Cup at Ayr last year, while he finished off with a great Group 3 success in Maisons-Laffitte.

“The going is the most important ingredient in his performance as that brings out the best in him. Ease in the ground would be crucial for him stepping up to Group 2 level and we’ll take a view.”

The confirmations for the Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes also include last year’s runner-up, Brando, who landed the Prix Maurice de Gheest in 2017.

He is one of three entries for Hambleton-based trainer, Kevin Ryan, who could also be represented by Hey Jonesy and Major Jumbo, while James Tate has confirmed impressive Cammidge Trophy winner, Invincible Army.

The Group-race action is set to continue later on the card with the 59th running of the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes – a key trial for next month’s Investec Oaks and one that has attracted 14 potential participants.

Champion trainer John Gosden has won the £100,000 Group 3 five times in the last decade and he has made two entries this season – Sparkle Roll and Entitle.

The former defied a penalty in good style at Sandown last month while the latter – who broke her maiden at Lingfield in December – is a half-sister to the exceptional Enable, who lit up the Knavesmire when scorching five lengths clear of her rivals in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks prior to landing the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 2017.

Irish trainer, Aidan O’Brien, fresh from landing both the Qipco 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket, has made two entries in the form of Fire Fly and Peach Tree. William Haggas could call on Frankellina and Rainbow Heart as he seeks to keep the prize in Newmarket having saddled Give And Take to victory last year.

The Dante Festival runs from Wednesday 15 May 15 – Friday 17 May inclusively.
For tickets please call 01904 620911 x 225 or visit www.yorkracecourse.co.uk

LIMATO and Snazzy Jazzy remain under consideration for the Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes, the £165,000 sprint feature on the opening day of York’s new season – Wednesday 15 May.

The Henry Candy-trained Limato and Clive Cox’s charge, Snazzy Jazzy, both stood their ground at yesterday’s confirmation stage as 16 entries were left in the six-furlong Group 2 contest.

But the prospect of a clash between the two speedsters looks unlikely given their contrasting ground preferences. Candy wants good ground or better for Limato, while Cox is hoping for underfoot ease to suit Snazzy Jazzy.

However, both trainers appear eager to take the wraps of their respective charges, issuing positive bulletins. Indeed Candy was particularly upbeat in assessing two-time Group 1 hero Limato, who has previous strong course & distance form at York. He landed the Listed Ryedale House Garrowby Stakes last September, while in 2016 he was runner-up behind sprint star, Mecca’s Angel, in the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes..

Candy said: “I’m delighted with the way he looks and he’s certainly retained all of his old enthusiasm – he’s in great form.

“As ever with Limato, him running is entirely ground dependent. He scrambled home on good-to-soft ground in the Garrowby at York last year and he didn’t like it much. I think in a race of that class next week he ought to have good ground or firmer.”

Cox, who saddled champion sprinter Harry Angel to a two-length success in this contest last year, also issued a positive update on rising force Snazzy Jazzy.

The son of Red Jazz progressed sharply last year, ending his three-year-old campaign with a Group 3 victory in France and he will be Knavesmire-bound next week as long as there is sufficient give in the ground for him.

“He has wintered really well,” Cox said. “He has been a prolific prize-money winner, landing the valuable sales race in Ireland as a two-year-old before excelling in the Silver Cup at Ayr last year, while he finished off with a great Group 3 success in Maisons-Laffitte.

“The going is the most important ingredient in his performance as that brings out the best in him. Ease in the ground would be crucial for him stepping up to Group 2 level and we’ll take a view.”

The confirmations for the Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes also include last year’s runner-up, Brando, who landed the Prix Maurice de Gheest in 2017.

He is one of three entries for Hambleton-based trainer, Kevin Ryan, who could also be represented by Hey Jonesy and Major Jumbo, while James Tate has confirmed impressive Cammidge Trophy winner, Invincible Army.

The Group-race action is set to continue later on the card with the 59th running of the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes – a key trial for next month’s Investec Oaks and one that has attracted 14 potential participants.

Champion trainer John Gosden has won the £100,000 Group 3 five times in the last decade and he has made two entries this season – Sparkle Roll and Entitle.

The former defied a penalty in good style at Sandown last month while the latter – who broke her maiden at Lingfield in December – is a half-sister to the exceptional Enable, who lit up the Knavesmire when scorching five lengths clear of her rivals in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks prior to landing the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 2017.

Irish trainer, Aidan O’Brien, fresh from landing both the Qipco 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket, has made two entries in the form of Fire Fly and Peach Tree. William Haggas could call on Frankellina and Rainbow Heart as he seeks to keep the prize in Newmarket having saddled Give And Take to victory last year.

The Dante Festival runs from Wednesday 15 May 15 – Friday 17 May inclusively.
For tickets please call 01904 620911 x 225 or visit www.yorkracecourse.co.uk

Beverley Racecourse today announced it is staging a charity takeover race meeting to support the fantastic work of some of the region’s most worthy causes.

Beverley Racecourse has invited five local charities – Cash for Kids, the Daisy Appeal, Dove House Hospice, Hull Homeless Community Project and R-evolution – to take centre stage at The Great Big Beverley Charity Racenight on Tuesday, June 18.

The pioneering race meeting was revealed today on Racing Together Community Day, which showcases British racing’s extensive work supporting the community and good causes outside the industry.

Although Beverley Racecourse has supported many charitable causes in the past, it will be the first time it has organised a dedicated, charity-focused race meeting, with each organisation given a range of benefits to help them raise funds and awareness on the night.

The free assets include 100 Premier Tickets, worth £2,000, to sell and give away for the event; a race named after each charity on the night; the chance to go into the Parade Ring to choose the best turned out horse with their guests and present the trophy afterwards; a half page advert in the racecard; and banner space at the final furlong, Paddock Bar or Parade Ring.

They have also been given stand space to carry out fundraising activities, digital profile via social media and the racecourse website, and charity prizes for corporate hospitality guests, which they can add a percentage to and re-sell, raising additional funds.

Kate McKee, Marketing Manager at Beverley Racecourse, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to welcome all five charities to the first of our three evening meetings of the 2019 season.

“This will be our first race meeting supporting multiple charities, all of which do amazing work in the region.

“Rather than focus on a single charity we’ve decided to support five very worthy causes. We’ve also decided to go all out by effectively devoting the evening to them – it really is their night!

“The assets and opportunities we are making available to the charities are worth thousands of pounds will enable them to turn that into vital funds, while also raising awareness of their good work.

“We hope as many people as possible will join us on the night and support these great causes.”

The charities involved in The Great Big Beverley Charity Racenight offer a range of services and support to vulnerable members of the community or people at some of the most difficult times of their lives.

• Cash for Kids supports sick, disabled and disadvantaged children living in East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire.
• The Daisy Appeal aims to give local people faster, more accurate diagnosis to three of the region’s biggest killers – cancer, heart disease, and dementia.
• Dove House Hospice offers specialist palliative care to adults, which means the total care of patients whose illness is no longer curable and for whom the goal must be quality of life.
• Hull Homeless Community Project supports homeless people, believing that with the right approach, funding, government support and community education, homelessness can end and prevention is the answer.
• Cottingham-based R-evolution aims to develop the skills of disadvantaged people in the local community through accredited training and skills development.

R-evolution has recently joined forces with East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s road safety team, the Refugee Council and Safer Roads Humber on an award-winning refugee cycle project for Syrian refugees who have settled in the East Riding having escaped the civil war in their country.

The 30 refugees are the second group to have been given training in cycling skills and road safety to help them navigate the roads safely and enable them to travel to employment, or education, as they integrate into the community.

They were presented with reconditioned bikes and safety gear, including helmets and hi-visibility vests, last month and will take part in a the Refugee Cycle Challenge ride around Beverley on the day of the racenight, as part of Cycle4life Week, led by the council’s road safety team.

The ride route will finish at the racecourse, where the refugees will receive a welcome party with afternoon tea and enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour.

John Marshall, Chief Executive of R-evolution, said: “We train people from disadvantaged backgrounds, including those who are homeless, have mental health problems, physical issues, are long-term unemployed, or are prisoners or ex-offenders.

“We offer a range of training opportunities, including three-month placements in our workshop, where our trainees repair and refurbish donated bikes which we then provide to groups such as local schoolchildren and, in this case, the refugees, through East Riding Council’s refugee cycle project.

“We’re very excited about the racenight and to have a race named after our charity is amazing. We really value Beverley Racecourse’s support, both with the refugee cycle project and the opportunity to raise funds for our charity.

“R-evolution wouldn’t be able to operate if it wasn’t for the strength of our partnerships. This partnership is a great example of organisations coming together to achieve something very special and make a real difference.”

The Great Big Beverley Charity Racenight is the latest example of Beverley Racecourse using innovative ways to support local good causes.

A previous charity event last year saw Beverley Racecourse become the first course in the country to stage a deaf-friendly raceday. The event was designed in partnership with the British Deaf Association (BDA) and earned Beverley the Outstanding Initiative Award at the Racecourse Association (RCA) Showcase & Awards, the Oscars of the racing industry.

Last season Beverley Racecourse also joined forces with Contact the Elderly, a charity dedicated to combating loneliness among older people, to stage a raceday tea party for 80 local elderly people.

Gates open at 4.30pm for The Great Big Beverley Charity Racenight on Tuesday, June 18, with the first race at 6.30pm and the last race at 9pm. For more information, or to book tickets, visit www.beverley-racecourse.co.uk/event/evening-racing/ or call 01482 867488.

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Racegoers and music lovers are set to flock to Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse on Friday evening (10th May) for the best value night out of 2019. A quality evening of racing will be followed by a live concert from 90’s/00’s pop icons ‘Five’ and entry to the Paddock and Course Enclosure is priced at just £5!

Following on from the successful Free Friday initiative at the corresponding Ripon fixture for the last three years, the aim of Fiver Friday is to attract a new audience to experience racing, with the added bonus of seeing a three-time UK Chart topping band perform for a minimal cost.

In an innovative move, Ripon have invited the other Yorkshire racecourses to participate in the event, offering race sponsorship, trackside and on-course advertising and the opportunity to promote to racegoers on the evening in exchange for cross-promoting Fiver Friday. Additionally, annual members from those courses will be admitted to the Club Enclosure free of charge

James Hutchinson, Managing Director of Ripon Racecourse said: “The idea, as with Free Friday, is to appeal to a new audience and the addition of Five will hopefully encourage people who might not have previously considered racing to come along and see what we have to offer. Especially with Paddock and Course Enclosure tickets priced at just £5!

“We’re really pleased that we will be joined by Beverley, Pontefract, Wetherby, Redcar, Catterick and Go Racing in Yorkshire for the evening. Hopefully by all working together we can show what a great day out racing is and encourage first-time racegoers to come racing again in the near future”.

Charlotte Russell, General Manager of Go Racing in Yorkshire said: “We are delighted to be part of Ripon Racecourse’s innovative evening, which not only combines great racing with excellent entertainment, but gives the opportunity for collaboration to showcase the wider racing scene in our beautiful county. We can’t wait to meet the racegoers and then ‘get down’ with Five after racing!”

Tickets and packages can be purchased online at https://ripon-races.co.uk/ or pay on the night with Paddock and Course Enclosure entry priced at just £5 and Club Enclosure entry at a reduced price of £15.

Gates open at 4pm with the first of 6 races at 6pm and Five performing in the Paddock Enclosure from 8.45. There will also be entertainment between races from Pulse 1 award winning breakfast duo Milo & Rosie.

Ripon Races

ITV’s audience for its Jumps season coverage has increased 14% year on year.

On average the viewing figures across ITV [main channel] and ITV4 rose by 81,000 per broadcast for jumps meetings for the season from October through to April.

For 2018-19, an average of 664,000 watched each live show, compared with 583,000 during the 2017-18 jumps season.  Audience share was up by 1.3%.

Overall, ITV’s coverage across both its main channel and ITV4 reached 16.5m people (based on watching 5+ consecutive minutes at least once), representing an increase of 1.3m viewers (8%) compared to the previous Jumps season.

ITV Racing’s Jumps season performance has included significant increases in the big events on ITV as well as weekly meetings on ITV4.

Audience figures for the 2019 Randox Health Grand National rose by more than a million viewers year on year with a peak of almost 10 million tuning into the main race and 17 year highs on the Festival Thursday and Friday.

This followed a 19% year on year increase on average audience figures for the Cheltenham Festival with daily peak figures also rising by 18% across the week.

ITV Racing’s social media impact continues to build with numbers from the Grand National Festival and Cheltenham Festival combined showing over 8 million video views across it’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages and a total of 18.5 million impressions.

SOUTHERN raiders are out in force as usual at Redcar tomorrow (Thursday) but local trainer Michael Dods goes into battle with some interesting ammunition.

Dods made no secret of the fact that he rates Myrmidons highly after the Casamento gelding – named after Achilles’ soldiers from Greek mythology – won on his debut over course and distance as a two-year-old.

The Denton trainer added that he thought Myrmidons, owned by Darlington businessman Dave Stone, would be better in time so he’s taken to give the others 5lbs in the Watch Irish Racing On Racing TV Novice Median Auction Stakes.

After a disappointing spell in recent weeks, Dods bounced back to form with another highly-rated horse in Pendleton at Newcastle this week, and Myrmidons can prove too strong for Cristal Breeze, trained at Newmarket by William Haggas.

Dods can follow up with the progressive Dancing Boy in the Every Race Live On Racing TV Handicap. He got better with each run as a two-year-old, finishing second at Newcastle on his last two races over seven furlongs and a mile respectively. The extra two furlongs at Redcar should suit with Andrew Mullen in the driving seat.

The seven-race card gets underway at 1.55pm with the Racing TV Club Here Today Selling Stakes. Lambourn trainer Archie Watson likes a winner at Redcar and he saddles three, with debutante Gold Venture looking the likely pick under Hollie Doyle. That said, Richard Fahey throws in another interesting first-timer in Tiny Titan and the betting is worth a careful check.

Vivivaki, another Newmarket raider, trained by Robert Cowell, was a promising second in a conditions race at Ascot this time last year but has disappointed since. Pat Cosgrave takes the ride in the Follow racingtv On Twitter Fillies’ Novice Stakes and this could be her opportunity if reproducing that Ascot run.

Country, a handsome son of Dubawi, was an impressive winner for William Haggas at the last Redcar meeting and the sire might well follow-up with Saeed bin Suroor’s Gentle Look in the Racing TV Profits Returned To Racing Handicap. The gelding was fourth at Windsor on his only run this term and should strip fitter this time, with James Tate’s Solar Heights – an £85,000 yearling and a winner on the all-weather at Chelmsford in March – a clear danger.

Hollie Doyle is always a popular visitor to Redcar and she has a good chance of victory in the Watch Racing TV In Stunning HD Claiming Stakes. This won’t take a lot of winning and Doyle’s mount Clayton, trained in Lambourn by Archie Doyle, showed he’s up to the mark when going clear in a seller last time at Musselburgh.

The meeting ends at 5.10pm with the Go Racing At Thirsk This Saturday Handicap and North Yorkshire trainer Roger Fell could have the answer in Kodi Dream who didn’t get a clear run and only just failed to peg back Jedd O’Keeffe’s Anna Bunina at the last Redcar meeting.

Beverley Racecourse has teamed up with Michelin-starred chef James Mackenzie to bring a season of gastronomic delights to discerning racegoers.

The Chef and Proprietor of Michelin-starred gastropub The Pipe and Glass has created an array of mouthwatering dishes for the award-winning racecourse, reflecting his style of modern British cooking using seasonal produce from his own kitchen garden and herbarium.

Working closely with the racecourse team and catering partner, CGC Event Caterers, James has developed six signature dishes which will alternate through the season, along with a special menu for 2019’s final raceday.

The Beverley Races catering team spent an afternoon with James at The Pipe and Glass, at South Dalton, near Beverley, learning how to prepare the exciting new dishes, ahead of the menu’s launch at the racecourse’s second meeting of the season.

Diners had the chance to meet James and enjoy the delicious new menu in the racecourse’s premier restaurant, The Attraction, which boasts superb views of the track and the historic Westwood from its position on the first floor of the Premier Enclosure.
James said: “We’re thrilled to be bringing a taste of The Pipe and Glass to Beverley Racecourse this season. It’s a great opportunity to showcase the style of food we’re noted for.

“This is the first time we’ve partnered with a venue where our dishes are featured on the menu and it’s very exciting for us. It also gives us the chance to promote East Yorkshire and all its attractions as a great visitor destination.

“Our dishes will alternate so regular racegoers can experience something different during the season.

“A key part in developing the menu was listening to the CGC team to understand what best suited the racecourse environment. This worked well for us, as our style is uncomplicated – we use simple, seasonal ingredients to create tasty Yorkshire-influenced food.”

The partnership with The Pipe and Glass comes at a time when there are more reasons than ever to visit Beverley Racecourse, with a series of themed meetings offering an unbeatable combination of socialising, sport and first-class hospitality.

Sally Iggulden, Chief Executive of Beverley Racecourse, said: “We’re really excited to be working with James and enabling our guests in The Attraction restaurant to enjoy the fantastic food for which The Pipe and Glass is so renowned.

“We believe it’s the perfect partnership, as we like to think we’re one of East Yorkshire’s leading venues and The Pipe and Glass is the highest-rated eatery in the area.

“So many of our regular racegoers love to make a great meal in The Attraction restaurant the centrepiece of their day out at the races and The Pipe and Glass is a much-loved venue for many of our discerning diners.

“It’s bringing two of their favourite experiences together in one place.”

The mouthwatering dishes created by James will alternate throughout the season and consist of two starters, two main courses and two desserts.

Starters to enjoy are Yorkshire cold smoked salmon, hot smoked salmon Scotch egg, with heritage potato and chive salad, nasturtiums, and a brown shrimp dressing; and potted Yorkshire coast crab with pickled cucumber, brown crab stick, sea buckthorn puree finished off with a drizzle of dill oil.

The delicious main courses are cider and grain mustard braised crispy shoulder of pork with Lockington honey-roasted peach, sprouting broccoli, sage and onion soubise, and a black pudding fritter; and confit duck leg, duck boulangere potato, buttered leeks, pickled brambles, celeriac puree and a parkin crumb.

The two delectable desserts are poached rhubarb and Lockington honey and ginger wine syllabub with cinder toffee; and lemon and thyme posset with marinated strawberries and black pepper meringue.

Tim Wray, Outside Catering Director of Yorkshire-based CGC Event Caterers, said: “We’re very proud to have been the catering partner at Beverley Racecourse for over 20 years now. During that time we have continually looked to improve and develop the offerings in keeping with the ambitions of the venue.

“We see the exciting new association with James Mackenzie and The Pipe and Glass as the start of another successful relationship.”

A former 17th century coaching inn, The Pipe and Glass has been run by James and his wife Kate since 2006, and is now a welcoming country pub where customers can drop in for a pint of “Two Chefs” ale, tuck into classic “pub grub” dishes or enjoy the highest standards of modern cuisine.

The acclaimed venue was awarded the highly-coveted Michelin Star in 2010 and has retained it ever since.

A former Michelin Pub of the Year, The Pipe and Glass’s other notable accolades include the Good Pub Guide’s National Dining Pub and Yorkshire Dining Pub of the Year, as well as consistently featuring in the Morning Advertiser Estrella Damn Top 50 Gastropubs.
James has several books under his belt, including his award winning “On the Menu” cookbook, and is also a familiar face on TV, with appearances on Saturday Kitchen and Kirstie’s Handmade Britain.

James said racegoers were in for a special treat at the 2019 season closing raceday, on September 24.

He added: “We’re also looking forward to our kitchen takeover of The Attraction restaurant on the final race of the season – we’ve planned some real showstoppers!

“We’ve created a special menu showcasing the very best The Pipe and Glass has to offer, with canapes on arrival; heritage tomato and North Sea lobster salad; braised ox cheeks; and topped off with a raspberry and pistachio delice.

“For later in the day, we’ve created an alternative to afternoon tea with The Pipe and Glass ‘proper’ ploughmans, with a selection of cold cuts, Yorkshire cheeses, pickles and homemade bread. It will be a very special occasion and a great afternoon for all.”

The link-up with The Pipe and Glass continues Beverley Racecourse’s tradition of working with elite eateries. It follows an award-winning, two-year partnership with Winteringham Fields in north Lincolnshire, which raised the profile of The Attraction following a £700,000 investment to extend and refurbish the restaurant.

The quality of dining and service offered at The Attraction contributed to Beverley being named as one of the top racecourses in England and Wales for customer experience in 2018, alongside venues such as Aintree and Ascot.

To book a table in The Attraction restaurant, call Sara Daniher of the racecourse catering team on 01482 867488. The restaurant is extremely popular, so racegoers are advised to book in advance and can reserve a table for the whole meeting for just £10 per head. A limited number of tables are available on the day, on a first-come-first-served basis.

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TRAINER HUGHIE Morrison has reported that Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes entry Telecaster is in fine fettle ahead of a potential tilt at the £165,000 York feature on Thursday 16 May.

The son of New Approach, who inflicted a nine-length defeat on some fancied rivals in a Windsor novice last week, was one of 61 entries to stand their ground for the extended mile and a quarter Group 2 contest at the latest entries stage.

Having finished runner-up on his debut at Doncaster in March, Telecaster duly built on that promise when powering clear under Oisin Murphy last Monday, recording an eye-catching time and stamping himself as a colt with significant potential.

Morrison outlined on Wednesday that the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes is under serious consideration for his charge but added: “It’s not cast in stone. That is the race we are aiming at, but we’ve still got three weeks between now and then and there’s the possibility we change our minds.

“He has been fine after Windsor and he’s always full of himself. He’s only had two races, but I’ll know if he hasn’t taken a race well when he’s not full of himself afterwards.
“He’s a horse who has grown up a lot over the winter and we are learning about him all the time. He has a high cruising speed, he gallops and he has obviously got a lot of ability.

“Should we head to the Dante we would go there with hope and I am sure he would run a nice race, but you have got to be realistic – we had the trials last week and we’ve got the Guineas to come – and I’m sure the Dante will be a very strong race.”

Telecaster is from a family Morrison knows well given he trained his dam, Shirocco Star, to finish second in the Investec Oaks and the Summerdown-based handler drew favourable comparisons between the two.

“He is quite similar to his mother,” Morrison continued. “She was naturally talented and they are both your classic, staying-looking horse with a bit of scope and a bit of leg. She had a high cruising speed and so does he – they both can gallop.”

Also included among the remaining entries for the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes is last year’s champion two-year-old, Too Darn Hot, who was this week ruled out of the 2,000 Guineas by trainer John Gosden.

Emerging Newmarket-based talent, Charlie Fellowes, could saddle King Ottokar, who posted a noteworthy seasonal reappearance when claiming some well-regarded scalps in a conditions race at Newbury earlier in the month. While Aidan O’Brien – who has won the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes four times in the last seven years – remains with a plethora of entries.

They include Broome, who romped home by eight lengths on his return in the Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown and Cape Of Good Hope, who narrowly prevailed in Listed company at Epsom on Wednesday.

The Dante Festival runs from Wednesday 15 May to Friday 17 May inclusively.
For tickets please call 01904 620911 x 225 or visit www.yorkracecourse.co.uk<http://www.yorkracecourse.co.uk/>

A host of horses with previous winning form at York remain engaged in the Group Two contests that are the highlights of the upcoming Dante Festival that will be staged on the Knavesmire between Wednesday 15 and Friday 17 May.

Last season’s champion two-year-old, Too Darn Hot, remains the stand-out name amongst the now sixty-one remaining entries for the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes on Thursday 16 May. The colt’s trainer John Gosden has a fine recent record in the famous mile and a quarter Group 2 race, landing three of the last four renewals, including the 2015 running with subsequent Investec Derby hero, Golden Horn. The unbeaten Too Darn Hot has missed early season targets with this year’s £165,000 contest firmly in the mix as a potential return to action.

The previous York winner in amongst the colts in Thursday’s race is Phoenix Of Spain, who won the Group 3 Tattersalls Acomb Stakes, for trainer Charlie Hills, last August.

Master of Ballydoyle, Aidan O’Brien, has won the Epsom Blue Riband four times in the last seven years retains some 18 entries in the York showpiece – a race that many people identify as the key trial for the Classic showdown. They include Group 1 winner, Magna Grecia, as well as the hugely promising Japan, who won the Group 2 Beresford Stakes on his third and final outing when aged two.

Middleham-based trainer Mark Johnston won this race in 2017 with Permian. A year later he saddled runner-up Dee Ex Bee and retains four entries for this spring’s renewal. Fellow Middleham handler, Karl Burke, has Kadar as a further potential local representative.

Earlier on Thursday the classy middle distance fillies will go to post in the Group Two Al Basti Equiworld Middleton Stakes; York form could be at a premium with defending champion, Coronet, remaining amongst the fourteen strong entry. Possible opponents include Threading, who was a high-class two-year-old in 2017, winning the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes at York for Mark Johnston.

Champion Trainer, John Gosden, could be represented by improving filly, Lah Ti Dah, returning to the Knavesmire, scene of her impressive Listed race triumph in the EBF Galtres Stakes last August.

On the opening day of York’s season, the sprinters take centre stage in the Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes where Sands of Mali, the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack winner of 2017 could take on Invincible Army. The £125,000 Group Two is over the six furlong trip with thirty one horses still possibles for a spin out of the new twenty-two bay stalls that will be in operation at York.

At the other end of the stamina spectrum comes Friday’s feature, the Group Two Matchbook Yorkshire Cup. At this stage, twenty-nine stayers remain engaged with defending champion and superstar of the division, Stradivarius, the likely favourite. The Dante Festival runs from Wednesday 15 May – Friday 17 May inclusively.

David Loughnane on Thursday attempts to improve upon his outstanding record at Beverley when he saddles two runners on the Westwood.

The Market Drayton-based handler has secured 11 winners from 43 runners at the well-attended East Yorkshire circuit and is operating at a most impressive £75.50 profit from a £1 stake.

And after having enjoyed a lucrative start to the Flat season, hopes are high that Seamster and Stringybark Creek – both of whom are owned by Sarah Hoyland – can do the business at Beverley’s second meeting of the campaign.

The former runs in the Beverley Annual Badgeholders Handicap at 2.50, while Stringybark Creek goes to post for the eight-and-a-half-furlong Westwood Handicap at 4.55.

Loughnane said: “Our horses are in great order and Beverley has always been a lucky track for us.

“We enjoy having runners there and hopefully we can strike it lucky again.”

Seamster is a stable favourite at Helshaw Grange as he will be having his 108th career start.

The 12-year-old chestnut also won at Beverley two years ago but will be having a first outing for 169 days, when successful at Nottingham.

Loughnane added: “Seamster put us on the map when we first started and he means so much to us.

“When we went to Nottingham last year we said before the race that we’d retire him – win, lose or draw.

“But then after he won, Cameron Noble got off him and just said, ‘You can’t retire him. He’s as good as he ever was’.

“Since then we’ve given him a break and put him out in a field, but all he wanted to do was gallop and get back to work.

“He just loves the game and even though he is 12 years young, I’d say this is the best condition we’ve ever had him in.

“He will benefit from the run, I think, but we’re not there to make up the numbers.

“He goes well fresh, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he won.”

Stringybark Creek won twice at Beverley last year and is reported in rude health following a pleasing comeback at Nottingham a fortnight ago, when a short-head second behind Saisons D’Or.

“He needed the run at Nottingham, but he ran really, really well,” said Loughnane.

“We could do with a bit of rain, which is forecast, but saying that, he’s got a nice, low weight and likes it at Beverley.

“This is a step up in grade from Nottingham but you can ride him any way you want, really, and I’d say he’d take all the beating.”

Beverley’s eight-race card begins at 1.40, with the official going described as good to firm, good in places.

LITTLE Grace Chapman was in wonderland yesterday after winning a VIP trip to Redcar Races thanks to her artistic skills.

Grace, five, from Hartlepool, won the annual competition to design the racecard front cover for the Easter Monday meeting at the seaside course.

As well as being treated to a special lunch with her family, Grace also presented the trophy in a race named in her honour, and met the characters from Alice In Wonderland.

With so many runners entered, the race was divided into two, so she got to present the trophy twice.
Grace’s mum Becky said: “She’s had a day she’ll never forget – it’s been really special.”

Her dad Ian added: “We’ve all had a cracking day so, hopefully, it will encourage Grace to continue with her art.”
With the course bathed in sunshine, crowds turned out in force for the meeting.

As well as Alice and her friends making an appearance, children were also treated to gifts from the Easter Bunny.

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Wednesday 1st May is a day when Pontefract traditionally looks to the future stars of racing, both human and equine. It’s the 30th Annual Northern Racing College Charity Day!

The race meeting is unique in the fact that the majority of the card sees races sponsored by different bookmakers who traditionally set aside their commercial rivalry on this day in order to encourage the grass roots and future of the sport.

The Northern Racing College, based just outside Doncaster, was set up in 1984 and provides a range of courses at all levels for people who are looking at the horseracing industry as a future career. It also offers those currently in the business the chance to develop their qualifications and skills.

The racing on the day casts an eye to future stars. The opening 2yo Novice Stakes, sponsored by EBF and William Hill is historically an informative event. The race was won a few years ago by the subsequent globetrotting superstar, Peniaphobia, a regular in Group 1 races in Hong Kong in recent years. Kevin Ryan took the race with Celebrity Dancer last year who himself looks to be pretty smart and went on to be placed in the valuable Goffs yearling sales race at York. In fact, Kevin Ryan could be a trainer to keep an eye out for on this day – he trained three winners on this day last year with Kings Full and Savannah Moon adding to his tally!

The 3yo Maiden on the card also has a rich history – John Gosden’s Royal Ascot winner ‘Remote’ made his debut in this a few years ago while last year, Mark Johnston’s Making Miracles was just touched off before continuing rapid improvement throughout the season running in some of the most competitive long distance handicaps around at Royal Ascot and York. We’ll be on the lookout for another superstar to hit the Ponte turf this year.

Again, looking ahead to the stars of tomorrow, the card concludes with the 3rd Round of the Go Racing In Yorkshire Future Stars Apprentice Handicap. Last year’s winner Foxtrot Knight was ridden by Sebastian Woods. The jockey now rides for the yard of champion Pontefract trainer, Richard Fahey.

As always seems to be the case, Fahey himself had a winner on the card last year and if he can win again this year he will unlock the “It’s Champion” Promotion, where for half an hour after the winner has been announced a special offer will be available to all racegoers on course. This promotion also applies if Danny Tudhope (Pontefract 2018 Champion Jockey) rides a winner at the course in 2019.

The Racecourse Postcode Lottery gives the opportunity for anyone based in Sheffield to come racing for free. By sending a Stamped Addressed envelope to the Racecourse, residents can get a ticket to the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure (Only 100 tickets available).

The Racecourse will once again be offering discounted tickets to those who book in advance – see www.pontefract-races.co.uk for more information.

PHILLIP Makin was the toast of Redcar Races today after training his first winner – on the track where a sickening fall ended his career as a jockey.

The horrific fall at Redcar last August led to Makin retiring from the saddle and setting up as a trainer from a yard at Easingwold, in North Yorkshire.

And Galloway Hills, bought out of the David Elsworth yard, got Makin off the mark in fine style under jockey Sam James.

“It’s nice to get the first one out of the way ¬– we were fairly hopeful because he was the first one we thought had a decent chance,” said Makin.

“After what happened here last summer, it’s especially nice to get off the mark at Redcar. It’s such a good, fair track so we’ll always be happy to send horses here.”

The trophy was presented to Makin by Peter Rushby in memory of his wife Susan. The couple were long-standing members at Redcar and the race was originally planned as a celebration of their 40th wedding anniversary.
Sadly, Susan died suddenly in March, but Peter decided to go ahead with the race as a touching way of remembering his wife.

“It’s what she would have wanted because she loved coming here,” he said.

“Susan had multiple sclerosis and was in a wheelchair but Redcar is a fantastic course to get around and the staff have been brilliant,” added Peter, who backed the winner.

“Susan would have been over the moon with that,” he said.

The Armed Man and Paula Muir are fast becoming one of the most prolific partnerships in racing. Five-pound claimer Muir won for the seventh time on the Chris Fairhurst-trained gelding in the Market Cross Jewellers Handicap Stakes.
“He’s definitely my favourite – he never looked like losing,” said Paula.

Fairhurst, who also bred the horse, said: “We thought he’d need his first run of the season but clearly not. He’s just been a dream of a horse to train and Paula’s just clicked with him.”

Owner Carol Arnold said: “He doesn’t like change and Paula even talks to him – I think she might even use the odd Scottish swear word at him! He’s given us such a lot of pleasure. We have his full brother, The Gingerbread Man, in training with Chris. He hasn’t done anything yet but, hopefully, he’s saving himself.”

There was a quick-fire double for Middleham trainer Jedd O’Keeffe and jockey Jack Garritty when Anna Bunina took the Grace Chapman Designed Today’s Racecard Cover Handicap Stakes (Division Two) and Echo followed up in the racingtv.com Handicap Stakes.

Anna Bunina is owned by O’Keeffe’s father-in-law, Richard Johnson, and wife Jacqueline. By Poet’s Voice and out of Russian Society, the filly was named by Jacqueline after the first Russian female poet to make any money in the romantic period.

“We watched her on the gallops on Saturday and she did really well, so we were hopeful,” said Jacqueline.
Echo had won his last two races on the all-weather at Newcastle over 1m 4f but O’Keeffe was confident he would stay the extra half mile of today’s contest.

“The jockey was struggling to pull him up at Newcastle so we thought this would suit him,” he said. “He’ll probably stick to this sort of distance now.”

The trainer also paid warm tribute to winning jockey Jack Garritty. “He doesn’t get the chances he deserves because of his weight but he’s such a fantastic team player, he’s a real asset to us,” he said.

There was also a short-priced double for Danny Tudhope as Hortzadar, trained by David O’Meara, comfortably justified odds-on favouritsm in the Join Racing TV Now Handicap Stakes.

The horse is owned by Glasgow-based Akela Construction Ltd and managing director Mark Markey said: “The handicapper will probably get hold of him now but he’s a nice horse and there’ll be plenty of nice races for him to go for.”
Tudhope had enjoyed a very classy performance from the well-backed Country, a beautiful son of Dubawi, in the first race of the day, the Watch Racing TV In Stunning HD Novice Stakes. Trained at Newmarket by William Haggas, he looks a horse with a future.

Lexicon was a welcome winner for Malton handler Ollie Pears in division one of the Grace Chapman Designed Today’s Racecard Cover under a strong Jamie Gormley ride.

And the eight-race card was brought to a climax with Ascot Dreamer, trained by David Brown and ridden by Lewis Edmunds, winning the Like Racing TV On Facebook Handicap Stakes.

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Ripon Racecourse has introduced a ‘Green Scheme’ in time for the start of the 2019 season, offering discounted entry to cyclists and public transport users with the aim of reducing the carbon footprint of racedays at Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse.

From the first meeting on Thursday 18th April cyclists will receive a £5 discount token for the Club or Paddock Enclosure when parking up at the bike racks provided. National Cycle Network and Cycle routes to the course, along with full details of how to collect and redeem the discount token, can be found on the Ripon Races website at https://ripon-races.co.uk/green-scheme/.

In addition, a £5 discount will also be given to racegoers who travel to Ripon from Leeds or Harrogate by bus on the raceday, with a shuttle bus also provided by the racecourse from the centre of Ripon to the track. Full details of how to take advantage of this discount can also be found at https://ripon-races.co.uk/green-scheme/

Jonathan Mullin, Marketing Manager of Ripon Racecourse said:

“The Climate Coalition’s #ShowTheLove campaign throughout February really hit home with us. We are ‘Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse’ and it is vital that we play our part both in terms of raising awareness of climate change but most importantly by becoming ‘greener’ ourselves.

“We thought introducing and incentivising the option of cycling to the races would be a good start, especially given the popularity of cycling in Yorkshire.

“We also realise that the lack of a train station in Ripon often leaves our racegoers feeling that they have little choice but to drive. We wanted to make the option of public transport more appealing, especially from Harrogate which is our nearest train station. We hope that a discount for bus users encourages racegoers to leave the car at home and makes the connection to the trainline more viable”.

 

 

 

 

Website: www.ripon-races.co.uk

With spring in the air the flat season is really getting into full swing and Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse is all set to join the party with their season opener, Easter Family Day on Thursday 18th April. Alongside a great afternoon of racing there will be an Easter Bunny Hunt, bouncy castle, face painting and mini-farm in the Course Enclosure, as well as free chocolate eggs for kids!

A busy winter saw Ripon awarded RCA Excellence Accolades for Customer Service and the Club Restaurant as well as retaining their place in the Visit England Top 10 Quality Assured Racecourses. In February Ripon staged the inaugural toy horse ‘Winter Dash’, which proved extremely popular on social media during a period when racing was abandoned due to an outbreak of equine influenza and Ripon Race Company Ltd celebrated its 120th birthday on 20th March!

Ripon Managing Director, James Hutchinson said: “We were delighted to retain our place at the top table in 2018 and it was especially pleasing to collect an award for customer service, along with the Club Restaurant receiving an excellence accolade for the fourth consecutive year.

“We won’t rest on our laurels though, we have been working hard through the winter and we are determined to kick on and improve the experience in 2019”.

Ripon have a number of raceday engagement projects in the pipeline for 2019 and that begins with a ‘Take Your Pick’ racecard competition to debut at the season opener on 18th April. The free-to-enter competition will take place at every Ripon meeting in 2019 and requires racegoers to select three horses from the Ripon card for a shot at the £100 prize.

Marketing Manager, Jonathan Mullin said: “We plan to introduce something new and different at each of our meetings through the 2019 season and the ‘Take Your Pick’ racecard competition is just the start of that. We’ll have £100 up for grabs at every meeting in 2019 and it’s really easy to enter.

 “We hope that this will both encourage new racegoers to engage with the racing and give our regular racegoers something different to get involved with. Keep an eye out for #whatsnew on social media on all of our 2019 racedays”.

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.

With spring in the air the flat season is really getting into full swing and Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse is all set to join the party with their season opener, Easter Family Day on Thursday 18th April. Alongside a great afternoon of racing there will be an Easter Bunny Hunt, bouncy castle, face painting and mini-farm in the Course Enclosure, as well as free chocolate eggs for kids!

A busy winter saw Ripon awarded RCA Excellence Accolades for Customer Service and the Club Restaurant as well as retaining their place in the Visit England Top 10 Quality Assured Racecourses. In February Ripon staged the inaugural toy horse ‘Winter Dash’, which proved extremely popular on social media during a period when racing was abandoned due to an outbreak of equine influenza and Ripon Race Company Ltd celebrated its 120th birthday on 20th March!

Ripon Managing Director, James Hutchinson said: “We were delighted to retain our place at the top table in 2018 and it was especially pleasing to collect an award for customer service, along with the Club Restaurant receiving an excellence accolade for the fourth consecutive year. 

“We won’t rest on our laurels though, we have been working hard through the winter and we are determined to kick on and improve the experience in 2019”.

Ripon have a number of raceday engagement projects in the pipeline for 2019 and that begins with a ‘Take Your Pick’ racecard competition to debut at the season opener on 18th April. The free-to-enter competition will take place at every Ripon meeting in 2019 and requires racegoers to select three horses from the Ripon card for a shot at the £100 prize.

Marketing Manager, Jonathan Mullin said: “We plan to introduce something new and different at each of our meetings through the 2019 season and the ‘Take Your Pick’ racecard competition is just the start of that. We’ll have £100 up for grabs at every meeting in 2019 and it’s really easy to enter. 

“We hope that this will both encourage new racegoers to engage with the racing and give our regular racegoers something different to get involved with. Keep an eye out for #whatsnew on social media on all of our 2019 racedays”.

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.

Ripon Racecourse has introduced a ‘Green Scheme’ in time for the start of the 2019 season, offering discounted entry to cyclists and public transport users with the aim of reducing the carbon footprint of racedays at Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse.

From the first meeting on Thursday 18th April cyclists will receive a £5 discount token for the Club or Paddock Enclosure when parking up at the bike racks provided. National Cycle Network and Cycle routes to the course, along with full details of how to collect and redeem the discount token, can be found on the Ripon Races website at https://ripon-races.co.uk/green-scheme/.

In addition, a £5 discount will also be given to racegoers who travel to Ripon from Leeds or Harrogate by bus on the raceday, with a shuttle bus also provided by the racecourse from the centre of Ripon to the track. Full details of how to take advantage of this discount can also be found at https://ripon-races.co.uk/green-scheme/

Jonathan Mullin, Marketing Manager of Ripon Racecourse said:

“The Climate Coalition’s #ShowTheLove campaign throughout February really hit home with us. We are ‘Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse’ and it is vital that we play our part both in terms of raising awareness of climate change but most importantly by becoming ‘greener’ ourselves.

“We thought introducing and incentivising the option of cycling to the races would be a good start, especially given the popularity of cycling in Yorkshire.

“We also realise that the lack of a train station in Ripon often leaves our racegoers feeling that they have little choice but to drive. We wanted to make the option of public transport more appealing, especially from Harrogate which is our nearest train station. We hope that a discount for bus users encourages racegoers to leave the car at home and makes the connection to the trainline more viable”.

 

 

There’s a quick turnaround in the race meetings at Pontefract with the second meeting of the season taking place on Monday 15th April when the equine equivalent of the London Marathon, the Pontefract Marathon, is one of the highlights on a 7 race card.

The first two year race of the season at Pontefract is The Farmer Copleys GFF Farm Shop of the Year 2019 EBF Novice Stakes. The race title celebrates the new partnership between the Racecourse and award winning local Farm Shop Farmer Copleys, who will be supplying a luxury Yorkshire hamper to the winning connections in every race at Pontefract in 2019. The race went the way of John Quinn’s ‘Carey Street’ in 2018. Trainer John Quinn will be hosting Pontefract Annual Badge Holders on the yearly stable visit later in the season.

There’s £25k up for grabs in the RIU Hotels and Resorts Handicap. The race was fought out by Foolaad and El Astronaute last year with the former just getting the better of the argument. It’s a race that always throws up future winners and is one to keep an eye on. RIU Hotels and Resorts will be back at Pontefract later in the year when they sponsor the Best Dressed Lady competition in August. This year, the winning lady will win an all inclusive holiday to Jamaica!

The ‘Into The Sky’ Pontefract Marathon Handicap – run over 2m5½ furlongs – is the longest flat race handicap run in the country and forms the second leg of the Stayers Championship. Micky Hammond has been farming the series in recent years and he has several horses in mind for the 2019 Championship. The ‘Into The Sky’ Company are a group of young adults with learning difficulties who currently use the Racecourse every Friday for their music and drama rehearsals.

The 6f Maiden has thrown up some decent winners in the past and David O’Meara has won divisions of the race in the last two years with Black Isle Boy in 2017 and Three Saints Bay in 2018. Trainers love to target races that they’ve been successful in in the past and any representative from the O’Meara yard should be noted. This race is run in honour of long standing member of staff, Richard Pemberton, who has worked at the track for 30 years, including a spell as Head Groundsman. We hope that he has a very long and happy retirement.

Napoleons Casino Bradford return to Pontefract for the third year with a programme of another 5 sponsored races at the track in 2019. While the Golden Horseracing Club sponsor two races on the card promoting racehorse ownership with their fantastic club.

The Racecourse are continuing their Postcode Lottery promotion in 2019 and those living in York can pick up a free ticket for this meeting if they register before the day. All postcodes throughout Yorkshire will be able to get tickets to specific meetings throughout the year.

There’s never been a better reason to go racing more often!

