Category Archives: Thirsk


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.


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 up to 8am on Friday, September 7 though tickets will be available on the day.