HAVING missed out on a crack at the Betfred Mile at Glorious Goodwood on Friday, York winner Chiefofchiefs heads North instead with Newmarket trainer Charlie Fellowes targeting the £30,000 Totepool Summer Cup at Thirsk on Saturday.
No trainer south of Malton has yet won the Summer Cup, which has its sixth renewal this weekend, but Fellowes is very hopeful of breaking that hoodoo with his talented four-year-old.
“He is a lovely, big horse who takes his racing very well and he has come out of his win at York two weeks ago really well. He had been aimed at the Betfred Mile at Goodwood, but when he was balloted out, I always had the Summer Cup as an excellent fall-back position.
“It comes just 24 hours later and is an outstanding race with a really good pot, so it was always the intention to target it if Goodwood didn’t materialise” said Fellowes.
The Newmarket trainer has fond memories of the North Yorkshire track even though he has only had four runners there in the four seasons he has been training.
“I had a winner at Thirsk in my season with a horse called Epsom Hill. He was a three-year-old running in a competitive handicap over 12 furlongs in pretty bottomless ground. It was raining so hard that you could hardly see the race on television but he absolutely sluiced up and won in a canter” the trainer recalled.
Whether Chiefofchiefs will do the same on Saturday remains to be seen, but providing the ground is not extreme – and there is no reason to believe it will be – then Fellowes expects another solid performance to follow up his half-length defeat of Arcanada in the John Smith’s Racing Handicap at York on July 15.
The Totepool Summer Cup is the highlight of a very competitive card on Saturday when the main supporting race is the Peter Bell Memorial Handicap.
Racegoers will be able to follow all the action on the big screen opposite the stands, with the races from Glorious Goodwood interspersing with the racing at Thirsk.
As well as some thrilling action on the track, there will be plenty of entertainment off it lots of exciting activities to keep the younger racegoers occupied in the Family Enclosure.
Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £28 on Saturday (£25 if booked online ahead of the day), while Paddock admission can be obtained for £16 (£15 online). There are also great reductions for group bookings. For more information go to www.thirskracecourse.net
Gates open at 11am ahead of the first race at 2.15pm.
On Friday, Thirsk stages an eight-race card, starting at 1.40pm and featuring the Breeders Backing Racing EBF Stakes which sees the 2015 Thirsk Hunt Cup winner Sound Advice take on last season’s Royal Lodge Stakes third Sea Fox and both That Is The Spirit and Mount Tahan, who were split by a head when they met at Ayr last September. The gates open at 11.30am.