LAST SEASON’S champion two-year-old, Too Darn Hot, is the stand-out name in an intriguing 89-strong entry for the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes – the May 17 feature race of York’s curtain-raising three-day festival.
The colt’s trainer John Gosden has a fine recent record in the famous mile and a quarter Group 2 race, landing three of the last four renewals, including the 2015 running with subsequent Investec Derby hero, Golden Horn. The unbeaten Too Darn Hot is one of 14 entries made by the 2018 leading trainer for this year’s £165,000 contest on the Knavesmire.
Master of Ballydoyle, Aidan O’Brien, has won the Epsom Blue Riband four times in the last seven years and has made 24 entries in the York showpiece – a race that many people identify as the key trial for the Classic showdown. They include Group 1 winner, Magna Grecia, as well as the hugely promising Japan, who won the Group 2 Beresford Stakes on his third and final outing when aged two.
Charlie Hills has made an entry for Phoenix Of Spain, who won the Group 3 Tattersalls Acomb Stakes on the Knavesmire before succumbing by a head to Magna Grecia at Doncaster.
Tom Dascombe could be represented by Royal Ascot winner, Arthur Kitt, who finished runner-up to Too Darn Hot in the Solario Stakes at Sandown prior to running fourth in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
Middleham-based trainer Mark Johnston won this race in 2017 with Permian. A year later he saddled runner-up Dee Ex Bee and has made seven entries for this spring’s renewal.
Plans remains fluid for the septet at this stage, but they include the 110-rated Arctic Sound, who has won four of his six starts – including a Newmarket Group 3 – and Living Legend, who struck in a Kempton novice in the manner of a progressive performer last Saturday.
Charlie Johnston, assistant trainer to his father, assessed: “Living Legend probably deserves to be in the race least (of the Johnston entries) at the moment, given he was allocated a mark of 86 by the handicapper on Tuesday morning and he will have to improve a huge amount to be up to that level.
“That said, he’s an unexposed, exciting horse and one we’ve really been looking forward to. He wintered well and we thought he was capable of a good performance at Kempton, which he delivered.
“We’re nowhere near the bottom of him yet and he could still be anything, so he deserves those lofty entries. There is an argument that he should be running in a handicap off that mark in the near future, but he produced an impressive performance.”
Regarding Arctic Sound, he continued: “We’re not entirely sure what his optimum trip will be and he’s entered in pretty much every Guineas in Europe – the English, Irish, French and German.
“We’ll probably go down that route to begin with, but if you’d have asked me towards the middle of last summer, I would have expected him to improve when he was upped in trip.
“We thought he would go and win the Stonehenge (in which he finished last of six runners) at Salisbury and that was his most disappointing run, but he was very impressive back to seven furlongs at Doncaster and Newmarket. He’ll start back over a mile and then he has the option of going up in trip if he needs to.”

The Dante Festival runs from Wednesday 15 May – Friday 17 May inclusively

CLASSY middle-distance campaigner Laraaib could step up in trip for a shot at the £165,000 Matchbook Yorkshire Cup at York on Friday 17 May.

The Owen Burrows-trained five-year-old signed off for 2018 with a gritty half-length victory in the mile and a half Group 3 Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot. It meant he finished the year on a high after being laid low in midsummer with a viral problem.

The strapping son of Pivotal is lightly-raced and has a fine record of four wins from eight career starts.

On paper Sheikh Hamdan’s horse looks open to further improvement and could return in the John Porter Stakes at Newbury on April 13 before coming under consideration for the York Group Two. That would mean a first crack at a mile and three quarters for Laraaib, which Burrows feels could be within his range.

The Lambourn-based trainer said: “He was a big, unraced two-year-old and then won his first three starts as a three-year-old. I slipped him into the Rose of Lancaster at Haydock and he wasn’t quite right after that so we finished him for the season.

“Last year he started off at Sandown in the Brigadier Gerard and was beaten only by Poet’s Word, so I was thrilled with him that day. It went wrong for him at Royal Ascot where he was drawn very high and missed the kick. I took him next to the Princess of Wales’s at Newmarket. He ran so badly that he must have had something wrong with him, hence we did some tests. We had a virus in the yard and he was one that was affected.

“So to get him back to win the Cumberland Lodge was a big performance and he had to really tough it out on very soft ground. He handled conditions well that day but doesn’t need it bottomless.

“If we can keep him healthy I’m hoping for a real productive year with him. He wouldn’t go much further than a Yorkshire Cup distance – I’m not saying he’s a Gold Cup horse or anything like that.

“But he is a good horse to have. He is a five-year-old now with not a lot of mileage on him and, physically, he has done very well. He was always a big-framed horse and he has grown into that. The lads that ride him at home are saying he feels stronger this year, so I’m hoping that there is a bit more improvement from four to five.”

The Matchbook Yorkshire Cup is part of the QIPCO British Champions Series, which showcases 35 of the UK’s finest Flat races. The entry for this year’s renewal includes outstanding stayer, Stradivarius, who landed the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million in 2018. The colt started his run of success with victory in the Yorkshire Cup last May and his trainer John Gosden has already indicated that will be this season’s starting point. Also in the 34-strong initial entry are fellow middle-distance stars Kew Gardens, Flag of Honour and Capri as well as a series of other fascinating prospects.

Lanigan and Johnston yard poised with potential challengers

SEA OF Class could make her seasonal reappearance at York after being entered in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Stakes, which will be run on Thursday 16 May.

The William Haggas-trained filly was one of the stars of the 2018 season, winning two Group 1s – the Darley Irish Oaks and then the Darley Yorkshire Oaks on the Knavesmire.

But arguably her best performance came in defeat at Paris Longchamp where she went down to the brilliant Enable by a diminishing short neck in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Sea Of Class remains in training aged four and is one of 18 horses in the initial entry for the Group 2 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Stakes, contested over a mile and a quarter.

The entry also contains last year’s surprise 1,000 Guineas winner, Billesdon Brook. Multiple Group 1 runner-up and defending champion, Coronet, is also listed; as are Nyaleti and Threading from the record-breaking yard of Middleham-based trainer, Mark Johnston.

The Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Stakes is under consideration for Nyaleti as she looks to build on a very good three-year-old campaign, which concluded with back-to-back top-three finishes in Grade/Group 1 races.
Charlie Johnston, assistant trainer to his father, said: “She has been all around the world already, including finishing second in an Italian Group 1 on her final outing last year.
“She has lots of options on the table for her reappearance. She could either start in the Middleton, or something like the Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket or even the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh.
“Last year she came up a bit short at the top level in this country, but she was twice placed in Group 1 company abroad. We’re well aware that we might need to travel again to try and win a Group 1, but we’re prepared to do that and she’ll be entered far and wide.”
Threading was a high-class two-year-old in 2017, winning the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes at York. She returned to the track last May to land a Listed prize but her form dipped after a very creditable effort in behind Alpha Centauri at Royal Ascot.
Johnston added: “She was disappointing towards the back end of last year and we just want to see the same level of spark she showed when finishing second in the Coronation Stakes in June. She will definitely start over a mile – maybe in something like the Snowdrop at Kempton – and we’ll try and get her head back in front. The Middleton is a fall-back option if we want to go up in trip afterwards.”
Trainer David Lanigan is another with decisions to make about where to campaign a talented filly. His charge Worth Waiting won four races last year, including a Group 3 in Deauville. She returned to France where she ran a very creditable fourth in the Group 1 Prix Vermeille.

Her preparations for the new season are well underway and Lanigan will make a call nearer the time as to whether Worth Waiting will return in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Stakes or stay closer to home to tackle the Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket.

Lanigan confirmed: “It’s just a question of seeing how she comes in the next three weeks and then make a plan.

“She has wintered well and looks like she has filled out her frame. She was never a gross filly but has done very well, so I’m pleased with her.

“Hopefully she’ll progress. She’s had a good lay-off and is coming back nicely.”

Speaking last week, Champion Trainer John Gosden indicated that improving filly, Lah Ti Dah could well return to the Knavesmire, scene of her impressive Listed race triumph in the EBF Galtres Stakes last August.

The Dante Festival runs from Wednesday 15 May – Friday 17 May inclusively.

FUTURE STARS – Round 1, Doncaster March 31

Progression is a brilliant thing for any apprentice jockey and for Cameron Noble it led to a first win in the Go Racing In Yorkshire Future Stars competition when the 2019 series got underway at Doncaster.

Third on his only ride in 2017 and second when he had just a solitary ride in the series last season, Noble marked the start of this year’s competition with a winner on the Ian Williams-trained Central City.

It was a cool ride from Noble, who was out the  back for most of the way as former Future Stars series winner Gary Mahon set a blazing gallop on Staplegrove and as they reached the four furlong marker, Central City still had most of the field ahead of him.

Up front, Seamus Cronin had moved Apache Blaze in first-time cheek pieces to challenge for the lead, but no sooner had she gone on than Central City, who was not lacking for fitness after a couple of wins on the all-weather, began to pick up ground hand over fist and came to join her a furlong out.

The two drew clear in the closing stages with Central City a comfortable winner from Apache Blaze with the favourite Consultant and William Carver taking third place.

The big challenge for Noble now will be to improve still further on the previous two years by having more rides in the series. If he does, he is likely to be a big player for the prize worth £2,000 that is on offer.

TABLE AFTER ROUND ONE

Cameron Noble18
Seamus Cronin9
William Carver6
Daragh Keenan3
Cieren Fallon2
Ben Sanderson1

INVINCIBLE ARMY could have a third crack at Group 1 star Sands of Mali, with both horses entered in the Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes, which will be the feature race on the opening day of York’s 2019 season – Wednesday 15 May.

Invincible Army impressed last Saturday when speeding to a two-length success in the Listed Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster. His trainer, James Tate, had long ear-marked that race as a stepping stone to the £125,000 Group 2, staged over six furlongs on the Knavesmire.

But his four-year-old charge may end up facing old adversary Sands of Mali, who got the better of him in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes back in 2017. The pair were also involved in a thrilling finish to a Group 2 at Haydock last May in which Sands of Mali got up by a nose.

The latter colt went on to top-class glory, scoring on British Champions Day in the feature Sprint last October. As a result of that win he’d have to carry 5lb more at the weights than Invincible Army, should the pair go head to head at York in mid-May.

Newmarket-based Tate said: “It has kind of been the plan since we put him away for a break at the back end of last year, that we’d go for the Cammidge and then the Duke of York.

“He is already a dual Group 3 winner but we got beaten a nose in the Group 2 last year, so we could really do with a win in a Group 2.

“Anything can stop you with a horse, but if he is good on raceday the only thing that would stop us is very fast ground. So we will be hoping it’s not too quick on 15 May.

“I’m very pleased with his development, from what we’ve seen so far. He has been working well and looks bigger and stronger.

“We left a little bit to work on with his prep race and I also loved his attitude at Doncaster. As a two-year-old he was often all over the place – I remember him breaking someone’s foot when they tried to lead him up for a Group 3 at Kempton.

“At Doncaster I thought he was ever so professional, walking around relaxed but confident and he continued that right the way through the race. I think he has improved from three to four, but we’ll get a better test of that in the Duke of York, hopefully.”

In total 37 horses are listed in the initial entry for the Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes, including three-time Group 1 winner, The Tin Man. Fellow top-class performers Brando, Limato, Suedois in the sponsor’s colours and Mabs Cross are also among those named.

The Dante Festival runs from Wednesday 15 May – Friday 17 May inclusively.

With Spring here and Summer just around the corner, the flat season roars back in to action at Pontefract with a quality race meeting on Tuesday 9th April. With £78,000 worth of prize money on offer, the card often throws up some impressive early season types. With the first two meetings falling in the Easter holidays for some, in time honoured tradition, there’ll be plenty of free sweets or Easter treats available for kids!

The Racecourse have extended and refurbished the Owners & Trainers facilities at the Racecourse with the aim of attracting more owners to Pontefract and improving the calibre of the racing. The ROA (Racehorse Owners Association) are sponsoring the entire card to promote the industry and the improvements that have been made over the Winter.

The highlight of the racing programme is the £25,000 Sponsorship for ROA Members Handicap over 1m 2f. While the race meeting was lost to waterlogging last year, a classy field assembled for the 2017 renewal. The winner was the subsequent Royal Ascot victor, Snoano, who took the honours for Malton trainer Tim Easterby.

The £15,000 1m4f EBF Maiden on this day has a rich roll of honour. Luca Cumani’s ‘High–Rise’ won this race on his way to victory in the Epsom Derby and lends his name to this race. Above Normal won the 2017 contest for Saeed Bin Suroor and Godolphin. He’s been winning in Dubai over the Winter – will 2019 unleash a potential superstar?

Of all the races run over the years at Pontefract, the Stayers races evoke the strongest memories among the race going public. With course favourites like Dan Buoy, Jamaican Flight and Bluff Cove all laden with stamina, the Stayers Championship has proved a popular addition to the racing programme in recent seasons. Becky The Thatcher was the Champion last year meaning that her trainer, Micky Hammond, has won the championship for three of the last 4 years. He’s got a few lined up for the Championship again in 2019 and they should be monitored closely!

The award winning ‘Wall of Fame’ promotion is back at the course for 2019. Racegoers who visited in 2018 may already have spotted their face on the website dedicated to the promotion (www.pontefract-races.co.uk/walloffame ) but the life size artwork will be unveiled in the Paddock Bar at the opening race meeting of the year. Anyone spotting themselves will be able to claim a prize from the Office on any raceday during the season. With 462 faces on show, there are plenty of great prizes to be won!  The ‘Ponte Faithful’ promotion is also back again offering vouchers and discounts for those who booked for race meetings in both 2018 and 2019.

Those with a Harrogate postcode can pick up a free ticket for this meeting if they register for the Racecourse Postcode Lottery scheme before the day – all postcodes throughout Yorkshire will be able to get tickets to specific meetings throughout the year. Full details are available on the website at www.pontefract-races.co.uk .

An historic Helmsley-based stud farm, once owned by horse racing legend Sir Henry Cecil, has signed a three-year sponsorship deal with Thirsk Racecourse to back Thirsk’s most prestigious race, the Thirsk Hunt Cup, until at least 2021.
Set in 220 acres above Helmsley, Cliff Stud specialises in foaling, and with its immaculately maintained paddocks and accommodation it can accommodate up to 65 horses at any one time. The Stud also boasts two beautifully appointed holiday cottages, which are named after Cecil and his most famous horse, Frankel.
Yorkshire businessman Paul Sutherland, who acquired Cliff Stud in 2017, said: “Thirsk Racecourse and Cliff Stud both have a deep-rooted history in horse racing. The Hambleton district and surrounding area has an incredible racing heritage, with many thriving training yards. At Cliff Stud we place owners and trainers at the heart of our business and we are very proud to be sponsoring a local, historic and high-profile race such as the Thirsk Hunt Cup.”
The Thirsk Hunt Cup began in 1859, with the intention of bringing together the Country’s leading hunters, with the very first winner taking home the princely sum of thirty sovereigns. These days the race is a very competitive flat, handicap contest over a distance of one mile. The next renewal is on Saturday 4th May 2019.
Thirsk Racecourse’s Clerk of the Course, James Sanderson, said: “The Thirsk Hunt Cup is Thirsk Racecourse’s most famous race and so we are thrilled that Cliff Stud, a venue equally synonymous with Yorkshire racing, will be sponsoring the race for the next three years. With their generous support, we will see the race’s prize money grow to at least £50,000 by 2021.”
Sanderson added: “This deal will ensure that The Cliff Stud Thirsk Hunt Cup Meeting will continue to be one of the most popular race days in the region and what is good for the Racecourse is also good to for the local economy, as we attract 55,000+ visitors a year. We are very grateful to Paul and all his team at Cliff Stud for their generous sponsorship.”
Thirsk stages 16 days of competitive flat racing in 2019, from the opening meeting on Saturday 13th April, until the season-finale on Monday 16th September.

It’s been over 5 months since there was last racing at Pontefract and after a particularly testing year in 2018 the West Yorkshire track is getting ready to kick off their 16 day campaign on Tuesday, 9th April.

Managing Director, Norman Gundill MBE, explained to guests at the course’s annual Press Lunch how, despite one of the hottest, driest Summers in history in 2018, the Racecourse still fell foul of the elements with the first meeting of last season abandoned due to waterlogging and rain falling on 10 of the other 15 racedays. The hot, sunny weather between race meetings also had a huge impact on the number of horses running on the track with the ground often being unseasonably quick and the extremes in weather resulted in a drop in total attendances through the season.

Looking ahead to the season ahead, however, Norman Gundill outlined some exciting plans and, in particular, some fantastic new developments in the Enclosures at the forward thinking West Yorkshire track.

Racecourse Changes

Following on from the large scale renovation to the Pre-Parade Ring, Parade Ring and Horsewalk over the last two years, the Racecourse has carried out a number of improvements to the Enclosures in 2019.

The first thing that racegoers will notice is the changes to the layout. Both the Premier and Grandstand & Paddock Enclosures have been increased in size and the old Silver and Picnic Enclosures have been amalgamated to form one new, large Picnic Enclosure. With more room available in each of the updated enclosures, the new layout provides a better set up for all racegoers.

In conjunction with the changes to the Enclosures, the old ‘Riders Bar’ is being completely refurbished and renamed ‘Pizza In The Paddock’ and will open in time for the first evening race meeting of the season on Friday Eve 24th May. Offering freshly cooked pizzas and craft ale, the ‘Pizza In the Paddock’ will also have a brand new large terraced area offering racegoers more seating and a fantastic alternative location to watch the racing.

Owners and Trainers visiting Pontefract in 2019 will also have a new facility as their old bar has been almost tripled in size by taking in and knocking through ‘behind the scenes’ storage areas as well as an old tote building. Improving the calibre of horse running at Pontefract is high on the wish list of the executive and to achieve this, the Racecourse is mindful that their offering for Owners must live up to their expectations.

There will also be a new Wi-Fi system with racegoers being able to connect to a hugely improved, faster system.

Wakefield MDC will also construct a Health and Wellbeing Centre in the Park. This will include a 25m swimming pool, gym, tennis courts and a 3G football pitch and will provide a Café, toilets and formal parking giving the Park a much needed daily focal point. Work is due to start shortly and to be completed in the Autumn of 2020. Parking for Racegoers will be altered with immediate effect.

Prize Money

The Government’s decision firstly to reduce the maximum stake on FOBTs from £100 to £2, and secondly to bring forward the introduction date to 1 April has, as anyone who follows the sport will know, caused considerable consternation, and has resulted in much speculation about the number of Betting Shops which will close and the effect that will have on Media Rights income.  The only certainty is that, for the first time since Media Rights income became significant, there will be a noticeable downturn in income. With prize money having to be committed before knowing what the Media Rights income will be, Racecourse prize money has featured heavily in the pages of the racing press recently.

The provisional total prizemoney budget for Pontefract in 2019 will be just under £1.2million (down from £1.3million in 2018). This will, however, be monitored closely and, if the projected reduction in Media Rights income does not materialise, the Racecourse will reinstate some of the reductions.

Although the Racecourse’s contribution has reduced, they will still be unlocking ALL the race incentive and appearance money payments for horses in all Class 4 and 5 races. All races will still be run above minimum value and the prizemoney on all three Sundays will remain at at least £100,000.

On the track

Despite the challenges of 2018, there was some excellent racing during the season.

The Listed race winners were of a good standard with Manuela De Vega, trained by Ralph Beckett and ridden by Harry Bentley, the standout performer in the EBF Silver Tankard Stakes. She finished the season unbeaten with a two year old rating of 99. She is generally quoted at around 25-1 for the Epsom Oaks.

Clon Coulis, trained by David Baron and ridden by Ben Curtis, ended the season with a rating of 101 following her win in the Weatherbys Pipalong Stakes at Pontefract and a follow up in another Listed race at Ascot.

Isabel De Urbina, also trained by Ralph Beckett and ridden by Harry Bentley, won the totepool Pontefract Castle Stakes and had a solid record in Listed races and ended her season rated 99.   Similar comments also apply to Big Country, trained by Mick Appleby and ridden by Silvestre De Sousa, who won the Skybet Go Racing in Yorkshire Pomfret Stakes and ended his season with a rating of 109.

Pontefract have been hoping to upgrade their flagship Listed Race, the EBF Highfield Farm Flying Fillies Stakes to a Group 3 for some time. In a year when Mabs Cross was a standout sprinting filly, a field of fillies and mares made up of those that regularly competed in both Group and Handicap races, was assembled for the 2018 renewal but there was something of a shock when Castle Hill Cassie, trained by Ben Haslam and ridden by Graham Lee, took the honours at 20-1. Her mark has now risen to 100 following more improved performances, and she continues to look as though she can improve on her mark granted her ideal conditions. The rating was, however, not sufficient to enable the track to upgrade the race for the 2019 season but the prize money for this race will be £60,000 once again.

The Racecourse were robbed of another big Mark Johnston headline (following his 4,000th winner being at Pontefract) when he had a chance to break the record for the most winners when Lynwood Gold lined up on the 29th July. Unfortunately the horse hadn’t read the script and stayed in the stalls, giving the others a near 20 length start.

Racedays

The Racecourse introduced Music Nights at their two Friday Evening Meetings in 2015. Following Bucks Fizz, Bananarama, Belinda Carlisle and The Bootleg Beatles, the incredible Billy Ocean will be playing on 80s Night on Friday Eve 24th May. On Friday Eve 19th July, the Racecourse’s new Abba Night will welcome one of the UK’s best Abba Tribute bands to the stage. There will be the annual beer festival on the same night.

Ladies Day will be on Wednesday 7th August this year.  The winner of the Best Dressed Lady Competition will receive a week’s holiday for 2 in a Riu Resort in Jamaica.  Second prize will be a weekend at the new Riu Hotel in Madrid.

Raceday Promotions and Admission

There has been no increase to the price of either the Premier or Grandstand & Paddock Enclosures but the price of the new large Picnic Enclosures has been increased by £1. Many racegoers have already taken advantage of the extended 50% off early bird discount which ran from 1st December until mid January. There is still 25% off until the 4th March.

Racegoers will also be able to win fantastic prizes again in the Wall of Fame promotion. Anyone who visited the track in 2018 could appear on the award winning mosaic artwork which graces the Grandstand & Paddock Bar.

The two promotions which were unveiled in 2018 – The ‘It’s Champion’ and ‘Ponte Faithful’ promotions will be back again in 2019. ‘It’s Champion’ will kick in when either the 2018 Pontefract champion trainer (Richard Fahey) or jockey (Danny Tudhope) win a race during 2019. For the 30 minutes following their win, a special offer will be unlocked giving discounts, freebies and special offers! The Ponte Faithful campaign rewards those who booked in advance for racing in 2018, and re-book again for a raceday in 2018.

John Quinn will host the Pontefract Annual Badge Holders visit in 2019. A group of 50 will be taken to the yard before returning for the meeting on 1st July, hopefully armed with a few winners! With the cost of a joint Annual Badge working out at just over £8 per person per day for the whole season, the excellent Loyalty Card scheme and the FREE Yorkshire Postcode Promotion all in operation this season, there are plenty of bargains to be had.

Recycling

With a nationwide emphasis on waste disposal and recycling the Racecourse has teamed up with Wakefield MDC who have facilities to screen and sort all waste to ensure maximum recycling.  Wakefield MDC guarantee that everything that can be recycled will be and the remainder will be used in other sustainable methods.  0% of our waste will therefore go to landfill.

To support this campaign, the Racecourse have also teamed up with artist James Owen Thomas who has produced four original sets of artwork using nothing but old marketing literature, badges and tickets which are being used on all our publicity material.  The artwork will be on display through the season with details of the painstaking amount of work that James has carried out.

Food and Drinks

Racecourses across the country are frequently tackled about the cost of drinks charged by their catering companies. Pontefract are very aware of the rising cost of living and want to offer value to racegoers. In response to the rising costs of a pint, the Racecourse has once again decided to take the unusual step of subsidising the price of a pint of John Smiths and Fosters. This year they will cost £4.40.  This will be the lowest price on any Yorkshire Racecourse and probably at any sports stadium in the district.

With just over 5 weeks to the start of the racing year at Pontefract these are exciting times for the Racecourse who look forward to welcoming punters, new and old, back for the 2019 season.

Full details of all the Pontefract race meetings to be held this year can be found at their website on www.pontefract-races.co.uk.

Catterick Races will host an additional National Hunt fixture next Friday, 22 February and racegoers can enjoy free entry into all enclosures.

This fixture is one of six additional fixtures announced by the British Horse Racing Authority (BHA) scheduled to take place between 20-28 February following the loss of six days of racing due to equine influenza. The fixtures are as follows, with two Flat floodlit fixtures followed by four Jump fixtures:

Chelmsford City – Wednesday 20 February
Wolverhampton – Thursday 21 February
Catterick – Friday 22 February
Uttoxeter – Monday 25 February
Ffos Las – Tuesday 26 February
Musselburgh – Thursday 28 February

Catterick Racecourse will open its gates to the public from 11.20am on Friday 22 February, with the first race of 6 races scheduled for 1.20pm.

There will be free entry into both the Course Enclosure and Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure. Racegoers do not need to book or register in advance and are invited to simply arrive at the course on the day ready to enjoy a thrilling afternoon of Jump racing action!

Fiona Needham, General Manager and Clerk of the Course said: “We’re pleased to be able to offer this additional fixture following the loss of our last three meetings due to frost and the Equine Influenza outbreak. We’re keen to get back racing and I’m sure that our racegoers are too, so it seemed like a great opportunity to offer a complimentary race day to thank our supporters for their understanding over this last month.”

Bars and restaurants will be open as usual, except for the Course Enclosure bar which will be closed at this meeting.

As with all Catterick’s fixtures, there will be a big screen at the course on the day giving racegoers the best views of the action and the free shuttle bus will bring racegoers from Richmond Market Place to the racecourse approximately one hour prior to the first race.

York Racecourse is pleased to confirm that 2019 will see a further strengthening of its race programme; featuring both the upgrade of the Sky Bet City of York Stakes to Group 2 status, as well as the £1m Sky Bet Ebor becoming an open handicap.

These changes, approved by the European Pattern Committee and British Horseracing Authority, should further encourage the best horses – be they seven furlong specialists or the top of the staying division – to run at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.

Already a historic and successful race, the Sky Bet Ebor will celebrate a new chapter in a story that dates back to 1843 when up to 22 thoroughbreds compete for their share of a seven figure purse on Saturday 24 August. The new conditions will mean the top rated horse in the Ebor will carry 9st 10lb and all other Ebor runners’ weights will be allocated in reference to their rating in relation to the top weight.

This feature contest of the final day of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival will be the culmination of the new Race to the Ebor Series – an initiative that sees the winners of three designated staying races offered a berth in York’s new 22 bay stalls. The three nominated contests are The Sky Bet Melrose of 2018 – meaning, Ghostwatch has already earned a slot for trainer, Charlie Appleby and Team Godolphin; the second race is the Sky Bet Jorvik run on Wednesday 15 May 2019 (day one of the Dante Festival); and then the Sky Bet Grand Cup, the pattern race highlight of Saturday 15 June (Macmillan Charity Raceday.)

York Racecourse is further delighted at the recent confirmation that the Sky Bet City of York Stakes has been upgraded in status to become a Group Two contest. Also run on the Saturday of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival, the seven furlong contest has a proud roll of honour. Most recently, Expert Eye carried the famous silks of Prince Khalid Abdullah to victory ahead of further success in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Ongoing investment in this race will see the upgraded contest offer prize money of £200,000 – more than double the minimum value for a Group 2 race.

Lord Grimthorpe, Chairman of York Racecourse, as well as Racing Manager to Juddmonte Farms, and so to Expert Eye, said; “York takes a real pride in the quality of racing that it offers, so it is tremendous news that the Sky Bet City of York is to be upgraded and so become the fifth Group Two at the Ebor Festival. It was a special moment to win it with Expert Eye last season and I would be confident that the 2019 victor will need to be another good sort. The ongoing investment in prize money demonstrates our commitment to the race.”

Talking about the role of the Sky Bet Ebor for British Racing, Chief Operating Officer of the British Horseracing Authority, Richard Wayman, said, “The 2019 Ebor will be the first £1m Flat handicap to take place in Great Britain and the race is likely to become a significant target for quality stayers both nationally and internationally. All involved should be commended for taking this famous and historic race into an exciting new chapter as part of the sport’s strategy to support the production, ownership and retention of the staying horse.”

With Ebor hero, Quick Ransom, back in 1992, part of a now record breaking haul of flat winners, trainer Mark Johnston said “This prize-money is a huge boost for the Ebor and surely provides an incredible incentive, even greater than before, for owners to try and find a horse that can win them an Ebor. Making the race an open handicap is absolutely the right thing to do; no horse can now ever be too good for the Ebor”.

Leading Newmarket handler, Hugo Palmer, said, “This is wonderful news and something I have been hugely supportive of from the outset. I am sure that having a landmark open handicap for stayers in Europe will help to keep talent here in the northern hemisphere and, who knows, maybe an Aussie will try to win it one day too! We have all seen the impact that the Melbourne Cup has on Australian and world racing, and it is great that York and Sky Bet have been able to invest so significantly in this famous race.”

Catterick’s National Hunt season continues on Thursday 10 January, featuring it’s most prestigious National Hunt race, the North Yorkshire Grand National, which has once again been kindly sponsored by the Richmond based racecourse supplier firm Watt Fences.
Racegoers will enjoy a seven race card on the day which gets underway at 12.25pm, while the gates will be open to the public from 10.25am onwards. The Watt Fences North Yorkshire Grand National Handicap Steeple Chase is scheduled for 2.45pm and is Catterick’s most valuable National Hunt race with the runners competing for more than £26,000 prize money over three miles and six furlongs, making it Catterick’s longest race.
Fiona Needham, Clerk of the Course & General Manager said: “The North Yorkshire Grand National is a race we look forward to every year, it’s a real test of stamina and jumping ability and it’s always exciting to see horses go on from success in this race to take part in the Grand National at Aintree!”
The race tends to attract runners from some of the leading trainers in the United Kingdom, while a trainer well worth watching out for is the Yorkshire based Sue Smith, who has won the race for the past three years. Last year Smith won with I Just Know, ridden by Sean Quinlan, who then went on to compete in the 2018 Grand National at Aintree.
Previously, the partnership of Sue Smith and jockey Danny Cook have enjoyed back to back victories with Straidnahanna in 2017 and Lackamon in 2016.
The winning owner of the North Yorkshire Grand National will receive the Denys Smith Memorial Trophy. Denys Smith, who trained Red Alligator to win the 1968 Grand National at Aintree, was a leading dual-purpose trainer who recorded a remarkable 146 winners at Catterick.
Racegoers will be able to get a true idea of what the horses and jockeys experience during a race by visiting the parade ring, where a section of a steeple chase fence has been positioned. Sending their ‘Steeplechase Selfie’ to the racecourse could also earn them a chance to win tickets to a future meeting at Catterick Races!
A big screen will be at the course on the day to give racegoers the best views of all the action. A free shuttle bus will be running to take racegoers from Richmond Market Place to the racecourse approximately one hour prior to the first race, and will return again after the last race.

First of £3.5 million three-phase development opens at catterick racecourse

Catterick Racecourse will officially open its new Main Entrance and Saddling Boxes at the Go Racing in Yorkshire Winter Festival race day on Friday 28 December.

The £1 million investment has been designed by local, Richmond-based, architects Harris Irwin Associates [HIA] to give a sense of arrival to racegoers and offer state of the art facilities for trainers to saddle their horses ahead of the races.

Katie Craggs, Project Architect for Harris Irwin Associates adds: “HIA have been delighted to be involved with the redevelopment at Catterick Racecourse. Having worked closely with the racecourse team over the past 5 years, we have assisted in delivering their vision for improving and upgrading the facilities. The scheme provides the racecourse with a landmark building, which will benefit racegoers and the wider racing community.”

Racegoers will be welcomed to the course through the new entrance on Friday 28 December and treated to complimentary mulled wine and mince pies on arrival, while stocks last.

This is the first of a three-phase redevelopment plan. The next phase of works is due to commence immediately following the end of the National Hunt season on 6th March 2019, when the racecourse will close in order to complete a scheme that will include an enlarged Parade Ring, incorporating a new Winner’s Enclosure, refurbished and modernised Weighing Room and jockeys facilities, as well as a new horsebox park.

The final phase of the £3.5 million investment plan will be a completely new, two-storey, trackside Owners & Trainers facility that is scheduled to be finished in early 2020.

John Sanderson, Managing Director at Catterick Racecourse said: “When finally completed, these developments will provide an enhanced ‘Race Day Experience’ for owners, members of our race going public, trainers, jockeys and the other racing professionals who work at Catterick, without changing the character or atmosphere of this friendly dual-purpose racecourse.”

Catterick will re-open on Monday 17 June for the start of our 2019 Flat season, before hosting it’s first Cocktails & Casino Race Night on the evening of Monday 1 July.

2019 yorkshire racing calendar kicks off at catterick races on NEw year’s day

The first meeting of the 2019 Yorkshire racing calendar will take place at Catterick Racecourse on New Year’s Day.

The popular fixture has a six race card, with the first race taking place at 12.25pm. The gates will be open to the public from 10.25am, and as with all of Catterick’s fixtures, a free shuttle bus will run from Richmond Market Place approximately an hour before the first race to bring racegoers to the course.

The feature race of the afternoon, The catterickbridge.co.uk Handicap Steeple Chase, is scheduled for 2.45pm, while the last race will come under starters orders at 3.20pm.

Fiona Needham, General Manager and Clerk of the Course said: “Racing on New Year’s Day has become a traditional activity for many of our racegoers and we’re thrilled to continue the tradition this year. It’s a great way to start the New Year and clear your head after the night before!”

Alongside the racing action on the day, there will also be the opportunity for racegoers to win a sponsorship experience – see the racehorses up close in the Parade Ring, judge the Best Turned Out horse and celebrate with winning connections after the race! Plus, keen racegoers will be excited to learn that they could be in with a chance of winning tickets to a future race day at the course by visiting the section of steeple chase fence which has been positioned next to the Parade Ring and taking a ‘Steeplechase Selfie’!

This meeting is the first of 25 fixtures to be held at the course next year – including 10 National Hunt and 15 Flat fixtures. The fixture calendar will see a pause in proceedings following the end of the National Hunt season in March to allow for Parade Ring and Weighing Room development works to take place at the course. The racecourse will then re-open for the first Flat fixture on Monday 17 June before the new Cocktails and Casino Race Night on Monday 1 July.

Highlights of this year’s fixture list include the prestigious North Yorkshire Grand National on Thursday 10 January, Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival on Wednesday 24 July, the ever popular August Family Day’s and the return of Catterick’s richest race day, The Catterick Dash on Saturday 19 October.

Emma Binnian, Sales & Marketing Manager said: “There’s something for everyone on offer next year, from Family Days to Ladies’ Day and the new Cocktails & Casino Race Night. We’re looking forward to welcoming racegoers back to the course for another great year of racing at Catterick!”

The Yorkshire Beer Festival Race Day comes back to the course next year on Saturday 21 September, when The Pennine Brewing Co. will be at the course with a number local ales and ciders for racegoers to try alongside the racing action. In addition, Ladies Day makes a move to the afternoon of Wednesday 28 August.

The calendar will come to an end with the ever popular Christmas fixtures on Tuesday 17 and Saturday 28 December.

 

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!

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 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”

pontefract Racecourse is delighted to announce they have been named as a Finalist for the prestigious Showcase & Awards, hosted by the Racecourse Association (RCA).
The Showcase & Awards is the marquee event of British racecourses that annually celebrates first class customer experience in partnership with Moët Hennessy, Racing Breaks, Racing Post and Great British Racing.
Pontefract Racecourse has been listed as a Finalist in both the Best Campaign and #TopSpot categories. From the five Finalists the winner will be revealed at the Showcase & Awards ceremony on Thursday 8th November at Aintree Racecourse.
The Best Campaign category celebrates excellence in the sphere of marketing, increasing the appeal of racing to new audiences and improving the frequency of visits amongst customers. Entries were asked to demonstrate the clear strategy and execution used for the campaign by means of a multi-tiered approach to engage with a target audience.
The #TopSpot Award is looking for standalone initiatives, large or small, that enrich the racecourse brand and/or raceday experience for customers. They should be ‘shareable’ ideas to enable other racecourses to use the best practice. To enter racecourses had to tweet an image to @RCAShowcase using #TopSpot and a brief description.
Richard Hammill, Chief Operating Officer at Pontefract Racecourse, said: “We’re thrilled to be shortlisted for these two awards. The Showcase Event is a huge date in the Racecourse’s diary and it’s a great honour for Pontefract to be listed alongside some of the biggest and best Racecourses in the country and to have our marketing programme recognised. We’ve been fortunate enough to win awards at the event in the past and we will continue to focus our efforts on improving Pontefract for all its customers.”
Caroline Davies, RCA Racecourse Services Director, said, “I am thrilled for Pontefract Racecourse for their success in being named a Finalist at the 2018 Showcase & Awards.
“It is one of the most exciting times of year to see the Showcase submissions go before the judges to demonstrate the care and attention given to enhancing the raceday experience
“I extend my congratulations to the team for their hard work in securing this achievement as one of our Finalists and wish them the best of luck ahead of the Awards ceremony at Aintree Racecourse on Thursday 8th November.”

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.

 

A busy Flat season is coming to a climax at Catterick Races with the richest race day of the season, The William Hill Catterick Dash on Saturday 20 October, where there’ll be over £90,000 pizemoney on offer throughout the afternoon.

The first of seven races is scheduled to take place at 1:50pm with gates opening to the public two hours prior at 11:50am. The feature race of the afternoon – and Catterick’s richest race of the season – The William Hill Catterick Dash Handicap will take place at 3:30pm. The minimum distance five furlong sprint should attract plenty of good sprinters and has a total of £35,000 prize money up for grabs.

Fiona Needham, General Manager and Clerk of the Course said: “The Catterick Dash meeting is our feature race day, with top quality racing action on show. Last year’s Catterick Dash winner, Storm Over, is entered again this year and so we’re excited to see if he can reclaim the title or if we’ll have a new name to add to the roll of honour!”

The final race on the card, scheduled for 5:10pm is the penultimate round of the Go Racing in Yorkshire Future Stars Apprentice Series – now in it’s seventh year. The series final will take place at Doncaster Racecourse three weeks later. It looks set to be an exciting end to this year’s series with just 17 points between the top three riders. Fifth place in the most recent round at York Races took the leader, Keiran Schofield, to total of 53 points, making him the one to beat coming into the final two rounds.

Alongside all the action on the track, the course will also be showing live coverage from Champions Day at Ascot on the big screen and TV’s around the course.

The William Hill Catterick Dash meeting is the penultimate fixture on the 2018 Flat season calendar for Catterick, with final meeting taking place on Tuesday 30 October.

At The Flat Finale, on 30 October, presentations will be made to the course’s Champion Trainer, Owner and Jockey for the season. The Trainer and Owner Series has been kindly sponsored by The Fleece Hotel in Richmond, and each will win dinner, bed and breakfast for two people. Tim Easterby is leading the trainer series currently, with Richard Fahey close behind, while Weldspec Glasgow Ltd. presently hold the top spot in the Owners series.

The Champion Jockey series has been generously sponsored by Millbry Hill Country Store this season, and alongside the £20 vouchers which they have given to each winning jockey, the store has teamed up with Fairfax & Favor to present the Champion Jockey with an item of their choice from the Fairfax & Favor range at Millbry Hill. Paul Hanagan leads the jockeys championship currently but with just 7 points separating the top three jockeys it’s all still to play for!

Under 18’s are admitted free of charge, when accompanied by an adult, to all of Catterick Racecourse’s fixtures and on race days, a free shuttle bus will leave from Richmond Market Place approximately an hour before the first race to bring racegoers to the course.

 The third of the All About the Racing Racedays is held at Pontefract Racecourse on Monday 8th October. With just shy of a month left in the 2018 flat calendar, trainers are looking to finish their horses’ campaigns off in good style. Expect plenty of competitive and thrilling racing and some great perks!

On Monday 8th October, there are 7 exciting races on the card which get underway at 2.05pm.  The track holds a 1m2f two-year-old race which is one of the longest two-year-old races run in the UK. With a stiff finish, Ponte is one of the more testing courses in Britain and a tough gritty horse is needed. The first two home in last year’s event, Austrian School and Making Miracles have both proved themselves to be strong, talented stayers for the countries winningmost trainer, Mark Johnston. Both now have ratings of 100 or more and have competed in some of the best staying handicap races in 2018. Who will add their name to the role of honour this year?

The feature race on the card is the £15,000 Leslie Burton (Fisher) Handicap which was won last year by Richard Hannon’s The Grape Escape who was campaigned in some of the best handicaps in Dubai over the winter. There’s also the penultimate round of the 2018 Pontefract Stayers Championship in which Micky Hammond’s Becky The Thatcher looks to have an unassailable advantage. This round of the Stayers Championship produced one of the finishes of the year in 2017 when the enigmatic Madam Lilibet put her best foot forward to win her final race before being retired to stud.

We also caught glimpse of a future Grade 2 placed juvenile hurdler when Cornerstone Lad took the 1m4f handicap. There may be a few future hurdlers lurking amongst the entries again this season.

On the remaining two racedays, there’ll be a soapbox for punters to have their say on what they think has a great winning chance as well as a guest racecard tipster to point you in the direction of a few winners! We’ll also have a guest pundit on the day to guide you through the runners in the Parade Ring and offer valuable guidance and knowledge about the days’ equine action.

Early Bird discounted advanced tickets are available on the courses website at www.pontefract-races.co.uk , and, as part of the All About The Racing theme, if 4 or more tickets are booked for this race meeting, you can pick up a FREE Timeform from the Racecourse Office to help to study the form.

For more information about the day, visit the course website at www.pontefract-races.co.uk

Beverley Racecourse is celebrating a memorable 2018 season, on and off the track.

The Westwood course enjoyed bumper attendances throughout the season as the Beverley Races team introduced a series of initiatives designed to provide an excellent raceday experience and improve inclusivity and accessibility for all.

The season also saw the announcement of plans for a new £4.8m grandstand featuring top-quality facilities for racegoers. The investment, the biggest in the history of the course, comes as Beverley continues to develop a reputation for being one of Britain’s most innovative and forward-thinking racecourses.

Average raceday attendances rose by almost six per cent year-on-year over the course of the season, despite a washout on opening day, as a total of 80,000 people flocked to the stunning venue. That meant the racecourse equalled last year’s total attendance, despite one fewer raceday.

Following a similar six per cent rise in attendances in 2017, Beverley is continuing to buck a national trend of decline in racecourse visitor numbers.

Among the highlights of the season was another hugely successful Flemingate Ladies Day in August, which attracted 12,000 people, up by 1,000 on 2017. This year, the glamorous event included an appearance by Love Island star Chris Hughes, who judged the ever-popular most stylish man and woman competitions.

Other memorable moments included a visit by Beverley-born A-list actress and Poldark star Eleanor Tomlinson, who started the much-loved Donkey Derby during A Very British Raceday in June.

Meanwhile, the course witnessed an exhilarating first, in the shape of “horse-boarding”, which involves a horse rider tow a board rider at high speeds. September’s Beverley Bullet meeting saw the racecourse set a world speed record for the extreme sport.

Beverley Racecourse Chief Executive Sally Iggulden said: “It has been a memorable year at the racecourse and we’re absolutely delighted with another rise in average raceday attendances.

“This season we knew we would be competing with the football World Cup, so we decided to make the most of it, and our raceday on July 7, which coincided with England playing Sweden in the quarter final, turned out to be one of our busiest and best meetings. We showed the game on a big screen and there was a fantastic atmosphere.

“The feedback from other courses in Yorkshire is that attendances are generally down year on year, so we’re thrilled to be bucking the trend. I believe that’s due to our focus on the quality of the raceday experience and innovative thinking that is making this course more accessible, inclusive and popular than ever before.

“I must pay also tribute to the amazing efforts and incredible skill of our ground staff who, against the odds, were able to produce excellent and safe course conditions for horses and jockeys throughout the season, despite a very wet winter and an exceptionally dry summer.”

Innovative events during the season included the staging of Britain’s first deaf-friendly raceday, designed in partnership with the British Deaf Association.

The pioneering event included British Sign Language (BSL) interpretations of the build-up to races, displayed on a big screen, and extra training for staff to ensure that people with hearing impairments were able to enjoy fully a thrilling day at the races. It is hoped the initiative, which will be developed further throughout 2019, will be followed by other racecourses around the UK.

In July, the racecourse joined forces with Contact the Elderly, a charity dedicated to combating loneliness among older people, to stage a raceday tea party, when 80 local elderly people and volunteers enjoyed an afternoon of tea, cake and conversation, to a backdrop of top-quality horse racing and family entertainment.

And on May Day Bank Holiday, residents from three Beverley care homes were invited to the first Bygone Beverley event, when the course stepped back in time to recreate a raceday in 1960.

Meanwhile, Beverley continues to be a byword for excellence in raceday experience.

Throughout the season, celebrity chef Colin McGurran brought a cordon bleu dining experience to racegoers with a new “Signature” menu in The Attraction restaurant, thanks to a partnership involving his Winteringham Fields restaurant and the racecourse’s exclusive catering partner, CGC Event Caterers.

It’s a relationship the course will continue to promote in 2019, as it looks towards a bright future and its new grandstand, which will provide an enhanced customer experience and additional hospitality opportunities for racegoers.

Subject to planning permission, work on the new development is due to begin in September 2019, at the conclusion of next season’s racing, and will include demolition of the existing 1960s main stand.

Marketing Manager Kate McKee said she was proud of the innovative approach the course had taken to engage with members of the community who might not otherwise enjoy racing at Beverley.

She said: “It was a very rewarding experience to see our efforts to improve inclusivity and accessibility pay off by staging events such as Britain’s first deaf-friendly raceday and our tea party for isolated elderly people.

“We have been helped along the way by some wonderful community partners, such as the British Deaf Association and Contact the Elderly, and we look forward to harnessing their expertise again in 2019 as we continue to build on these successes.

“We’re excited to be pioneering such inclusivity initiatives for the racing industry and championing the cause of making racing accessible to all.”

Our Little Pony attempts to win the biggest prize of her career when she lines up in the £20,000 Eddie And Violet Smith Conditions Stakes at Beverley’s final meeting of the season on Tuesday.

The locally-owned filly is a regular on the Westwood, having won at the track three times from eight starts.

Two of those victories were achieved this summer, but she also showed her versatility with a convincing success at Thirsk on September 8.

Our Little Pony has gone up 5lb in the weights ahead of the five-furlong Eddie And Violet Smith Conditions Stakes (3.55), but trainer Lawrence Mullaney believes she will rise to the challenge for her Beverley owner Richard Swift.

The North Yorkshire-based handler said: “She’s been a great little filly for us.

“She’s improved with every run and hopefully she’s not done yet.

“For her to win at Thirsk last time, when we were worried about the ground, was an absolute delight.

“Richard lives within walking distance of the track and walks his dog on the Westwood every single day – he loves the place.

“For him to have winners at Beverley means so much to him.”

Mullaney is, however, realistic about the chances of Our Little Pony shaking up the big-hitters.

He said: “This is a very stiff assignment but we know she’ll try her best.

“She’s only small, so she’s better off running with a low weight in a race like this.

“There aren’t many options for horses like her at this time of the year, but it’s Richard’s track and I’m sure she’ll run well for him.

“It’s a shot to nothing, but we’ll roll the dice and see what we can do.

“Whatever happens, she owes us nothing.”

The Eddie And Violet Smith Conditions Stakes is always an informative encounter, and was last year won by none other than subsequent Nunthorpe hero Alpha Delphini.

Our Little Pony faces six rivals in this year’s renewal of the five-furlong dash, with Orvar set to carry top weight.

Perfect Pasture is the highest-rated horse in the field as he makes a brisk turnaround following a creditable effort in the Ayr Gold Cup on Saturday.

Last-time-out scorer Merhoob makes the journey from Newmarket, with Tricksy Spirit also involved for the Mick Channon operation.

Savalas and Copper Knight complete the septet for the Beverley showpiece.

Earlier on the eight-race card, Mullaney saddles the appropriately named Beverley Bullet in the seven-and-a-half-furlong Colin McGurran @ Beverley Racecourse Handicap (3.20).

The five-year-old son of Makfi won nicely at Carlisle in August but had no luck at Pontefract last Thursday.

Mullaney said: “He had a very bad draw at Ponte, so that one can be forgotten and he didn’t have a hard race.

“He likes soft ground and if we get rain between now and Tuesday, that wouldn’t worry me one bit.

“He’ll be trying his best, and he certainly wouldn’t be out of it.”

Beverley’s final meeting of the season begins at 2.10pm, with the going currently soft, good to soft in places.

Winston C is ready for business ahead of his belated return in the Eppleworth Handicap at Beverley on Wednesday.

The four-year-old son of Rip Van Winkle was a solid performer for Newmarket trainer Michael Bell and was not beaten far in races like last year’s Melrose Handicap at York.

But Winston C has since been transferred to renowned jumps trainer Harry Fry and now competes in Charles Wentworth’s silks.

The two-time winner also underwent a gelding operation last October as he gears up for a first start for 341 days.

Dorset-based Fry, who will be saddling a first runner at Beverley, said: “He’s been with us a few months and he’s got some nice form in the book.

“He’s had a break, and now he’s ready to run. He’s done plenty of work at home and we’re very happy with him, but, like all of them, he’ll be better for the outing.

“We’re very relaxed about his future, and the plan is to take it one race at a time with him.

“The Beverley race looks the right race for him, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do.”

Winston C will carry top weight in the mile-and-a-half Eppleworth Handicap (3.25), in which he faces nine rivals.

Be Perfect, Sunglider, Vision Clear and Weather Front are all course-and-distance winners, with the latter on a hat-trick for in-form trainer Karen McLintock.

Northumberland-based McLintock said: “He’s been absolute star for us.

“He had a few issues – ulcers and things like that – but they’ve all been ironed out now and he’s well and truly turned the corner.

“He’s a much brighter, happier horse these days. That’s made all the difference on the track as he’s enjoying putting his best foot forward again.

“The handicapper is going to get him eventually, but Jamie (Gormley) gets on with him really well and we know he likes the track.

“He’s been so consistent all year, and he deserves to win another one.

“You’d like to think he’s still progressing and it would be lovely if he could bring up the hat-trick.”

Beverley’s penultimate meeting of the season is an eight-race programme which begins at 1.50pm. The going is good, with a high of 19C forecast for raceday.

The second of the All About the Racing Racedays is held at Pontefract Racecourse on Thursday 27th September. With just shy of 2 months left in the 2018 flat calendar, trainers are looking to finish their horses campaigns off in good style. Expect plenty of competitive and thrilling racing and some great perks!

On Thursday 27th September, there are 7 exciting races on the card which gets underway at 2.05pm. The highlight on the day is the Simon Scrope Dalby Screw-driver Handicap. Back in the 19th century, Screw Driver grabbed the hearts of the Ponte public and got their pulses racing. He won 2 Cup races which consisted of four heats over 2 miles on the same day with the winner being the horse with the best aggregate score over the 8 miles! He is also the earliest Pontefract course specialist on record! Dance King took the honours in 2017 – his third victory at the track for Tim Easterby and David Allan.

There’s a strong supporting card which includes the Frier Wood Novice Auction, which was won in scintillating fashion by Karl Burke’s Unwritten. He destroyed a field of horses who have all made a decent impact during the 2018 season – Austrian School, The Knot is Tied and Hyanna have won 8 races between them so far this year.

For each of the remaining three race meetings the Racecourse is on the lookout for those who think they know a bit about racing, to write a guest racecard analysis which will be published in the racecard on the day. If you’d like to be considered as a guest analyst for any of the last 3 race meetings (27th September or 8th and 22nd October) please contact the racecourse on 01977 781307 or email info@pontefract-races.co.uk.

On each of these racedays, there’ll be a soapbox for any punters to have their say on what they think has a great winning chance! For those who are new to racing, it’s a great way to latch on to a few winners! We’ll also have a guest pundit on the day to guide you through the runners in the Parade Ring and offer valuable guidance and knowledge about the days’ equine action.

Full information on the day, along with early bird discounted advanced tickets are available via the courses website at www.pontefract-races.co.uk , and, as part of the All About The Racing theme, if 4 or more tickets are booked for this race meeting, the track will give you a FREE Racing Post to help to study the form.

Catterick’s Flat season continues on Saturday 22 September with a new theme, The Harvest Festival Race Day.
The action packed seven-race card will kick off at 1.50pm with the British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes and the last race is scheduled for 5.20pm.
The highlight of the afternoon comes at 4:10pm when the course will host the 2018 Catterick Twelve Furlong Series Final – sponsored by The BAPP Group. Now in its sixth year, the series final offers £25,000 in prize money and is open to those who have run in one of the qualifying races since the season started in April.
Fiona Needham, General Manager said: “The Catterick Twelve Furlong Series always provides some great racing action throughout the season and this year has been no exception – we’re looking forward to the final when our 2018 Catterick Twelve Furlong Champion will be crowned!”
In keeping with the Harvest Festival theme, there will also be traditional ‘village fete’ style entertainment including a Coconut Shy, Tin Can Alley and Hook a Duck in the Course Enclosure, and there will be live music throughout the afternoon from trombone soloist Kenneth Stamp.
In addition, the racecourse will be collecting food donations throughout the day for the local food bank, StoreHouse in Richmond. The collection will be held at the main entrance and a full list of donation items can be found on the StoreHouse website.
As with all of Catterick Racecourse’s fixtures, accompanied under 18’s will be admitted free of charge and in addition to the other entertainment on offer at this meeting, there will be bouncy castles and a roundabout in the Course Enclosure to keep any younger racing fans amused.
A big screen will also be at the course on the day to enable racegoers to see even more of the action from the track, as well as showing the big race action from Ayr Races – featuring the Ayr Gold Cup.
Emma Binnian, Sales & Marketing Manager said: “We’re excited to have a new themed race day this year – there’s something for everyone at this meeting, with village festival fun taking place alongside the action on the track, and we’re pleased to be able to support the local community by collecting donations for the StoreHouse foodbank.”
The gates will be open to the public from 11.50am. While the free shuttle bus will bring racegoers from Richmond Market Place to the racecourse approximately one hour prior to the first race.
Tickets for the day start at just £5 and will be available to purchase at the gates on the day, as well as in advance via the racecourse office or online at www.catterickbridge.co.uk

As Summer draws to an end and Autumn sets in, Pontefract Racecourse holds it’s final 4 race meetings of the year and they’re All About The Racing. With two race meetings in September and two in October, there’s still plenty of action on the track. The first of these racedays is on Thursday 20th September.
For each of the last four race meetings the Racecourse is on the lookout for those who think they know a bit about racing, to write a guest racecard analysis which will be published in the racecard on the day. If you’d like to be considered as a guest analyst for any of the last 4 race meetings (20th and 27th September or 8th and 22nd October) please contact the racecourse on 01977 781307 or email info@pontefract-races.co.uk.
On each of these racedays, there’ll be a soapbox for any punters to have their say on what they think has a great winning chance! For those who are new to racing, it’s a great way to latch on to a few winners! We’ll also have a guest pundit on the day to guide you through the runners in the Parade Ring and offer valuable guidance and knowledge about the days’ equine action.
On Thursday 20th September, there are 7 exciting races on the card with the highlight being the £30,000 EBF Fillies’ Handicap over 6 furlongs. Last year’s winner was Marie Of Lyon who took the prize for the all conquering Richard Fahey team. He had a strong team assembled for the race last year and is likely to be well represented again in 2018. Marie Of Lyon went on to be narrowly beaten when finishing 2nd in the Darley EBF Stallions Boadicea Listed Stakes at Newmarket the following month. The race forms part of the EBF Fillies’ Series which sees a number of valuable races for Fillies across the whole season. The series culminates in finals day at Newmarket on Saturday 6th October.
The popular Pontefract Stayers Championship returns to the track. The Micky Hammond trained Becky The Thatcher is currently leading the series and looks likely to be back to try and consolidate her advantage. There will be plenty of challengers lining up to take her on though! She has a great record at the track and owners, McGoldrick Racing, are keen to win the Championship.
Early Bird discounted advanced tickets are available on the courses website at www.pontefract-races.co.uk , and, as part of the All About The Racing theme, if 4 or more tickets are booked for this race meeting, the track will give you a FREE Racing Post to help to study the form. Looking ahead, if you’re planning on coming for the final race meeting of the season on the 22nd October, make sure you book soon as tickets are half price up to one month before the day.
Before then, racing gets underway at 2.10pm on Thursday 20th September and the gates open at midday. For more information about the day see www.pontefract-races.co.uk

The countdown to the biggest charity raceday in the country begins again today, when entries open to become one of the twelve riders in the Best Western Hotels & Macmillan Ride of their Lives on Saturday 15 June 2019.

It offers a chance for twelve amateurs to enjoy the “ride of their lives” as they participate in a nine furlong race around the famous Knavesmire. Each will pledge at least £3,000 to the charity, though this year’s participants contributed more than £110,000 to a cumulative total that has now exceeded £8,000,000.

The race has become a popular part of a day that heads towards its forty-ninth renewal and is the biggest single fund raising event in the Macmillan calendar.

Riders from the class of ’18 can take a real pride in having contributed to a record amount raised on the day, after the seventh running of the race. The honour of raising the most as an individual fell to Izzy Budge, who posted a little over £14,000.

The most important aspect of the race itself was that all the partnerships returned safely to the stables. The 2018 Raceday saw history made as the Best Western Hotels & Macmillan Ride of their Lives had two winners, after the judge called a dead heat, between X Rated and Apterix. This meant that two riders, Sarah Fanning and Chris Brownless, were both winners of the race.
As part of the Newby and Press Family Raceday on Sunday 9 September, they will be presented with a memento of their big day in June; as the track has created a special photo book that charts their training as well as the nine furlong jaunt around the Knavesmire.

Given the nature of riding a thoroughbred in front of a large crowd, the 2019 contestants are likely to already have riding experience but rest assured that anyone interested will be given intensive tuition so they have the chance to reach the required safety standard to make the start line. As this is a significant commitment it explains the early start for the search for competitors.

Once the field has been announced in December this year you will be able to help them fund raise in lots of ways, by visiting their donation pages on Just Giving or by attending the raceday on Saturday 15 June 2019.
ENDS
For Tickets and more information PLEASE CALL 01904 620911 x225 Or visit www.yorkracecourse.co.uk

AN EXCITING season for Thirsk reaches its climax on Saturday (September 8) with three of Yorkshire’s finest in an exciting tussle to be top trainer at the track this season.

It promises to be a thrilling sub-plot to the final day of Thirsk’s season as Richard Fahey, David O’Meara and Tim Easterby go head-to-head in a shoot-out to claim top honours for the year.

Fahey leads the way with eight winners this season and launches a five-horse raid on the last day card, although two of them, Grise Lightning and Queen Penn will be chasing the same pot in the feature race of the day, the Moody Construction Fillies Handicap.

Of the pair, the consistent Queen Penn seems to have the best chance even though she has yet to win this season. However, she gets a lot of weight here and ran an eye-catching race when third to Bedouin’s Story over course and distance less than three weeks ago.

“I am hoping for the best with all my runners, but as far as winning the title is concerned, I think I could be in trouble” joked Fahey with typical understatement, even though four of his eight winners came in the opening three meetings of Thirsk’s season.

Fahey, who has been far and away the most successful trainer at Thirsk in recent seasons, also runs Irreverent in the Jenny Roberts Millinery-EBF Novice Stakes, Firewater in the Barkers Of Northallerton Nursery Handicap and Accessor in the British Stallion Studs EBF Handicap.

O’Meara, who sits one behind Fahey on seven winners for the season, will have Mutadaffeq leading his small team when the five-year-old goes in the Calverts Carpets Hambleton Cup Handicap.

The five-year-old is at the top of the handicap, but is far from out of It on form and he usually runs well at Thirsk. He won his only start on the course in 2017 and though he has not won from two previous outings this year his second to Bayshore Freeway under 10st 2lbs in June was a high quality effort.

Whether Tim Easterby can come through and pip them both from his starting point of six winners is a moot point, but the Great Habton trainer fields a strong team of nine horses spread over five races with trainer’s wife Sarah quipping: “We are really going for it!”

Leading the charge is dual winner Angels in the Moody Construction Fillies Handicap, which will be the mount of David Allan, who is also on board Regal Mirage, one of two runners for the yard in the Calverts Carpets Hambleton Cup on the back of a recent battling performance when winning at Beverley.

Gates open at 11am ahead of the first race at 2pm.

Haute Couture meets high class action on one of the best days of the year at Thirsk as the North Yorkshire course brings down the curtain on its 2018 season with the ever-popular Ladies Day this Saturday (September 8).

Flying fillies on the track and fashionable fillies off it will be the order of a day packed with thrills, excitement, fun and laughter.

And while the lovely ladies will naturally take centre stage with the Best Dressed Lady not only carrying off the star prize, but also securing a place in the Go Racing In Yorkshire Best Dressed Lady final at Doncaster in October and the chance to win another super prize, the men are not forgotten.

There is a prize for the Best Dressed Gentleman and another prize in the Best Hat competition for which both Ladies and Gentlemen are eligible!

The competitions are open to all racegoers aged 18 and over and to take part all you need to do is get your glad rags on and look good!

To make it a little more special the Ladies Day Lawn Marquee is the place to be for fine food, a glass or two of bubbles,  trackside viewing and live music.  It’s the perfect spot to turn a great day into a truly special one, but hurry as spaces are limited and it is filling up fast.

On the track there will be a superb seven-race card starting at 2pm, but with the gates opening from 11am the fun starts early.

Tickets and packages are available online at www.thirskracecourse.net up to 8am on Friday, September 7 though tickets will be available on the day.

Take Cover ensured his place in Beverley folklore by winning back-to-back renewals of the £60,000 William Hill Beverley Bullet.

The mighty 11-year-old, trained in South Yorkshire by David Griffiths, bounced out of stall nine under David Allan and never saw another rival.

Take Cover won the Beverley Bullet in similar circumstances 12 months ago and once again showed trademark pace and power to repel the persistent challenge of Mythmaker by a length and a quarter. Elnadim Star finished an honourable third, beaten another half a length.

Take Cover (3-1 joint-favourite) is owned and bred by Andrew Hollis, of Norcroft Park Stud, and expressed delight at the outcome.

Hollis said: “He’s one in a million.

“The Nunthorpe at York last week (in which he finished sixth) didn’t take much out of him so that was incredible.

“He didn’t start running until he’s four, which is why he’s been able to keep going for so long.

“We call him Take Cover because when he was younger we all had to take cover from him because he was very quirky.

“I’m always nervous to watch him as he means so much to us. He’ll be so difficult to replace.”

Hollis confirmed that Take Cover is likely to have raced at Beverley for the final time as he is set to be retired at the end of the season.

He said: “We’ll probably go to Newbury now for the race he won last year (Dubai International Airport World Trophy) and then we’ll probably retire him.

“I couldn’t bring him back at 12. He doesn’t deserve that as he’s done amazing for us.”

Take Cover is the second dual scorer of the William Hill Beverley Bullet, with Chookie Heaton having won the much-coveted Listed sprint in 2004-05.

 

Bawtry-based Griffiths said: “To keep going like he does, he’s absolutely unbelievable.

“I’m just so proud of him. To come back for a second time and do it is great.

“He’s taken us to another level. He’s a once-in-a-lifetime horse and has the heart of a lion.”

Allan added: “He’s just an absolute legend and has reflexes like a cat.”

Porth Swtan (9-1) later looked a horse set to take higher order after he won the £50,000 Beverley Silver Cup.

Talented William Cox gave Charlie Hills’ five-year-old a peach of a ride to take the big prize by a head from Glasses Up.

Cox, who was securing a 45th career victory, said: “That’s my biggest winner so far so I’m delighted.

“When I got to the line I knew he had won. He’s a very tough horse and battles well.”

North Yorkshire trainer Paul Midgley will saddle three runners in his quest to win the William Hill Beverley Bullet for the first time.

Midgley will once again rely upon Line Of Reason, who finished runner-up in the Listed sprint in 2015 and will be competing in the Bullet on Saturday for a fifth time.

The Westow handler is also responsible for last year’s runner-up Final Venture andTanasoq, who won four races on the bounce earlier in the season.

Line Of Reason will be ridden by Joe Fanning, with Final Venture partnered by Luke Morris and James Sullivan called up for Tanasoq.

Midgley said: “All three of them are in very good form.

“Line Of Reason has run so many good races at Beverley, but he has, annoyingly, only won once at track. To be fair, he’s bumped into a few good ones over the years and, occasionally, the ground has gone against him. He loves it at Beverley and is as hard as nails.

“FInal Venture ran great at York last week when a neck second to El Astronaute, who has been terrific all year. It was annoying to get beat, but he’s come out of it really well and goes to Beverley with a big old shout. On the ratings, he’s not a million miles away.

“Tanasoq has been brilliant for us this year. It’s there in black and white what he’s done. He’s got a big engine and is a very fresh horse.

“It’s disappointing not to have won the Bullet before but hopefully our luck can change.”

Eleven horses have been declared for the William Hill Beverley Bullet, which this year is worth £60,000.

The sponsors have installed last year’s brilliant winner Take Cover as the 11-4  favourite, with Final Venture next in the market at odds of 3-1.

Others prominent in the betting include Mr Lupton (5-1), Elnadim Star (13-2) and Mythmaker (10-1).

The final field for the William Hill Beverley Bullet is completed by popular veteran Mirza, Foolaad ,Tricksy Spirit and Short Call.

AVAST and belay me hearties there are pirates on the loose at Thirsk this Friday (August 31) when Cap’n Jack Sparrow and his scurvy crew return to the North Yorkshire course for another laughter-packed piratical Family Fun Day.

He’ll be looking to recruit some younger members to his crew from the landlubbers on course and there should be no need for press-ganging as there are bound to be plenty of volunteers.

There will even be a replica of the Captain’s ship The Black Pearl in the shape of a huge inflatable pirate ship assault course for the really adventurous.

However most would-be pirates may be happy to settle for the face painting, coconut shy and great treasure hunt which, if successful, could lead to a vast hoard of pirate treasure!

And if all that is not enough, the Big Floss Off competition will take place in the parade ring at 3pm with a super prize of a family ticket for two adults and two children to Flamingo Land Resort for the winner.

This will be chosen by special guests Minster FM, who are on course pumping out the music to get you going with those flossing skills.

Non-pirates are well catered for too, with a terrific afternoon’s racing featuring a seven-race card prefaced by Britain’s first ever role reversal charity race at 1.30pm.

For the ‘Creditas ‘Taking Care Of Business’ Stable Staff Stakes, the jockeys will have the job of leading up the horses and it will be the stable staff who will be riding them in the race!

Feature race is the six-furlong Theakston Pale Ale Handicap which has attracted a strong entry including the Roger Varian trained Equitation, who looked a certain winner in waiting when second to Lady Freyja at Newmarket two weeks ago.

Richard Fahey, who is once again leading the field for winners at Thirsk this season, has a strong entry on the day including last month’s Musselburgh winner Gabrial The Tiger, who would be a danger to all if taking his chance in the @Thirskraces Ladies’ Day Saturday 8th September Book Now Handicap.

The whole day promises to be one of the highlights of the summer at Thirsk with the gates opening at 11.30am.

Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £23 on the day, Paddock Enclosure costs £15 and Family Enclosure starts from £6.  Discounts are available if booked in advance along with great reductions for the special packages and for group bookings whilst, as always, adult accompanied children under 18 get in free.

Course maestro Judicial could try to claim one of the biggest victories of his career in the £60,000 William Hill Beverley Bullet on Saturday.

The six-year-old sprinter is unbeaten in two starts at the popular East Yorkshire circuit and, significantly, holds the five-furlong course record at the track.

Malton trainer Julie Camacho gave Judicial the chance to shine in the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes at York last Friday, but he failed to fire and finished 13th behind Alpha Delphini, who won the Beverley Bullet in 2016.

But the gelded son of Iffraaj is reported in fine fettle following those exertions, and is now likely to make a swift turnaround in the much-coveted Listed race at Beverley.

Dan Downie, racing manager for owners Elite Racing, said: “We’ll see how he is for the rest of the week, but we are likely to look very closely at the Beverley Bullet.

“He didn’t have much of a race on Friday. He was quiet, for whatever reason, and Luke (Morris, jockey) said on the way down that he didn’t pull his arms out, like he tends to do.

“It was disappointing, but that wasn’t his running. He also missed the break at York, and that didn’t help, either.

“He seemed fine afterwards, though, and the Bullet looks a very good race for him.

“The ground is going to go at some point so we haven’t got many bullets left to fire, pardon the pun, and we are seriously looking at sending him to Beverley.

“He’s two from two at the track, the prize-money is very good, and he also holds the Beverley course record over five furlongs.”

Judicial is one of 21 possible runners in the William Hill Beverley Bullet, with last year’s hero, the David Griffiths-trained Take Cover, also in contention for the big race.

Elnadim Star (Kevin Ryan), Kimberella (Richard Fahey) and El Astronaute (John Quinn) have also been confirmed on a strong list of star speedsters.

Beverley chief executive Sally Iggulden said: “The William Hill Beverley Bullet has once again captured the imagination, and we are thrilled with the cast of possible runners on Saturday.

“We were also delighted to see the locally-owned Alpha Delphini, the 2016 Bullet winner, claim Group One glory in the Nunthorpe at York on Friday.

“We’ve made no secret that we are continually striving for the Beverley Bullet to become a Group race and hopes are high that it will be another sprint to savour.”

thirsk Racecourse will be the stage for a big ‘Floss Off’ Competition at its upcoming ‘Pirates’ Family Race Day on Friday 31st August, in conjunction with local radio station Minster FM and popular North Yorkshire theme park Flamingo Land Resort.

The Floss (or Flossing) is a dance move and the name comes from the moves themselves, which involve a lot of fast arm and hip swings, as though using a huge, invisible piece of dental floss. The dance went ‘viral’ after Russell Horning did it during a Saturday Night Live performance of Katy Perry‘s music ‘Swish Swish’ and has since become a trend among children and teens.

Minster FM will be bringing the tunes to get the Competition off to an energetic start and they will also be crowning the winner, who will win a Flamingo Land Family Pass for 2 adults and 2 children, courtesy of Flamingo Land Resort.

Thirsk General Manager James Sanderson said, “That dance is much harder to perform than it appears but I am sure lots of our younger racegoers will give it a go, especially with the chance to win a fantastic family trip to Flamingo Land. I know Thirsk’s mascot, Lilly the Filly, is a great Flosser and is practising hard. I shall not be entering! ”

The competition will take place at the Parade Ring at 3.20pm, with Minster FM’s mascot, Minster Monster going head-to-head with Lilly the Filly.

The fixture is also Thirsk’s popular ‘Pirates Family Day’ and there will be Pirate inflatables, a Treasure Hunt, Captain Jack Sparrow and prizes for the best pirate outfits.

Racing gets underway with a charity race at 1.30pm, followed by the first race at 2pm.  Gates open from 11.30am.

Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £23 on the day, Paddock Enclosure costs £15 and Family Enclosure starts from £6.  Discounts are available if booked in advance along with great reductions for the special packages and for group bookings whilst, as always, adult accompanied children under 18 get in free. For more information go to www.thirskracecourse.net

Beverley Racecourse has revealed plans for a new grandstand – the largest single investment in the history of the venue.

The racecourse has submitted an application to East Riding of Yorkshire Council for full planning permission for the £4.8m development which will provide an enhanced customer experience and additional hospitality opportunities for racegoers.

The new grandstand will provide improved viewing for spectators, both inside and outside the building; expanded and enhanced catering and hospitality facilities; and fit-for-purpose kitchens, toilets and other amenities.

The grandstand would replace the existing 1960s main stand which has rudimentary facilities and no disabled access beyond the ground floor.

Terracing in the new, fully-accessible grandstand will have tiered viewing areas offering a more casual and social experience for racegoers and bar and dining areas will be glazed so customers can enjoy excellent views onto the course and also back across Beverley’s picturesque Westwood.

The ground floor will feature a new entrance, a large open bar and new gaming area while the first floor will feature a high-quality bistro, for casual dining overlooking the course.

The top floor will provide an extension for the racecourse’s exclusive Premier Enclosure, with semi al fresco dining on a balcony offering unrivalled views of the scenic course.

On non-racedays the grandstand will offer excellent facilities for meetings, conferences, exhibitions, dinners and other events.

Sally Iggulden, Chief Executive at Beverley Racecourse, said: “These plans will provide the racecourse with the modern, fit-for-purpose facilities we need to meet the expectations of racegoers today and into the future, as well as having a competitive offer for other events.

“The new grandstand will be built on the same footprint as the existing stand and be the same height as the current structure, to ensure there is no additional impact on our beautiful setting.

“We’re very sensitive to our location. The existing stand is a bit of an eyesore – it’s a typically 1960s structure that doesn’t blend in particularly well with the surroundings. We’ve been very careful in the design of the new stand to ensure it will complement the Westwood.”

The grandstand project will be managed to ensure there is minimal disruption to racing and racegoers.

If planning permission is granted, demolition of the existing grandstand would begin in September 2019, following the end of next year’s racing season. Foundations and the concrete base for the new grandstand would be put in place during the off season and a new temporary “village” with viewing areas, bars and toilets put in place for the 2020 season.

Construction of the new grandstand would then begin in September 2020, with completion scheduled for April 2021 in time for the start of the next racing season.

Ms Iggulden added: “We’ve remodelled the existing grandstand over the years, but it simply can’t provide what we want and need.

“Instead of making the best of an old building that is no longer fit for purpose, we have decided to make this investment in a new stand which will see us into the future and enable us to retain Beverley’s position as a highly-respected racecourse and venue.

“We’re growing our attendances each year and we continue to be an industry innovator. To continue to do that, and compete in the leisure market, we need modern facilities that give customers what they expect from a day at the races.

“With interest rates at historically low levels there’s no better time to invest in a major capital project. It’s been on our wish list for a number of years and we feel now is the time to go ahead.”

The racecourse is run by the Beverley Race Company Ltd, a not-for-profit organisation managed by a Board of Directors dedicated to maintaining Beverley as one of the North’s longest-established and best-loved racecourses.

All profits from race meetings and other events are ploughed back into delivering an outstanding experience for racegoers and the racing community. Over the past 15 years £7m has been invested in new and improved facilities.

The new grandstand will be financed through a combination of the racecourse’s reserves and funds from lending institutions – the first time the racecourse will have gone out to the market to support investment at the course.

Charles Maxsted, Chairman of Beverley Race Company, said: “We have invested over many, many years in projects that ensure we provide a high-quality venue for racing, primarily, and for other events, and to ensure we have sustainable business.

“As directors we’re very conscious of our role as custodians of a racecourse that has a proud history going back well over 300 years. This development will play a key part in future-proofing the racecourse for generations to come.”

The plans have been welcomed within the racing industry and by partner organisations of the racecourse.

Maggie Carver, Chairman (CORRECT) of the Racecourse Association (RCA), which represents all 59 British racecourses, said: “News of this significant development in building a new grandstand is incredibly exciting for Beverley Racecourse and Yorkshire racing as a whole.

“It is testament to the management that they are committing such resource into developing the facilities, which will enhance the experience for all customers visiting the Westwood. I am confident it will be of great benefit to the local community and economy.”

Rick Bailey, Chief Executive of Daniel Thwaites, which has invested £6m in the much-loved Beverley Arms, which re-opened last month, said: “There is significant investment in a number of areas in Beverley, which is making the future of the town really exciting – it’s one of the things that attracted us to the area.

“Beverley Racecourse is hugely important to the town and wider area, especially the visitor economy, and we know it has a proud record of continually improving its facilities.

“It’s great to see one of the area’s best-loved venues joining with us in investing so significantly and making Beverley an even more attractive place for visitors.”

Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “Beverley Racecourse has been one of the region’s most treasured venues for over 300 years.

“The plans for the new grandstand are very exciting and I have no doubt it will greatly enhance the visitor experience and benefit the local community and economy. I wish the team great success with the development.”

Jockeys will swap roles when Thirsk Racecourse stages its first charity race for Stable Staff on Friday 31st August, in aid of Racing Welfare.

In a role reversal, jockeys will lead-up the 12 stable staff riders, who will be racing over 1 mile in The Creditas ‘Taking Care of Business’ Stable Staff Stakes, for the experience of a lifetime.

This is the first time the jockeys have offered to lead-up in Britain and one of Yorkshire’s top professional riders Paul Mulrennan said, “We are excited to be doing this as stable staff are the unsung heroes of racing and work tirelessly behind the scenes.  I just hope we do as good a job as they do.”

The riders have been nominated to participate by their respective trainers and Yorkshire trainer Richard Fahey, who has a runner in the race said, “It is such a great idea to offer this opportunity to the stable staff and we are delighted to be involved.”

The charity race has been generously sponsored by Creditas Financial Solutions Limited, whose Chief Executive, Andy Shaw, will be presenting a fantastic racing saddle to the winning jockey.  All the riders will be raising money for Racing Welfare, which is there to support anyone working within the British horseracing industry.

Thirsk Clerk of the Course James Sanderson said, “Thirsk is delighted to host this charity initiative on behalf of Racing Welfare. All credit to the sponsor, Creditas, the charity-race riders, owners, trainers and to those professional jockeys who are volunteering to lead-up the runners, for their tremendous collective efforts on behalf of Racing Welfare.”

The Creditas ‘Taking Care of Business’ Stable Staff Stakes  is scheduled at 1.30pm, with the first race of the main programme scheduled at 2pm.  Gates open from 11.30am.

Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £23 on the day, Paddock Enclosure costs £15 and Family Enclosure starts from £6.  Discounts are available if booked in advance along with great reductions for the special packages and for group bookings whilst, as always, adult accompanied children under 18 get in free. For more information go to www.thirskracecourse.net

THIRSK’S homage to the great James Herriot looks a family must this Monday (August 20) when the racecourse stages its ‘All Creatures’ Family Fun Day.

Set in the heart of Herriot country, Thirsk was one of the favourites of writer James Wight, who penned the famous novels which became one of Britain’s best-loved television series.

And to mark the association, Thirsk will not only have a great line-up of thoroughbreds contesting seven cracking races across the afternoon to keep the adults happy, but a terrific array of other animals sure to delight the children.

These include a petting farm and pony rides and for those more into action than animals, a bouncy castle, play areas and a whole lot more.

On the track, the feature is the ‘Today is Racing UK Club Day’ Handicap over five furlongs, with an 18-strong entry headed by the Brian Ellison-trained Eastern Racer, who caught the eye in no uncertain fashion when dashing away with the seventh round of the Go Racing In Yorkshire ‘Future Stars’ Apprentice Series on the course two weeks ago.

The seven-furlong EBF Novice Stakes has attracted a very strong entry including Juthoor, who is trained by William Haggas at Newmarket for owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum. The gelding looked a sure-fire future winner when third to Borodin over course and distance in June.

Racing starts with the Racing UK Extra on racinguk.com Novice Stakes for two-year-olds at 2.05pm, although the gates will be open from 11.30am.

Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £23 on the day, Paddock Enclosure costs £15 and Family Enclosure starts from £6.  Discounts are available if booked in advance along with great reductions for the special packages and for group bookings whilst, as always, adult accompanied children under 18 get in free. For more information go to www.thirskracecourse.net

Sunday 19th August marks the last of the three popular Family Day fixtures at Pontefract this season with the final weekend fixture of the year being run for the first time as The In The Zone Family Day! For the race meeting, the Racecourse are getting ‘in the zone’ and setting up themed zones around the stands and enclosures to encourage racegoers to learn a little bit about, and engage with, all aspects of the sport.

On the day, there’ll be areas set up such as The Tipster Zone, The Industry Zone, The Jockey Zone, The Horse Zone and The Kids Zone as well as a Newcomers Zone for those who’ve never been racing before.

As has become the custom on Sundays at Pontefract, there’s a lot going on for the kids in the Picnic Enclosure. With kid’s rides, a circus, face painting and free sweets, activity books and racecards, there’s plenty to keep the little ones occupied while mums and dads enjoy some top class racing. Eagle eyed kids need to keep a look out for the lucky Golden Horseshoe too – there’s a hamper of sweets to be won for the first person to find it!

There are also free Pony rides with the Ponte Clip Clop Ponies AND you can take a look behind the scenes with our minibus trips down to the start. Running from the Picnic Enclosure Entrance gates for the start of chosen races, it gives racegoers the chance to watch the calm before the equine superstars explode in to action.

The feature race on the day, and the richest race to be run at Pontefract in 2018, is the £60,000 EBF Highfield Farm Flying Fillies’ Stakes. The race has a rich history with some very classy fillies on the role of honour. The 2017 prize went the way of Richard Fahey’s Queen Kindly. The daughter of Frankel had won a Group 2 race as a two year old and proved a cut above her opposition. The race sponsors, Highfield Farm, have had a number of superb horses through their paddocks in recent years including Group 1 winners Mayson and Garswood and have an up and coming superstar, Mabs Cross, this year.

There is some high class supporting action on the track too. The £13,000 William Hill handicap over 1m was won by the highly talented Isabella. The Stayers are once again back in action for Round 5 of the Stayers Championship, in a race sponsored by Moor Top Farm Shop. The patrons of Moor Top Farm Shop actually had a winner on the card last year when their Sandra’s Secret took the Nova Display Handicap! New sponsors, Dickies Workwear, also sponsor the 1½ mile handicap on the day

There are some special Family Day Tickets also available when booked in advance. 2 adults and their children can take advantage of a special price of just £25. There is also limited availability for the new Sunday Specials packages. If you’d like to take advantage of any of the special advance packages, please view the course website (www.pontefract-races.co.uk ) or give them a call on 01977 781307. Racing gets underway at 2pm and the gates open at 11.30am!

HIGH QUALITY racing just keeps on coming at Thirsk with a Summer Evening spectacular lined up for next Tuesday (August 14), highlighted by two races for two-year-olds and the British EBF Fillies Novice Stakes.

There has hardly time to draw breath since the two day William Hill Thirsk Summer Cup last weekend, but it will be all systems go for another great meeting next week with a seven race card on offer.

And with music from Jump The Q to keep everyone entertained, what better way to unwind after a hard day than at one of the country’s most beautiful racecourses.

Pick of the card is likely to be the British EBF Fillies Novice Stakes, which is likely to attract some useful fillies hoping to make their mark.

But with a competitive nursery for the two-year-olds in the All Creatures Family Day At Thirsk Monday 20th August and a chance for some of the more stoutly bred juveniles in the seven furlong Licensed For Wedding Ceremonies At Thirsk Novice Auction Stakes, there will be useful pointers for the future.

Racing gets underway with the Betfair Flat Novice Amateur Riders Handicap at 5.20pm although the gates will be open from 3pm.

Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £23 on the day, Paddock Enclosure costs £15 and Family Enclosure starts from £6.  Discounts are available if booked in advance along with great reductions for the special packages and for group bookings whilst, as always, adult accompanied children under 18 get in free. For more information go to www.thirskracecourse.net

One of the most popular events in Catterick Racecourse’s social calendar, Ladies’ Evening on Friday 17 August, promises a night of fun, fashion and fabulous racing!

The gates will be open to the public from 3:40pm, with the first of six races getting underway at 5:40pm. The feature race of the evening, Moody Construction Nursery Handicap Stakes, will take place at 6:40pm.

Alongside all the action on the track, there will be live music throughout the evening with The Serenity Duo and the annual Best Dressed Lady and Best Hat competitions will take place between races. These competitions always provide an exciting atmosphere, and there’s some wonderful prizes in store again this year.

Catterick’s Best Dressed Lady will receive a voucher to the value of £500 to spend on a bespoke La Fille Rouge outfit of their choice. La Fille Rouge, based on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, offers a range of unique handmade capes, wraps, jackets and accessories made from exquisite Yorkshire Tweed. The winning lady will also go on to represent Catterick at The Go Racing in Yorkshire Grand Final, held at Doncaster Racecourse on Saturday 27th October 2018.

In addition, if that wasn’t enough of a reason to start your search for the perfect outfit, the owner of the Best Hat on the night will walk away with a gorgeous cream leather Casablanca satchel from Berber Leather, worth over £100.

This year, the course has added a new addition to the fashion competitions and will have 30 goody bags on offer as spot prizes for ladies with stand-out accessories on the evening. The goody bags will include a wish bracelet from The Edinburgh Jewellery Boutique, betting vouchers, beauty products and more! Spotters will be keeping their eyes on the crowds throughout the evening in search of unique and beautiful accessories – anything from a special pair of heels, to a stand out bag or perhaps a statement piece of jewellery.

Emma Binnian, Sales & Marketing Manager said: “We’re really grateful to our wonderful competition sponsors – La Fille Rouge, Berber Leather and The Edinburgh Jewellery Boutique for providing us with some fantastic prizes this year. We can’t wait to see all the amazing hats and outfits, and to crown our winners for 2018!”

Ladies arriving early on the evening will be treated to a complimentary Yorkshire Dales Distillery signature gin cocktail as they arrive at the course, and with a number of trade stands on site, selling a range of items including handbags and jewellery, there will be plenty to enjoy before the racing gets underway.

Of course gentlemen are also welcome on the evening, and as with all of Catterick’s fixtures under 18’s go free when accompanied by an adult. The racecourse also offers a discount for all military personnel and for any group bookings made in advance.

Racegoers looking to make the most of their evening will be pleased to know that a limited number of hospitality packages are still available, including the new Ladies’ Evening Trackside Marquee Package, where racegoers can enjoy all the racing action in style and truly make their evening one to remember.

Tickets start at just £5 and will be available to purchase at the gates on the day, as well as in advance via the racecourse office or online at www.catterickbridge.co.uk.

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.

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 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/

The circus is coming to Catterick Races on Tuesday 7 August for the first of two family days at the course this August. The day is set to be full of action with 7 thrilling races and free children’s entertainment; and will provide a fun day out for the whole family this summer holiday.

The first race of the day is scheduled for 2.05pm, with the gates opening 2 hours before that, at 12.05pm. The feature race of the afternoon is The Racing UK Profits Returned to Racing Handicap Stakes, which will be run over 1 mile 6 furlongs and offers a total prize fund of £11,236. The final race is scheduled for 5.15pm.

Under 18’s go free to all Catterick Racecourse’s fixtures, when accompanied by an adult, and alongside the racing action on Tuesday 7 August there will be a variety of fun activities for the younger race goers to enjoy.

The free entertainment will include bouncy castles, a roundabout and the circus! The National Festival Circus, with a magical mix of laughter and excitement, will be doing three half hour shows throughout the afternoon in their big top tent within the Course Enclosure.

In addition, there will also be a treasure hunt in the Course Enclosure where children will have the opportunity to enter a draw to win a pair of tickets for Lightwater Valley Theme Park at the end! Treasure hunters will need to follow a series of clues around the course to win a sweet prize and the chance to enter the prize draw.

Emma Binnian, Sales & Marketing Manager said: “There’s a lot going on this August at Catterick, with two family days and Ladies’ Evening too. The first of the three fixtures, The Circus Family Day, will get things off to a great start with lots of free kid’s entertainment and plenty of action for the adults to enjoy on the track!”

The second of Catterick’s August Family days takes place on Wednesday 29th August.

As with all Catterick Racecourse’s fixtures, a big screen will be at the course on the day to give racegoers the best view of all the action and the free shuttle bus will be running to take racegoers from Richmond Market Place to the racecourse, approximately one hour prior to the first race, and will return again after the last race.

Tickets will be available to purchase at the gates on the day, while advanced and group booking discounts are available at www.catterickbridge.co.uk. Accompanied under 18’s are free of charge and do not require a ticket.

FESTIVAL FUN for all the family comes to Thirsk this Friday (July 27) when the racecourse plays host to the annual Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival, supported by Sky Bet.

As well as a cracking seven race card featuring the JW 4×4 Northallerton Nursery Handicap, there will be plenty of activities going on around the course to delight all the family.

Racing Welfare, the charity that looks out for many of the unsung heroes of racing like the stable and stud workers who devote their lives to caring for racehorses, will be offering racegoers the chance to test their skills as a jockey.

The official charity of the Festival this year, Racing Welfare are bringing along their equiciser with competitions for the skilled – like the professional jockeys – and the not so skilled. So if you fancy yourself as a budding Ryan Moore then go along and find out!

This being the Festival, there will be a guest appearance from the official mascot Festival Freddie, who will be touring the course handing out sweets and goodies to racegoers, while there is a chance to have yourself snapped with him and collect your photograph for free on the Go Racing In Yorkshire Facebook page.

Thrills are guaranteed with the great action on the track with plenty of fun for all the family off it and, as always, adult accompanied children under 18 get in free.

Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £23 on the day, Paddock Enclosure costs £15 and Family Enclosure starts from £6. Discounts are available if booked in advance along with great reductions for the special packages. For more information go to www.thirskracecourse.net.

The gates open at 11.30am ahead of the first race at 2pm.

The second Family Day of the 2018 season at Pontefract on Sunday 29th July is the final day of the 11th Annual Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival. With racing taking place across the White Rose County throughout the preceding week, there’s going to be a real festival feel to the day’s proceedings. Trainers and jockeys will also be bidding to get that all important next win on the leader board as they aim to be the next top dog in their respective Championships sponsored by Goldsborough Hall and Sky Bet.
In keeping with the festival feel, the track has introduced a Fake Festival with performances from some of the best tribute acts on the UK circuit. With tributes to Gary Barlow, Robbie Williams, Tina Turner and cover band The Maxibrites performing before and after racing in the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure. It’s definitely an afternoon not to be missed!
As has become the custom on Sundays at Pontefract, there’s a lot going on for the kids as well. With kid’s rides, a circus, face painting, free sweets, activity books, racecards AND free pony rides there’s plenty to keep the little ones occupied while mums and dads enjoy some top class racing. Eagle eyed kids need to keep a look out for the lucky Golden Horseshoe too – there’s a hamper of sweets to be won for the first person to find it!
New Beginnings, a rehoming centre for retired racehorses, will be on course with a selection of ex racers. The charity helps rehome and retrain racehorses who have ended their track careers by giving them a more laid back 2nd career.
On track, Sky Bet support the main race on the card – the £50,000 Listed Pomfret Stakes over 1 mile. David O’Meara has farmed the race in recent years. In 2017 his runner Custom Cut was bidding for his second win in the race but Richard Fahey, the courses Champion Trainer of 2017, had other ideas when his ‘Another Touch’ took the race.
The Festival’s leading trainer and jockey last year will be hoping to retain their titles. Tim Easterby had two winners at Ponte on the final day and David Allan sealed his victory with a brilliant treble. With the yard continuing in great form, they could well repeat the same feat! Perhaps the most interesting winner from last year was Kings Will Dream, who won the maiden race on the card for Micky Hammond. He was then sold to race in Australia where he is unbeaten and has the Melbourne Cup on his agenda!
There are some special Family Day Tickets available when booked in advance. Admitting two adults and their children these special tickets can be purchased before the day for just £25. The Sunday Special packages are also selling fast – if you’d like to take advantage of any special advance packages, please view the course website (www.pontefract-races.co.uk) or give them a call of 01977 781307. Racing gets underway at 2pm and the gates open at 11.30am! Come Racing!

Bit Of A Quirke attempts to extend his electric run of winning form when he returns to his beloved Beverley on Monday evening.

Trained by Mark Walford in Sherriff Hutton, North Yorkshire, the five-year-old chestnut is seeking a five-timer in the George Kilburn Memorial Handicap (7.30).

Bit Of A Quirke’s winning streak started on June 9 when he struck at Beverley over the same mile-and-a-quarter trip.

He then rattled off a Beverley treble before claiming a first career victory away from the East Yorkshire circuit at Chester on July 14.

The son of Monsieur Bond, who also won twice at Beverley last season, is reported in rude health for this latest assignment at his spiritual home.

Regular jockey Andrew Mullen said: “The winning run will have to end at some stage, but he’s in real good order.

“Mark has done a super job with him as I’m not sure he’s that straightforward a horse.

“But he’s obviously in great form now and is bubbling away nicely, which certainly makes my job a little easier.

“He’s got an awful lot of weight on Monday, but he loves it at Beverley and when horses keep winning like he does, they are in such a positive frame of mind that anything is possible.

“If he gets beat, he gets beat, but we’re expecting another big run.”

Beverley’s card also features the Jaimie Kerr Memorial Handicap (7.00), a five-furlong sprint run in memory of the partner and assistant of trainer Tony Coyle who was just 38 when she died three years ago.

Malton-based Coyle will try to win the race with Maureb and Newgate Sioux, while Musharrif was successful 12 months ago and again lines up for the Declan Carroll team.

Beverley’s Carnival Racenight, featuring samba dancers, the New York Band and Rio-inspired carnival floats with live drummers, is part of the Sky Bet-sponsored Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival.

Now in its ninth year, the festival celebrates eight days of superb racing and entertainment at the county’s Flat racetracks.

Beverley’s seven-race card starts at 6pm. The going is good to firm, with watering taking place to preserve conditions.

Monday’s forecast is a mix of cloud and sunny spells – with a chance of showers on the evening

David Menuisier has challenged Psychotic to go the distance at Beverley on Tuesday as the West Sussex trainer tries to win the Watt Memorial Handicap for a second consecutive year.

Menuisier claimed the big staying race – now in its 132nd year – 12 months ago with Corpus Chorister, who, like Psychotic, is owned by Clive Washbourn.

And now the same combination bid for the double with the five-year-old son of Nayef, who was an encouraging fifth over a mile and a half at Beverley on June 26.

Menuisier said: “I thought he ran really well on his last start at Beverley last month.

“He stayed on well for fifth place over a mile and a half, and that is the reason we have gone back to Beverley as he obviously likes running up that hill.

“Whether or not he will get the two-mile trip, I’m not sure, but we think it is worth a chance.

“Last year he was a very difficult ride, but he has relaxed a lot more now and is learning to become a racehorse.

“We cannot be too bullish about his chances, but we will be absolutely delighted if he can keep on progressing.”

Despite being five years old, Psychotic has raced just seven times and only made his debut in August 2017.

Pulborough-based Menuisier said: “He’s a horse who has had many, many problems.

“He had quite a bad leg injury, and to save the horse’s racing career we needed to geld him because he was just too heavy.

“It’s a bit of a miracle that he’s even be able to run at all, to be honest.

“Because of his problems, he was like a two-year-old last year and it is still very early days for him – it’s trial and error, really.

“All we hope is that he keeps improving.”

 

Five horses have been declared for the Watt Memorial Handicap (3.30), including Altra Vita from Sir Mark Prescott’s yard.

The three-year-old daughter of Animal Kingdom is unbeaten in three outings this season and looks an improving horse.

Prescott also won this race two years ago with another three-year-old filly, St Michel, who is rated as highly as 108 and had been in contention for the 2017 Melbourne Cup.

Menuisier said: “We are under no illusions. The Prescott filly will be very hard to beat.

“That said, you should never be scared of one horse so hopefully he will run very well.

“Whatever happens, he will be an interesting horse for the second half of the season, so anything before that is a bonus.”

High On Light (David Barron), Stormin Tom (Tim Easterby) and Gabrial’s King (Richard Fahey) complete the quintet for the Watt Memorial Handicap.

Beverley’s meeting begins at 2pm and also showcases the RB Camel Derby, which is now in its third year.

YORKSHIRE trainer Les Eyre will be aiming to upset the odds in the Group 3 William Hill Summer Stakes at York on Friday – just like he did 21 years ago in the Sky Bet Ebor Handicap.
East Riding-based Eyre will be on the Knavesmire to saddle his stable star, Sandra’s Secret, who runs in exactly the same colours as that 1997 Ebor winner, Far Ahead.
Sunpak Racing’s mare has been an absolute revelation so far this season.
The fast ground-loving five-year-old rattled off a three-timer between May 20 and June 15, rising from 80 to 97 in the official handicap in the process.
Her last win came at York in the EBF Breeders’ Series Fillies’ Handicap.
Eyre, who trains 22 thoroughbreds at Ivy House Stables in Catwick, said: “She has been a credit to the yard. She has improved out of all recognition.”
Asked to put the finger on her marked progression, Eyre laughed and said: “If I only knew I’d be visiting York more often!
“She is a happy little horse and she’s done it all herself, to be truthful.”
Since her hat-trick, Sandra’s Secret has finished second in a five-furlong Listed race at Ayr.
Now she is set to return to her favoured six-furlong trip and a shot at Group-race glory, albeit taking on Could It Be Love from Aidan O’Brien’s powerful Ballydoyle stable as well as fillies from the top yards of Richard Hannon and William Haggas, among others.
But Eyre added: “She doesn’t know about them; she runs her own race.
“She deserves to take her chance, she really does.
“She is in great form. She thrives on her work.
“She takes a fair while to get fit – she can be quite stuffy – but once she’s there, she’s there. I don’t do a hell of a lot with her in between racing.”
Eyre’s small string has done him proud so far this term. The winners have been flowing, including a treble in May – the first of his near 30-year career.
He said: “We’ve had a cracking year. I think we’re on 13 or 14 winners.”
The £65,000 William Hill Summer Stakes is the feature of Friday’s seven-race card at York, which gets underway at 2.05pm. Saturday is John Smith’s Cup today in which the £200,000 heritage handicap is preceded by a newly upgraded Group 3 and a Listed race.
For tickets please call 01904 620911 x 225 or visit www.yorkracecourse.co.uk

The richest ever running of the famous John Smith’s Cup raceday will see £385,000 on offer for the 59th staging of a day that contains the famous handicap itself, Saturday 14 July. The £200,000 prize money of the feature contest makes the John Smith’s Cup the richest middle distance handicap in Britain.

Named after Britain’s best-selling ale, it is the centrepiece of a seven-race programme that now includes the newly upgraded John Smith’s Silver Cup as a Group Three contest worth £65,000 and the Listed John Smith’s City Walls sprint. In each of the last two years the prize money has risen by nearly £20,000 each season.

The headline contest is the longest continuous commercial sponsorship of a flat race in the country, an arrangement that will now reach at least the Diamond Jubilee of the contest – as the racecourse previously announced a further extension of the deal with Heineken.

With the prospect of hotly contested races matched by the forecast, the decision has been taken to relax the dress code in the County Stand Enclosure for both days. Gentlemen can leave their jackets at home, though a collared shirt and tie is still required.

The opening day on the Friday features the Group Three William Hill Summer Stakes, offering a black type opportunity to the fastest filly down the six furlong course.

One of Europe’s most prestigious and competitive middle-distance heritage handicap contests, Saturday’s renewal of The John Smith’s Cup is contested over the extended one mile and a quarter. The winning owner can look forward to receiving the specially-commissioned Wedgwood challenge trophy.

Fougalle was the first winner of this famous race back in 1960, and since then there have been many dramatic moments, with the race becoming a major betting heat of the summer. In 2017, Ballet Concerto provided trainer Sir Michael Stoute his second success in the race, coming nearly thirty years after Icona landed the spoils in 1989. Jockey, James Doyle, enjoyed a debut win.

One of only two contests to receive such an upgrade, the Group Three John Smith’s Silver Cup continues to be a proving ground for stayers, last year, Rare Rhythm, showed his potential for Charlie Appleby in the Godolphin colours before winning at an even higher level in Dubai.

The sprinters have their say in the Listed John Smith’s City Walls over five furlongs and the 2016 winner, Marsha, went on to multiple success at Group One level, including the Coolmore Nunthorpe, before going into the record books when she was sold to become a broodmare.

Always one of the big days of the year, this event has become a showcase for ‘Yorkshire’s Finest’, and sees John Smith’s treasuring its Yorkshire roots with a full Yorkshire menu of locally-sourced and home-made food. In addition, there will be a number of cask ales available at the racecourse, thanks to collaboration with fellow Yorkshire brewers, Theakston’s.

Wider Yorkshire sporting and physical prowess will be on show as the crew and craft of team Row4Victory will be by the Frankel statue; these four fearless friends will be rowing 3,000 nautical miles across the Atlantic, in what is described as the ‘World’s toughest endurance race’.

The highlight on Friday, The William Hill Summer Stakes, is a Group Three sprint contest over six furlongs for fillies and mares, has seen its purse increase to £65,000. Last year’s race was won by Mystic Dawn for Newmarket trainer, David Simcock.

Friday sees a number of other long-standing supporters of the Knavesmire return with both Jigsaw Sports Branding and Acturis back in attendance; alongside the accountancy firm responsible for audit matters at the track, Garbutt + Elliott. Once again, it is an “ITM Friday” as the Irish organisation responsible for promoting bloodstock sales from the emerald isle back a five furlong handicap. The final race of Friday gives apprentice riders their chance and welcomes a new supporter in Gough & Kelly, a Yorkshire firm specialising in security products and services for schools or hospitals amongst other sites.

The two days of racing get underway with an interesting novice contest over the unusual distance of five and a half furlongs. It is among the twenty-one contests backed by the European Breeders’ Fund.
Catering for broad musical tastes, both days offer the summer vibe of a steel band or Murphy’s Marbles brand of foot-stomping Irish tunes. Saturday also hosts Paradise Lane performing their melodic set of popular covers on the bandstand as the last race crosses the line.

The newly installed Giant Screen overlooking the Roberto Lawn will continue to offer uninterrupted coverage of the FIFA World Cup; providing a home to Wimbledon coverage on Friday and earlier on Saturday.

A number of other giant screens will enable racegoers to enjoy even more of the action on both days, along with racing from Newmarket’s July Meeting and Ascot. The popular punters’ panel held prior to racing on the winners’ podium will preview the card on both days.

The famous two year old contests at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival often unearth future equine greats and the 2018 contests promise much.

At the first entries stage, the Group Two Al Basti Equiworld Gimcrack includes a brace of Royal Ascot winners; as the impressive Calyx hopes to follow up success in the Coventry Stakes so overcoming the Windsor Castle victor, Soldiers Call. Both sets of silks, Juddmonte and Clipper Logistics, will be familiar to regular racegoers as will those carried by Rathbone, whose owner, Mrs Angie Bailey, landed this £225,000 race with Astaire in 2013.

Some sixteen horses from four different Yorkshire yards sit alongside a dozen possible contestants from Ireland, including eight from the powerful Coolmore operation in County Tipperary.

The winning owner on Friday 24th August earns the unusual opportunity of the chance to address the Gimcrack Dinner, being staged at York in December for the 248th time this year.

Amongst the fillies entered in the Group Two Sky Bet Lowther, it could again be a showdown between winners at the Royal Meeting. The Malton yard of John Quinn will be hoping that Signora Cabello can continue her fine form of successive wins in the Listed Marygate on the Knavesmire followed by the Group Two Queen Mary in Berkshire; with Main Edition seeking to continue her improvement after Group Three success for Middleham handler, Mark Johnston. Successful in France in Group company, Little Kim, offers supporters of another Yorkshire yard, that of Karl Burke, hope of taking the £225,000 prize.

Appropriately run as part of Ladies Day at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival, the Sky Bet Lowther is set to be the opening contest of Thursday 23 August.

TRAINER Roger Varian will bid to land a second John Smith’s Cup when Appeared runs in the £200,000 heritage handicap at York on Saturday.

Farraaj gave Newmarket-based Varian victory in the 55th renewal of the famous race staged over an extended mile and a quarter, back in 2014

The 59th running of the John Smith’s Cup will see Varian rely on the Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum-owned, Appeared.

The son of Dubawi has run just once so far in 2018 when a solid fourth in the Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap at Royal Ascot

Dash Of Spice won on that occasion and is the market leader for this weekend’s feature on the Knavesmire.

This time around Varian’s charge will benefit from a 5lb ‘pull’ in the weights with that rival.

Appeared has done most of his recent running over a mile and a half with one of his three career victories coming at York back in May 2016.

But connections are hopeful that the drop down in trip will not be an inconvenience to the six-year-old.

Varian said: “Appeared ran a blinder to finish fourth in the Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap at Royal Ascot and he has come out of the race in fine form.

“He loves fast ground and won well at York a couple of seasons ago. His strong travelling style of running suggests he is worth a try at this shorter trip, particularly as it is a course where they often get racing a long way from home.

“Although he doesn’t look to have masses in hand (from the handicapper), he remains lightly raced for his age and the 5lb pull with Dash Of Spice ought to bring them closer together.

“York has put on a fantastic prize fund for the race and Appeared looks to hold a fighting chance in what seems a typically-competitive renewal. I am very much looking forward to running him”

York’s two-day meeting starts at 2.05pm on Friday afternoon. The highlight of a seven-race card is the Group 3 Summer Stakes..

THUNDERING Blue will bid for a course and distance repeat when he contests the 59th John Smith’s Cup at York on Saturday.

The David Menuisier-trained five-year-old was impressive when winning a handicap over an extended mile and a quarter on the Knavesmire at the Dante Festival in May.

The gelding was unable to replicate that form over a mile and a half at Royal Ascot last time out, finishing down the field that day.

But Menuisier is happy to draw a line through that run and is looking forward to bringing his charge back to York for a tilt at the historic £200,000 heritage handicap.

The Sussex-based trainer said: “He has won four races over this distance and always looks like he’ll go further. That’s why it was interesting to step him up in trip for Ascot to try and find some improvement.

“But there were quite a few circumstances that day that made him run as he did, really.

“He was drawn very wide, which doesn’t really suit the way the horse has to be ridden. He was just shuffled back too far.

“And the ground was too quick for him, I thought. The ground dried out dramatically throughout the day as it was quite warm and windy.

“Also, the track possibly didn’t suit him perfectly well.

“I still don’t know whether he stays a mile and four. But I am more than happy to go back to a mile and a quarter because he is proven over it.

“He is a winner over course (York) and distance, so obviously we know that there won’t be any surprise there.

“The ground should be fairly similar to the ground he ran on at the Dante meeting, so we would be hopeful.

“He came out of Ascot absolutely fine because when Frankie (Dettori) saw that the horse was beaten he hasn’t been overly hard on him. He kind of looked after him in the last furlong.

“So he has actually come out of Ascot really well and is in super form. In my opinion he is in as good a form as he was before the Dante meeting.”

York’s two-day fixture starts on Friday when the £65,000 Group 3 Summer Stakes will be the highlight.

Saturday’s seven-race card is worth almost £400,000 and, as well as the John Smith’s Cup, includes the upgraded Group 3 John Smith’s Silver Cup and a Listed sprint contest, the John Smith’s City Walls Stakes..

For tickets for either day please call 01904 620911 x 225 or visit www.yorkracecourse.co.uk

A TOUCH of the famous Oktoberfest comes to Thirsk next Tuesday with the third annual Beer Festival evening at the North Yorkshire course, held in association with the Pennine Brewery from the nearby village of Well.

In addition to a cracking seven race card, there will be an opportunity to choose from a whole host of craft beers and ciders many from micro-breweries – and for the first 100 people through the gates, there is a token to get £1 off your first pint. Whilst for those who prefer a refreshing cocktail, a specialist Gin bar will be set alongside the ales.

It’s an evening for the purist with some exciting racing to enjoy and refreshment for those who simply enjoy beers, ciders and gins for their great taste. An occasion when real racing meets real ale.

There will also be live music throughout the evening with the Rockin’ Deke Rivers performing live in the Paddock Enclosure.

Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £23 (£21 if booked online ahead of the day), while Paddock admission can be obtained for £15 (£14 online). There are also great reductions for group bookings while, as always, adult-accompanied children under 18 get in free.

As Thirsk enters the second half of its 16-day season, it could pay to keep an eye on the runners of trainer Michael Dods, whose team has been running into form recently. The Darlington-based handler sent out 18 winners in the previous three seasons, but has only had one at the track so far this year.

Gates open at 3.30pm ahead of the first race at 6.10pm. For more information go to: www.thirskracecourse.net

NEWMARKET-based trainer David Elsworth is all set to send progressive colt, Dash Of Spice, for the 59th renewal of the John Smith’s Cup at York on Saturday.

Elsworth also plans to be represented in the £200,000 heritage handicap by Master The World.

But it is the four-year-old Dash Of Spice who is sure to attract plenty of interest when he attempts to pull off a notable three-timer this weekend.

The Jeff Smith-owned son of Teofilo registered high-profile victories at Epsom on Derby day and also at Royal Ascot in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes.

Now he must shoulder 9st 7lb and step back in distance by almost two furlongs to an extended mile and a quarter.

Elsworth said of the market leader: “He is at a progressive stage of his career – he’s improved the last couple of runs.

“This is a drop back in trip of course. It was a mile and a half at Epsom and Ascot.

“But he has got plenty of ability to win over a mile and a quarter, of course he has.

“Mr Smith is an ambitious, speculative man, despite his modesty, and he has entered him in the Juddmonte International. Even though the horse has a lump of weight to carry this would give us an indication whether or not he’s chasing rainbows.”

Master The World has shown a liking for York in the past and scored in a mile handicap at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival four years ago.

Now seven years old he is still a classy campaigner as he demonstrated when winning the Group 3 Winter Derby at Lingfield in February. The grey is set to carry top weight of 9st 10lb.

Elsworth said: “He is always a danger. He’s bound for Goodwood after York where he’ll contest the mile race which he’s won and been second in.

“He’ll probably go and have another crack at that. But this race, while sort of a prep, he’s not going in there as a forlorn hope. He’s a course winner and sluiced up with Kieren (Fallon) one day there, I remember.

“Those who know seem to underrate him a bit, I think. He’s quite useful. He’s not there to make the numbers up.
“He’s run well over a mile and a quarter. There’s every indication, if it’s a good gallop, he’ll finish well. So he goes there with a sporting chance.”

York’s two-day fixture starts on Friday when the £65,000 Group Three Summer Stakes will be the highlight.

Saturday’s racing gets underway at 1.55pm with the Listed John Smith’s City Walls Stakes, one of seven contests on the card.

For tickets for either day please call 01904 620911 x 225 or visit www.yorkracecourse.co.uk

Evening meetings are always extremely popular at Pontefract and the last of the season is our Red Shirt Night and Beer Festival on Friday Evening 20th July. The race meeting also marks the second of the Friday Night Music Night series held at the Racecourse in 2018 this year featuring The Bootleg Beatles!
The Bootleg Beatles are one of the world’s most famous tribute bands and they’ll be performing their stunning recreation of the greatest song book of all time at Pontefract on Friday 20th July. Tracing the Fab Four’s journey through the sixties, every tiny detail is meticulously covered from costume to authentic period instruments.
Jack Berry and Red Shirt Night have a place firmly in the history of Pontefract Racecourse. As a trainer, Jack Berry was renowned for wearing his Red Shirt as his lucky symbol. He was easy to spot when cheering home the likes of Mind Games and Paris House, two of his very best horses. Since retiring, he’s been the driving force behind The Injured Jockeys Fund’s Jack Berry House – a state of the art rehabilitation centre for injured and retired jockeys in Malton. Now in its 26th year, some racegoers will also don a red shirt but it’s certainly not a requirement! The charity race night is one of the most popular fixtures at the West Yorkshire track!
The popular race meeting also incorporates a Beer Festival, with local breweries Revolutions Brewing, Pennine Brewery, Ossett Brewery and Bier Huis all showcasing their wares. The beer festival will be held throughout the evening in the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure and racegoers in both this area and the Premier Enclosure will be able to access the trademark best selling ales.
There’s an exciting programme as well with 6 races kicking off at 6:30pm. The feature race is the £20,000 Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Handicap Stakes – a 5 furlong sprint which will take around a minute to win it! Last year’s winner Crowning Glory, trained by Ralph Beckett stopped Paul Midgely’s 4 year run of winning this race. We also have a new £30,000 race run over 1 mile which has been kindly sponsored by Dickies Workwear at Junction 32.
There’s an interesting supporting card including the Countrywide Freight EBF Novice Auction Stakes which opens proceedings. This is the race where you could spot the odd star of the future! Only a few years ago, Treaty of Paris took this race before going on to beat The Grey Gatsby at York.
It’s the last evening meeting of the Summer at Pontefract and it’s always a popular event – make sure you take advantage of the advanced booking rates available through the Racecourse’s website at www.pontefract-races.co.uk.

York Racecourse is proud to be supporting the Bloom! Festival in York City Centre, as it gets underway on Thursday 5 July through to Sunday 8 July.

The event celebrates the 250 year anniversary of The Ancient Society of York Florists, the world’s oldest horticultural society; so it is apt that one of the floral displays in the city centre has been created by York Racecourse’s Head Gardener, Zac Rafferty, who has a Master’s Degree in Horticulture from the RHS.

The team of three gardeners based at the Knavesmire have created a stunning display that comprised of over 250 plants of near a dozen varieties with Crocosmia, Salvia, Begonia, Cordyline, Nicotiana, Osteospernum, Fucshia, Calibrachoa, Pelargonium, Gypsophilia and Verbena all featured. Sitting atop the floral display is a 1.5m high equine model of a racehorse created by local design house WeLoveThis. A feature that makes it clear to visitors that the display originates from the Knavesmire, a sporting venue even older than the Society of Florists, with racing first staged there in 1731.

Zac and his team, which includes former flat jockey, John Murray, are responsible for all the floral displays at York Racecourse and have been the proud recipients of a Yorkshire in Bloom Gold Award for each of the last five seasons. Regular visitors to York Racecourse will be familiar with the more than sixty hanging baskets, extensive flower beds and white rose bushes that adorn the venue, as well as recognising that there is enough hedging to surround a World Cup Football Pitch. What they may not appreciate is that most of the flowers that go in those baskets, as well as some 45,000 bedding plants are all home grown from seed or seedling at the Middlethorpe Nursery owned by York Racecourse. The two greenhouses, recently installed pair of huge polytunnels and countless cold frames help the team create the stunning displays that border such areas as the Parade Ring, Presentation Podium or at the foot of the Frankel Statue.

The Bloom! display in Parliament Street will be in place until Sunday 8 July however the flowers at the track itself can be enjoyed on the remaining eleven racedays, starting on Friday 13 July

jockey Paul Mulrennan believes talented juvenile Que Amoro has a fine opportunity in which to get off the mark at the third attempt when she runs at Beverley on Friday evening.

The two-year-old daughter of Es Que Love, trained in Co Durham by Michael Dods, is one of eight declared runners for the five-furlong William Jackson Food Group British EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes (6.35).

And she brings to Beverley some really good form, too, having finished an encouraging fifth on her debut at Thirsk in May.

Que Amoro then took another step in the right direction at Carlisle last month, when third in a strong five-furlong novice stakes for fillies.

The winner of that race, Little Kim, was subsequently not beaten far in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot and then won a Group Three in France on Tuesday.

Carlisle runner-up Stage Play has also franked the form by winning at Ripon in June.

And Mulrennan said: “She’s a very nice filly, and it’s good to see the form from Carlisle working out so well.

“We haven’t run that many two-year-olds because the ground has been so quick, but she’d be right up there with the ones that have had a run.

“Hopefully there’s plenty more to come, and this looks an ideal race for her.

“Beverley’s stiff five furlongs should suit her nicely and it would be disappointing if she was not there or thereabouts.”

Mulrennan also rides stablemate Proud Archi in the feature even on Beverley’s six-race card, the Jackson’s Yorkshire Champion Bread Handicap over seven and a half furlongs (7.15).

Proud Archi has not yet hit peak form this season, but he is a two-time course-and-distance winner for owners Eagle Racing.

Mulrennan said: “He’s on a good mark and he likes Beverley.

“My only hope is that there is a bit of pace for him as he likes a good end-to-end gallop.

“He doesn’t mind quick ground at all, and that trip is what he wants. Everything looks spot-on for him, to be honest, and hopefully we’ll have a good night.”

Six runners have been declared for the Jackson’s Yorkshire Champion Bread Handicap, with last-time-out winner Areen Heart set to carry top weight for the David O’Meara team.

Ruth Carr is responsible for Magical Effect and Katheefa, who both finished second a week ago, while the field is completed by Roaring Forties (Rebecca Bastiman) and Viscount Loftus, whose trainer Mark Johnston has won this race twice in the last four years.

The official going at Beverley is good to firm, with watering taking place to preserve conditions.

Gates open at 4pm for Beverley’s 70s Racenight, featuring Bus Stop, with the first race due off at 6pm. Premier Enclosure tickets are sold out for the meeting, but tickets for other enclosures are still available.

Entries for the Group 2 Sky Bet Great Voltigeur include Latrobe; winner of last Saturday’s Irish Derby for the O’Brien family, trainer Joseph and his jockey brother, Donnacha.
The colt could face familiar competition for the £170,000 prize money, with Mark Johnston entering Dee Ex Bee, a horse trained locally in Middleham, that was second in the Investec Derby and seventh at The Curragh.
This pair is prominent in the ante post betting market for the final Classic of the season, the St Leger at Doncaster; with nine of the top ten fancies for this September race entered for York. The Sky Bet Great Voltigeur looks set to continue its role in identifying the highest calibre of three year old horses with stamina, some thirteen colts have already achieved the York/Doncaster double.
A winner at Group level at last year’s Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival, Wells Farhh Go, could be another to represent local yards, being trained near Malton by Tim Easterby. A brace of Royal Ascot victors, Old Persian (King Edward VII Stakes) and Kew Gardens (Queen’s Vase) also form part of the fifty-nine strong field at this stage.
Further entry stages and the potential for supplementary additions will add further excitement ahead of the race on Wednesday 22 August, the opening day of York’s feature festival.

Ripon Racecourse is preparing to host the inaugural ‘Visit Ripon’ Community Raceday on Monday 16th July. The event will see a number of local attractions join forces at Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse to showcase what they each have to offer and to collectively promote the City of Ripon as a destination.
Ripon Cathedral, Newby Hall & Gardens, Ripon Museums, Lightwater Valley and Fountains Abbey will each sponsor a race on the day and will have trade stands set up on course where racegoers can obtain information and insight about their attractions and the City of Ripon.
Richard Compton, owner of Newby Hall, is delighted to be involved saying:
“It is a privilege to be involved with the inaugural Visit Ripon race day on the 16th July. Ripon has such a lot to offer for visitors we hope that all the attractions being represented on race day will show the world what a great place our corner of Yorkshire is”.
Linda Furniss, Market Development Manager at Ripon Museums, is also embracing the opportunity:
“Although many of the inmates of the workhouse and prison wouldn’t have had the opportunity for a day at the races, we are looking forward to the Ripon Museums Handicap. It’s a great opportunity to promote our three museums and we will be there dressed in museum character to add fun and colour to the day”.
James Hutchinson, Managing Director of Ripon Racecourse said:
“We thought it would be beneficial to use one of our racedays to bring the members of the Visit Ripon group together and work with them to promote the City of Ripon, which has a very rich heritage and strong community spirit.
“Ripon is renowned for its customs and traditions such as the Hornblower, Bell-Ringer, the Wakeman and the St Wilfrid Procession and has a lot to offer. We hope that by joining forces with other fantastic attractions in the area on the ‘Visit Ripon’ Community Raceday, we can promote Ripon as a destination and benefit the local community.
“Here’s hoping for a great afternoon of racing and community spirit at Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse!”.
Gates open: 12.15
First Race: 2.15 (seven races with the last race scheduled for 5.25)
Prices (if booked in advance): Club Enclosure £22, Paddock £14, Course £6.

York Racecourse is proud to be supporting Racing Staff Week, as it gets underway on Saturday 30 June, a day that will see York host a £150,000 seven race card.

The team at the Knavesmire have a long standing commitment to the hard working members of Racing Staff; with a six figure investment in their Stableside accommodation for racedays, meaning recent years has seen new showers, flat screen televisions in bedrooms, purchasing new furniture and delivering a dining experience that meets both their tastes and operational needs.

On all eighteen racedays at York, Racing Staff benefit from a £10 food voucher, which when used on the already discounted meals in the Stableside Dining Room, would cover two meals. The provision of tea, coffee and water is free of charge at both Stableside and in the Pre Parade Ring area. Key sponsor, Al Basti Equiworld, work with York on this range of benefits.

In addition, at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival, a celebration meal to mark the big race is offered with the compliments of the track.

For this special week, the food theme continues; as a free ice cream should prove popular given the current spell of warm weather.

All 122 races on the Knavesmire offer a Best Turned Out Prize; with a seasonal competition for the most awards seeing the stable receive cases of John Smith’s beer at year end. With a third of the season gone, the team from Kingsley House (Mark Johnston) sit one ahead of Musley Bank (Richard Fahey).

In addition, on Saturday 30 June, every member of Racing Staff responsible for a winner will receive a luxury hamper from the Racecourse.

Racing Welfare are regular partners of York, for example showcasing their Mental Health Awareness Initiative during the Dante Festival. On Saturday, they will be at Stableside to offer support, both emotional and practical, as an example of the latter, in the form of goody bags.

Mindful of the weather and the physical nature of the role, the racecourse is able to give access to sun cream, after sun, plasters, rehydration sachets and such.

Keen to promote the good work done by these often unsung heroes, both the racecard and raceday television will showcase their efforts to the over 35,000 expected racegoers.

L The exciting prospect of the feature races at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival (23-25 August) became a little clearer, as the first stage of entries have been confirmed.

The richest race of the season, the £1 million Juddmonte International features the best known names of middle distance racing, the winners of some thirty one previous titles at the highest level, from around the racing world. What is termed the classic generation aged three, look likely to be championed by Investec Derby winner, Masar, carrying the Godolphin blue silks. The two highest rated horses in Europe from 2017, Cracksman and Enable both hold entries, offering a battle of the sexes amongst the older horses. With four winners at Royal Ascot entered, the race could yet again signpost the champion horse of the year.

Wednesday 22 August marks the thirtieth staging of this Group One contest under the Juddmonte sponsorship so it would particularly apt were Enable to repeat the success of Twice over and Frankel in landing the contest for Owner, Prince Khalid Abdulla.

Last season, Enable won the Group One Darley Yorkshire Oaks and she is also entered for the chance to defend that title. Potential opponents include, French Oaks winner Laurens, trained in Yorkshire by Karl Burke and Royal Ascot winner Magic Wand; in a race that is often sees a rivalry between the generations played out over the one mile and four furlong distance.

 

Both the Darley Yorkshire Oaks on Thursday 23 August and the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes to be run on Friday 24 August offer prize money of £350,000.

 

Independently rated as the joint highest sprint race in the world last season, the field in the Coolmore Nunthorpe have a reputation to live up to. With dual Group One winner, US Navy Flag from Aidan O’Brien’s County Tipperary yard set to take on international raider, Redkirk Warrior. The global nature of the sprinting division has seen previous Australian speedster, Ortensia, land this race. The British based contenders include Royal Ascot winner, Blue Point, who has winning form over the Knavesmire having taken the 2016 renewal of the Al Basti Equiworld Gimcrack Stakes.

Yorkshire interest in the Juddmonte International rests with top trainers, Mark Johnston who has the pair of Elarqam (a York maiden winner) and Mildenberger in the lists; with the Malton flag bearer being, Forest Ranger, from Richard Fahey’s yard. Amongst the fillies, Laurens, from Karl Burke’s yard represents the white rose county. Sprint hopes rest again with Karl Burke (Havana Grey) and Richard Fahey (Mr Lupton), aided by Julie Camacho courtesy of Judicial and Bryan Smart’s Alpha Delphini. Based in the south of the county, David Griffiths has three possible runners in Take Cover, Ornate and Duke of Firenze. Add in two time winner Michael Dods, who sends Mabs Cross from just over the County border in Darlington.

Overall entry numbers for the three races are healthy with an increased number for both the Darley Yorkshire Oaks and Coolmore Nunthorpe.

 

 

TOM Scudamore will return to York this Saturday aiming to secure a second successive win in the £25,000  “Jump Jockeys’ Nunthorpe” backed by Sun Bets.

The race is yet more valuable than last year when Scudamore paired up with Tylery Wonder to win the inaugural staging, by an impressive four lengths.

Twelve months on and ‘Scu’ is set renew acquaintance with the Paul Midgley-trained gelding.

The weekend’s race sees many of his jump jockey colleagues swap stamina-laden hurdlers and chasers for the speedsters of the Flat.

They will race over the same flying five furlongs as used for the famous Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes, every August.

A huge crowd will be there to cheer them home, as capacity has already been reached on the Stands Side ahead of the day. This means that those who did not buy tickets in advance will need to view from the refurbished Clocktower Enclosure which will open for sale at 11.15am on Saturday.

Scudamore said: “It was a great experience last year. I got a huge buzz out of it – it’s something I really enjoyed.

“Riding in a sprint is something we only get to do once a year. It’s something we all look forward to and we’ve been winding each other up for weeks about it, really!

“It’s a lovely day out and we get well looked after. It’s a different experience.

“None of us get the opportunity to go racing at York – normally there’s jump racing on the same day. It’s a fantastic racecourse.

“I suppose it’s a bit like a busman’s holiday. You are going there to work but it’s a different thing. It’s something we all want to be part of.’

Scudamore also hinted that the date has been in his diary for a while now.

He added: “I’ve been in touch with Paul throughout the year if I’m honest. He has got a great record, training sprinters. Hopefully we can team up to good effect again.”

Scudamore maintains that it will be good fun. But Yorkshire-based Midgley – a former jump jockey himself – laughed as he said: “Whenever there’s prize money involved, don’t worry, they always take it seriously!”

And Midgley, who trains at Westow, is delighted to once more be able to call on Scudamore’s expertise.

He is hoping that the man who rode Thistlecrack to King George VI Chase glory at Kempton in 2016 can revive Tylery Wonder.

The eight-year-old has yet to win this season and his official handicap mark is 4lb lower than when he triumphed previously at York.

Midgley said: “Tom is a proper gent. It was great to get him on board last year and he gave him a peach of a ride. It was him that won the race as much as the horse.

“Tylery Wonder is probably not in quite as good form on the racecourse this year going into the race. But luckily Tom has stuck by him.

“He has become well handicapped again but at the same time he has become well handicapped for a reason.

“He is a horse that loves a flat galloping track and that’s one thing he must have for him to be at his best. Hopefully he’ll go and run a good race for Tom on Saturday.”

The first race of seven at York on Saturday has a scheduled start time of 1.35pm.

 

Racing Staff Week runs from Saturday 30th June until Saturday 7th July 2018. The week aims to bring the racing industry together to inform and engage horseracing followers and supporters about the passion and dedication of those who work to make racing happen. 

This year will see the fourth renewal of the Betfair Clock Tower Cup, running over seven furlongs at Doncaster Racecourse on Friday 6th July.  As in previous years, the race has attracted a maximum entry of 12 stable staff riders, all of whom have been nominated to ride by their respective trainers.

The Friday of Racing Staff Week provides a double-hit of racing action this year, with the inaugural running of the Racing Staff Week Cup at Newton Abbot, held over one mile and four furlongs and designed to give those from the jump yards of the South West and surrounding areas the opportunity to take part.

Winning riders will receive a beautiful, bespoke Gibson Saddlers race exercise saddle in the Betfair colours along with a trophy.  All riders taking part will receive a medal, a Betfair Kit Bag and grooming kit as well as a Careers in Racing base layer and baseball cap.  There will be a special prize for the rider in each race who raises the most sponsorship.

The 24 riders taking part and fundraising for Racing Welfare this year are:


 

The Clock Tower Cup (Doncaster):                         

 

The Racing Staff Week Cup (Newton Abbot):

 

Faye Bainbridge for Ben Haslam                                                                          Christina Berry for Grace Harris
Danny Bembridge for Scott DixonHarley Cornock for Martin Keighley
Lucy Collier for Ruth CarrRachel Davies for Harry Dunlop
Joe Curtis for Brendan PowellLyndsay Gallagher for Barry Brennan
Sarah Jones for Roger FellPhilippa Hyne for Jimmy Frost
Kiera Martin for Daniel LoughnaneLaura Parker for Philip Hobbs
Lisa Mitchell for David Evans Therese Philipson-Stow for Venetia Williams
Gareth Newmarch for Scott DixonDominika Polichtova for Jamie Osborne
Katy Perkin for Philip KirkbyTom Ryall for Harry Fry
Rachel Taylor for Michael DoddsShannon Scrivens for Neil Mulholland
Shenelle Watson for Jedd O’KeefeZackary Sparrow for John Flint
Tom Wigglesworth for David GriffithsClare Wyatt for David Pipe

 

For many of those taking part, riding in the race means the fulfilment of a life’s ambition.  Lyndsay Gallagher, who works for Barry Brennan commented “It’s taken me 16 years to have the opportunity to ride in a race and I’m so excited”.  Tom Ryall agreed, saying “I think it’s every stable lad or lass’s aim to race ride and when I was asked if I’d like to take part I didn’t hesitate to say yes.  Racing Welfare do a huge amount for racing staff so I’d like to support them and raise as much money as I can.”  Laura Parker, who has been with Philip Hobbs for six years, reflected on her place in the Newton Abbot race by saying “The opportunity to ride around one of my favourite tracks in the Racing Staff Week Cup is hugely exciting.”

Danny Bembridge, who rides for Scott Dixon, is back for a second bite of the cherry having lined up in the race last year, and is very happy to have been given the opportunity again this year by his boss.  For Christina Berry too, the event will mark a return to race-riding: “I’ve been lucky to ride as an amateur a few times before and the thrill and experience is something else.”

Already in possession of a Jockey Licence back in her native Czech Republic, Dominika Polichtova (representing Jamie Osborne), has set her sights on becoming an Apprentice in the UK and is looking forward to the experience riding in the race will give herRachel Taylor sees the race as an opportunity to gain valuable practice on the Doncaster turf, stating “My ambition is to get my amateur licence and ride a winner under Rules.  The Clock Tower Cup is a great opportunity for myself and other people who work in racing to experience race riding at a Grade one racecourse.”

All riders are raising sponsorship money for Racing Welfare and see the race as a great opportunity to give something back to the charity, which supports anyone working within the British horseracing industry; including stable staff, stud staff and racecourse staff.  Harley Cornock, who has worked for Martin Keighley for five years, commented “I want to ride in the charity race for Racing Welfare because I broke my leg last year and they helped to support me so I could return to work as quickly as possible.”  Tom Wigglesworth seconded this statement, saying “It is a great opportunity to ride in a very competitive race for an incredibly important charity.”

Racing Welfare Chief Executive, Dawn Goodfellow comments: “We are exceptionally happy to be holding two stable staff races this year with the introduction of the Racing Staff Week Cup at Newton Abbot, giving twenty-four members of staff the chance to experience the thrill of riding on the track.  We are extremely grateful to sponsors Betfair for their continued support, and to the owners and trainers who are giving their staff this excellent opportunity.”

The ‘Art of Racing’ Raceday won an award at the prestigious Showcase Awards for it’s unique innovation and the first of two Art of Racing Racedays in 2018 takes place at Pontefract on Monday 2nd July. It once again promises to be a brilliant day for both racing fanatics and those going racing for the first time as the race meeting celebrates everything we know and love about the Sport of Kings!

For those who think they know a bit about racing, the Racecourse is looking for 7 guest tipsters to preview one race each on the day. These form experts will then visit the course on the day to share their knowledge to other racegoers before their race takes place! Pontefract are also looking for those with a keen eye for the horses to join them to pick out the Best Turned Out Horse in each race as well. If you’d like to be considered for either of these roles, please contact the Racecourse on 01977 781307 or email info@pontefract-races.co.uk.

There will also be a beginners commentary booth for people to have a go at commentating on a race ‘behind the scenes’ – everyone taking part will be able to take home a recording of their commentary! There’ll be free bus trips to see the equine stars down at the start of all the 5 furlong and 6 furlong races to show and educate racegoers on the loading and starting procedures. It’s going to be a fun packed day with plenty going on!

On the track the European Breeders Fund sponsor the 2 most valuable races on the card – the Fillies Handicap and the Spindrifter Conditions Stakes. The ‘Spindrifter’ was the highest rated race run at Pontefract in 2017! This race always attracts and produces speedy youngsters and last year’s winner Zaman (who finished second in a Group 2 at Goodwood for Godolphin), beat Unfortunately (who won a Group 1 and a Group 2 in France), with Izzy Bizu (who also went on to win a Listed race) back in third. The race honours Spindrifter, who won an incredible 12 races as a two year old in 1980 – three of which were at Pontefract!

The popular Lifetime in Racing Series host a 5f Sprint in honour of Alan Hogg. With a rich history in the sport, Alan Hogg is an unsung hero of the Stud sector, working as Stud Manager for Lennie Peacocks Manor House Stud in Middleham.

There are also two races on the card run in honour of dearly missed family members. The Conway family will again be remembering Wayne for the 11th consecutive year. He loved racing at Pontefract and would have loved having a race in his honour. Tony Perkins also sponsors the Classified Race in memory of his late grandfather Wilfred Underwood.

The Racecourse will once again be offering discounted tickets to those who book in advance – see www.pontefract-races.co.uk for more information.

The first Family Day of the season at Pontefract is just around the corner on Sunday 24th June. A hugely popular event, it’s the annual totepool Flat Cap & Whippet Family Day.

Not only do we have Pontefract Races, but there is an England World Cup game on Sunday 24th June as well. But the Racecourse are all geared up for it and are providing live coverage in between races on the big screens and have also got a dedicated World Cup Marquee providing uninterrupted coverage of the game throughout the afternoon.

There’s an action packed day ahead with activities getting underway when the gates open at 11.30am. Whippets from the Yorkshire Pedigree Whippet Racing Club will take to the Racecourse between 12.30pm and 1.30pm as they set the scene for their equine counterparts later in the afternoon. With around 30 whippets racing over a series of races, it’s going to be a fast and furious way to start proceedings!

Whippets and horses are not the only races taking place – a team of ferrets will also be stepping into the spot light with racing in the Picnic Enclosure throughout the afternoon!

It’s worth dusting off that old Flat Cap from the back of the wardrobe as well. The first 500 people through the turnstiles wearing a flat cap will win a spot prize of either a tote voucher, a drinks voucher or a racecard!

As has become tradition on Sundays at Pontefract, there are lots of things going on for young racegoers in the Picnic Enclosure. With kids rides, a circus, face painting and free activity books and racecards, there’s plenty to keep the little ones occupied while mum and dad enjoy some top class racing. Eagle eyed kids need to look out for the Golden Horseshoe too – there’s a hamper of sweets to be won for the first person to find it!

There’s also free Pony rides as well – plenty to keep even the most active little ones occupied!

If you’ve ever wondered what happens down at the start of races – in the calm before the race explodes in to action – then you’ll be able to pick up our free minibus which will take you down to the starting stalls and bring you back after the race. Available for any race over 5f or 6f, it provides a fascinating insight into what goes on in the open space of the Parkland.

On the track, totepool sponsor all 7 races with the highlight being the £50,000 Listed totepool Pontefract Castle Fillies’ Stakes. The race was won last year by Abingdon who stormed home by an impressive 10 lengths for Ryan Moore and Sir Michael Stoute. She then went on to finish 3rd in a Group 2 in France and Group 3 in Ireland later in the year. Where will the 2018 winner be campaigned?

The 2018 Pontefract Stayers Championship is shaping up to be a really competitive affair and Round 4 is the totetrifecta Pontefract Cup. Micky Hammonds Tuscan Gold won the overall championship last year and the trainer has the current leader in this year’s competition with Becky The Thatcher who looks to have a great season ahead of her!

As always Family Tickets (£25) are available in advance for 2 adults and their children along with a range of alternative packages. Please view the course website (www.pontefract-races.co.uk) or give them a call on 01977 781307. Racing gets underway at 2.00pm, and the gates open at 11.30am!

Take Cover makes a welcome return to Beverley on Tuesday evening when he runs in the British EBF Conditions Stakes (7.30).

The popular 11-year-old sprinter has his first start at the East Yorkshire circuit since he brilliantly won the Listed Beverley Bullet last September.

David Griffiths’ dual Group Two winner takes on four rivals in a compelling renewal of the £14,000 five-furlong dash.

And though Take Cover must concede weight to the field, his trainer is expecting big things.

The South Yorkshire handler said: “We were thinking of going to Ireland with him (Midsummer Sprint Stakes at Naas), but this race fits in better.

“He’s got a lot of weight, but the ground will be ideal and it looks tailor-made for him.

“He’s the class horse in the race and shouldn’t really be getting beat.

“He ran well at Haydock, but his work after that has been really good.

“He’s getting back to where he was last year and he’s lost that bit of weight that he needed to.  “He’s totally where he needs to be.”

Takes on two former winners of the British EBF Conditions Stakes in Line Of Reason and Judicial.

Line Of Reason broke Beverley’s five-furlong course record when he claimed victory in 2016, but Judicial eclipsed that feat 12 months ago when he became the first horse to navigate the circuit in under a minute.

Judicial has been in good form this season, having finished a neck second to Mabs Cross in the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket in May.

Julie Camacho’s six-year-old then had no luck whatsoever in a Listed race at Haydock on June 9.

Steve Brown, Camacho’s assistant trainer and husband, said: “The Palace House was a nice start, but it was disappointing he couldn’t back that up, through no fault of his own, at Haydock.

“We’ve always thought he could be a Group winner and hopefully he’ll get the chance to show that this season.

“He’s very quick and very progressive.”

El Astronaute, who is now rated 103 after a string of super performances this season, also lines up for the John Quinn team, while David Barron’s Robot Boy completes the Beverley quintet.

The going at Beverley is good following 12 millimetres of rain on Saturday, with the six-race card due to start at 6.30pm.

On Saturday Macmillan Charity Raceday comfortably passed the landmark figure of £8m raised for Macmillan Cancer Support and other charities since the enduring partnership between York Racecourse and Macmillan Cancer Support was first started in 1971.It is Macmillan’s biggest single fundraising event and the largest charity raceday in British Racing.

Despite a showery afternoon, over 21,000 racegoers enjoyed an action packed afternoon which saw the £100,000 Pavers Foundation Catherine Memorial Sprint go to Encrypted, carrying the famous Juddmonte silks, as Hugo Palmer and Josephine Gordon combined to give Prince Khalid Abdullah.  Another big race winner. The total raised on Saturday currently stands at over £470,000 with final fundraising and donations still to be received.

The finale to Macmillan Charity Raceday saw history made as the Best Western Hotels & Macmillan Ride of their Lives had two winners, after the judge called a dead heat, between X Rated and Apterix.

This meant that two riders, Sarah Fanning and Chris Brownless, were both winners of the race. Perhaps, more importantly, the group of 11 riders and their supporters raised £110,000 for the charity.

Sarah Fanning, 37, from Middleham, said: “I was so nervous at the start; it’s surreal that I’ve won with Chris. Everyone has done amazingly well and raised so much money for Macmillan. That’s what it’s all about.”

Chris Brownless, the oldest competitor, aged 64, from Wooler, Northumberland said: “It’s a special day. I was riding today in memory of my brother who died from cancer in 2015. He would have been 60 today.”

The group included Chris Hughes, star of ITV2’s Love Island and Coral’s #LoveRacing ambassador who came with a late run to finish 5th in the race. Earlier in the day, Chris staged a successful selfie station for fans to have pictures with him, in return for donations to Macmillan. Commenting on the past six months as well as today, he said “It was an amazing experience and the support from the crowd was unbelievable. I’m disappointed not to win but I’ve loved every minute of the race, the day and the months of training leading up to today, and just want to have another go now. I would like to thank Coral, Jonjo O’Neill, Richard Fahey and Dominic Elsworth and all the other people who’ve all made this possible. It’s one of the best things I’ve done. My fellow jockeys have all been incredible supportive and we’d like to thank everyone who has raised money for Macmillan Cancer Support.”

Over 200 volunteers helped with the fundraising events across the day with in addition to the support of countless individuals and organisations with fundraising activities of auctions, raffles, fundraising lunch and donations.  Of the £8m raised, 90% goes to Macmillan Cancer Support to improve the lives of people living with cancer.  The remaining 10% goes to a number of charities such as York Against Cancer, St Leonard’s Hospice, Racing Welfare and the Injured Jockeys Fund.

Lynda Thomas, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “A huge thank you to everyone who has supported Macmillan Charity Raceday and made it such a success. At Macmillan we rely on donations to fund our services and help people living with cancer life live as fully as they can, so we’re hugely grateful to everyone that has been involved.”

William Derby, York Racecourse Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course commented; “To have raised over £8m is an amazing achievement and a tribute to everyone past and present who has contributed to make this raceday such a wonderful event.  Countless individuals and organisations have been so generous with their time, involvement and support of the day from throughout the racing and Yorkshire community – it is a special day everyone associated with it can be very proud of.”

Andrew Denton, Head of Member Services at Best Western Hotels, the long term sponsor of the race said: “This is the sporting event of the summer, forget the World Cup! Eleven ordinary people doing something extraordinary for charity, and Best Western is proud to be supporting Macmillan and the riders for the third year running in the incredible Ride of their Lives.”

Macmillan Charity Raceday is a fundraising collaboration between York Racecourse and Macmillan Cancer Support. The day of professional racing and fundraising has been held annually since 1971, and has now raised more than £8 million in total for Macmillan and other charitable causes.

You can still donate to the riders’ fundraising pages at: www.macmillan.org.uk/charityraceday<http://www.macmillan.org.uk/charityraceday>

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.

https://www.strayfm.com/win/riponracesladiesday.php

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 blacktype.bet 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’. blacktype.bet 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: www.ripon-races.co.uk

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 mrgreen.com 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 mrgreen.com 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 www.macmillanyorkraceday.co.uk<http://www.macmillanyorkraceday.co.uk> 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.

 

Jungle Inthebungle is likely to head to Royal Ascot after he upheld family honour by winning the Brian Yeardley Two-Year-Old Trophy at Beverley on Saturday.

Mick Channon’s talented young colt (8-1) found daylight when it mattered under Charles Bishop and surged half a length clear of Tin Hat. Victory Command, the 9-4 favourite, finished third, another length and a half away.

There was a neat symmetry to Jungle Inthebungle’s victory in the £35,000 conditions stakes as his sire, Bungle Inthejungle, also claimed the five-furlong sprint in 2012. 

Jack Channon, the trainer’s son and assistant, said: “His old man won this a few years ago and it’s great that he’s followed up.

“We gave him a bit of a break after Kempton, when he didn’t quite run his race, but he’s trained great.

“He’s a lovely horse, with a great temperament. He’s just like his old man – tough and hardy – and a great advertisement for the stallion.

“We might have a look at the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot now. It’s on the Saturday this year so it might just fit perfectly.”

Bishop added: “He’s a tough, bonny horse and has won the pot he deserved.”

 

Connections of Kodyanna are keen to run the filly in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot after she dazzled in the Hilary Needler Trophy at Beverley on Saturday.

The two-year-old daughter of Kodiac stepped up from an encouraging debut at Nottingham last month to take the £35,000 fillies’ sprint by a head in a thrilling finish.

Deia Glory looked to have done enough from the front, but the Paul Hanagan-ridden Kodyanna (4-1) held sway at the death to fuel Royal Ascot ambitions.

Kodyanna’s mother, Jadanna, fittingly won the Hilary Needler Trophy in 2012 for owners the Cool Silk Partnership, who also claimed top honours with Chica La Habana in last year’s renewal.

Cool Silk partner Peter Swann, who is also chairman of Scunthorpe Utd, said: “She’s magnificent and will come on a lot for that.

“She was a bit unlucky on her first start as she got hampered, but we knew she was a very talented filly.

“We like to go to Ascot, so the plan is to hopefully to go to the Queen Mary. It’s a bit tight in terms of time, but if she comes out of it, that’s where we’ll go.”

“We think there’s a lot more to come from her.”

 

Hanagan added: “She worked really well the other day and is very, very tough.”

 

As part of Mr Green’s Gentleman’s Day on Friday 15 June, York Racecourse is set to welcome a barber, tailor and shoe shine experts, as well as the thousands of racegoers.

In addition to supporting the £50,000 Listed Ganton Stakes, the award winning online casino operator and sports betting brand wants to help create the world of its mysterious figurehead, Mr Green.

So the racegoers will be able to take advantage of a range of services within “Gentleman’s Corner”.

If you can tell a true gentleman by the state of his shoes, then the Steel City Shoe Shine Company can come to rescue, as Joseph and his team will be offering a first class shine, whilst customers relax in the bespoke shining chairs.

Other people will tell you that a true gentleman can only be discerned by the quality of his shave; so step forward, the team from nationally renowned brand Barber Barber, offering shaves to racegoers from their own big chair.

For some people, a gentleman will be defined by the cut of his cloth; which is where Cuffs & Co will aid racegoers by providing a bespoke measuring service, so they can find a shirt that matches their true fit, rather than the vanity measurements of some retailers. A high quality shirt should be worn with proper cufflinks and those newly shined shoes merit smart socks. Phil Pinder and his team, based on York’s own Shambles, will be on hand to advise prospective gentleman on all these things.

Part of the fun of the raceday, all these services will be available without charge to racegoers on Stands Side, though it is hoped that the presence of donation buckets ahead of Macmillan Charity Raceday just twenty four hours later will be well used by those enjoying a spruce up.

Mark Johnston saddles Victory Command and No Lippy in his quest to claim two of the biggest prizes of the season at Beverley on Saturday.
Victory Command lines up in renowned Royal Ascot trial, the £35,000 Brian Yeardley Two-Year-Old Trophy (2.40).
Stablemate No Lippy then runs in a fine renewal of the historic Hilary Needler Trophy (3.15), which is also worth £35,000 in prize-money.

Johnston won the five-furlong Brian Yeardley 12 months ago with Cardsharp, who finished third in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot and continually held his own in top company as a juvenile.

Victory Command has already caught the eye on a racecourse. The son of War Command easily won a Doncaster novice auction stakes on May 19. He then finished second to the highly-rated Ninetythreetwenty in a six-furlong conditions stakes at Pontefract six days later.

Charlie Johnston, the trainer’s son and assistant, said: “He’s got a long way to go to reach the heights of Cardsharp, but he hasn’t done much wrong.

“He won very comfortably at Donny and then probably bumped into quite a nice horse at Ponte.

“He’s the highest-rated horse on Timeform figures and he’s got a leading chance.”

Stablemate No Lippy is prominent in the betting for the prestigious Hilary Needler Trophy, which will also provide significant clues for Royal Ascot and beyond.

The Oasis Dream filly, owned by Barbara and Allick Richmond, has won three times already this season.

No Lippy was only last in action a week ago when she drew a length and a half clear in the Edinburgh Castle Stakes at Musselburgh.

Charlie Johnston said: “She’s a fantastic advertisement for getting a horse out and running.

“I was quite impressed with her at Musselburgh. A few behind her met with trouble in running, but I thought she did well.

“She takes her races very well and when the entries came out for the Hilary Needler it was always the idea to go to Beverley.

“Royal Ascot is certainly on the agenda. She makes us very proud.”

Johnston last won the five-furlong Hilary Needler in 2003 with Attraction, the dual Guineas heroine who went on to achieve greatness on a racecourse.

Beverley’s eight-race card begins at 2.05pm and also features the £15,000 Nearly Graham Hallett Memorial Fillies’ Handicap over a mile and a quarter (3.50).

The going is good ahead of A Very British Raceday at Beverley, with sunny spells and a high of 16C forecast for Saturday.

Trucking By Brian Yeardley Two-Year-Old Trophy (2.40)

1) Its the Only Way (Richard Hannon/Pat Dobbs)
2) Life Of Riley (Karl Burke/Clifford Lee)
3) Big Ace (Tim Easterby/Andrew Mullen)
4) Jungle Inthebungle (Mick Channon/Charles Bishop)
5) Tin Hat (Eve Johnson Houghton/Kieran O’Neill)
6) Victory Command (Mark Johnston/PJ McDonald)
7) Wasntexpectingthat (Richard Fahey/Paul Hanagan)
8) Adam Tiler (Robert Cowell/Gerald Mosse)
9) King Billy (Brian Ellison/Ben Robinson)
10) Midnight Sands (James Given/Barry McHugh)

Hilary Needler Trophy (3.15)

1) Alicia Darcy (James Given/Barry McHugh)
2) Antico Lady (Brian Ellison/Ben Robinson)
3) Dame Gladys (Kevin Ryan/Andrew Mullen)
4) Deia Glory (Scott Dixon/Kieran O’Neill)
5) Good Tyne Girl (Richard Fahey/Paddy Mathers)
6) Gypsy Spirit (Tom Clover/Gerald Mosse)
7) Josiebond (Rebecca Bastiman/Phil Dennis)
8) Kodyanna (Richard Fahey/Paul Hanagan)
9) Lady Prancealot (David Evans/Clifford Lee)
10) No Lippy (Mark Johnston/PJ McDonald)
11) Pearl Of Qatar (Brian Ellison/JP Guillambert)
12) Vikivaki (Robert Cowell/Charles Bishop)
13) Wedding Date (Richard Hannon/Pat Dobbs)

Young Newmarket trainer Tom Clover believes Gypsy Spirit has a lot going for her in the historic Hilary Needler Trophy at Beverley on Saturday (June 9).

The two-year-old daughter of Gregorian features amongst 13 declarations for what looks a superb renewal of the £35,000 conditions stakes over five furlongs.

And Clover has gone out of his way to appoint star French jockey Gerald Mosse for the ride on Gypsy Spirit, who won well on her debut at Windsor before finishing third in a hot novice stakes over six furlongs at Lingfield.

Clover said: “It’s worth good money and the track will suit her well.

“I’d love a drop of rain for her, being by Gregorian, but that’s not to say she won’t run well if it doesn’t come.

“We’ve a nice rider and she runs off level weights compared to Lingfield, so they are both positives.

“I was surprised at Lingfield by how much she had sharpened up for her run at Windsor and hopefully she’s still progressing.

“We think she’ll enjoy running over five furlongs up the hill at Beverley and if she ran very well, you’d have to look at Royal Ascot – especially if there is some cut in the ground.”

The Hilary Needler Trophy was famously claimed in 2003 by the mighty Attraction, whose former trainer Mark Johnson this year saddles prolific winner No Lippy.

Last-time-out winners Dame Gladys (Kevin Ryan), Good Tyne Girl (Richard Fahey) and Pearl Of Qatar (Brian Ellison) have also been declared, while Lady Prancealot (David Evans) and Wedding Date (Richard Hannon) have winning form, too.

Robert Cowell won the Hilary Needler Trophy 12 months ago with Chica La Habana and this season saddles Vikivaki.

Chica La Habana carries the colours of the Cool Silk Partnership, who are doubly represented in the ultra-competitive dash by the James Given-trained Alicia Darcy and Fahey’s Kodyanna.

The Ellison-trained Antico Lady, Deia Glory (Scott Dixon) and Josiebond (Rebecca Bastiman) complete a top-notch line-up.

Life Of Riley will attempt to get on the Royal Ascot bandwagon by winning the Brian Yeardley Two-Year-Old Trophy at Beverley on Saturday (June 9).

The £35,000 conditions stakes over five furlongs has a rich recent history of producing Royal runners, with last year’s winner, Cardsharp, subsequently finishing third in the Norfolk Stakes.

Life Of Riley will try to maintain that trend by producing the goods at Beverley for North Yorkshire trainer Karl Burke.

The Showcasing colt made an encouraging debut at Hamilton, but really came into his own when he stormed a length and a half clear in a five-furlong novice stakes at Ripon on May 30.

Niall O’Brien, racing director for Life Of Riley’s part-owners, the Ontoawinner syndicate, said: “We probably expected a little more from his debut, but he was a little bit green.

“He certainly made up for it at Ripon and we think he’ll step forward again.

“We don’t know quite how good he is yet, but we think he’s very smart.

“He was a bit babyish, green and coltish before his victory at Ripon, so you’d imagine he should be a good deal better for that run.

“The Brian Yeardley is a good race with good prize-money, and if were to win, we’ll go to Royal Ascot for the Windsor Castle Stakes.”

This year’s renewal of the Brian Yeardley Two-Year-Old Trophy has received 10 declarations, with Cardsharp’s trainer Mark Johnston hoping Victory Command can complete a significant double.

Richard Hannon saddles two-time winner Its the Only Way, while Big Ace (Tim Easterby), Jungle Inthebungle (Mick Channon), Wasntexpectingthat (Richard Fahey) and Tin Hat (Eve Johnson Houghton) have also been victorious in their short careers.

Adam Tiler (Robert Cowell), King Billy (Brian Ellison) and the unraced Midnight Sands (James Given) have also been declared in the big race.

Jungle Inthebungle will attempt to uphold family honour by winning the Brian Yeardley Two-Year-Old Trophy at Beverley on Saturday.

The talented juvenile’s sire, Bungle Inthejungle, won the £35,000 conditions stakes in 2012 before going on to claim two Group races in a fine career.

Jungle Inthebungle won on his debut at Lingfield in April and then finished second in a strong sprint at Kempton.

He will be having a first start on turf in the Brian Yeardley Two-Year-Old Trophy, a renowned final staging post before Royal Ascot.

Trainer Mick Channon said: “Obviously his father won the race, so it’s a good one for him to go for.

“We’ve been pleased with him at home and we think he’s quite a nice horse.

“Bungle Inthejungles go on all ground, so we have no problems about what it’s going to be like at Beverley.

“We’d have to see, but if he won the Brian Yeardley we’d have to have a think about Royal Ascot.”

West Ilsley-based Channon could also saddle Big Boots in the Brian Yeardley Two-Year-Old Trophy at Beverley.

The young son of Society Rock won on debut at Bath in early May and has since held his form admirably.

Channon said: “It’s not 100 per cent certain that he’ll run yet, but he’s been running well in good races.

“We might well head to Beverley with him if I’m happy with him. If he settles, he’ll be a good horse.”

Stablemate Cotubanama is also squarely in the firing line for the historic Hilary Needler Trophy on the same card at Beverley on Saturday.

The daughter of Heeraat has been campaigned at a high level since she won a heavy-ground conditions stakes at Salisbury in April.

Cotubanama was last seen finishing fourth in the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom last Friday.

Channon expects big things from her in the much-sought-after £35,000 conditions stakes over Beverley’s five furlongs.

He said: “She was unlucky last week. She just got carried wide and would probably have finished second if that hadn’t have happened.

“It was heavy at Salisbury, but she’s another that goes on any ground.

“It’s a nice race for her. She’s got a great chance.”

Don’t Miss Out The combination of a live concert from Paloma Faith with a seven race card, backed by Sunbets, has proven so popular that the tickets for Stands Side are nearly all gone.
People wanting to have the opportunity to get close to the stage or to enjoy the Champagne Terraces are being advised to act quickly to secure some of the few remaining badges and tickets, for Saturday 30 June.
Badges for County Stand start at £37.50 (for a group of 6 or more), with Grandstand and Paddock available from £25 (for a group of 6 or more).
The Clocktower Enclosure (called the Picnic Enclosure by some) in the middle of the racecourse is only open to sales once gates open at 11.15am, so there will still be an opportunity, subject to availability, to be part of the racing and music by using this area; even after the Stands Side admissions are all sold.
Also, there are places available in both the Ebor and Voltigeur Restaurants; these offer the chance for a real treat; including admission, a reserved viewing area for racing (that also offers an elevated, if long distance view of the music stage) as well as gourmet food for the day. The restaurant prices start from £199+vat to include morning coffee, the grand buffet & carvery as well as afternoon tea. Drinks are available to purchase in the Voltigeur Restaurant and are included in the Ebor Restaurant price of £250+vat. Call 01904 638971 for details.
During July, at the Music Showcase Weekend, there are two further racing + music events when Sir Tom Jones will perform after racing on Friday evening 27 July; then Boyzone take to the stage as part of their farewell tour, after an afternoon of racing on Saturday 28 July. Whilst both of these dates are also proving popular, there is availability for all areas, County Stand, Grandstand & Paddock and Clocktower Enclosure (on the day).
To get hold of the last remaining tickets for Saturday 30 June, visit yorkracecourse.co.uk or call 01904 620911 (during office hours).

Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Joseph O’Brien could have a first runner at Beverley on Saturday (June 9) as Staycation is in the frame for the Trucking by Brian Yeardley Two-Year-Old Trophy.

The son of Acclamation is well regarded by connections, though fortune has not been on his side in three starts to date.

But a big run from Staycation in the £35,000 conditions stakes over five furlongs could convince Co Kilkenny-based O’Brien and owners Nick Bradley Racing to spin the wheel at Royal Ascot.

Nick Bradley said: “He has plenty of ability, but he’s a bit of a character.

“On his last start at Catterick he barged past two of them, and then he just stopped. He just put the brakes on. It wasn’t like he was out of energy or anything like that.

“Whether it was immaturity or quirkiness, I don’t know, but I’m hoping it’s the former.

“He’s got multiple entries, but the Brian Yeardley is always a good race and there’s a fair chance he’ll go, as there’s not a lot in Ireland for him for a while.

“Joseph likes him a lot and if he runs and wins at the weekend, we might think about Royal Ascot.”

The five-furlong Brian Yeardley Two-Year-Old Trophy received 17 entries and was won last season by Cardsharp, who subsequently finished third in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Cardsharp’s trainer Mark Johnston could this year saddle impressive Doncaster maiden winner Victory Command.

Well Done Fox (Richard Hannon), Yousini (Kevin Ryan), Wasntexpectingthat (Richard Fahey), Big Ace (Tim Easterby) and Life Of Riley (Karl Burke) were all last-time-out winners and could also line up.

As might the Mick Channon-trained Jungle Inthebungle, whose sire, Bungle Inthejungle, won the Brian Yeardley Two-Year-Old Trophy in 2012.

Nick Bradley Racing could also be represented by unraced filly Little Kim in the prestigious Hilary Needler Trophy on the same Beverley card.

Bradley said: “She cost 45,000 guineas and is a half-sister to Out Of The Flames, who ran in the Breeders’ Cup.

“Karl Burke likes her a lot and says that she goes nicely at home, so we’re pretty confident she’ll turn into a nice filly.

“She’s been suffering from sore shins, which is why she’s not had a run yet, but she’s getting there now.”

Brian Ellison could saddle highly-rated juveniles Pearl Of Qatar and Antico Lady in the historic Hilary Needler Trophy at Beverley on Saturday (June 9).

Pearl Of Qatar already has important Beverley experience, having won a five-furlong novice stakes by a length in May.

That was the daughter of Footstepsinthesand’s only career start and she is now set to step up in class for the £35,000 Hilary Needler Trophy, which is a renowned springboard towards Royal Ascot.

Ellison said: “She’s got a bit more work to do at home, but the plan at this stage is to run in the Hilary Needler.

“She’s a very nice filly. She was a big price on her debut at Beverley, but it didn’t surprise me that she won like that as she’d been going nicely at home.

“We also took her for a gallop at Pontefract, and that did her a lot of good.

“She’s very laid-back at home, but she’s got a lot of pace and is a horse we like a lot.”

Stablemate Antico Lady finished seventh of nine runners on her sole start at Thirsk on May 19, but Ellison is convinced she will not be out of place in the Hilary Needler.

The Malton-based handler said: “She ran a lot better than her finishing position might suggest at Thirsk.

“She’s a filly we think a lot of and hopefully she’ll get to show that at Beverley.”

Pearl Of Qatar and Antico Lady are amongst 21 entries for the Hilary Needler Trophy, which was famously won by the peerless Attraction in 2003.

Attraction’s former trainer Mark Johnston has this season entered Lingfield scorer Octave and No Lippy, who has won three of her four races to date.

Robert Cowell won the Hilary Needler last June with Chica La Habana and could this year saddle Bhangra and Vivivaki.

Dame Gladys (Kevin Ryan), Good Tyne Girl (Richard Fahey) and the Richard Hannon-trained duo of K Club and Wedding Date are already winners and could also run.

It could be an important afternoon for Ellison at Beverley on Saturday as he will also take the plunge with King Billy in the £35,000 Trucking by Brian Yeardley Two-Year-Old Trophy.

Owned locally by Keith Brown, the Zoffany colt is expected to be a great deal sharper than on his debut at Catterick on June 1.

Ellison said: “He’s a nice horse and Keith loves having runners at Beverley so we’ll give it a go.

“He might need a longer trip in time, but he’s been working well at home and came out of Catterick grand.”

The five-furlong Brian Yeardley Two-Year-Old Trophy is also a significant pointer towards Royal Ascot, with last year’s winner, Cardsharp, finishing third in the Norfolk Stakes.

Nothing celebrates a typical English summer more than a sunny afternoon at the races, traditional fairground attractions and a refreshing glass of something bubbly – topped off with a rousing singalong!

And that’s what racegoers can expect next week as the hugely successful A Very British Raceday returns to picturesque Beverley Racecourse, celebrating all that makes this country great.

The quintessentially British afternoon of racing, on Saturday, June 9, will see Beverley-based Remarkable Rock Choir serenade patriotic racegoers with classic anthems by rock legends such as Queen, The Beatles, Oasis and Status Quo.

In their largest-ever singalong, the 70-strong company of singers will complete the day with a rip-roaring rendition of legendary Queen classic Bohemian Rhapsody and a rocking finale of God Save the Queen.

Remarkable Rock Choir founder Mark Howley said: “We’re really looking forward to performing at A Very British Raceday.

“Our singers will lead the racegoers in a huge singalong – all accompanied by a live band of professional musicians – and we’ll be encouraging everyone to join us in belting out the British rock classics that we all know and love.

“Our fantastic singers will be wearing patriotic colours and really get into the spirit of the occasion. It promises to be a fantastic end to a perfect day’s racing. So drape yourself in red, white and blue, tune up your vocal chords and dust off your air guitar!”

As in previous years, racegoers and racecourse staff alike will join in with the patriotic spirit and don British-themed outfits and accessories.

Kate McKee, Marketing Manager at Beverley Racecourse, said: “Everyone loves our Very British Raceday. It’s one of our most popular race meetings of the season and a lovely celebration of the great British summer.

“Many racegoers don their finest red, white and blue outfits and Union Jack accessories and it’s great to see and hear people join in with the singalong.

 

 

 

“Off the track we have a full-size carousel, traditional side stalls and our usual top-quality dining offerings.

“It’s also one of our biggest meetings of the season with lots of good sprinters running, so avid racegoers can expect some first-class horseracing.

“It will be an unmissable day with an amazing atmosphere, so start planning your outfit and book your tickets today!”

The meeting’s racing line-up features two of the season’s top races – the Hilary Needler and Brian Yeardley Trophies for two-year-old fillies and colts respectively.

The two flagship races set many young horses on the road to stardom at Royal Ascot on June 19, and throughout the rest of the season. Each carrying a purse of £25,000, the races are highly sought after by owners, trainers and jockeys.

The popular meeting will also see a return of the hilarious Beverley Donkey Derby, which sees professional jockeys compete to be first past the post on their stubborn and unruly steeds! The donkeys will then be on their very best behaviour as they take children on rides throughout the afternoon.

Racegoers are being advised to book in advance for one of Beverley’s most popular racedays, especially if they wish to dine in The Attraction restaurant, which offers superb views of the course and this year features a signature three-course menu created by celebrity chef Colin McGurran from the acclaimed Winteringham Fields restaurant in north Lincolnshire.

Tickets for all the fixtures are available to buy online at http://beverley-racecourse.co.uk/racing/season-calendar or by calling the ticket hotline on 01482 867488. Racegoers are advised to book in advance, especially for the most popular meetings.

Keep up to date with Beverley Racecourse on Facebook @BeverleyRacecourse; on Twitter @Beverley_Races; and on Instagram Beverley_racecourse.

We’re lucky enough to have some fantastic sporting action on our doorstep in West Yorkshire with Rugby League and Horse Racing being two of the biggest spectator sports in both the region and nationally. On Monday 11th June – our Rugby League Evening – some of our fantastic local Rugby League teams (Castleford Tigers, Featherstone Rovers, Huddersfield Giants and Wakefield Trinity) will be taking over Pontefract Races for one night only!
There are some fantastic offers about – season ticket holders with any of the clubs will be able to come along on the night and pay just £5 to get in to the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure – just don’t forget to bring your season ticket along with you!
Those wanting to make a night of it can meet their teams’ heroes with the VIP Package. For just £42, fans will have the opportunity to meet, greet and mingle with their favourite players in the luxury of the private Rugby League Hospitality Box. With private viewing balconies overlooking the Parade Ring and Winning post, as well as a fantastic hot buffet and a table for the evening, it’s a fantastic opportunity to really make it a night to remember.
The 6f Mr Wolf Sprint Handicap remembers one of the all-time Ponte greats. Runners in this race have a huge mountain to climb to emulate the great Mr Wolf – he ran at Pontefract an incredible 36 times throughout his career, winning here on 8 occasions. He ran his last race at the course back in July 2012 but will be back on the night to parade before racing starts.
The race itself is always competitive and last years winner Golden Apollo trained by Tim Easterby took the contest by an impressive 5 lengths to Parnassian. Golden Apollo went on to win a £100,000 race 5 days later at York and struck the front again in August at the Shergar Cup meeting at Ascot.
Pontefract is geographically well placed and attracts runners from all over the country. There’s an added incentive for runners in the 1m4f handicap – The Wakefield Trinity Handicap Stakes – as this race has been upgraded from a Class 4 to a Class 2, and now has a total prize fund of £25,000.
If you are driving to this meeting make sure you collect your Designated Driver voucher from the Car Park Attendants. These vouchers can be used in the Racecourse to get 2 bottles of Harrogate Spa Water free of charge.
The Racecourse’s ‘Postcode Lottery’ promotion gives those with a DN postcode the chance to pick up a free ticket. There are 100 tickets available! For full information, please view the Racecourse website at www.pontefract-races.co.uk
Racing gets underway at 6.40pm and the gates open at 4.30pm.

Catterick Racecourse’s Flat season continues on Saturday 9 June with the Yorkshire Beer Festival race day.

Catterick Racecourse is set to hold its first ever Yorkshire Beer Festival this summer, in association with Pennine Brewing Co., who are based locally to the course, at Well. The beer festival will take place alongside an action packed seven-race Totepool sponsored card on Saturday 9 June.

The gates will be open to the public from 11:45am with the first race, The totescoop6 It’s a Rollover Novice Median Auction Stakes, getting the action underway at 1:45pm. While the feature race of the day, The totescoop6 Handicap Stakes scheduled for 3:30pm, runs over 7 furlongs and offers a total of £23,000 prize money.

Alongside the action on the track, there will be the opportunity for race goers to sample twelve different Yorkshire ales and ciders from Pennine Brewing Co. The Beer Festival will take place in the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure, where racegoers will also be able to enjoy live music from The Black Marcs, who will be playing throughout racing and into the evening, until 6:30pm.

Helen Crannage, Sales Manager at Pennine Brewing Co. said: “We are very pleased to be working with Catterick Racecourse to put on this event. As well as the racing action to keep everyone entertained, there’ll be a fantastic selection of Yorkshire craft beers and ciders to enjoy, plus live music from a great Yorkshire band! We hope this will become an annual event in the fixture calendar.”

The racecourse supports the Racecourse Association’s #PaceYourself campaign to encourage responsible drinking at the course. Racegoers are reminded to pace themselves when enjoying their day at the races by allowing one soft drink between each alcoholic drink.

Under 18’s are admitted free of charge to all of Catterick’s fixtures, when accompanied by an adult. There will also be free children’s entertainment, including bouncy castles and a roundabout, in the Course Enclosure throughout the afternoon – the perfect setting for an afternoon with the family!

The gates will be staying open later than usual, until 6:30pm, giving race goers the opportunity to enjoy the summer evening with friends and family and make the most of their visit to the racecourse.

A big screen will be at the course on the day giving race goers the best view of all the action and the free shuttle bus will be running to take racegoers from Richmond Market Place to the racecourse, approximately one hour prior to the first race, and will return again after the last race.

Tickets will be available to purchase at the gates on the day, while advanced and group booking discounts are available at www.catterickbridge.co.uk.

Quinn sets sights on £50,000 sprint

TRAINER Ralph Beckett welcomes the addition of the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Brontë Cup to the racing calendar and will send Isabel De Urbina for the inaugural running of the Group 3 at York this Saturday.

The £90,000 mile and three-quarter race for older fillies and mares forms part of a wider initiative to encourage such horses to remain in training beyond their three-year-old season.

Isabel De Urbina has exactly the type of profile the programme has been designed for, stepping up in grade after winning the Listed-class Daisy Warwick Stakes at Goodwood earlier this month.

Hampshire-based Beckett said: “I think it is a good initiative. There is only one other group, I think I’m right in saying, over this trip for fillies in the calendar – the Lillie Langtry- which has been upgraded to group 2 as part of the same initiative. So in that sense it’s a welcome initiative.”

At 100, the four-year-old Isabel De Urbina is the highest-rated of the six-strong field. Her rivals will include the French-trained filly Do Re Mi Fa Sol who was second in Listed company three weeks ago.

Beckett added: “As far as Isabel De Urbina is concerned the programmers have got it right in that the race fits very well from the Daisy Warwick. I’m looking forward to running her. She should benefit from the step up in trip as well.”

Isabel De Urbina did her best work at the end of the mile and a half race at Goodwood, getting up late on to score by a half a length.

Beckett said: “It made her a stakes winner – she wasn’t that before. So in that sense it was not only encouraging but what her owner-breeder would have wanted.”

The Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Brontë Cup is one of just seven races on the £225,000 card, which gets underway at 2pm<x-apple-data-detectors://6> with the Class 2 seven-furlong Constant Security Handicap.

The second-richest race of the afternoon at York is the five-furlong £50,000 MansionBet Sprint Handicap. El Astronaute is likely to be vying for the favourite’s tag after winning a course and distance sprint at the Dante Festival last week.

The John Quinn-trained five-year-old made all on the far side to win by a neck. He has been raised 3lb to 101 for that success and this time he has been drawn towards the stands rail in stall 17 of 19.

Quinn, who trains in the village of Settrington in North Yorkshire, said: “When you win a York handicap you expect to go up so I think 3lb was fair enough and I hope he could overcome it.

“He is in very good form and he has always run very well at York, albeit last week was the first time he won there.

“He goes on fast ground, he goes on good ground – the only ground he has proved to us that that he doesn’t like is heavy and that’s rather unlikely!   “We are looking forward to running him and he is very well.”

Quinn’s team are in fine form and enjoyed two victories at the Dante Festival. As well as El Astronaute they were also on target with Signora Cabello in the Langleys Solicitors British EBF Marygate Fillies’ Stakes – a Listed contest over the minimum trip.

Quinn added: “We are very pleased with Signora Cabello. She has got her ‘black type’ – her next run would be the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot.”

The twin successes on the Knavesmire have really put a spring in the step of Quinn and his staff at Bellwood Cottage Stables.

He reflected: “It means everything. It’s great for the yard and for all the lads and lasses who work so hard.”

For tickets for Saturday’s race meeting, the fourth of 18 at York in 2018, please call 01904 620911 x 225<tel:01904%20620911;225> or visit www.yorkracecourse.co.uk<http://www.yorkracecourse.co.uk/>

 

 

York is back in action with the first Saturday of its eighteen day season (May 26).

As with every afternoon at York, the total prize money is into six figures, on this occasion over £225,000 for the seven race card, with a brand new feature race worth £90,000.

The Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Brontë Cup is the newest of York’s thirty Pattern races, it is a Group Three for older fillies and mares over one and three quarter miles and forms part of a wider initiative to encourage such horses to stay in training.

This is the first opportunity for weekend racegoers to explore the latest improvements to the racegoing experience at York, such as the new Clocktower Enclosure in the centre of the course with its new facilities, infrastructure and landscape.

The first of seven Saturday afternoon fixtures this season on the Knavesmire, the day welcomes back MansionBet – this time as sponsors of the £50,000 sprint handicap. Such races are as popular with Yorkshire trainers as with Yorkshire racegoers so expect a number of the runners to hail from the white rose county.

The Yorkshire Regiment, also return to put their name to a contest for novice two-year-olds and away from the track, the Regimental Band will entertain racegoers. It is also part a racing scheme known as Plus 10, meaning that there is a bonus of £10,000, awarded to the winning connections, if the horses are qualified.

The Infinity Tyres Irish Champions Weekend EBF Fillies Stakes is one of 23 races at York to also benefit from the generous support of The European Breeders’ Fund.

Brittains Beverages who produce extraordinary spirits, including local vodka and now both rum and gin, are the backers of a middle distance handicap. Gentleman amateur riders have their opportunity in the final race of the afternoon, a handicap contest over seven furlongs, sponsored once again by York-based John Wright Electrical Services Ltd, who have worked on the facilities at the racecourse. The team behind the stewarding at the track, Constant Security, support a handicap over seven furlongs.

Racegoers will have the chance to get close to a racehorse as Yorkshire based equine charity; New Beginnings are bringing Harry, (a thoroughbred who raced here in 1994 using his professional name of Golden Hello) as well as his friend Meg the pony.

The relaxed atmosphere of the first weekend fixture is further enhanced with live musical entertainment provided by the Band of the Yorkshire Regiment on the Weighing Room Lawn and Murphy’s Marbles under the Knavesmire Stand. The upbeat style of The Monotones provides the soundtrack to the late afternoon.

The totepool ‘Punters Panel’ will preview the action before racing from the winners’ enclosure, while a new giant screen on the John Carr Terrace will provide racegoers with an even closer view of proceedings on the track.

Those who want to find out more about this raceday and the season ahead can visit York’s website on www.yorkracecourse.co.uk<http://www.yorkracecourse.co.uk/>

York Racecourse is delighted to announce Al Basti Equiworld Dubai as the new sponsor of both the Group 2 Dante Stakes and the Group 2 Middleton Stakes, staged on the middle day of the Dante Festival 2019.

In a three year extension of the current partnership, the Dubai based business, founded by Malih Al Basti, will add the two feature contests to the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes which is already part of its high class sponsorship portfolio.

As an indication of a commitment to innovation, Al Basti had previously agreed to back a brand new Group 3 contest on the Knavesmire. The inaugural running of the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Brontë Cup will be this coming Saturday (26 May). There is £90,000 of prize money on offer to older fillies and mares over the staying distance of 1 mile & six furlongs.

The brand is already globally recognised as the leading provider of a wide range of equine products, and this latest support will further raise that profile, as the Dante is widely recognised as the premier trial for the Investec Derby, with ten colts having previously done the York/Epsom double.

As the racing world awaits news of whether the 2018 winner of the Dante, Roaring Lion, will head to Epsom or Chantilly; this announcement draws to a close the successful partnership with Betfred, for which the track is most grateful.

Trainer of Roaring Lion, John Gosden, also secured the 2018 Betfred Middleton Stakes courtesy of Coronet, and the impressive filly looks likely to return to Royal Ascot where she has already tasted Group 2 success. A strong performance in Berkshire would confirm a longer term planned return to the Knavesmire for the Darley Yorkshire Oaks on 23 August.

Racing connections at York are already familiar with Al Basti Equiworld, as the brand has backed the new Owners’ Welcome Building since it opened in 2015, as well as the main Owners and Trainers Restaurant and the Winning Connections Building.

Founder of the business, Malih Al Basti, is particularly keen to recognise the work done by both jockeys and racing staff; so the partnership continues to provide appropriate food for the jockeys and a complimentary meal for racing staff with a runner.

Speaking about the agreement, York Racecourse Chairman, Lord Grimthorpe said, “The Dante is a race that regularly showcases a real equine talent, so it is very exciting news that Malih and the rest of the team at Al Basti Equiworld share my enthusiasm for this famous contest.”

Summing up the partnership, Malih Al Basti said, “York Racecourse works hard to support horsemen and I share their commitment to Owners, Trainers, Jockeys and Racing Staff so I was keen to back their efforts. The Dante and indeed the Middleton are races that echo around the racing world and I am proud that they will now carry our name.”

Lord Grimthorpe also took the opportunity to acknowledge the role of the outgoing sponsors, saying, “both races have benefitted from the support of Fred Done and his team and everyone at York is hugely grateful for their backing. The highlight on the track was probably the victory of Golden Horn who went on to take the blue riband and amongst the fillies, the success of Midday will always be a special memory for me”.

 

Racing Careers Day is back at Catterick Racecourse on Friday 1 June. Following the success of the event last year, having been nominated as a finalist at the Racecourse Association (RCA) Awards, the Racecourse decided to keep the fixture as part of the Flat season calendar this summer and has worked to build upon last year’s event.
Once again the course, in association with Racing to School, is offering a unique behind-the-scenes tour and workshop prior to racing for local Pony Club members and school children. Those who have registered to take part in the workshop will be taken on a guided tour of the course visiting areas which are normally restricted to the public, including the Weighing Room, Stables and a Course walk. The workshop will give an insight into how racing works as well as demonstrating the wider range of employment opportunities that the horse racing industry has to offer.
Fiona Needham, General Manager and Clerk of the Course said: “We received some lovely feedback after last year’s event, so we wanted to build on that this year.
“There’s so many different career options within the racing industry – to have the opportunity to showcase them all and perhaps encourage some of our younger race goers to take up a career in racing is exciting!”
The gates will be open to the general public from 11:50am, and racing will get underway at 1:50pm with The EBF Novice Stakes. While The Watch Racing UK Anywhere Handicap Stakes is scheduled for 4.55pm and offers a total prize fund of £11,600.
Alongside the racing, race goers will be able to learn more about the different career options within the racing industry at the Racing to School, Careers in Racing and Northern Racing College stands. The Northern Racing College stand will include a mechanical horse and racing simulator which will allow race goers to experience what it’s like to ride a winner!
In addition, there will be free children’s entertainment in the Course Enclosure. This will include a giant ‘Where’s Wally’ style Careers in Racing colouring board, as well as educational fun and games with the Go Racing in Yorkshire Roadshow.
As with all of Catterick’s fixtures, under 18’s will be admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult, and a big screen will be at the course on the day giving racegoers the best views of all the action.
A free shuttle bus will be running to take racegoers from Richmond Market Place to the racecourse, approximately one hour prior to the first race, and will return again after the last race, which is scheduled for 5:30pm.

HARRY Angel, racing’s top six-furlong star, will make his annual bow in the Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes on Wednesday – the opening day of York’s 2018 season.

The Clive Cox-trained colt won the Darley July Cup at Newmarket and the Sprint Cup at Haydock in a glittering 2017 campaign that led to him being ranked as the leading sprinter in the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings.

Harry Angel also won the 2017 Cartier Sprinter award and will start his four-year-old season rated 125.

Jockey Adam Kirby resumes his partnership on the Godolphin-owned colt as part of a select field of seven for the six-furlong Group 2 on the Knavesmire worth £125,000.

Harry Angel will carry a 5lb penalty for his past success at Group 1 level.

Lambourn-based Cox said: “We are looking forward to bringing him to York.

“We had a tricky spring and I think it’s fair to say this is a starting point. So I’d be pleased when he has got his first run under his belt.

“But he is in good nick and the yard is going well at the moment.

“He has done very well over the winter. He is turning up with a penalty because of his Group 1 success last year but I am very happy with him.

“He is a once in a lifetime horse. He makes the heart race on every occasion you see him on the racetrack.

“It’s a dream to have a top-flight horse. On last year he was the highest-rated six-furlong horse in the world. That’s an amazing accolade and I’m very proud to be in charge of him.”

William Derby, Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course at York, gave the going as ‘good, good to firm in places, on Monday morning.

Cox added: “William does a wonderful job with the ground, so we are pretty relaxed in that respect. This horse has proven very versatile on all sorts of ground.”

The Dante Festival at York runs from Wednesday, May 16 to Friday 18 May inclusively.

Beverley Racecourse is searching for a camera-friendly couple to be the stars of its most glamorous event of the year, Flemingate Ladies’ Day!

In its most ambitious Ladies’ Day promotion yet, the award-winning racecourse is looking for a confident couple to take part in a filmed challenge based on a reality TV show format.

Beverley Races’ “Don’t Tell the Lady” mini-series will see a local couple take on a challenge in a bid to spend a lavish VIP day out at the hugely-popular Flemingate Ladies’ Day in August.

In true celebrity-style, the lucky couple will be whisked to the racecourse in a chauffeur-driven limousine and spend an all-expenses paid afternoon enjoying fine dining, champagne and spectacular views in the exclusive Directors Box.

Throughout the day the couple will be the stars of the day, with photographers capturing their every move in true paparazzi style!

After enjoying an exciting afternoon of racing, the glamorous couple will have exclusive access to the racecourse after-party before a comfortable chauffeur-driven journey home.

Kate McKee, Marketing Manager at Beverley Racecourse, said: “At Beverley Racecourse we love to do things first and we’re pretty sure that no other British racecourse has ever had a ladies’ day challenge as unique as this!

“We’re looking for a couple with star-quality who will really get into the spirit of our Don’t Tell the Lady challenge. They will be chosen from a shortlist of contenders, following a series of filmed auditions and we’ll be involving the public in the process.

“Couples need to be confident and natural in front of a camera and are ready for lots of fun, fashion and fame!

“We’re not giving away too much just yet, but all I’ll say is a keen eye for fashion will come in very handy!”

2018 is the second year of the racecourse’s partnership with Beverley’s Flemingate retail and leisure destination for the hugely-popular Ladies’ Day race meeting.

Flemingate Ladies’ Day is the best attended meeting in Beverley’s busy calendar, with more than 11,000 racegoers enjoying last year’s afternoon of racing.

Graham Tait, Flemingate Centre Manager, said: “Last year’s first Flemingate Ladies’ Day was a great success and we’re looking to build on that this time around.

“Working with Beverley Racecourse is always very exciting and the plans for this year’s Flemingate Ladies’ Day are no exception – the team have really raised the bar!

“Don’t Tell the Lady will be great fun and a perfect opportunity for any couple seeking a taste of stardom.

“The team at Beverley Racecourse will reveal more over the coming weeks and months. Watch this space!”

Don’t Tell the Lady is open to couples of all ages, and same sex couples, living in Beverley, Hull and the surrounding villages.

Fame-seeking couples wanting to take part in the Don’t Tell the Lady challenge must showcase their star qualities in a short audition video and will need to be available for a day’s filming during week commencing June 11. Filming will take place out and about locally and also at the couples’ home or homes.

To apply, e-mail a short video (two minutes or less) or send a YouTube link, by June 1, to Kate McKee, Marketing Manager, at kate@beverley-racecourse.co.uk.

Archie Watson claimed a first juvenile winner of the season at Beverley last week and attempts to repeat the dose with Quiet Endeavour on Tuesday (May 15).

The talented Upper Lambourn handler saddles the unraced son of Society Rock in division one of the five-furlong Racing UK Now In HD Novice Stakes at 2.10pm.

And hopes are high of a strong show from the two-year-old, who fetched 37,000 euro at the sales and is owned by the influential Ontoawinner racing syndicates.

Watson said: “He’s got plenty of boot and he works with a couple of two-year-olds who have already run well.

“He’s fit and ready to go and his work has been good. He’s a nice horse, but we are hoping he’ll come on plenty for the run. 

“I also see him more of a six-furlong horse in time, but you’d like to think Beverley’s five furlongs will suit him.

“I’d be hopeful we see him put in a very professional display.”

Watson claimed a similar race at Beverley’s well-attended fixture on Bank Holiday Monday when Rockin Roy dazzled on his debut.

The two-year-old son of Fast Company, owned by Greenfield Racing, did really well to defeat The Great Heir by a nearly two lengths in a strong sprint.

He is now in contention to run at Royal Ascot.

Watson said: “I think he’s a very nice horse.

“We’ll see how he gets on under a penalty next time, but that felt like a good race at Beverley and he won really well.

“We’ll know more about him after his next run, but I see him as a Royal Ascot horse, where he could go for something like the Windsor Castle.”

The going at Beverley ahead of the eight-race card was described on Monday morning as being good after 11 millimetres of rainfall on Saturday night.

Sunny spells and a high of 18C have been forecast for Tuesday.

Feature race is the eight-and-a-half-furlong Westwood Handicap (4.10), for which 12 horses have been declared. 

Eternal won the race last year for Declan Carroll, who this season saddles God Willing.

EVE Johnson Houghton will hand On To Victory his stiffest assignment to date when saddling him for the Group 2 MansionBet Yorkshire Cup on the Knavesmire this Friday.

The four-year-old gelding is proving quietly progressive and opened his 2018 campaign with a close-up second in a Listed race at Nottingham.

He has subsequently been raised 5lb, to a career-high rating of 108, and Johnson Houghton feels there is more to come from her charge, who only went down by a neck on his seasonal return.

The Blewbury-based trainer said: “He needed that. He has come on a ton for the run. It’s a long season – he wasn’t wound up for that.”

Even so, Johnson Houghton is aware that her Gold Cup at Royal Ascot entry will have to improve again to be similarly competitive at York – especially if last year’s Goodwood Cup hero Stradivarius is declared for the £165,000 mile and three-quarter contest, which is part of the British Champions Series.

Johnson Houghton said: “Whether he is quite up to beating Stradivarius time will tell. But he is a very progressive horse and I think he’ll improve all year.

“We’ll know where we’re going after this race. If he’s not good enough for the Gold Cup then we’ll come back for the Sky Bet Ebor.”

The MansionBet Yorkshire Cup is one of three Pattern races on Friday’s seven-race card.

The opener at 2.20pm is a £50,000 Listed race for two-year-olds – the Langleys Solicitors British EBF Marygate Fillies’ Stakes.

That is followed by another £50,000 Listed contest, this time for three-year-olds over a mile – the Longines Irish Champions Weekend Fillies’ Stakes.

The Dante Festival at York runs from Wednesday, May 16 to Friday 18 May  inclusively.

FOOTBALL has had all kinds of mystics in the past from an octopus to a psychic cat and at Thirsk this weekend it will be jockeys predicting the result of the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Manchester United staged at Wembley later that afternoon.

Suitably attired in either the blue of Chelsea or the red of United, 10 jockeys will be going head-to-head in a five-a-side penalty shoot out to determine the likely winners of the last trophy of the English season.

The fun and games gets underway in the parade ring at 1.15pm with the winning team being asked to nominate a charity to which Thirsk racecourse will then make a donation.

The shoot-out was the brainchild of Thirsk’s raceday presenter Adele Mulrennan, whose husband Paul, the leading jockey on the course since 2014, is likely to be one of those taking part.

On a big day for the country, the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is taking place at Windsor and early comers will be able to follow proceedings on the screens from midday when the service in St George’s Chapel begins.

Saturday is also Irish Day at Thirsk, so some lively activities are guaranteed. Try your Irish dancing skills to the music of Blimey O’Reilly or head off to the James Herriot Hall, decked out in the Irish colours of green, white and orange where the FA Cup final will be shown live from 5.15pm. The bar will be open until 7pm.

The expected seven race card gets underway with the first race at 2.10pm and features some competitive racing. The gates open at 11am.

Some packages are still available online including Premier Enclosure badges at just £25 each, Paddock Enclosure at £15 each and Family Enclosure at £8 each. As always, children under 18 are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.

A few of the popular packages including the Dine and View Premier Package and the Mad Hatter’s Packages have closed online, but there is still availability by calling the racecourse on 01845 522276.

CROSSED Baton has already been victorious in one Investec Derby trial – now he is set for another with connections confirming his intended appearance in the Betfred Dante Stakes at York on Thursday.

Prince Khalid Abdullah’s homebred colt made it three wins in four career starts when successful in the Investec Blue Riband Trial at Epsom last month.

He showed talent and tenacity in making all the running to win the Listed race by a head from My Lord And Master with Dee Ex Bee a further length and a quarter behind. The form already has a solid look to it with the runner-up and third-placed horse both finishing second in subsequent Epsom trials at Chester this week.

The John Gosden-trained Crossed Baton is now set for the stiffest assignment of his career to date, having been one of 15 horses to remain in the Group 2 Betfred Dante Stakes at yesterday’s latest entry stage.

Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager to Prince Khalid, said: “Crossed Baton worked pleasingly on Friday morning and is an intended runner in the Dante.

“I felt it was a very solid performance at Epsom. It’s always difficult to make all there and he did that. The form is at least appreciable.

“With the Derby all things become engrossing and he has come through an Epsom trial, progressed pretty nicely physically and in his work he is going the right way.

“So he deserves a shot at the Dante. I think that will give us a pretty good idea. Then you have to look at what’s going (to Epsom) and assess your chances as realistically as possible.

“Obviously if there’s a chance he could be a serious Derby contender we want to give him that chance.”

Crossed Baton is just one of many exciting horses left in the extended 10-furlong race worth £165,000.

The famous pink and green colours of Prince Khalid Abdullah may also be represented in the card’s other Group 2 – the Betfred Middleton Stakes, this time by Mori. This filly is one of nine in a select entry for the extended mile and a quarter race that has been won in recent times by top-class performers such as Sariska.

Mori, a homebred daughter out of Midday (herself a winner of this contest back in 2011), looked a potential star when winning in Listed company at Goodwood before being narrowly edged in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot last season. Though her final two runs of the year saw her form dip, when softer underfoot conditions may have counted against her.

Lord Grimthorpe said: “Everything Mori has been doing recently says she is back on track. So far everything has gone nicely.”

Mori’s Ribblesdale conqueror, Coronet, is, the highest rated of the remaining entries at 113, for the £125,000 Betfred Middleton Stakes.

Thursday’s seven-race card is due to get underway at 2.20pm.

The Dante Festival runs from Wednesday, May 16 to Friday 18 May 18.

TRAINER Kevin Ryan is looking forward to running smart speedster Brando at York in Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes, next Wednesday.

Ryan has a fine record in the six-furlong Group 2 contest, having won it with Tiddlywinks in 2012 and Amadeus Wolf in 2007.

Owned by Mrs Angie Bailey, Brando got his 2018 campaign off to the best possible start with an authoritative success in the Group 3 Abernant Stakes at Newmarket’s Craven Meeting.

A return to York – where he has twice come second but is yet to win – was named as the six-year-old’s next assignment following that victory.

He has since pleased Yorkshire-based Ryan who always looks to bring a strong team to York’s major meetings.

Ryan, who trains in Hambleton, some thirty miles from the track, said: “Brando is in great form.

“We were very pleased with his return at Newmarket. It was a great start to the season and hopefully he can go on.

“He has been training well and we are very happy with him.”

Brando, who won the Prix Maurice de Gheest in Deauville last August, is one of five individual Group 1 winners entered in the £125,000 Group 2 prize.

Darley July Cup and Haydock Sprint Cup hero, Harry Angel, heads a potential full field of twenty, that also includes The Tin Man, Sioux Nation and Limato, as previous top-level winners.

Ryan added: “It’s great to be back racing at York.

“It’s up there with the best tracks and this is a meeting we want to be at. We aim to take our best horses there.”

The middle distance highlight of the opening day on the Knavesmire is the Group 3 Tattersalls Musidora Stakes, worth £100,000. Fourteen fillies have been entered in this notable Investec Oaks trial including a quintet trained by Aidan O’Brien in County Tipperary.

The seven-race card gets underway at 2:20pm with the Sky Bet Jorvik Handicap. The three-day Festival runs until Friday 18 May

ENDS

Evening meetings are always extremely popular at Pontefract and the first of three this season is 80s Night on Friday Evening 25th May. It’s the first of two Music Nights (the other being on Friday Evening 20th July) and with one of the worlds biggest international female soloists from the 80s, Belinda Carlisle playing after the last race, it promises to be the best 80’s Night yet!
Over the last three decades Belinda Carlisle has made the journey from Hollywood-based teen punk with the Go-Gos to the ultimate global pop icon with a series of sophisticated, but instantly memorable pop-rock singles. It was ‘Heaven Is A Place On Earth’ that Belinda achieved international success. It was a number one on both sides of the Atlantic and launched the start of an incredible solo career. With huge hits such as ‘Circle In The Sand’, ‘Live Your Life Be Free’ and ‘Do You Feel Like I Feel’, this years 80s Night is going to be a brilliant evening of good fun and nostalgia and lots of laughs!
With a tour of America planned over the Summer of 2018, Pontefract Racecourse will be one of the only chances to catch Belinda Carlisle in the UK this year.
On track, the highlight is the 6 furlong £25,000 EBF Youngsters Conditions Stakes. With an impressive list of previous runners (including last year’s winner, Rufus King, who went on to win at Ascot and Newmarket) it always attracts some interesting and precocious juveniles looking to stake their claim for Royal Ascot glory the following month.
Constant Security Services provide the uniformed officers on duty on racedays at Pontefract and they sponsor 2 races on this card. Mutadaffeq won one of these races last year for trainer David O’Meara, and then came back to win on Ladies Day three months later.
Napoleons Casino Bradford sponsor the Fillies Handicap over 1m2f. It was won last year by the Mark Johnston trained Bonnie Arlene who went on to win at Sandown and Musselburgh in 2017. Get Up And Dance was the appropriately named winner in 2016 and there’ll be plenty of racegoers doing that in 2018 when Belinda Carlisle takes to the stage.
If you’re bringing a car to this meeting, don’t forget to pick up your voucher for two free bottles of water. Keep an eye out for the Ponte team handing out vouchers in the car parks. You’ll be able to redeem these at any of the ‘Designated Driver’ points around the Racecourse.
It’s going to be a fantastic night of racing, laughter, music and nostalgia and many racegoers will be taking advantage of the fact that the dress code is relaxed on this night when they pick out their best fancy dress outfit and hope to pick up one of the spot prizes provided by tiesplanet.com !
There are still discounted tickets available. The Premier Enclosure badges are currently £23 while Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure tickets are £15 – both prices include the concert after racing. Entrance tickets bought on the night will be full price (£25 and £17 respectively) so make sure you get your tickets before the night! Advance tickets can be purchased via the racecourse website at www.pontefract-races.co.uk or over the phone on 01977 781307.

Catterick Racecourse’s Flat season continues on Thursday 24 May with its second annual Local Businesses Race Day.
Following the success of last year’s event, the Racecourse is once again looking to demonstrate what the local area has to offer whilst giving staff from local businesses the opportunity to come racing at a reduced price.
Emma Binnian, Sales & Marketing Manager said: “We hope this day will give local businesses the chance to showcase their products and network with others, as well as give racegoers the opportunity to discover some of the things available within the local area.”
There will be stands at the course on the day from La Fille Rouge, Love Property, Smith & Graham Solicitors and Sew Cherry for racegoers to browse and enjoy alongside the racing.
The action on the track gets underway with The EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes, a Plus 10 Bonus Race, at 1:50pm. While The Smith & Graham / Love Property Handicap Stakes, at 3:35pm, continues this year’s round of qualifiers for the 2018 Catterick Twelve Furlong Series Final held on Saturday 22 September.
The feature race of the day, The Leslie Petch Handicap Stakes, takes place at 4:10pm over five furlongs and offers a total of £11,600 prizemoney.
A local charity, Bringing Back A Smile, will be at the course on the day. The charity, based in Bishop Auckland, looks after adults and children with life threatening illnesses and any support that race goers are able to offer will be gratefully received.
As with all of Catterick’s fixtures, under 18’s will be admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult, and a big screen will be at the course on the day giving racegoers the best views of all the action.
A free shuttle bus will be running to take racegoers from Richmond Market Place to the racecourse, approximately one hour prior to the first race, and will return again after the last race.
The gates will be open to the public from 11:50am onwards, and the last race is scheduled for 5:20pm.
The racecourse is offering half price admission tickets for the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure for anyone working at a business with a DL postcode. Tickets must be booked in advance via the racecourse office.

EASINGWOLD trainer Ruth Carr, who is never far away with her runners at Thirsk, has given notice of a potential boom or backers with a seven horse raid on her local course on Saturday evening.

Things start with a bang for the trainer with three runners in the opening Subscribe To Racing UK On Youtube Handicap and she believes that all three go with live chances.

“Kibaar is very well handicapped” says the trainer, who has booked Jack Garritty to take the ride, “while both Kingstreet Lady and Fuel Injection have been running consistently and go there on merit”.

A little more problematical is Rozy Boys in the ABF The Soldiers Charity Selling Stakes, a race he looks well up to winning.

“On ability he has a great chance, but he doesn’t always run as well as he should!” said Ruth with typical honesty,

Of the rest of her team, she is particularly hopeful for Be Perfect, who was well beaten in the valuable JW 4×4 Northallerton Handicap at Thirsk last month, but has since turned in a much better effort when second on the all-weather at Wolverhampton.

“That was a very encouraging run and I hope to see him build on that in the Cliff Stud Rearing Winners Handicap” she added.

This is Thirsk’s second meeting of the week following the extra meeting on Tuesday and this Saturday there will be live music throughout the evening performed by The Pipes & Drums Band of 103 Regt RA (V) , who will be playing before racing and between races along with Jump the Q who will also be performing.
Gates open at 3.30pm ahead of the First Race at 5.45pm.

Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £23 (£21 if booked online ahead of the day), while Paddock admission can be obtained for £15 (£14 online). There are also great reductions for group bookings while, as always, adult accompanied children under 18 get in free. For more information go to www.thirskracecourse.net.

Ladies across the county are busy putting the final touches to their preparations ahead of the race to find Go Racing in Yorkshire’s Best Dressed Lady Racegoer for 2018.

Throughout the summer the county’s nine wonderful racecourses stage their own unique Best Dressed Lady competition in which frocks, frills and fascinators share centre stage with high class equine action out on the course. Gentleman are certainly not ignored, with many courses also staging competitions just for them.

Parade rings and specially erected fashion marques become the focal point for the fashionistas, whose stylish outfits are scrutinised by sharp eyed judges before the prizes are awarded. Each individual course winner then goes forward to the final at Doncaster on Saturday October 27th, when the overall winner for 2018 will be crowned.

Ladies’ Days have become a real highlight of the social calender for many ladies and gentlemen who take the opportunity to dress up and experience an afternoon, or evening, where fun and excitement are the order of the day.

‘All ladies love the opportunity to dress up and Ladies’ Days provide the perfect chance to do just that,’ says Emma White, General Manager of Go Racing In Yorkshire. ‘The atmosphere is incredible and with the racecourses pulling out all the stops by laying on a host of themed events I defy anybody not to have an amazing time. It is something you can enjoy with a group of friends, family or a partner and there are lots of different packages to choose from to suit any budget.’
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The first Ladies’ Day of the year takes place at Wetherby’s evening meeting on Wednesday June 6th, culminating in the final at Doncaster on Saturday October 27th, the prestigious Racing Post Trophy day.

The prize for the overall winner includes a luxury two-night break in a Spa Suite with treatments included at the Best Western Premier Mount Pleasant Hotel, Doncaster, a piece of stylish vintage jewellery with a value of over £2,500 courtesy of loveVintagediamonds.com and a £500 voucher for leading designer boutique Yasmine of Bawtry & Epworth.

The winning lady also becomes the face of Go Racing in Yorkshire for 2018, which promotes racing at all the Yorkshire courses.

If you think you have what it takes to be the next ‘Best Dressed Lady Racegoer in Yorkshire’, or simply want a memorable day out, then what are you waiting for?

For more information visit: www.goracing.co.uk.

LADIES’ DAY DATES 2018
Wednesday 6th June – Wetherby

Thursday 21st June – Ripon

Saturday 23 June – Redcar

Wednesday 8th August – Pontefract

Wednesday 15 August – Beverley

Friday 17 August – Catterick

Thursday 23 August – York

Saturday 8th September – Thirsk

Friday 14th September – Doncaster

Saturday, October 27th Go Racing in Yorkshire Best Dressed Lady Racegoer Grand Final – Doncaster

The new season at York Racecourse, which begins on Wednesday 16 May, will see the opening of a £5m improvement scheme to the grassed infield area which runs parallel to the final furlong of the track.

Along with the enhanced racegoer experience, will come a new name, The Clocktower Enclosure, which references the Listed building that enjoys an unrivalled view of the racing action, framed against the back-drop of the stands. It replaces the term “Course Enclosure”.

Main contractor, Lindum York, has delivered two large, modern toilet blocks at either end of the grass banking, twin canopies either side of the famous clocktower that offer catering and betting facilities as well as some racegoer cover, improved access for pushchairs and wheelchairs plus a refurbishment of the turnstiles.

The scheme has been an architectural challenge, with the need to preserve the near 100 year old Listed building itself whilst ensuring the new facilities are raised out of the flood plain, all in a the context of both a Heritage and Green Belt setting. Working closely with the City of York Council planning and conservation officers, taking guidance from Historic England, the design team has managed to retain the core features while adding modern infrastructure to deliver against 21st century expectations.

The area will retain its traditional atmosphere as an affordable place where families and social groups can enjoy either their own picnics or locally sourced “good food to go”. On the day, entrance prices for the Clocktower Enclosure still start at just £5 for adults, rising to only £12 for racing+music events or the Ebor Festival; there are further concessions for over 65’s and free entry for accompanied under-18 children on all racedays.

The creation of safe pathways from the entry level of the area up to the top of the banking means that racegoers with pushchairs or wheelchairs will find it easier to take advantage of the elevated viewing of the final furlong.

Two new toilet blocks have been created at the northern and southern ends of the bank acting as “bookends”, the northern one will be commissioned for the Dante Festival with its southern counterpart to follow shortly afterwards. Constructed to a twenty-first century standard, modern design makes for a light and bright environment. Of course, disabled and baby changing facilities will be present in both areas.

The Clocktower building remains the focal point of the area, with the stone blockwork of the wall that sits below it, on the western face, being restored to the original vision of the architects from the late 1920’s. The steel canopy that was added in the 1950’s shrouded this view and it has been removed. As part of the reconfiguration, stone from the same County Durham seam has been used to form the curved walls of the new toilet blocks.

A sunny afternoon picnic is how this area is often enjoyed but the scheme includes provision for the service of food and drinks from a series of kiosks set at the top of the bank. Along with the betting facilities, these are covered by lightweight canopies similar to the ones already in use on the stands side. These same canopies will afford some wet weather protection, but it was never the intention to create the scale of structure that would be required to shelter a large crowd.

As traditional picnics are welcomed in this area, the team at the racecourse are taking the opportunity to clarify with racegoers what this means. In essence, the enjoyment of finger food, served cold, using easily portable furniture. So the traditional picnic blanket and modern folding deckchairs will still be welcome, however large gazebos and other items that might spoil the view of other racegoers should be left at home. In a similar vein, the hand held treats that are found in traditional picnics will be welcomed without any charge, however the use of portable barbeques, with their smoke and risk of burns & bin fires, will no longer be possible. The area will retain its “no glass please” policy.

Speaking about the development William Derby, Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course, said, “The course enclosure has always been an important and popular part of racing at York and I know it provides fond memories of summer days’ racing for many people, especially in the local community. We are delighted to have made this investment in this area of the course and I very much look forward to seeing generations of racegoers enjoy the enhanced facilities and improvements. It has taken a real effort by the construction and design team, in the face of some pretty miserable weather in the winter and early spring, and I thank the 300 or so workforce who have been on site to complete this scheme on time and on budget for racegoers to enjoy.”

KEVIN RYAN, who needs just one more winner to take his tally in Britain to 1,500 could hit the target with the veteran Bogart in the Watch Racing UK On Talktalk TV Handicap at Thirsk’s extra meeting tomorrow.
The fixture switched from Wetherby as part of the deal which took last Saturday’s scheduled Thirsk Hunt Cup meeting in the other direction to avoid a clash with the Tour De Yorkshire cycle race which was passing through Thirsk that day, has produced some great fields.
For Hambleton trainer Ryan, it could be a red-letter day on his local course as he chases that one winner needed for a significant landmark success.
He had three chances at Beverley on Monday, but it would be particularly significant if Bogart could do the trick as the nine-year-old has been in great form this year after a winless run stretching back to a valuable York handicap at the 2013 Ebor Festival.
However, an eye-catching second on the all-weather at Chelmsford was followed by a cracking run to take third at Beverley last time when he started favourite and with Bogart off the same handicap mark here, he has every chance of working the oracle.
He goes best with Tom Eaves in the saddle and the jockey is on board again tomorrow, just as he was for the first time this year at Beverley, so it could be a case of ‘here’s looking at you, Kev’ for the Hambleton trainer this time.
John Gosden has a cracking record just about everywhere in the country, but his tally of one win since 2014 at Thirsk indicates that the Newmarket trainer is a fairly infrequent raider to North Yorkshire.
However, he has a two-horse raid tomorrow including Hinde Street, who landed a 25-1 stunner first time up at Lingfield last month and will be a much warmer order in the Subscribe To Racing UK On Youtube Novice Stakes.
Owned by Michael Tabor, the son of Giant’s Causeway was pretty impressive on his racecourse bow and could prove hard to beat in what looks a quality race.
Racing gets underway at Thirsk at 1.55pm with the first of a sparkling eight races, although the gates open at 11am.

Beverley racecourse will on Bank Holiday Monday (May 7) pay its respects to former leading jockey Mark Birch by staging a race named in his memory.
Birch, who died of lung cancer in October 2016 at the age of 67, enjoyed a 30-year association with Peter Easterby and twice won the Chester Cup aboard the legendary Sea Pigeon.
He retired from race-riding in 1998, having ridden 1,339 winners and having been crowned top northern jockey seven times. He then became assistant to Kevin Ryan and played a huge part in the Hambleton trainer’s rise to the top.
The Mark Birch Memorial Handicap over five furlongs (2.30) at Beverley will acknowledge his significant contribution towards racing in the north.
Beverley’s memorial race was the idea of Birch’s daughter, Jill Boak, who will also take part in the ‘Ride of their Lives’ charity race at York on June 16 in honour of her late father.
She said: “It’s all been part of the grieving journey, and it’s lovely to have a race at Beverley in Dad’s memory.
“Beverley was one of Dad’s favourite tracks so it seemed fitting to have a race there before we head to York.
“Beverley also means a lot to Mum, who will be giving out the award for best-turned-out horse.
“When we were collecting at Pontefract for Macmillan Cancer Support it was amazing all the people who donated who knew Mark and remembered him when he was a jockey.
“We’ll also be collecting at the gates at Beverley before racing, so hopefully people can once again come out to support us.”
Jill will ride at York in the ‘Ride of their Lives’ charity race, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, as she attempts to raise £10 for every race her father won – a target of £13,390.
Jill, who lives in Norton, added: “As kids, we very lucky as Mum and Dad both worked in racing. But I left home when I was 18 and didn’t ride a horse again until I was in my 30s.
“I dabbled a bit, but I’d never ridden a racehorse until last year, when I decided to apply for the York charity race.
“I had to do something in tribute to Dad and when I came across the charity race, I knew it was thing I had to do.”
Since February 2017, Jill has been working on her fitness at Jack Berry House, in Malton. She now rides out three mornings at Tim Easterby’s Great Habton stables and on one morning at Ryan’s yard.
Jill said: “I’m still not quite sure what I’ll be riding at York, but it will be one of Tim’s or Kevin’s horses.
“I’m just delighted to be involved. Dad’s ashes are scattered at York’s winning post, so to gallop past there, knowing he’s there, will mean the world to me.”
Beverley racecourse chief executive Sally Iggulden said: “Mark played such a pivotal role in northern racing and is truly a much-missed member of our community.
“We are deeply honoured to stage a race named in his memory and wish Jill and her family all the love in the world as she gears up for the charity race at York.”
Donations can be made on Jill’s JustGiving page – www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jill-boak – or by post to 14 Park Grove, Norton, Malton, North Yorkshire, YO17 9ED.

LAURENS FLYING UNDER THE RADAR FOR QIPCO 1000 GUINEAS

Karl Burke says he believes his QIPCO 1000 Guineas contender Laurens could still be “under the radar” despite her victory in the Group One Bet365 Fillies’ Mile at the end of last season.

The daughter of exciting French stallion Siyouni improved throughout last season, taking the Group Two May Hill Stakes at Doncaster before holding off the late lunge of September by a nose over the same course and distance on the Rowley Mile that will be used for the Classic on Sunday 6th May.

“There are no easy Group Ones, no easy Classics,” Burke said today after watching his filly canter on the High Moor gallops in Middleham. “All you can do is get them there as fit and as well and healthy as you can. At this time of year, I think it’s especially hard for fillies. You can’t push them. You’ve just got to let them come and see if they’ve got the ability or they haven’t. And we know this filly has got the ability. It’s just a matter of getting her there on the day. “I think

she’s got a big chance. Her two-year-old form was very good and if anything I think she has improved on that. She’s a well-balanced filly for one who is so big and who has such a massive stride.

“I think she’s just gone under the radar a little bit. We analysed the times of that Group One. Everyone said September was unlucky and she was slightly impeded but they said she was quickening at the finish and it wasn’t that – Laurens was slowing down and that was just weakness.

“Now she’s a big strong filly and she can keep that great gallop up, do the sectional times that she was doing in the middle of that Group One win. She started slowing down at the two-pole in that race and her last furlong was her slowest. Now she’s that bit stronger, if she can keep that momentum and that gallop up, it’s going to be a good horse that gets by her.

“All winter September has been about 10 points shorter in the betting which we can’t really understand, bar the fact that it is trained by Aidan O’Brien.”

Burke took Laurens for a racecourse gallop at Newcastle on 18th April 18 and PJ McDonald, who rode the John Dance-owned filly in all four of her starts this season, will again be in the saddle at Newmarket. However, the pair will first be reunited for a gallop close to Burke’s Middleham base this Friday.

“Going to Newcastle definitely brought her along, more mentally than physically. She’ll do one more piece of work. She did two good canters here on Tuesday. I didn’t want to gallop her, as such, but she’ll gallop on Friday under PJ and that will be her last proper piece of work.

“The thing is, although we want to win a Guineas, there’s a long season ahead of her. You can risk turning the screw with these fillies too early and we haven’t done that. She’s going to improve through the year, just naturally, more than us doing anything, and that’s the balancing act we have with her.”

“It would be fantastic to have a British Classic on the CV,” he said. “The best day I had in racing was when we sent Libertarian to the Investec Derby and he finished second. The whole event was fantastic. If we could go one better on Sunday in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas, it’s going to be an amazing day.”

ELARQAM IN FINAL PREPARATIONS FOR QIPCO 2000 GUINEAS

Mark Johnston is hoping the colt he describes as being “the spitting image” of his dam Attraction can deliver a third British Classic success for the stable when Elarqam lines up in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile on Saturday May 5.

Now a trainer for more than 30 years, Johnston said today that no horse had given him as much pleasure as Attraction, the winner of 10 of her 15 races, including the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, its Irish equivalent, and three other Group One prizes.

Elarqam comes into the contest with an unblemished record from two runs, most recently when taking the Group Three Tattersalls Stakes at the Rowley Mile last September. And, having taken the colt for a racecourse gallop at Newmarket during the Craven Meeting, the trainer reported himself pleased with the build-up to the Classic.

“It wasn’t exactly a hard piece of work, and he hardly ended up seeing the other two horses, but he needed the experience of a day out and it’s a concern for me going into the QIPCO 2000 Guineas with only two runs under his belt,” he said.

“In actual fact, it was a piece of work he’d done here under Joe Fanning with Mildenberger [winner of the Bet365 Feilden Stakes at the Craven meeting] that was the most important. Joe said he was really pleased with that and felt he’d really come on mentally over the winter.

“Elarqam has to improve but I have a lot of faith of in his ability. And in a lot of ways it’s more exciting than it was with Attraction as being by Frankel out of Attraction, he’s the best-bred horse I’ve ever trained, the best-bred horse by a country mile that I have ever taken to a Classic. The implications of what sort of stallion he would be, or how popular he might be as a stallion if he won the QIPCO 2000 Guineas don’t bear thinking about.

“After he won his second race, Sheikh Hamdan said that would be for it for the season. I might have run him once more, perhaps in the Royal Lodge, but Sheikh Hamdan made that call.

“At that time, he and Jim Crowley both believed firmly that Elarqam would want a mile and a quarter this year, so we are going to the QIPCO 2000 Guineas saying ‘This is maybe not the whole story’ but the Guineas is the best Derby trial and if he was not to finish in the first three, you could well see him going on to the Dante and possibly to Epsom. That would not be impossible at all.

“The reality is that the Classics are still the most important races in the calendar and the hardest to win. But, on everything I have seen so far, I do have faith in his ability.”

“Elarqam is the absolute spitting image of Attraction. If you could draw a blueprint of what a colt out of Attraction would look like, you’d draw him. It’s a huge pleasure to be sent the offspring of Attraction to train. Up to date, I think she’s had 11 foals and this was only the third that we had been sent – the first two were winners, both good horses – and we’ve now also got a Dubawi two-year-old which Sheikh Hamdan has kindly sent to us.

Like Elarqam, Attraction went into the 1000 Guineas without a prep-run having just had a racecourse gallop at Ripon, but the filly was stronger on racecourse experience having won all five starts as a juvenile.

“This is nothing like it was with Attraction when she won the 1000 Guineas,” Johnston explained. “On that day, I believed that if she stayed, she would win. At that stage with Attraction, I firmly believed she was the best filly in Europe.

Johnston also intends to saddle Cardsharp, the winner of the Arqana July Stakes and placed repeatedly at the highest level during a busy juvenile campaign. The colt has only had one start this season, when well beaten at Deauville earlier this month, but Johnston explained: “It was a pretty awful run in pretty awful ground. You could argue the case for him having another run before the Guineas, but the owners have said they want to see.

“The horse has got plenty of form at the highest level. Take out his bad run at Deauville and he only had one other disappointing performance in the Dewhurst, when he was unlucky.

“He was always running against the best horses and he brings Group One form into the race but we don’t know – we don’t know about trip and we don’t know if he’s good enough. He could well be a sprinter, but he’ll go to the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and we’ll hopefully find out more.”

 

Hot on the heels of their successful season-opening fixture, Ripon are gearing up for their first feature meeting of 2018 on Saturday 28th April and a fantastic afternoon of action is on the cards, with over £120,000 in prize money up for grabs at ‘Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse’.

The M.C.H. Hutchinson Memorial Handicap over 1m4f and the Download the Award-Winning At The Races App Handicap over 2m are the feature races of the afternoon and Ripon Champion Trainer of 2016 and 2017, Tim Easterby, is pondering both options for the reappearance of his Chester Cup hopeful My Reward.

“I’m not 100% sure which of the two races My Reward will run in just yet,” said Easterby. “He won the two-mile handicap last year and he likes the track. He’s in good order and I hope he can make a pleasing reappearance as a stepping stone on to the Chester Cup next month.”

The North-Yorkshire based trainer is also hopeful of a big run from a popular Ripon regular Flying Pursuit, who makes his return to action in the At The Races Sky 415 Handicap.

“He’s in great form for his first run of the season,” commented Easterby. “He’s won three times over the course and distance, we know he loves the track and the ground will be fine for him so I’d be very hopeful of a good run from him on Saturday.”

In addition to the quality racing action, there will be music from the Wetherby & District Silver Band and our charity partners for the day, British Red Cross Yorkshire and Cancer Research UK, will also be on course.

Looking ahead to May, Ripon are hosting their popular FREE Friday evening fixture on 11th May, as part of an initiative to encourage first-time racegoers to enjoy a taste of the sport. This is the third year that Ripon has offered racegoers the opportunity to come for free and the feedback from previous visitors, particularly those experiencing racing for the first time, has proved highly positive.

The following weekend then sees Ripon stage the first of their four annual Family Days on Sunday 20th May, with traditional entertainment on offer for all ages.

James Hutchinson, Managing Director and Clerk of the Course said: “We are very much looking forward to our first feature raceday of 2018. With plenty of prize money on offer it promises to be a great Saturday afternoon of racing.”

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

Website: www.ripon-races.co.uk

Saturday in store at Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse

Hot on the heels of their successful season-opening fixture, Ripon are gearing up for their first feature meeting of 2018 on Saturday 28th April and a fantastic afternoon of action is on the cards, with over £120,000 in prize money up for grabs at ‘Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse’.

The M.C.H. Hutchinson Memorial Handicap over 1m4f and the Download the Award-Winning At The Races App Handicap over 2m are the feature races of the afternoon and Ripon Champion Trainer of 2016 and 2017, Tim Easterby, is pondering both options for the reappearance of his Chester Cup hopeful My Reward.

“I’m not 100% sure which of the two races My Reward will run in just yet,” said Easterby. “He won the two-mile handicap last year and he likes the track. He’s in good order and I hope he can make a pleasing reappearance as a stepping stone on to the Chester Cup next month.”

The North-Yorkshire based trainer is also hopeful of a big run from a popular Ripon regular Flying Pursuit, who makes his return to action in the At The Races Sky 415 Handicap.

“He’s in great form for his first run of the season,” commented Easterby. “He’s won three times over the course and distance, we know he loves the track and the ground will be fine for him so I’d be very hopeful of a good run from him on Saturday.”

In addition to the quality racing action, there will be music from the Wetherby & District Silver Band and our charity partners for the day, British Red Cross Yorkshire and Cancer Research UK, will also be on course.

Looking ahead to May, Ripon are hosting their popular FREE Friday evening fixture on 11th May, as part of an initiative to encourage first-time racegoers to enjoy a taste of the sport. This is the third year that Ripon has offered racegoers the opportunity to come for free and the feedback from previous visitors, particularly those experiencing racing for the first time, has proved highly positive.

The following weekend then sees Ripon stage the first of their four annual Family Days on Sunday 20th May, with traditional entertainment on offer for all ages.

James Hutchinson, Managing Director and Clerk of the Course said: “We are very much looking forward to our first feature raceday of 2018. With plenty of prize money on offer it promises to be a great Saturday afternoon of racing.”

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

Website: www.ripon-races.co.uk

Wednesday 2nd May is a day when Pontefract traditionally looks to the future stars of racing, both human and equine. It’s the 29th Annual Northern Racing College Charity Day!

The entire race meeting is unique in the fact that the majority of the card sees races sponsored by William Hill, Sky Bet, Coral and Ladbrokes. All these bookmakers traditionally set aside their commercial rivalry on this day in order to encourage the grass roots and future of the sport.

The Northern Racing College, based just outside Doncaster, was set up in 1984 and provides a range of courses at all levels for people who are looking at the horseracing industry as a future career. It also offers those currently in the business the chance to develop their qualifications and skills.

The racing on the day casts an eye to future stars. The opening 2yo Novice Stakes, sponsored by EBF and William Hill is historically an informative event. The race was won a few years ago by the subsequent globetrotting superstar, Peniaphobia, who won another Group 2 in Hong Kong last year.  Tony Coyle took the contest in 2017 with Brandy Station who maybe didn’t have the same pedigree as Peniaphobia but has been in the frame a couple of times since and is now trained by Lisa Williamson.

The 3yo Sky Bet Maiden also has a rich history – John Gosden’s Royal Ascot winner ‘Remote’ made his debut in this a few years ago while last year, Mudaarab trained by Sir Michael Stoute won by a length and then went onto win at Goodwood under the same margin. We’ll be on the lookout for another superstar to hit the Ponte turf this year.

Coral sponsor the 1m Handicap again this year. With last year’s winner Melodic Motion going on to be 2nd in a Group 2 at Doncaster, there could be some exciting horses to follow this time round.

Again, looking ahead to the stars of tomorrow, the card concludes with the 3rd Round of the Go Racing In Yorkshire Future Stars Apprentice Handicap. Last year’s winner Oriental Relation was ridden by Callum Rodriguez. The jockey had a cracking season last year which was topped off by ridding Nakeeta to victory in the Ebor at York.

The 6f Ladbrokes Handicap Stakes was won last year by our Champion Trainer Richard Fahey when Gin In The Inn, a real Ponte favourite, took the honours. If Fahey can win this race again this year he will unlock our “It’s Champion” Promotion, where for half an hour after the winner has been announced a special offer will be available to all racegoers on course. This promotion also applies if Danny Tudhope (Pontefract 2017 Champion Jockey) rides a winner at the course in 2018.

The Racecourse Postcode Lottery gives the opportunity for anyone based in Sheffield to come racing for free. By sending a Stamped Addressed envelope to the Racecourse, residents can get a ticket to the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure (Only 100 tickets available).

The Racecourse will once again be offering discounted tickets to those who book in advance – see www.pontefract-races.co.uk for more information.

TOP TRAINER Richard Fahey, who has a cracking record at Thirsk’s opening meeting of the season, will have his usual strong hand to play when the 2018 campaign gets underway at the North Yorkshire track on Saturday.

Leading the charge for the Musley Bank trainer is the smart Kimberella, who steps up to seven furlongs for the first time since October, 2016 when he tries to enhance to yard’s terrific record in the Michael Foster Stakes.

Since joining Fahey at the start of last season, Kimberalla has campaigned exclusively over five and six furlongs, winning three times including the valuable all-weather sprint championship at Lingfield and the listed Queensferry Stakes at Chester.

“It is a bit of a step into the unknown and very much a fact-finding mission, but he looks as though he will stay the trip. It will not be easy for him with his penalties, but he takes his chance and we shall see what happens” said Fahey.

If the yard’s record is anything to go by, then Kimberella is sure to go very close as over the last six seasons Fahey has won the race three times and saddled the second placed horse in the other three.

Another member of the Fahey team expected to give a good account at Thirsk is Wasntexpectingthat, who caught the eye when making significant late headway to take third place in the Brocklesby at Doncaster last month.

 

“He has come on a lot for that run” says Fahey, who is expecting the colt to run well in the opening Visit The All New racinguk.com Maiden Stakes.

The meeting features three £15,000 races on a seven-race card with the JW 4×4 Northallerton Handicap looking to be a competitive contest.

Michael Dods, another trainer with an impressive Thirsk record, runs Mister Belvedere, who was second on the all-weather at Newcastle on his seasonal bow. It would be an emotional winner for jockey Paul Mulrennan, who started his comeback after an horrific fall at Newcastle last month at Ripon on Thursday.

In the five furlong Watch Racing UK In Stunning HD Handicap, Kevin Ryan’s Savalas puts his 100 per cent Thirsk record on the line. An impressive winner on the course last July, Savalas comes into the race in good form after a clear-cut all-the-way win at Wolverhampton three weeks ago.

There will be live music throughout the day supplied by Rockin’ Deke Rivers, who will be playing on the bandstand before racing and between races, while there will be lots for younger racegoers to enjoy, including a bouncy castle, in the Family Enclosure.

Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £27 (£24 if booked online ahead of the day), while Paddock admission can be obtained for £17 (£15 online). There are also great reductions for group bookings while, as always, adult accompanied children under 18 get in free. For more information go to www.thirskracecourse.net.

Gates open at 11am ahead of the first race at 1.55pm.

York Racecourse is delighted to confirm that the 2018 season, which begins on Wednesday 16 May, will feature the highest quality and richest ever race programme for York’s season.

The famous Knavesmire turf will now stage thirty races across the season that are part of the Pattern (racing’s traditional method of highlighting races of high quality). It has been confirmed that the leading northern venue will host two new Group 3 races: the upgraded John Smith’s Silver Cup on 14 July and the new Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Brontë Cup on 26 May for older fillies and mares over 14 furlongs.

Prize money for the season will be over £8 million after an increase of c£500,000.

Whilst the headline boost comes for the Sky Bet Ebor, to be run at £500,000 up 75% on last season there are also increases for three other contests on the Saturday of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival, including a 20% rise for the Sky Bet Melrose.

In what promises to be a bumper year for stayers on the Knavesmire, the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup itself will offer record prize money of £225,000; as well as being the final leg in the £1 million Weatherbys Hamilton bonus.

With every race at the showpiece Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival (August 22-25th) worth at least £70,000; all 122 contests over the eighteen days will offer a minimum of £15,000 in reward to connections.

AN EXCITING 17-day season for Thirsk gets underway on Saturday (April 21) with three £15,000 races on a seven-race card.

The ebfstallions.com Michael Foster Conditions Stakes, commemorates a former Thirsk chairman and is always a competitive event. It is also a regular early season target for top trainer Richard Fahey.

The Musley Bank handler has an interesting record in the race in recent years, having saddled either the winner or the runner-up in each of the last six seasons in the perfect sequence of 212121 since 2012.

Rene Mathis, the runner-up in 2016 went one better last year for the Fahey stable and if the sequence continues expect him to have the runner-up in Saturday’s seven furlong race!

The JW 4×4 Northallerton Handicap should be another competitive contest over a mile and a half, while the sprinters will be on show for another £15,000 prize in the five furlong Watch Racing UK In Stunning HD Handicap.

Off the track, the on-going project of the new Owners and Trainers Suite with its head-on views of the action is expected to be completed this year, adding to the recent developments which have completely upgraded the facilities at the course.

This weekend, there will be live music throughout the day supplied by Rockin’ Deke Rivers, 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 £27 (£24 if booked online ahead of the day), while Paddock admission can be obtained for £17 (£15 online). There are also great reductions for group bookings while, as always, adult accompanied children under 18 get in free. For more information go to www.thirskracecourse.net.

Gates open at 11am ahead of the first race at 1.55pm.

It’s been a wet winter at Pontefract and unfortunately the Racecourse had to abandon their first race meeting scheduled for the beginning of April due to standing water on the track. However, hopefully the sun will stay out now and the Racecourse are looking forward to welcoming racegoers to the delayed start of their new season on Monday 23rd April.

This race meeting is the new Racing Buddies Raceday and if racegoers tag their racing buddy on the Racecourse Facebook Events page they can qualify for Buy One Get One Free tickets for them and their friend.  See website for full details.

The two-year olds start the season off in style in The Belinda Carlisle at 80s Night on 25th May EBF Novice. The race title promotes the course’s 80s Night later in the year when 80s superstar Belinda Carlisle will perform after racing. The Richard Guest trained Gisele’s Angel took the race last year, in doing so stopping Pontefract’s Champion Trainer Richard Fahey from winning this race for the 3rd year in a row.  If Richard Fahey can get back on the winning trail he’ll unlock the Racecourse’s new ‘It’s Champion’ promotion where if Fahey or Danny Tudhope (Pontefract’s champion jockey) ride a winner at any Pontefract meeting this season, racegoers will be able to access a special offer lasting for 30 minutes after the winning race.

There’s £25k up for grabs in the RIU Hotels and Resorts Handicap. The course record was smashed in the race last year when Judicial flew over the 5 furlong trip in a time of 1min 0.49secs despite his jockey dropping his whip. Will we see another track record fall in 2018? RIU Hotels and Resorts will be back at Pontefract later in the year when they sponsor the Best Dressed Lady competition in August. This year, the winning lady will win an all inclusive holiday to the Dominican Republic!

The Pontefract Marathon Handicap – run over 2m5½ furlongs – is the longest flat race run in the country and forms the first leg of our Stayers Championship. The Ponte specialist Tuscan Gold took the prize in 2017 and also won the Stayers Championship after a lengthy battle with La Fritillaire! With these two horses now enjoying their retirement, there’ll be a new name to add to the championship role of honour in 2018!

The 6f Maiden has thrown up some decent winners in the past and Kevin Ryan and Brian Ellison shared the spoils with a dead heat back in 2016! David O’Meara’s Black Isle Boy took the contest last year and won his next two starts in Scotland at Hamilton and Ayr. The race will hopefully reveal some more promising horses to follow for the rest of the season.

The Racecourse are continuing their Postcode Lottery promotion in 2018 and those living in York can pick up a free ticket for this meeting if they register before the day. All postcodes throughout Yorkshire will be able to get tickets to specific meetings throughout the year.

Another new promotion will be launched this season when The Ponte Faithful makes its debut. People who booked tickets for a Ponte raceday in 2017 and again in 2018 will automatically qualify and they’ll receive a Free Bet, Free Drink and a ‘£5 off’ voucher that they can use at the turnstiles for any other fixture in 2018. They’ll also get a free entry in to a prize draw to win a table for 4 in the Park Suite on 8th October.

There’s never been a better reason to go racing more often!

Prominent owner Keith Brown is determined to help ease sad memories from last year by returning to the winner’s enclosure at Beverley this season.

Brown, who is based just nine miles away from Beverley in Swanland, has savoured numerous high-profile triumphs, most notably across the Irish Sea.

Top Notch Tonto won for the first time at Beverley and also famously finished second in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot in 2013.

But last season Brown suffered heartache when one of his best horses, prolific Beverley winner Orewa, had to be put down.

Brown said: “Orewa picked up a nail on a back hoof and chipped a piece of the pedal bone.“We went to the end to the end of the earth to get him right, but we just couldn’t get him sound.”

Orewa, a four-year-old son of Helmet, won three times at Beverley. He also hit the jackpot at the Curragh two years ago when he earned connections 148,000 euro in the Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Sale Stakes.

Brown added: “It’s been an awful time. He was such a high-class horse for us, but we’ve got to move on and look forward with lots of positive thoughts for the season ahead.”

For all the owner’s big-race success, nothing gives him as much pleasure than a winner at Beverley, which opens its gates for the first time this season next Wednesday (April 18).

Having a runner in two of the keynote races of the Beverley campaign – the Brian Yeardley Continental Two-Year-Old Trophy and the Hilary Needler Hilary Trophy – is always a priority for Brown.

And this season he could have a perfect candidate for the Brian Yeardley, won last year by Cardsharp, who subsequently finished third in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Group One Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.

Brown said: “We’ve a lovely young horse called King Billy, who is a Zoffany colt.

“He’s a very precocious two-year-old and we are intending to run him at Beverley’s first meeting of the season next Wednesday.

“We think a lot of him and if he does what we think he’s capable of, we hope he can become a Royal Ascot horse.

“Beverley is my local track – I absolutely love the place – so it will mean a lot to me to get off to a flying start to the season with King Billy.”

Brown, surprisingly, did not have a domestic winner in 2018. But that disappointment was tempered by the exploits of Dream Walker, who won nearly 60,000 euro with victory in the “Ahonoora” Handicap at the Galway Festival last August.

Dream Walker is, though, set for a change of scenery as this season he will be trained in Ireland by Co Kildare handler Jarlath Fahey.

Fahey has also recruited Top Notch Tonto, who is now eight years old and has not won since June 2015.

Brown said: “Top Notch and Dream Walker both love it out in Ireland.“They’re not getting any younger so it makes sense to see how they get on over there.

“Jarlath is a very good trainer and I’m sure he’ll do a great job with them.”

Prize-money at Beverley has this season been raised to more than £1million, with the Beverley Bullet on September 1, won last year by the mighty Take Cover, now worth £60,000.

Beverley chief executive Sally Iggulden has also introduced a new mile-and-a-half handicap for three-year-old fillies on July 7, which will be contested for £25,000.

Beverley’s parade ring, meanwhile, has undergone a complete overhaul, with new safety rails and walkways in place to increase the welfare of the horse.

A new winner’s circle has been installed, too, with the intention to make even stronger memories for victorious owners.

 

 

Archie Watson has made a terrific start to 2018 and his multiple winner Brandon Castle is one of 27 entries for the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup, which will take place at York on Friday 18 May.
The son of Dylan Thomas, who carries the colours of owner Chris Hirst, has enjoyed a meteoric rise since joining Lambourn-based Watson last summer.
The six-year-old has triumphed six times for Watson, most recently when taking the £100,000 Queen’s Cup at Musselburgh last Saturday.
The upwardly mobile stayer mastered his rivals from the front that day and Watson is optimistic that he can make his mark in Pattern race company this season.
Watson, who has already trained 25 winners this year, said: “I think he has improved 37lb since we got him and he continues to progress.
“It helps that he absolutely loves deep ground and when he gets these conditions it makes it hard for the others to peg him back.
“Because of his running style, I think the smaller fields of these races will suit him more than big-field handicaps where there is always something to take him on.
“The plan is to go to the Further Flight at Nottingham and if that goes well then the race (Yorkshire Cup) would definitely be on the radar.”
Stradivarius could be one of the top staying prospects for the 2018 campaign and he is one of three entries in the mile-and-six-furlong Yorkshire Cup made by trainer John Gosden.
The Group 1 Goodwood Cup hero is joined by Clarehaven stable-mates Muntahaa and Weekender in the £165,000 race.
Godolphin are also well represented in the entry through Frontiersman, Rare Rhythm, Red Galileo and Twilight Payment.
Three of that quartet ran last Saturday at Meydan in the Dubai Gold Cup in which Rare Rhythm was third, Frontiersman fourth and Red Galileo sixth behind three-time winner of that race, Vazirabad.
Wicklow Brave, now nine, could make his third visit to York for trainer Willie Mullins. He finished second in the 2015 Ebor and third in the following season’s Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup.
New this season, the Yorkshire Cup forms part of the Weatherbys Hamilton £1 million bonus, a series of races that seek to promote and reward the stayers division.

The Dante Festival runs from Wednesday 16 May 16 to Friday 18 May inclusive.

For tickets please call 01904 620911 x 225 or visit www.yorkracecourse.co.uk

Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes entry up by 12

BRILLIANT filly Enable is the stand-out entry among sixteen nominated for the Betfred Middleton Stakes, which will be run at York on Thursday, May 17.

Prince Khalid Abdullah’s four-year-old swept all before her last season, winning five successive Group 1s that included the Darley Yorkshire Oaks on the Knavesmire.

Enable’s trainer, John Gosden, has also entered Coronet, who finished second in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks. Two other trainers are also doubly represented at the initial stage with Sir Michael Stoute having nominated another in the Juddmonte colours in Mori alongside Smart Call. Henry Candy has entered Chain Of Daisies and Uele River in the £125,000 Group 2 contest.

Chain Of Daisies has seven wins from seventeen starts, including a 2016 Group 3 success in at Windsor where she headed Ulysses, the Juddmonte International victor. Now six, she has been a consistent and classy mare who perhaps slips under the radar.

Candy said: “Nobody takes much notice of her, luckily!”

All being well either Chain Of Daisies or Listed winner, Uele River, will run in the extended mile and a quarter race at York. Both are well suited by the trip, while favouring different types of ground.

Candy added: “Chain Of Daisies is entirely ground dependent. If the ground isn’t fast she definitely wouldn’t run. Uele River is quite happy with a bit of cut in the ground.

“Chain Of Daisies is just starting to think about it but I haven’t done very much with her because she hates this cold and wet weather.”

Candy also provided an update on stable star, Limato, who has been given an entry in the Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes. The six-furlong Group 2, scheduled for Wednesday 16 May has attracted forty-eight entries – a dozen more than last year.

Two-time Group 1 winner Limato has been included in the race by connections but the versatile six-year-old gelding may well contest the one-mile Lockinge Stakes at Newbury the following Saturday (May 19).

Candy said: “He seems to be in great form, so we are very much looking forward to the year.

“He has grown again and would weigh a lot more – he has enjoyed his winter off this year. Last year he was on his travels and it took him a while to get over it.

“The plan would be, ideally, to go over a mile this year. So the entry at York is in case ground at Newbury was soft and York’s ground was good.”

Other interesting entries in the Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes include two-time Group 1 hero Harry Angel and the last two winners of the race – Tasleet (2017) and Magical Memory (2016). Last season’s Al Basti Equiworld Gimcrack Stakes scorer, Sands of Mali, is one of twelve three-year-olds that have been entered.

The Dante Festival runs from Wednesday 16 May to Friday 18 May inclusive.

Favourite for the Investec Derby, Saxon Warrior, heads an 83-strong entry for the £165,000 Betfred Dante Stakes which will staged at York on Thursday 17 May.

His trainer, Aidan O’Brien. is a four time winner and has entered twenty colts in this prestigious Group 2, landed in the past by ten subsequent Investec Derby winners. Golden Horn was the last horse to complete the York-Epsom double, in 2015.

Ballydoyle inmate Saxon Warrior, victorious in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster, is one of two Group 1 winners in the entry for the extended mile and a quarter race. The other is also trained over the Irish Sea, this time by Jim Bolger, Verbal Dexterity was the very impressive winner of the National Stakes by three and a half lengths last September.

In all, the top ten from the Derby betting feature in the entry for the Betfred Dante Stakes.

As well as those that made their mark as two-year-olds in 2017, the Betfred Dante entry holds some unexposed types. One such horse is the Harry Dunlop-trained, Knight To Behold, winner of a maiden at Newmarket on just his second start last October.

Owned by Neil Jones, Knight To Behold is a son of Sea The Stars from the family of St Leger winner, Millenary. He is bred for the part, with his sire having won the Juddmonte International over course and distance. His trainer is optimistic that he can step up to the mark this season. Lambourn-based Dunlop said: “Knight To Behold has wintered well. He went to Kempton for a racecourse gallop the other day and I was very pleased with him.

“The plan is to start at Newbury on April 20 in a mile and a quarter conditions race and if it goes well, the Dante is a race we shall consider.

“It is a long way off but we have always liked him. He ran two very good races at two, finishing second at Newbury (in the Haynes, Hanson and Clark Conditions race) before winning at Newmarket. He is bred for the trip so fingers crossed.”

Last year there was a Yorkshire winner of the race with the ill-fated Permian victorious for Middleham-based trainer Mark Johnston. This time, Johnston has entered three including the unbeaten colt Elarqam. A son of Frankel and Classic heroine Attraction, Elarqam won the Judith Marshall Memorial British EBF Novice Stakes over seven furlongs at York before taking the Group 3 Somerville Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket.

Another unbeaten Yorkshire challenger is Group 3 Tattersalls Acomb Stakes winner is Wells Farhh Go who represents trainer Tim Easterby’s Habton Grange stable.

The Betfred Dante Festival runs from Wednesday 16 May 16 to Friday 18 May inclusively.

The Ebor, already the richest Flat handicap in Britain, is to be worth an incredible £1 million in 2019 after Sky Bet were unveiled as the new sponsors of the York showpiece – and they are vowing to create the most innovative, inclusive, adrenaline-fuelled Flat racing event of the year.

Britain’s most popular online bookmaker and York Racecourse have agreed a five-year partnership with prize money for this year’s renewal of the Sky Bet Ebor increasing by 75% to £500,000 and then leaping to £1 million the following year.

First run in 1843, the Sky Bet Ebor is an integral part of both the stayers’ programme and heritage of Yorkshire racing. The huge investment in prize money and changes to conditions will cement its place at the heart of the racing calendar and as a race everyone wants to win.

The race conditions for the Sky Bet Ebor will be amended to make it a race for four year olds and upwards, so ensuring this significant boost in funds does not distort the Pattern programme, particularly with respect to the programme for highly rated horses of the Classic generation. The established way of allocating the runners by weight rather than rating means that it is increasingly rare for a three year old to make the field for the Ebor and indeed there have been only two three year old runners in the last decade. The aim of British Racing’s strategy for stayers is to encourage the retention of owning and training stayers in Britain beyond their three year old careers and stakeholders in British Racing were positive in their support to this change to the Ebor conditions.

Sky Bet are also to sponsor the Melrose Stakes, regarded as being the “three-year-old’s Ebor” and prize-money there increases by 20% to £125,000 – and the £170,000 Great Voltigeur Stakes. Cracksman won the 2017 running of the Group Two contest, which is one of the top middle-distance races for the Classic generation, during the summer.

The Leeds-based firm, now in its 15th year sponsoring at the track, will continue to back the Listed City of York Stakes – Britain’s richest Group Three with a prize fund of £180,000 – and will add the £100,000 Group Three Strensall Stakes and two competitive handicaps on Saturday 25 August to its portfolio.

In total, four races on this day alone will benefit from increased prize money, as part of the new sponsorship agreement. There are plans in development to make Sky Bet Ebor Day even more of a red-letter day in the sporting calendar; more announcements will follow later in the year.
Announcing the plans for the Sky Bet Ebor, York Racecourse Chairman, Lord Grimthorpe said: “The Ebor has been a feature of my racing life and I think these plans set it on a firm course for future success. This great race encapsulates ambition, innovation and heritage, all of which are very much a part of York’s ethos.”
Speaking on behalf of the sponsor, Chief Executive of Sky Bet, Richard Flint said: “Sky Bet is proud to be based in Yorkshire and we are excited to be part of the future of such a great race. Today is only the first phase of an exciting partnership which I hope will mean fantastic things for Yorkshire racing.”
Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority, Nick Rust said, “British racing has made its commitment to the continued production of quality staying horses well known, and this sizeable investment is another boost for owners, breeders and trainers of staying horses. We need to do more to ensure that we keep stayers in training here in Britain and reduce the number of horses being exported overseas, and a £1m Ebor in 2019 will certainly be a significant incentive, as will the increased prize money for the Melrose.”
Middleham based trainer Mark Johnston, won the race in 1992 with Quick Ransom; his son and assistant Charlie said: “It’s a fantastic announcement. York and in particular the Ebor Festival, has been on an upward curve in recent years, especially in terms of prize money. This latest development backed by Sky Bet takes things to a new level. The prospect of a £1 million Ebor is fantastic for Yorkshire racing. It’s a race everyone is going to want to win.”

Richard Fahey has been the leading trainer on the Knavesmire on eight occasions so knows what it takes to win high summer, high value handicaps and noted; “It’s always been a great race but this is a real boost, there wouldn’t be many places prepared to offer this sort of money, so fair play to York and Sky Bet. The race will be on to find horses to go there with live chances now.”

Brian Ellison won the Ebor in 2011 with Moyenne Corniche and said: “It’s always been a special race to win – but the prize-money boost will make it extra special now! Hats off to York and Sky Bet – prize money at the track has always been good and this will really secure the Ebor’s place as the staying handicap everyone wants to win.”

Winning the Ebor Handicap of 1994 with Hasten to Add, is one of the many training feats of Sir Mark Prescott, who responded to the announcement by saying “This is wonderful news and a tremendous investment by York and Sky Bet in what was already the richest handicap in Europe. I also think it makes sense to exclude the classic generation who have other options such as the Great Voltigeur and St Leger; in the same vein, I was pleased to hear of the extra investment in the Melrose.”

Newmarket based trainer, Hugo Palmer, said: “This is wonderful news and something I have been hugely supportive of from the outset. I am sure that having a landmark handicap for stayers in Europe will help to keep talent here in the northern hemisphere and who knows, maybe an Aussie will try to win it one day too! We have all seen the impact that the Melbourne Cup has on Australian and world racing and it is great that York and Sky Bet have been able to invest so significantly in this famous race.”

Head of the county’s tourism body and Festival sponsors, Welcome to Yorkshire, Sir Gary Verity said, “It’s long been a dream of mine to see a £1m Ebor so I’m absolutely thrilled that it is now set to happen; to start and end the week with a seven-figure race really shows the quality of racing at York.”

Beverley Racecourse is stepping back in time to celebrate a distant era of racing on the Westwood.

The course is recreating a raceday in 1960, from a time when the country began to emerge from the post-war blues into a new era of optimism.

The Bygone Beverley raceday, on May 7, the May Day Bank Holiday, will feature retro attractions such as a full-size carousel, swingboats, traditional side stalls and fortune telling, while racegoers can also expect surprises on the day from a host of entertaining characters.

Kate McKee, Marketing Manager at Beverley Racecourse, said: “We’re very excited about our new themed raceday, Bygone Beverley.

“We’re recreating the 7th May meeting from 1960 and celebrating racing as it used to be.

“There will be lots of free, traditional activities and entertainment for racegoers and families to enjoy and it will be a great way to spend the May Day Bank Holiday.”

Racegoers can try to outwit the street hustlers at a traditional Bunco Booth with fairground and racecourse scams, including Find the Lady, Prick the Garter and the Three Shell Game.

The Bunco Booth is being brought to the racecourse by Sideshow Illusions and Proprietor Jon Marshall said: “We’re challenging Beverley racegoers to roll up to the Bunco Booth and try to beat Sam the Scam, whose motto is ‘heads I win, tails you lose’.

“He’s a master of sleight of hand, so you’ll need to have your wits about you! It’s all for fun and you won’t lose any money, but we guarantee lots of laughs.”

Yorkshire-based performers Mad Dog Jones & his Swing Band will get toes tapping and fingers snapping with a rousing selection of swing and jazz classics throughout the day, while the meeting will feature a period bookmakers’ stand and demonstration of tic-tac – the secret sign language of the racetrack.

Revellers can also get hands-on and meet a range of animals such as meerkats, lizards and snakes, courtesy of exotic animal specialists Reptile Life – harking back to a time when such creatures were often among the raceday attractions.

The racecourse has invited residents from three Beverley care homes – Beverley Parklands, Claremont House and Beverley Grange – to attend with their families for a nostalgic day out. Racing Welfare, the charity supporting the British racing workforce, is also co-ordinating retired stable staff to join the day with relatives. All the guests will enjoy the day in a dedicated area, with tea, coffee and cake.

Racecourse staff have carried out meticulous research to make the day as authentic as possible and are encouraging people to help by sharing their memories and photographs of Beverley Races in that era by e-mailing kate@beverley-racecourse.co.uk

Kate added: “It’s going to be a fantastic atmosphere on the day and all the staff are getting into the spirit and dressing up in the style of the times.

“We’re urging everyone to join us in wearing the fashions of the day. We’re posting style tips on our Facebook page and encouraging people to check out local charity shops for some vintage finds to wear.”

Bygone Beverley is one of the early fixtures of the season which Beverley Racecourse enters buoyed by being ranked among the best venues in the country for a day at the races.

Beverley was listed in the top 12 courses, out of 60 tracks across England and Wales, ranked alongside venues such as Ascot, Aintree and Cheltenham. Beverley was rated as “excellent” in the Racecourse Association’s annual assessment involving VisitEngland, which looks at all aspects of the visitor experience on raceday.

Tickets for Bygone Beverley, on Monday, May 7, and the rest of the fixtures are available to buy online at www.futureticketing.ie/client/beverley/nostalgia_raceday.html or by calling the ticket hotline on 01482 867488. Racegoers are advised to book in advance, especially for the most popular meetings.

Details of the full Beverley Races 2018 fixtures can be found at www.beverley-racecourse.co.uk/racing/season-calendar

With Spring here and Summer just around the corner, the flat season roars back in to action at Pontefract with a quality race meeting on Easter Tuesday 3rd April. With £92,000 worth of prize money on offer, the card often throws up some impressive early season types. The meeting falls in the Easter holidays so, in time honoured tradition, there’ll be plenty of free chocolate eggs and bunnies available for kids!

The Racecourse has been working with the Art and Graphic Design students at New College who have designed the promotional material for this race meeting as part of their A-Level Coursework. The winning designer, Ellie Tallant, not only has all her designs in print on the day, she will also have a spell of work experience with Leeds based Print and Design Company, Advertising Works.

The highlight of the racing programme is the £25,000 Visit The All New Racing UK Handicap over 1m 2f. A classy field assembled for the 2017 renewal. The winner was the subsequent Royal Ascot victor, Snoano, who took the honours for Malton trainer Tim Easterby.

The £15,000 1m4f EBF Maiden on this day has a rich roll of honour. Luca Cumani’s ‘High–Rise’ won this race on his way to victory in the Epsom Derby and lends his name to this race. Above Normal won the 2017 contest for Saeed Bin Suroor and Godolphin. He’s been winning in Dubai over the Winter – will 2018 unleash a potential superstar?

Of all the races run over the years at Pontefract, the Stayers races evoke the strongest memories among the race going public. With course favourites like Dan Buoy, Jamaican Flight and Bluff Cove all laden with stamina, the Stayers Championship has proved a popular addition to the racing programme in recent seasons. With a new running order for the Stayers races this season, we host the Phil Bull Trophy Conditions Stakes on the 3rd April. The 2017 renewal (in October last year) provided Mark Johnston with his 4000th victory courtesy of Dominating. It is hoped that the race will give the stayers an opportunity to get a prep run in ahead of some of the big Cup races during the season.

The award winning ‘Wall of Fame’ promotion is back at the course for 2018. Racegoers who visited in 2017 may already have spotted their face on the website dedicated to the promotion (www.pontefract-races.co.uk/walloffame ) but the life size artwork will be unveiled in the Paddock Bar at the opening race meeting of the year. Anyone spotting themselves will be able to claim a prize from the Office on any raceday during the season. With 462 faces on show, there are plenty of great prizes to be won!

Those with a Harrogate postcode can pick up a free ticket for this meeting if they register for the Racecourse Postcode Lottery scheme before the day – all postcodes throughout Yorkshire will be able to get tickets to specific meetings throughout the year. Full details are available on the website at www.pontefract-races.co.uk .

Catterick Racecourse’s 2018 Flat season gets underway with an Easter Family Day on Wednesday 4 April.

This meeting marks the first of 18 Flat fixtures at Catterick this season, and the seven race card will see the first of the 2018 Catterick Twelve Furlong Series Qualifiers, with an £11,600 prize fund.

Emma Binnian, Sales & Marketing Manager said: “We’re looking forward to an exciting season with some new race day themes, including our first ever Beer Festival! The Easter Family Day is the first of three family day fixtures at the course this summer and we’re looking forward to welcoming the next generation of racing fans to the course.”

Alongside the action on the track there will be loads of Easter themed fun and free entertainment for families to enjoy including bouncy castles and a petting farm with guinea pigs, rabbits, alpaca and more. There will also be an Easter themed treasure hunt at the course – younger race goers will need to keep their eyes peeled for some little Easter chicks hiding around the racecourse for a chance to win a chocolate prize!

Racegoers will also have the opportunity to win a sponsorship experience by entering the text competition on the day. The two lucky winners will be given the chance to judge the Best Turned Out horse in the Parade Ring prior to the race and present the winning owners with their prize, as well as celebrate with connections after the race.

The first race, The Easter Family Day Handicap Stakes is scheduled to take place at 2pm, with the gates opening to the public two hours prior to that, at 12 noon, while the last race is at 5:05pm.

Catterick’s 2017 Flat season champions will be receiving their prizes during the afternoon. The series, kindly sponsored by The Nags Head, Pickhill, was won by Ruth Carr (Champion Trainer), Jason Hart (Champion Jockey) and Mr Malcolm Walker (Champion Owner). Ruth Carr finished the season almost 20 points ahead of her closest rival, so her horses could be worth following over the coming season!

In addition, the racecourse is pleased to welcome a new sponsor for the upcoming season – Millbry Hill, the UK’s leading independent family-run country store providing Equestrian supplies, pet products, country clothing, footwear and gifts.

Millbry Hill will be offering each winning jockey throughout the season a £20 voucher to spend at any of their four stores across North Yorkshire & Cumbria, as well as a ‘grand prize’ for the Champion Jockey at the end of the Flat season.

Serena Jones, Retail Director at Millbry Hill said: “Millbry Hill are delighted to be sponsoring Catterick Racecourse for the 2018 Flat Season. We are looking forward to supporting the winning jockeys and working closely with a fantastic local business.”

As with all of Catterick’s fixtures, under 18’s will be admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult, and a big screen will be at the course on the day giving racegoers the best views of all the action.

A free shuttle bus will be running to take racegoers from Richmond Market Place to the racecourse, approximately one hour prior to the first race, and will return again after the last race.

York Racecourse is delighted and honoured that the track has been voted as Racecourse of the Year 2017 by The Racegoers Club, following a vote by their members which represent the largest club of its type in British Racing.

This means that the team at the Knavesmire retains the honour it won in 2016 and is the eighth time York has been awarded the top title.  As usual, it was a close fought contest, with Goodwood representing the south in second place, and Cheltenham, who continue to be the best loved track that stages jump racing.

Voters were asked for their scores in five categories: viewing experience, facilities, food & beverage, atmosphere and value for money.  The courses were split into three geographical regions and the winners were selected by who had the highest overall average score across all categories.  The Racegoers Club report they had a record number of votes recorded, as racegoers were also asked to comment on their choice and reasons for casting their vote.

York was described by one member as “a wonderful racecourse, with excellent facilities & good race viewing options”  with another commenting that it “provides value to every visitor in every enclosure. Worth a special journey”, whilst a third captured the essence of the feature meeting in August when saying “I love visiting for the Ebor Festival, great racing and a brilliant atmosphere, a must visit”.

Having won the national title, York also retained the equivalent title at a regional level, for the North & Scotland; a record 28th year that this regional award has been given to the Knavesmire, from the longest and largest established supporters club for the sport.

William Derby, Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course, said, “The Racegoers Club is a fantastic organization which represents a membership who are committed followers of the sport with horseracing being both their hobby and passion.  To win and then retain the accolade of ‘Racecourse of the Year’ by the vote of such a fan base is an honour. It’s a real tribute to the hard work of so many that make racing at York such a special experience.  The good news comes at a time when we are continuing to invest in the facilities, race programme and experience of racing at York, so we shall be working hard to retain the crown, with our season due to begin on Wednesday 16 May.”

It’s been over 5 months since there was last racing at Pontefract but the 2018 season is almost upon us and the West Yorkshire track kick off their 16 day campaign on Easter Tuesday, 3rd April. The total prize money on offer of over £1.3 million is the highest ever provided at the West Yorkshire track and it promises to be another season of top class racing and fantastic entertainment.
Norman Gundill outlined exciting plans for the year ahead. He started by looking back to November 2017 when the Racecourse were shortlisted in four categories at the Annual RCA Showcase Awards and The Wall Of Fame (introduced for the first time in 2017), won the “Topspot” category. This is the third award that the Racecourse has won in the last four years.
The booking of Cheryl, Mike & Jay (formerly of Bucks Fizz) to play their greatest hits after racing on 80’s Night two years ago was so successful it led the track to make both of their Friday Evening Meetings Music Nights last year. That theme will continue this year when Belinda Carlisle plays after racing on 80’s Night on 25th May and The Bootleg Beatles perform on Red Shirt Night on 20th July.
The other evening meeting during the year, on Monday Eve 11th June, will once again be Rugby League evening and season ticket holders with Castleford Tigers, Wakefield Trinity, Featherstone Rovers and Huddersfield Giants will again be able to gain entry for £5.
Ladies Day will be on Wednesday 8th August this year. The winner of the Best Dressed Lady Competition will receive a week’s holiday for 2 in a Riu Resort in the Dominican Republic. Second prize will be a weekend at the new Riu Hotel in Dublin.
In keeping with the strong family tradition at the track, there are 3 family Sundays each with their own individual family friendly theme and over £100,000 worth of prize money! Two of the Sunday racedays have been revamped in recent years with the much loved Flat Cap & Whippet Family Day on 24th June and the hugely successful ‘In The Zone’ Raceday on 19th August. The remaining Sunday (on 29th July) will, for the first time in 2018, feature a “fake festival” with three different tribute acts. The EBF Stallions Highfield Farm Flying Fillies Stakes on the 19th August will once again be the richest race during the season with prizemoney of £60,000.

While the meeting on Sunday 24th June clashes with an England qualifying match in the World Cup against Panama, racegoers will be able to watch the match on dedicated TV’s in a World Cup Marquee on the site adjoining the Parade Ring.
On the track
The quality of the racing promises to be as good as ever with record prize money and 5 Listed Races offering a combined total of £¼million in prize money.
Both Abingdon and Queen Kindly had huge reputations before winning the Pontefract Castle and EBF Highfield Farm Flying Fillies Stakes respectively in 2017. Abingdon had four more runs last season, once in Group 1 company, twice in Group 2 and once in Group 3. She started favourite on 3 of those 4 occasions finishing 2nd on one occasion and 3rd twice. She ended her season with a rating of 108.
Frankel’s daughter, Queen Kindly, had won the Group 2 Lowther Stakes as a two year old and big things were expected of her as a three year old. However, her win in the Flying Fillies was her only victory last season and she ended the season with a rating of 103. The Racecourse is increasing prizemoney for this race and will try to attract the very best sprinting fillies and mares with the hope of it achieving Group 3 status in the future.
Another Touch lifted the Sky Bet Pomfret Stakes when he just got the better of former winner Custom Cut while Lincoln Rocks, who had such a fantastic season with some brilliant runs in good races, won the Pipalong Stakes. Connect has not been seen since winning the EBF Silver Tankard Stakes but he beat a good field very easily and the yard are hopeful that he will continue to improve into a group performer in the coming season.
There were some other top performances on the track with subsequent Royal Ascot winner Snoano winning on the 11th April. Golden Apollo won big sprints at both York and Ascot following his win in the Mr Wolf Sprint. There was even a winner for The Queen when Swiftsure took the Bet totequadpot Handicap on the 25th June.
Perhaps the best race of last season came in the Spindrifter Stakes when Zaman beat Unfortunately and Izzy Bizu. The winner was subsequently placed in 2 Group 2 races while the runner up won the Group 2 Robert Papin at Maison Lafitte and the Group 1 Prix Morny at Deauville. Even the third home won a Listed Race.
The biggest headline of Pontefract’s year came when Dominating gave Mark Johnston his 4000th winner in the Phil Bull Trophy. In 2018 the Phil Bull will be run at the first race meeting of the year with the aim of attracting some horses having an early season prep run for the Chester Cup.
Promotions and Admission
Prices to each of the Premier and Grandstand & Paddock have been increased by £1 but the price of the Silver and Picnic Enclosures has been held. Many racegoers have already taken advantage of the extended 50% off early bird discount which ran from 1st December until the 29th January. There is still 25% off until the 19th March.
Racegoers will also be able to win fantastic prizes again in the Wall of Fame promotion. Anyone who visited the track in 2017 could appear on the new mosaic artwork which graces the Grandstand & Paddock Bar.
There are two brand new promotions for 2018 – The It’s Champion and Ponte Faithful promotions. ‘It’s Champion’ will kick in when either the 2017 Pontefract champion trainer (Richard Fahey) or jockey (Danny Tudhope) win a race during 2018. For the 30 minutes following their win, a special offer will be unlocked giving discounts, freebies and special offers! The Ponte Faithful campaign rewards those who booked in advance for racing in 2017, and re-book again for a raceday in 2018.
David O’Meara will host the Pontefract Annual Badge Holders visit in 2018. A group of 50 will be taken to the yard before returning for the meeting on the 2nd July, hopefully armed with a few winners! With the cost of a joint Annual Badge working out at just over £8 per person per day for the whole season, the excellent Loyalty Card scheme and the FREE Postcode Lottery promotion all in operation this season, there are plenty of bargains to be had.
Food and Drinks
Racecourses across the country are frequently tackled about the cost of drinks charged by their catering companies. We are very aware of the rising cost of living and want to offer value to racegoers. In response to the rising costs of a pint the Racecourse have decided to take an unusual step and are subsidising the price of a pint of John Smiths and Fosters so this year they will be cheaper than 2017 and cost £4.20. This will be the lowest price on any Yorkshire Racecourse and probably at any sports stadium in the district.

Racecourse Changes
Following the hugely successful refurbishment of the Parade Ring, both the Pre Parade Ring and the Horsewalk from the Parade Ring to the Course will receive a similar upgrade with the same combination of crowd fencing and running rail as deployed around the Parade Ring.
With a new Veterinary Treatment Box, a renovated Medical Room and extensive repairs to accommodation in the stable yard, the facilities for horses and racing staff have been hugely improved.
A new Wi-Fi system will also be in operation from the middle of the season with racegoers being able to connect to a hugely improved, faster system.
Those of you driving towards the motorway will also notice new signage advertising racedays and events.
Many will already know that former jockey, George Chaloner, has joined the administration team to work alongside Richard Hammill and Norman Gundill. His knowledge and existing links to owners, trainers and jockeys is likely to prove invaluable over the coming seasons.
With just over 4 weeks to the start of the racing year at Pontefract these are exciting times for the Racecourse who look forward to welcoming punters, new and old, back for the 2018 season.
Full details of all the Pontefract race meetings to be held this year can be found at their website on www.pontefract-races.co.uk.

Catterick’s final National Hunt meeting of the 2017/18 season is set for Wednesday 7 March, Countryside Day.
The course has seen lots of excitement throughout season including having the first of Frankel’s progeny to win over jumps, in the form of Solo Saxophone, and the seven race card on March 7th looks set to continue the action.
The Countryside Day Selling Handicap Hurdle Race will get the racing action underway at 1:50pm, while The Support Jack Berry House Novices’ Hunters’ Steeple Chase is scheduled for 4:20pm. Hunter Chases provide a strong link with the hunting community and an excellent opportunity for graduates of Point-to-Point fields to showcase their talents on the main racing stage.
Following on from the seven-race card, at approximately 5:10pm, is the Flying Fillies Charity Race. Sponsored by Betfred, the race has been organised to raise money for the Injured Jockeys Fund and Jack Berry House. Catterick’s own raceday presenter, Adele Mulrennan, will be donning her breeches one last time to ride in the race. She will be among twelve lady riders in a very competitive field.
Adele Mulrennan, Raceday Presenter said: “In my time of riding I was lucky to never have to call upon the Injured Jockeys Fund, but my husband Paul [Mulrennan] has had to on many occasions, so it’s nice to give something back.
“It’s been a lucky track for me in the past, I’ve had a couple of winners at Catterick – hopefully I can get my head in front again!”
The Injured Jockey’s Fund will be at the course on the day should any racegoers wish to donate to the charity or sponsor any riders ahead of the race.
To continue the countryside theme, the Swinton Estate will be showcasing some of the other country pursuits which can be enjoyed alongside horse racing! Ahead of the first race on the 7 March, Catterick’s racegoers will be treated to a fishing talk and casting demonstration by Philip Ellis, Yorkshire Salmon Guide from Swinton Estate near Masham. The demonstration will take place in the Parade Ring at 12:50pm.
Swinton Estate will also have a stand at the course on the day with details of some of the other outdoor and sporting activities which can be enjoyed at the estate.
Other trade stands, including La Fille Rouge and Garstang Garden Ornaments, will also be at the course on the day giving racegoers the opportunity for some retail therapy in between races.
As with all of Catterick’s fixtures, under 18’s will be admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult, and a big screen will be at the course on the day giving racegoers the best views of all the action.
The gates will be open to the public from 11.50am onwards. A free shuttle bus will be running to take racegoers from Richmond Market Place to the racecourse, approximately one hour prior to the first race, and will return again after the last race.

Return of the Donkey Derby, Camel Derby, Bark de Triomphe and so much more …
Press release
February 7, 2018
After a successful 2017 season of bumper attendances, new partnerships and exciting themed racedays, Beverley Racecourse is racing ahead with plans for a thrilling new season.
Racegoers can expect new themed race meetings, more family-friendly days, new and improved party nights, plus, of course, exhilarating flat racing over one mile and three furlongs on the spectacular Westwood course.
The full list of Beverley Races fixtures has been announced, with a total of 19 racedays, including established favourites and new attractions.
The Beverley Races season gallops out of the stalls with the season opener on April 18 and is quickly into its stride with one of this year’s new highlights – Bygone Beverley – a themed raceday taking us back in time to one of the most defining decades of the 20th century.
Bygone Beverley, on May 7, the May Day Bank Holiday, will take a nostalgic look at the swinging sixties, when post-war blues were swept away by optimism, iconic fashion, pop art and a revolutionary music scene.
The team at Beverley Racecourse will be inviting community groups to reminisce and share their memories of this iconic era ahead of the big day, to build the most accurate picture of racedays on the Westwood in times past.
Another new attraction is the Paw Patrol Family Raceday on Tuesday, July 31. This midsummer raceday at the start of the school summer holidays will feature characters from the hugely-popular animated series, Paw Patrol, and will also see the return of the hilarious Bark de Triomphe, a comedy race for jockeys’ dogs.
Never a racecourse to stand still, Beverley is also hosting an attempt to smash the Guinness World Record for Horseboarding, in a drag race taking place on the popular Beverley Bullet Raceday in September. Horseboarding brings together surfing, skateboarding and horse riding in an extreme sport that sees a rider on a horse tow a board rider at speeds of up to 35mph.
Kate McKee, Marketing Manager at Beverley Racecourse, said: “We’re working on some very exciting plans for this season.
“Bygone Beverley is the first new themed raceday and we’re inviting local community groups to share their memories of the 1960s with us to create an authentic experience.
“We’re also working hard on plans to make this year’s Flemingate Ladies’ Day an unforgettable experience and we’ll reveal more about that over the next few months.
“Some of our favourite events such as The Very British Raceday, Hull FC Family Day and the Beverley Bullet are returning, as they were hugely popular with racegoers last year. And we are, of course, looking forward to the famous Donkey Derby, Camel Derby and Bark de Triomphe!
“We’ve also listened to visitor feedback and moved our popular 70s Race Night featuring Bus Stop from a Tuesday to a Friday evening, so people can let their hair down and not worry about work the next day.
“Not only that, we’re trying to incorporate a beer and cheese festival into the season, so there’s a huge amount for racegoers to look forward to this year.”
Sally Iggulden, Chief Executive of Beverley Racecourse, said: “After such a successful year in 2017 we have our work cut out to make this season even better, but we’re determined to rise to the challenge.
“We’ve reviewed the full fixture list to give people even more reasons to come racing to Beverley this season.
“We’ve also been busy upgrading our facilities, including investing in improvements to the parade ring, and we’ve introduced e-ticketing technology so tickets can be emailed or downloaded to a smartphone, which will be more convenient for racegoers.”
Attendances at the popular course during 2017 were 6% up on 2016, bucking the trend for racecourses across the country, which showed a dip on the previous year.
The picturesque racecourse also claimed two prestigious awards – the esteemed Food and Beverage Award at the 2017 Racecourse Association (RCA) Showcase Awards, and Best Value Racecourse in the North, voted by members of the Racegoers Club, the official supporters club for British racing fans, as well as being shortlisted for several other accolades.
Beverley Races tickets for the season opener, on Wednesday, April 18, and the rest of the fixtures are available online at www.beverley-racecourse.co.uk or by calling the ticket hotline on 01482 867488. Racegoers are advised to book in advance, especially for the most popular meetings.
Details of the full 2018 fixtures can be found at www.beverley-racecourse.co.uk/racing/season-calendar
If you would like to share your memories or photographs of Beverley in the 1960s, or find out how you can contribute to Bygone Beverley Raceday, please email Kate at kate@beverley-racecourse.co.uk

Richard Hammill, who joined the Management Team at Pontefract Racecourse in October 2000 and has been Assistant Manager since he qualified as a Clerk of the Course in 2006, has been appointed Chief Operating Officer with prinicipal responsibility for organising and running all race day operations, which he has effectively been doing for some time.

Mr Hammill will continue to oversee Pontefract’s Marketing and Promotions strategy and will also continue to act as joint Clerk of the Course. He will be assisted by George Chaloner who was engaged as Full Time Management Assistant last month.

Norman Gundill will remain as the Company’s Managing Director and Secretary, but will hand over the work he currently still does in respect of raceday management to Mr Hammill over the next 12 to 18 months. He will continue to act as Clerk of the Course jointly with Mr Hammill until George Chaloner, who is currently undergoing training, is accredited.

Mr Gundill will continue to be responsible with Mr Hammill for overall strategy and budgeting, and, with his legal background, will continue to oversee regulatory arrangements.

York Racecourse is delighted that the 2018 season will see a record number of the prestigious Group races, nineteen in total, staged on the Knavesmire.

After due consideration of various bids, the British Horseracing Authority has awarded a brand new Group 3 contest to York, it will be run on Saturday 26 May with prize money of £90,000. As the race is exclusively for fillies and mares, York has named it in honour of literary heroines from the White Rose county, it will be known as The Brontë Cup. With a race distance set at one and three quarter miles, it is part of an ongoing strategy to encourage the staying division of thoroughbreds.

To better balance the wider race programme, the Listed Grand Cup will switch to provide the Pattern action on Macmillan Charity Raceday (Saturday 16 June); with the mile long, Listed Ganton Stakes shifting twenty- four hours earlier in the calendar, to become a highlight of Friday 15 June.

Following the annual meeting of the European Pattern Committee, The John Smith’s Silver Cup has been upgraded to Group Three status with its prize money increased to £65,000. Staged on Saturday 14 July, it is run over the same staying distance (one and three quarter miles) and has long been a part of the popular John Smith’s Cup Day.

Taken together, it means that York will stage thirty Pattern calibre Races in 2018, offering this high quality action on sixteen of the eighteen days held on the Knavesmire.

Commenting on this achievement, William Derby, Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course said, “This is a further signposting of the ongoing investment in our race programme and confirmation of the quality of racing at York. It is great news for racegoers and connections alike, as even more top thoroughbreds will be heading to the Knavesmire to compete for prize money that has increased by £100,000 for the two new races alone.

“It means we have been able to frame our 2018 race programme to offer a Pattern race on sixteen of our eighteen racedays.

“The upgrade of the John Smith’s Silver Cup is a reflection of the strength of a race that has featured many well-known stayers in the past, with Royal winners (Free Agent) as well as Ebor & Melbourne Cup contenders”

George Chaloner, who retired from race riding last year after a series of injuries, and has been looking for employment in the industry since then, has been engaged by Pontefract Racecourse as part of its Management Team.

George, who rode 137 winners from 1,400 rides during a 7 year career, has been appointed as full time Management Assistant. Whilst assisting both Pontefract’s Managing Director, Norman Gundill, and Assistant Manager Richard Hammill, he will be primarily involved in working with Richard Hammill to implement Pontefract’s Marketing and Promotions Plan. He is also to train as a Clerk of the Course and once he is accredited Norman Gundill will give up that role and George will share Clerking Duties with Richard Hammill.

Norman Gundill said “With our continued success, it has become clear that we need to expand our Management Team, and we think George is the ideal person to join us”.

Richard Hammill said “l am delighted George is to join our Team. His background, qualities and enthusiasm will be very beneficial to Pontefract, and I look forward to working with him”

George Chaloner said “Pontefract was one of my favourite tracks to ride as a jockey due to its challenging nature and was a lucky track of mine. Retiring from race riding was a huge decision to make and I am honoured that Pontefract has given me the opportunity of having another career within the racing industry, and I am really looking forward to working with their Team”.

3rd January 2018

For further information please contact Norman Gundill on 01977 781307 or at info@pontefract-races.co.uk

Catterick’s jump season continues on Thursday 11 January, featuring its longest and most valuable race – the North Yorkshire Grand National sponsored by the Richmond based racecourse supplier firm, Watt Fences.

The Watt Fences North Yorkshire Grand National Handicap Steeple Chase, is scheduled for 2.35pm and is Catterick’s most prestigious National Hunt race, with over £26,000 prize money up for grabs.

The race forms part of a seven race card which starts at 12.30pm, with gates opening at 10.30am and tends to attract runners from some of the leading trainers in the United Kingdom. The last race is scheduled for 3:45pm.

Last year’s winner, Straidnahanna, made it a second successive victory in the three and three-quarter mile race for trainer Sue Smith and jockey Danny Cook following on from Lackamon’s win in 2016.

Fiona Needham, General Manager and Clerk of the Course said: “The North Yorkshire Grand National is always a race to look forward to – it’s a real test of stamina and a true jumping test.”

The winning owner will receive the Denys Smith Memorial Trophy. Denys Smith, who trained Red Alligator to win the 1968 Grand National, was a leading dual-purpose trainer and recorded a remarkable 146 winners at Catterick (89 on the Flat and 57 over jumps).

The card also includes a two-mile steeple chase, kindly sponsored by The Black Horse Inn at Kirkby Fleetham. The Black Horse Inn Dine, Drink, Win Handicap Steeple Chase, is for 5 year olds and upwards with £13,800 prize money on offer.

A big screen will be at the course on the day to give racegoers the best views of all the action. A free shuttle bus will be running to take racegoers from Richmond Market Place to the racecourse approximately one hour prior to the first race, and it will return again after the last race.

 

 Doncaster Racecourse, home to world class racing and summer venue to global music stars, is delighted to announce a DJ set from British music act, Chase and Status, as the first of their 2018 summer music events. 

Chase and Status, who have been a mainstay in the British summer music festival scene for several years, will bring a show stopping dance set to the Town Moor Turf after the Construction Index Race Evening on 30 June 2018.

“Chase and Status are a massive British music act who have collaborated with iconic names such as Emili Sande and Craig David and are known for creating a fantastic party atmosphere with their MC led set,” said Abby Chandler Head of Marketing Doncaster Racecourse. “We look forward to welcoming them to the venue for an after party to remember this summer.”

 Chase (Saul Milton) and Status (Will Kennard) met at University in Manchester and formed the group in 2003. Their unique sound has seen them secure seasons at clubs in Ibiza as well as creating four best-selling albums. 

“This is the first announcement from our 2018 summer season and we are looking forward to sharing the other in the coming weeks,” said Abby. “Once again some household names will be visiting Doncaster to bring a festival feel to a handful of our summer race meetings.”

Abby concluded; “The Music Live race meeting events are hugely popular both with Doncaster people, race goers and those that gather a group of friends together to enjoy an evening out. As always, we urge people to book tickets early to avoid disappointment.” 

Music Live will take place on 19th May, 30th June and 18th August in 2018. 

Tickets went on sale at 9am on Monday 18 December to previous Doncaster Racecourse customers, with tickets on general sale from Wednesday 20 December.

 

Details and timings will be released closer to the event.  Further information, for all events and race meetings at Doncaster Racecourse can be found by visiting https://www.doncaster-racecourse.co.uk/whats-on/

Catterick Racecourse is home to the first meeting of the 2018 Yorkshire Racing Calendar on New Year’s Day.
The popular fixture has a 6 race card, with the first race getting under starters orders at 12:25pm. The gates will be open to the public from 10:25pm and a free shuttle bus will run between Richmond Market Place and the racecourse approximately 1 hour prior to the first race. The last race is scheduled for 3:20pm.
The feature race of the afternoon, The catterickbrige.co.uk Handicap Steeple Chase, runs over 2 miles and 3 furlongs and will take place at 2:45pm.
Fiona Needham, General Manager and Clerk of the Course said: “It’s a great way to see in the New Year and clear the head after the revelries of the night before while watching some exciting racing!”
Racegoers will also have the opportunity win a sponsorship experience by entering the text competition on the day. The experience will include choosing the Best Turned Out horse in the Parade Ring prior to the race and presenting the winning owners with their prize, as well as celebrating with connections after the race.
This meeting is the first of Catterick’s 28 fixtures in 2018 – the calendar comprises of 10 National Hunt meetings and 18 Flat meetings. Catterick has plenty of exciting days to look forward to including the ever popular Ladies’ Evening on Friday 17 August and three Family Days throughout the year.
Racing Careers Day will also make a return on Friday 1 June following its recent success having been nominated as a finalist in the Events category at this year’s RCA Showcase & Awards in November.
Emma Binnian, Sales & Marketing Manager said: “It was fantastic to be nominated as a finalist for our Racing Careers Day this year, and we’re really looking forward to hosting the event again next summer when we’ll be looking to build upon its success!”
New themes including a Harvest Festival Race Day on Saturday 22 September and the addition of a local Beer Festival, in partnership with Pennine Brewing Co., to Yorkshire Day on Saturday 9 June will also add some extra entertainment to Catterick’s fixtures alongside the racing action

Racegoers can look forward to jump racing, carols and festive fun at Catterick Racecourse over the Christmas period!
The Christmas period is one of the busiest times at Catterick Racecourse, with three chances for racegoers to enjoy National Hunt racing action at the course, on Tuesday 19 and Thursday 28 December, and New Year’s Day.
The festivities begin once the Christmas lights have gone up at the course, ready for ‘Christmas at Catterick’ on Tuesday 19 December. Le Cateau Primary School Choir will also be at the course on the day to treat race goers to some Christmas carols as they arrive at the course.
The first of seven races on 19 December is scheduled for 12:20pm, with the gates opening two hours prior. During the afternoon, jockey Henry Brooke will be presented with a cheque for Jack Berry House. Following Henry Brookes’ fall at Hexham last year, racing syndicate Deva Racing and trainer Donald McCain raised a total of £2500 for the Injured Jockeys Fund facility, Jack Berry House, which proved a vital part of Brookes’ recovery.
Fiona Needham, General Manager & Clerk of the Course said: “It was wonderful to be able to welcome Henry Brooke back to race riding at our meeting on 30 November last year, and to be able to be a part of this presentation to Jack Berry House is an honour. The Injured Jockeys Fund do such great work and I’m sure that the money raised by Deva Racing and Donald McCain will go a long way to support them.”
Those still searching for some last minute Christmas presents will also be pleased to know that Berber Leather, La Fille Rouge and the Injured Jockeys Fund Shop will each have stalls at the racecourse on Tuesday 19 December ready to help with those last few Christmas gifts and stocking fillers!
The following week, the Go Racing in Yorkshire Winter Festival comes to Catterick, on Thursday 28 December. The Winter Festival begins at Wetherby Racecourse on Boxing Day and Wednesday 27th, before heading to Catterick on the 28th and comes to an end at Doncaster on Friday 29 December.
The gates will open at 10:35pm on Thursday 28 December, with the first race at approximately 12:35pm. The last of the 6 race card is scheduled for 3:15pm.
Festive Freddy, the winter festival mascot, will be at the course on the day ready to give any young racing fans on Santa’s ‘nice’ list an extra little Christmas gift! While the more seasoned race goers will want to arrive early at the course to enjoy the complimentary mulled wine & mince pies on arrival (while stocks last).
Racegoers will also have the opportunity to win a sponsorship experience by entering the text competition on the day. The experience will include choosing the Best Turned Out horse in the Parade Ring before the race and presenting the winning owners with their prize, as well as celebrating with connections after the race.
Following on from the Winter Festival, Catterick will host the first meeting of the 2018 Yorkshire Racing Calendar, on New Year’s Day.
A free shuttle bus will be running at all meetings to take racegoers from Richmond Market Place to the racecourse approximately one hour prior to the first race, and it will return again after the last race.

The 2018 Season at Pontefract Races may not start until Tuesday 3rd April, but tickets went on sale on 1st December with the Racecourse offering punters their best ever deals for those who book their tickets early.
Racegoers will get a massive 50% off the normal price of Premier Enclosure badges and Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure tickets when booking their tickets before the 29th January. The huge saving applies to all race meetings in 2018 with the exception of the popular 80s Night which has a slightly different pricing scale.
80s Night is fast becoming one of the most established race meetings in the Pontefract Racing Calendar and the popular event will be bigger and better than ever before in 2018. On Friday Evening 25th May, the Racecourse will welcome another huge act from the 80s when Belinda Carlisle takes to the stage.
If ever anyone has given Madonna a run for her money as the queen of the three-minute pop song, it’s Belinda Carlisle. Over the last three decades, she’s made the journey from Hollywood-based teen punk with the Go-Gos to the ultimate global pop icon with a serious of sophisticated, but instantly memorable pop-rock singles.
It was with “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” that Belinda achieved international success. It was a number one on both sides of the Atlantic and launched the start of an incredible solo career. With other huge hits such as “Circle In The Sand”, “(We Want) The Same Thing”, ‘Leave A Light On’, ‘Live Your Life Be Free’ and “Do You Feel Like I Feel?”, 80s Night is going to be a brilliant evening of good fun and nostalgia and lots of laughs!
With a tour of America planned over the Summer of 2018, it’s one of the only chances you’ll get to catch Belinda Carlisle in the UK in 2018!
The second of the Friday Night Music Night Series will be on Friday Eve 20th July when there will be another fantastic musical accompaniment to the brilliant racing on offer. The Bootleg Beatles are one of the world’s most famous Tribute Bands and they’ll be performing their stunning recreation of the greatest songbook of all time at Pontefract on this night. Tracing the Fab Four’s journey through the sixties, every tiny detail is meticulously covered from costumes to authentic period instruments.
Attracting critical acclaim wherever they perform, The Bootleg Beatles will perform their singalong set straight after the last race.
With two fantastic music acts booked, the 2018 season promises to promote Pontefract Races to a much wider audience. With tickets limited, Racegoers are encouraged to secure their place early.

Tickets are on sale now via the Racecourse website at www.pontefract-races.co.uk or over the phone on 01977 781307.

Contact: Richard Hammill (Assistant Manager/Clerk of the Course) 01977 781307

Pontefract Racecourse has been honoured at the annual RCA Showcase Awards by winning the prestigious #TopSpot Award.

The RCA Showcase Awards, partnered by Moët Hennessy and Racing Post, celebrate excellence and innovation in racecourse customer experience and were held this year at Newbury Racecourse.

Pontefract beat off all the competition and impressed the judges with their Wall of Fame which has put the customer at the heart of everything the racecourse does on racedays as well as in their marketing campaigns. The impressive mosaic is on display in the Grandstand & Paddock bar and racegoers are encouraged to check the artwork and claim a prize!

Maggie Carver, Racecourse Association Chairman, said: “I’m absolutely delighted for all the winners and especially for the team at Pontefract for their hard work and dedication to ensure outstanding customer experience at the racecourse.

 

“The excellence and innovation of all our Finalists made the competition as fierce as ever, and the winners have shown exceptional commitment to delivering outstanding customer experiences and initiatives across the sport.

 

“Well done to all the Winners and Finalists who can be very proud of their achievements. The variety and range of our racecourses are what makes the sport in Britain so unique and it was really pleasing to see so many represented and winning awards.”

 

Richard Hammill, Assistant Manager of Pontefract Racecourse, said:

‘We are absolutely thrilled to have won an Award at the RCA Showcase Awards. The Seminar and Awards are a fantastic example of how the racing industry comes together to share best practice. For a small independent Racecourse like Pontefract to be able to compete with, and beat, some of their larger counterparts is a huge achievement and shows what a memorable experience Pontefract are able to provide at all their race meetings. ‘

The Wall of Fame will be back once again in 2018 with a revised visual of racegoers who attended Pontefract Racecourse during the 2017 season. Once again, there’ll be a fantastic range of prizes on offer for anyone who spots themselves on the Wall. The 2018 visual will be available via the Racecourse website at www.pontefract-races.co.uk early in the New Year.

Catterick’s 2017/18 National Hunt season starts on Friday 24 November
The flat season has now come to an end and the National Hunt season is about to begin at Catterick Racecourse, with The Start of the Jumps on Friday 24 November.
The first of seven races is scheduled for 12:20pm with the feature race, The Go Racing in Yorkshire Winter Festival Handicap Steeple Chase, due to take place at 1:50pm. The gates will open to the public two hours prior to the first race.
The last race, The Racing Again 19th December Intermediate Open National Hunt Flat Race, will bring the action to a close at 3:35pm.
During the afternoon, last season’s champion owner, trainer and jockey will be presented with their prizes, kindly sponsored by The Black Bull Inn, Moulton. Paul & Clare Rooney took the owners title with 17 points, while Donald McCain claimed the champion trainer title finishing the season with 62 points while his closest rival, Sue Smith was in second with 46 points. Brian Hughes rode 7 winners last season and as a result was named Champion Jockey, with 33 points separating him and Danny Cook in second.
Fiona Needham, General Manager and Clerk of the Course said: “Last season provided some exciting racing, including Sue Smith’s Straidnahanna winning our most prestigious race, the North Yorkshire Grand National. We’re looking forward to watching all of the action this season and seeing the 2017/18 champion series unfold, with thanks again to long standing sponsors The Black Bull Inn.”
The free shuttle bus will run between Richmond Market Place and the racecourse, leaving approximately one hour prior to the first race and will return again after the last.
This meeting is the first of 10 National Hunt fixtures at Catterick Racecourse this season. The highlights of the jumps season calendar include the ever popular 28 December and New Year’s Day meetings, and the North Yorkshire Grand National on Thursday 11 January. The season finale will bring things to an end on Wednesday 7 March, Countryside Day.

The expertise and dedication of the grounds team at Ripon Racecourse has been recognised by this year’s Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) Industry Awards with the team winning the John Deere Professional Horse Racing Grounds Team of the Year Award.

The four-strong grounds team at Ripon Racecourse work consistently to produce a racing surface that is fast, good/good to firm for every race, whether by irrigation or drainage management. The site hosts 17 days of racing each season – with a turnaround of nine-15 days between each fixture and an average of 65 runners for each meeting (over 1,000 runners every year).

Head Groundsman Carl Tonks said “I’m very grateful and proud of our team’s hard work and dedication throughout the year. To be recognised with the elite of the Groundscare industry is truly an honour and a privilege.”

As part of this expert care, independent agronomy reports in recent years has shown that the turf management process has improved.

In addition to the track, the team also maintains 210 acres of open space, car parks, woodland, lakes and buildings, which accommodate varied use, including:

Over 50 outside events such as

  • caravan rallies, car shows, beer festivals, car boot sales and dog shows;
  • Weddings, conferences and trade shows;
  • On the lake – fishing, diving, canoeing, jet skiing, triathlon training; and
  • Pigeon race liberations.

Organised by the IOG – the leading membership organisation for everyone involved in the management of sports pitches, landscape and amenity facilities – the annual awards embrace categories of entry covering sport, young people and the environment.

The awards highlight the high standards of volunteer and professional groundsmanship, from grassroots to professional stadia level. They are judged by an independent panel on criteria that include effective use of resources, budgetary control, presentation and housekeeping standards, as well as environmental considerations.

Commenting on the high standard of award winners, IOG chief executive Geoff Webb, says: “With a record number of entries, this year’s awards continue to demonstrate the skills and passion of groundsmanship throughout the UK, at both voluntary and professional level. 

“Winning an award is testament to the dedication of the grounds teams and individuals whose ability to produce and maintain ever-improving playing surfaces – which enables more games to take place – goes largely unnoticed.”

Visit www.iog.org/awards for more details.

Pontefract Racecourse is thrilled to have been announced as a Finalist in 4 categories for the prestigious Showcase & Awards, hosted by the Racecourse Association (RCA).

The Showcase & Awards is the marquee event of British racecourses that annually celebrates first class customer experience in partnership with Moët Hennessy and Racing Post.

Pontefract Racecourse has been shortlisted in the Best Campaign, Operational Excellence, Love of the Sport and Top Spot categories. From the five Finalists in each category the winners will be revealed at the Showcase & Awards ceremony on 16th November at Newbury Racecourse.

The Best Campaign category celebrates excellence in the sphere of marketing while the #TopSpot Award is looking for standalone initiatives, large or small, that enrich the racecourse brand and/or raceday experience for customers. The Wall of Fame obviously caught the judges eye as it was shortlisted for both of these awards – the only initiative across all categories to have been shortlisted twice!

The Love of the Sport Award celebrates initiatives that both enrich and extend the reach of the sport to customers and the West Yorkshire track impressed judges with their zoned Sunday race meeting which allowed racegoers to experience different aspects of a day at the races.

The Operational Excellence Award recognises exceptional delivery and behind the scenes initiatives that improve the operational performance and customer service at racecourses with Pontefract being praised for the innovative way that they reach out to the racegoer.

Racecourses across the county have done incredibly well with York, Catterick, Ripon, Redcar and Beverley also up for awards at the illustrious ceremony.

Richard Hammill, Assistant Manager at Pontefract Racecourse, said: “It’s a huge honour for Pontefract to be recognised as finalists in 4 categories at the Showcase Awards. It’s a fantastic achievement to be able to compete against the likes of such fantastic Racecourses as York and Ascot.

Having won an award for our Art of Racing Raceday at the ceremony last year, we are determined to keep on improving and better the racing experience for our customers.’

Pontefract only narrowly missed out on taking two awards at the 2016 ceremony when their Rugby League Evening was just pipped to the post.

Stephen Atkin, RCA Chief Executive, said, “I am delighted for Pontefract Racecourse for their success in being named a Finalist in 4 categories at the 2017 Showcase & Awards.

“It is a highlight of our year to see all of the quality Showcase Awards submissions go before the judges to measure the impact and growth of the initiatives that our racecourses have delivered and clearly Pontefract have enjoyed an excellent year.

“I extend my congratulations to the team for their hard work in securing this achievement and wish them the best of luck for the ceremony at Newbury on Thursday 16th November where we’ll see if they can join our esteemed list of winners.”

 

With 6 of the 9 Yorkshire Racecourses nominated for the Racecourse Association Showcase awards, Yorkshire Racing has put itself on the map once again.

Pontefract, York, Beverley, Redcar, Catterick and Ripon all have nominations. Pontefract and Beverley really have hit the big time with 4 nominations each! This gives them the opportunity to win the Top Racecourse in the country award which would be well deserved no matter which one was victorious. An award previously won by York Racecourse in 2015.

All 9 Yorkshire Racecourses work tirelessly to improve their customer service and customer experience. The amount of nominations in our region is proof its working! So you have to ask, why would you go racing anywhere else?

Ripon Racecourse is delighted to announce they have been named as a Finalist for the prestigious Showcase & Awards, hosted by the Racecourse Association (RCA).

The Showcase & Awards is the marquee event of British racecourses that annually celebrates first class customer experience in partnership with Moët Hennessy and Racing Post.

Ripon Racecourse has been listed as a Finalist in the #TopSpot category. From the five Finalists the winner will be revealed at the Showcase & Awards ceremony on 16 November at Newbury Racecourse. 

The #TopSpot Award is looking for standalone initiatives, large or small, that enrich the racecourse brand and/or raceday experience for customers. To enter racecourses had to tweet an image using #TopSpot and a brief description.

Ripon Racecourse particularly impressed the judges through their Heck Pop-Up BBQ initiative which has seen the Racecourse working with Theakston Brewery and Heck Food to bring together the best of Yorkshire produce with the ‘BBQ n Beer Fest’ season finale.

Erin Boswell, Marketing Manager at Ripon Racecourse, said: “We are thrilled to have been shortlisted in such a competitive category. The annual RCA Showcase awards is something all Racecourses engage in and we are thrilled to have been shortlisted for the fifth year in a row. Both Theakston’s and Heck are big local brands that are at the top of their game and are on our doorstep. We offering racegoers a wonderful upgrade option to showcase what amazing produce we have here in Yorkshire. It was also a great way to celebrate a successful season and initiative to offer our racegoers some added value to our season finale”

Stephen Atkin, RCA Chief Executive, said, “I am delighted for Ripon Racecourse for their success in being named a Finalist at the 2017 Showcase & Awards.

“It is a highlight of our year to see all of the quality Showcase Awards submissions go before the judges to measure the impact and growth of the initiatives that our racecourses have delivered and clearly Ripon have enjoyed an excellent year.

“I extend my congratulations to the team for their hard work in securing this achievement and wish them the best of luck for the ceremony at Newbury on Thursday 16th November where we’ll see if they can join our esteemed list of winners.”

 #TopSpot Finalists

 Beverley—The Bark D’Triomphe

Hamilton Park—Winners Wall

Newbury—Newbury Poppy Appeal

Pontefract—The Wall of Fame

Ripon—Heck! Pop-up BBQ

Catterick Racecourse is delighted to announce they have been named as a Finalist for the prestigious Showcase & Awards, hosted by the Racecourse Association (RCA).

The Showcase & Awards is the marquee event of British racecourses that annually celebrates first class customer experience in partnership with Moët Hennessy and Racing Post.

Catterick Racecourse has been listed as a Finalist in the Events category. From the five Finalists the winner will be revealed at the Showcase & Awards ceremony on 16 November at Newbury Racecourse.

The Events award celebrates superb events that provide memorable days out and attract new customers to racecourses. Entries were asked to demonstrate a defined strategy and excellence in execution, along with a clear link to the racecourse brand and encouragement of return visits.

Catterick Racecourse particularly impressed the judges through their Racing Recruitment Day initiative. The event, held on 2 June, was designed to raise awareness of the different career options within the racing industry and provided both an educational and memorable day for their race goers.

Fiona Needham, General Manager at Catterick Racecourse, said: “We’re thrilled to be nominated as a finalist for this year’s awards, and to be recognised alongside some great events! We will be holding a careers themed race day again next year, and we’re excited to build upon the success of this year’s event.”

Stephen Atkin, RCA Chief Executive, said, “I am delighted for Catterick Racecourse for their success in being named a Finalist at the 2017 Showcase & Awards.

“It is a highlight of our year to see all of the quality Showcase Awards submissions go before the judges to measure the impact and growth of the initiatives that our racecourses have delivered and clearly Catterick have enjoyed an excellent year.

“I extend my congratulations to the team for their hard work in securing this achievement and wish them the best of luck for the ceremony at Newbury on Thursday 16th November where we’ll see if they can join our esteemed list of winners.”

Events Finalists

Aintree—Red Rum at 40

Catterick—Racing Recruitment Day

Chelmsford City—Ladies Day 2017

Cheltenham—The McCoys

York—Jump Jockeys & Olly Murs Play Our 18th

 

Notes

For more information about the RCA Showcase & Awards please contact Will Aitkenhead – will.aitkenhead@racecourseassociation.co.uk or 07879 416 221.

 

More about the 2017 RCA Showcase & Awards

 

This is the eighth annual RCA Showcase & Awards, the gala event of British racecourses that annually celebrates first class customer experience in partnership with Moët Hennessy and Racing Post.

 

It is renowned as the event to attend, learn from, engage with, support and celebrate racecourses. The daytime seminar and evening black tie awards ceremony are both guided by the principle themes of excellence and innovation, which we encourage all racecourses to apply to every element of the raceday experience.

 

This year’s event will be held on Thursday 16th November at Newbury Racecourse. We are delighted to continue delivering the RCA Showcase & Awards and thank all racecourses for the levels of engagement and support shown.

 

The independent judging panel this year comprised of Tony Langham (Chairman, Great British Racing), Chris Cook (Deputy Racing Editor, The Guardian), Gareth Balch (Chief Executive, Two Circles), Steve Brice (Chief Executive, Pharaoh Experience), Patricia Pugh (Packard Curator, Palace House & ROA Board Member) and Matt Lynch (Executive Director, Venue Inc.) who all met to review each and every submission.

 

More about the Racecourse Association

 

The Racecourse Association serves the interests of its 59 British racecourse members empowering them to be the best venues that they can be.

The RCA works on behalf of racecourses to represent their views within the sport through the tripartite structure of the Members’ Agreement alongside BHA and The Horsemen’s Group. Outside of horseracing, we work alongside the Government, other sports and leisure venues, and national charities to meet the needs of racecourses.

From Perth to Newton Abbot, the 59 members of the Racecourse Association cover the length and breadth of Great Britain. The racecourses take many different shapes and sizes – all part of the charm of racing in Britain.

With 23 National Hunt racecourses providing jump racing, 19 flat racing and 17 dual-purpose racecourses, there is something for everyone across the country, and Britain is home to six all-weather tracks offering flat racing opportunities throughout the winter months.

What brings all British racecourses together is the exceptional raceday experience offered. Home to world-class racing events such as the Grand National, Cheltenham Festival, 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas, Epsom Derby, Royal Ascot, St Leger and All-Weather Championships, the racecourses of Great Britain carry hundreds of years of heritage and history that can be discovered on every visit.

The ownership structure of the racecourses is equally varied, with Jockey Club Racecourses owning 14 and Arena Racing Company owning 15. The remaining 30 RCA member racecourses are owned independently.

York Racecourse concluded its 2017 season today after a hugely busy year which has seen a strong attendance, as 350,000 racegoers witnessed 122 races over 18 fabulous days of racing action. More thoroughbreds than ever (a total of 1,468) competed for a record of more than £7.7m prize money delivering an impressive average field size of 12 which looks set to retain its position as the largest in British racing.

In other excitements this year, Macmillan Charity Raceday in June raised a record sum of over £500,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support and other charities, making it the biggest charity raceday in British racing, having raised over £7.5m during the last 47 years.

For the first time in the modern era, York sold out in all enclosures, on Summer Music Saturday (1st July), when seven races including the innovative “jump jockeys Nunthorpe” plus a concert by Olly Murs, drew in the crowds.

The opening day of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival saw the first ever million pound race on the Knavesmire, the Group 1 Juddmonte International, which currently holds the position as Britain’s highest rated race. Royal Patron of York, HRH The Duke of York, was able to present the trophy to the winning connections of Ulysses as trainer Sir Michel Stoute and jockey, Jim Crowley, delivered another big prize for the Niarchos family.

The balance of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival saw an outstanding four days of racing action with Enable, the highest rated horse in Europe this season, taking the Darley Yorkshire Oaks as part of her five Group One victories in a row. Arguably the most dramatic finish of the season unfolded in the Coolmore Nunthorpe as Lady Aurelia, trained in the USA by Wesley Ward, was pipped in a photo-finish by Marsha, resulting in jubilant scenes from her Elite Racing Club owners and despondency for the vanquished Frankie Dettori.

Indeed, a remarkable six of the top ten rated horses that have raced in Europe this season, Enable, Ulysses, Battaash, Churchill, Barney Roy and Lady Aurelia have all graced the Knavesmire.

The total attendance for the year of 349,532 an increase of 2,350 from 2016, reflects the highs of Summer Music Saturday and the disappointing weather of the summer months which meant significant rain fell on eight racedays. The final day saw 20.676 racegoers watch Teruntum Star land the Coral Sprint Trophy, part of a double for Hambleton trainer Kevin Ryan in the hands of Kevin Stott.

The fiercely contested Charles Clinkard Top Trainer at York Trophy was won for the first time by William Haggas. Skipton-born, though Newmarket based, Haggas had led the way for the majority of the season and posted an impressive thirteen winners; surviving a late season surge by Malton’s Tim Easterby, that got the Great Habton yard to within three of the eventual champion.

A new name also appears on the Living North Champion Jockey Trophy, as locally based Danny Tudhope posted six winners and ten second places to land his first title, shading a clutch of top riders that included Jim Crowley, James Doyle and David Allan. As an indication of the strength of the field, twelve different riders achieved a double on a York raceday 2017.

The 2017 season saw the creation of a new dining experience, known simply as Eat Between Our Races, fusing the best in locally produced tasty food with the latest high street EPOS technology, which posted an impressive 40% increase in transactions and rapidly established it as a place to sample good Yorkshire food and then get on with enjoying the raceday.

Work has already commenced on the next major capital project at York, a wholescale upgrading of facilities for Course Enclosure racegoers in the centre of the Course. The £4m project will see enhanced catering, betting and toilet facilities for racegoers in the picnic enclosure while retaining the family atmosphere and outstanding value as a place to enjoy racing from. It is planned that Phase One of this project will be in use for the 2018 season.

William Derby, Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course at York Racecourse said “What a memorable season 2017 has been. The quality of racing action at York has been tremendous and we are delighted that our continued investment in the track, facilities and record prize money has delivered such compelling and competitive racing action. We are grateful for the ongoing support of owners and horsemen for bringing their fabulous charges to York. Racegoers have seen some of the best horses and jockeys in the world compete on the Knavesmire and we have been delighted with their reaction to the improved facilities and innovations across the site and season. We are proud to be part of a Yorkshire racing community which goes from strength to strength and in the success of Yorkshire-based handlers and jockeys, both here at York and further afield, it is a tremendous reflection of the health of flat racing in the County.”

“I must pay tribute to the team at York who have delivered such a memorable and successful season, from the permanent York Racecourse and York Racecourse Hospitality teams based at the racecourse, who work so hard throughout the year to continue to innovate and improve the experience for visitors to the Knavesmire; to the raceday team who help provide the award-winning service and welcome to our racegoers. 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 2017 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 Olly Murs, as well as those by All Saints and Jess Glynne, the latter on a truly soaking evening, will provide memories into the winter nights. Another record number of participants enjoying the Ebor Fashion Lawn, a Family Sunday with a visit from Paddington, and the Countryside Raceday in October, were all exciting aspects which combined with top-class racing, service and facilities to provide great entertainment. The 2017 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 2018 season starting on Wednesday 16 May 2018”

After a great Summer of racing, the 2017 season comes to a close at Pontefract on Monday 23rd October. The final meeting ends what has been a fantastic year at the West Yorkshire track with some memorable racing. And the final raceday is no different with a top class Listed 2 year old race on the card.
The 25th running of the Listed totepool EBF Silver Tankard Stakes has an impressive roll of honour with past winners including Comic Strip, who won the 2004 renewal for Sir Mark Prescott before being sold to race in Hong Kong and becoming one of the most successful horses in their history. D’Bai took the honours in 2016 for Charlie Appleby and the Godolphin team – who’ll add their name to the trophy in 2017?
The main supporting race is the totepool Phil Bull Trophy Conditions Stakes. The race has a rich history of producing high class stayers – last year’s contest was taken by Mark Johnston’s Oriental Fox who won the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot earlier in the year. This race also marks the final leg of the 2017 Pontefract Stayers’ Championship. There are still 3 horses in with a chance of winning – previous winner, Tuscan Gold, heads the way from La Fritillaire and Madam Lilibet who have both been in excellent form at recent meetings.
A mile is a long way for youngsters to run and the opening race – a 1m nursery handicap for 2yos – often highlights a horse with stamina abundance. Mount Moriah took the contest last season and he’s been a revelation this year with thirds in the Group 3 Gordon Stakes at Goodwood and the Irish St Leger.
There are still a few places available on the totepool Punters Package on Monday. For just £42, punters will be able to secure a place in the VIP totepool Suite in the Dalby Stand boxes with hot buffet, guest speaker and use of the private viewing balconies! To book, go online to www.pontefract-races.co.uk or give us a call on 01977 781307.
The Racecourse continues to run the Yorkshire Postcode Lottery. The scheme gives racegoers from Yorkshire the chance to come racing in the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure for free. The last meeting of the season is again part of the promotion, and punters with postcodes from Bradford will be eligible for cheap entry on the last day.
There’ll also be a chance to buy some early Christmas presents too as the Injured Jockeys Fund will have their stand on course. You’ll also be able to purchase your 2018 Annual Badge at the 2017 price!
The action gets underway for the final time in 2017 at 2.20pm with gates opening at midday.

SPRING Loaded is ready to be unleashed once more with his trainer Paul D’Arcy’s sights set on the £100,000 Coral Sprint Trophy handicap at York on Saturday.

The five-year-old gelding delivered a power-packed performance in securing a three-and-half length win in the Portland Handicap at Doncaster last month.

It was a victory that suggested D’Arcy’s charge is every bit as good on the turf as he is on the all-weather.

Newmarket-based D’Arcy said: “He’s rated 105 on the all-weather so he’s a good horse. But people have pigeon-holed him as an all-weather horse and he’s not. I know he’s just as good on turf as he is on the all-weather.

“Things went right for him (at Doncaster). The draw was right and the ground dried out – just on the soft side of ‘good’, probably.

“Everything went right for him, which happens with sprinters. Sometimes you have to be patient.

“He came out of that race well and I always had this race at York in mind for him. I think the track will suit him.

“I ride him every day – we’ve had this partnership for four years. Like a lot of sprinters, the older they get, the better they get. I think there’s still some improvement in him.”

The race sponsors, Coral, have Spring Loaded as 7/1 favourite

Offering each way value at 16/1 would be the Ruth Carr-trained Pipers Note, who was fifth on Town Moor last month.

The leading Yorkshire-trained contender could well be Flying Pursuit. Tim Easterby’s charge won over course and distance in the Sky Bet Dash in late July, though the handicapper has had his say after this and a further success at Ripon.

Saturday’s seven-race card also includes the coral.co.uk Rockingham Stakes – a six-furlong Listed race for two-year-olds offering £50,000 in prize money.

For tickets please call 01904 620911 x 225 or visit www.yorkracecourse.co.uk

WILLIAM Haggas is aiming to fulfil a career ambition on Saturday by becoming top trainer at York for the season.

The Skipton-born, if Newmarket-based trainer has recorded 12 winners on the Knavesmire in 2017 – three more than his fellow Yorkshireman and nearest rival, Tim Easterby.

Both stables will be well represented at York’s season-concluding two-day meeting – worth £465,000 – which gets underway on Friday. Haggas, 57, said: “I always wanted to, one day, be leading trainer at York one season. We nearly did it a couple of years ago and got done on the last day when David O’Meara had four winners in the last two meetings. This year, it looks as though – with a bit of luck – it’s only Tim that’s the danger.”

Haggas expects to run “three or four each day”, including The Grand Visir in the £100,000 Unibet Handicap on Friday and, the following afternoon, Raucous in the £100,000 Coral Sprint Trophy. He is also planning on being double-handed in the coral.co.uk Rockingham Stakes – a six-furlong Listed race for two-year-olds, worth £50,000.

He said: “In the past, we’ve not really had a plethora of runners – we’ve just been very lucky. But this time, we’re going to run a few, primarily because we’d obviously like to try and win. I think we’ll have three or four each day. But it’s quite late in the day.”

Tulip Fever, who won at Yarmouth last time, is declared in Friday’s opener – the TSG Paul Beioley Memorial Nursery Handicap. Zwayan, successful at Ascot last Friday, is turned out quickly again for the second race on the card – the unibet.co.uk Handicap.

In Friday’s feature, the mile and three-quarters Unibet Handicap, The Grand Visir returns to York after finishing fifth over course and distance in the Betfred Melrose Handicap during the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival. Haggas said: “The Grand Visir ran a very good race in the Melrose. He hasn’t run since but he’s in good form and we’ve had this race in mind for a while.”

Saturday’s Coral Sprint Trophy is the plan for Raucous who has run well in a series of high-profile races this summer without getting his head in front. His last success was back in April on the all-weather at Chelmsford.
Haggas said: “He has got plenty of talent – it just hasn’t fallen his way. We’ll just see how he goes but he could easily surprise – he’s one of those. He’s in really good form and looks great, too.”

Barton Mills, winner of a Kempton novices’ race in late September will come back in trip for the coral.co.uk Rockingham Stakes. Stable-mate Island Drive – beaten favourite at Nottingham two months ago on her last start – is set to join him in the race. Haggas said: “Barton Mills has run twice and run well over seven furlongs. The jockey (Martin Harley) is very keen to try him at six, so we’re giving it a go in a Listed race.”

Haggas has been in contention to land the Charles Clinkard backed top trainer crown for 2017 since the Dante Festival where he landed a big-race triumph with Tasleet. The sprint ace was successful in the Group 2 Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes. “He was marvellous,” said Haggas, nominating Tasleet’s win as his favourite from his dozen so far at York this season.

The trainer summed up: “York means a lot to a lot of people. It’s a great track, always packed and just a very good atmosphere. It’s a very fair racecourse; very few hard luck stories and very often the best horse wins. Now they’ve got the track drained properly, it has made it so much better. We race on lovely ground. They do a great job – it’s first class.”

Full coverage of every race in the conclusion of the season long championship is available on Racing UK.

For tickets please call 01904 620911 x 225 or visit www.yorkracecourse.co.uk

BOLDER Bob will bid to complete a three-timer when he contests the £100,000 Unibet Handicap at York on Friday.

This three-year-olds only race, staged over almost a mile and three-quarters, has doubled in prize money so, unsurprisingly, has attracted a field of promising young stayers.

The majority look to be very much on the upgrade – not least Bolder Bob, a Yorkshire-based contender trained by David Barron at Maunby House, near Thirsk.

Connections have been patient with the gelding who has rewarded them in the second half of the 2017 campaign.

He ran out a comfortable winner of a mile and a half handicap at Leicester in August – the first success of his career. The following month, off an 8lb higher official rating, he won again over the same distance – this time at Beverley – and did so in equally emphatic manner.

That triumph resulted in a 7lb rise at the weights. Now he is set to face his toughest challenge yet up against a collection of improvers, all chasing the £62,250 first prize.

David Barron said: “He’s a horse that has progressed all year. He has won twice over a mile and a half and he’s looking as though he’s crying out for a step up in trip. I would hope the race would suit him well.

“Easy ground helps him. As far as we’re concerned, we wouldn’t want the ground to dry out too much.

“He’s a back-end three-year-old that’s starting to improve. Thankfully, he has an owner that was quite happy to wait for him and be patient with him. So, it’s nice when it starts to come together.”

York’s final two-day meeting of the year, worth a record £465,000, starts on Friday at 2.10pm; for those unable to visit the Knavesmire all fourteen contests will be available to view on Racing UK.

The season on the Knavesmire concludes the following afternoon with a seven race card that includes another £100,000 handicap – the Coral Sprint Trophy.

For tickets please call 01904 620911 x 225 or visit www.yorkracecourse.co.uk

TRAINER Owen Burrows reported promising two-year-old prospect, Shabaaby, to be showing the right signs ahead of the Listed highlight of York’s Saturday card, the coral.co.uk Rockingham Stakes.

The two-year-old colt, owned by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, is the highest-rated horse in the entry for the six-furlong black type race, following consecutive winning runs.

Shabaaby, who has an official ‘mark’ of 109, enjoyed a pipe-opener earlier today under jockey Dane O’Neill. Connections will be hoping that the exercise will help prime him for his weekend assignment in the £50,000 race on the Knavesmire.

Lambourn-based Burrows is at the Sales in Newmarket but confirmed: “Dane has ridden him this morning. I spoke to Dane and he was very happy.

“Shabaaby had a little bit of work at home on the grass and seems in good form.”
The son of Kyllachy was given his lofty rating after he won a conditions race by seven lengths at Doncaster’s St Leger Festival.

That was his second successive victory, following a novices’ race at Newmarket in mid-August.

He had previously run third on his debut two months earlier at Salisbury behind subsequent stakes stars Nyaleti and Billesdon Brook.

Lambourn-based Burrows said: “I came away from Salisbury slightly disappointed but it was Nyaleti that beat him and a horse of Richard Hannon’s was second – they’re both Group winners now!

“Shabaaby has always been a horse that I’ve liked and Dane was very impressed with him at Newmarket. He probably didn’t beat a lot but he picked up well – and he looked to go forward again at Doncaster. There wasn’t a big field – he only had three to beat – but the way he did it was impressive.

“It slightly surprised me that they rated him as high as 109. But I did read somewhere that they’d graded it as the best two-year-old performance out of Pattern company this year. Whether that was to do with speed figures or whatever, I don’t honestly know.

“But it has given us no option but to go into Listed class with that rating. Even if he was rated low 100s I think we would still be looking to go in a Listed race – it seems the natural progression.

“I’m looking forward to running him again. He has proven (on his last two starts) he handles soft ground, so we’re not having to be on weather watch.”

As for the longer term, Burrows believes that his charge has scope for physical progression.

He added: “He might not grow upwards but I think he’ll fill out and strengthen. Touch wood, that can only mean improvement. He certainly doesn’t just look a two-year-old type – put it that way.”

The most valuable contest on the final day of the York season is the £100,000 Coral Sprint Trophy.

For tickets please call 01904 620911 x 225 or visit www.yorkracecourse.co.uk

 Bonfire Night has been a traditional British celebration for many years and this year a circus theme fireworks extravaganza is to be hosted at one of the town’s favourite attractions.

 Doncaster Racecourse, in conjunction with Hallam FM, will hold its glittering ‘Firework Spectacular’ event on Saturday 4th November with the family friendly event culminating in a musical firework display at 7.30pm,  which visitors will enjoy from a covered viewing area guaranteeing enjoyment, come rain or shine! 

“Bonfire Night is always great fun for all the family and we are keen to keep this tradition going strong in the town,” said Abby Chandler Head of Marketing at Doncaster Racecourse. “Our event has been carefully thought out to ensure all members of the family can come along and have some fun.” 

Attractions and activities at the event include Mr Dan’s Circus Company where children will be encouraged to have a go in the Circus Workshop, face painting, fairground rides and stalls, and a fire trickster. Furthermore, a fancy dress competition will take place for those attending in circus themed costume. 

“We encourage families and groups of friends to get together and come and enjoy a fun few hours on home turf this Bonfire Night,” said Abby. “And remember, almost all entertainment is free once you’ve paid for your admission ticket including the firework display and huge children’s disco that will be taking place in the main hall.” 

Tickets can be pre-booked or purchased on the night. A family ticket (for 4 people) costs just £10. Individual tickets are available.

Fairground ‘Happy Hour’ will take place between 5.00pm and 6.00pm where small rides will be £1.50 and large rides £2.00. 

The event starts at 5pm and concludes at 8pm. 

For more information and to buy tickets visit http://www.doncaster-racecourse.co.uk/whats-on/event/fireworks-spectacular-in-conjunction-with-hallam-fm/

The Totepool Catterick Dash takes pride of place on a seven race card at Catterick Racecourse on Saturday 21 October, when racing is scheduled to begin at 1:50pm. With almost £80,000 in prize money on offer throughout the afternoon, this fixture is Catterick’s richest raceday of the year.

The feature race of the day, The Totepool Catterick Dash, is Catterick’s most prestigous race with a total of £30,000 prize money up for grabs. The minimum distance five furlong handicap should attract plenty of good sprinters.

Fiona Needham, General Manager and Clerk of the Course said: “We’ve had a number of quality horses take part in this race previously and then go on to perform well at the higher levels. The 2014 Catterick Dash winner, Duke of Firenze recently ran in the Group 1 Prix De L’ Abbaye De Longchamp at Chantilly and finished fourth behind Battaash, so we’re looking forward to following the careers of this year’s runners!”

The final race of the day, at 5.10pm is the second last race in the ‘Go Racing in Yorkshire’ Future Stars Apprentice Series – now in it’s sixth year. The final of the series will take place at Doncaster three weeks later. The competition is looking to be one of the most exciting yet as 16 riders are still in with a chance to win.

In addition to the racing action on the track, there will be a chance for two lucky racegoers to win a bottle of Catterick Races bubbly! Anyone looking to win will need to keep an eye out around the course on the day, and in the race card for details of how to enter. A big screen will also be at the course on the day to enable racegoers to see even more of the action on the track, as well as showing the racing from Champions Day at Ascot.

The gates will open to the public at 11:50am, with the free shuttle bus bringing racegoers from Richmond Market Place to the racecourse approximately one hour prior to the first race.

As with all of Catterick Racecourse’s fixtures, under 18’s go free when accompanied by an adult.

As the flat season continues to wind down, Pontefract stage their penultimate meeting of the season on Monday 9th October. The 15th race meeting of the year at the West Yorkshire venue is bound to be well supported as trainers get one last run in to their charges before the National Hunt season takes over.
It’s a fascinating card with the feat