Category Archives: Thirsk

CHIEFOFCHIEFS TARGETS TOTEPOOL SUMMER CUP AT THIRSK

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.

SUMMER CUP HIGHLIGHT OF A CRACKING SATURDAY CARD

AFTER a fantastic Festival Friday, get set for a super Summer Saturday at Thirsk this weekend when the Totepool Thirsk Summer Cup will be the highlight of a two-day meeting at the North Yorkshire track.

With £30,000 in prize money and run over a distance just short of a mile, the Summer Cup has proved a highly competitive race since its introduction into Thirsk’s racing calendar in 2012.

In its short history, it has proved to be a benefit for Northern trainers and a graveyard for favourites, although the second of those sequences was cracked last year when Ginger Jack, starting at 9-2 joint favourite, was one of the last winners for Stockton trainer Garry Moss.

Before Ginger Jack brought some relief to backers, Osteopathic Remedy, who won the 2014 renewal for Darlington trainer Michael Dods, had been the only winner under 10-1 with even Richard Fahey’s 2012 winner Lord Aeryn going off at 20-1!

On a terrific Saturday card, the main support to the Summer Cup comes from another class three contest, the Peter Bell Memorial Handicap, commemorating one of the most important figures In Thirsk’s recent history.

Friday’s card features two class three events, the Tomrods Steel Stockholders Nursery Handicap and the Breeders Backing Racing EBF Conditions Stakes before attention turns the Saturday card and the latest renewal of the Summer Cup, a race which has quickly established itself with owners, trainers and the racing public alike.

Racegoers will also be able to follow all the action on the big screen opposite the stands and Paddock, with action from the big meeting at Glorious Goodwood interspersed with the racing at Thirsk.

As well as some thrilling racing 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, while on Friday the gates open at 11.30am with the first race at 1.40pm.

FEMALE TRAINERS HOPING FOR THE LUCK OF THE IRISH AT THIRSK

Irish eyes may be smiling at Thirsk on Saturday (May 20), but it could be female eyes that are flashing with delight after the two big sprints that highlight the ever-popular annual Irish Day at the North Yorkshire track.

Ruth Carr, who trains just down the road at Stillington, can take centre stage with Pipers Note in the big race of the day, the Constant Security Services Handicap, which carries a prize of almost £13,000 to the winner.

Pipers Note was trained by Richard Whitaker when he won the David Chapman Handicap at Ripon last season, a race which commemorates her grandfather and while the seven-year-old has run well in four races since moving to Carr’s yard, he has still to win for his new handler.

“It’s a pity that the rain has come as he would prefer better ground, but he is in good form and all the horses are running well, so I shall let him take his chance” said Ruth.

And she added: “He would have an obvious chance on his run in the Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster when he was third to Tupi, but he ran a lot better than the result suggests when he was eighth at Ripon last time as he got no room at all at a vital stage of the race”.

Less clear cut is the chance of Roaring Forties, who makes his return to racing after almost two years on the sidelines for Wetherby trainer Rebecca Bastiman in the six furlong UKinsuranceNET Handicap.

Formerly trained by Charlie Appleby for Godolphin, Roaring Forties looked to have a bright future when coming back from a gelding operation to win nurseries at Chester and Kempton in 2015, but he has not been seen out since finishing last but one in the Betway Nursery at York’s Ebor meeting that August.

“I bought him at Doncaster as he had had a few issues, but nothing too bad and he has settled in really well. We have a completely different regime to the one he has been used to and I think it has suited him.

“He has been off the track for a long time, but has been working well at home and while I am not sure the ground will altogether suit him, you have to start somewhere and I am hopeful he will run well” said Rebecca.

There is a strong supporting card featuring the Wharton Construction Maiden Stakes and the Marion Gibson Brown Handicap on a day which opens with the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden Fillies Stakes.

The Irish theme continues off the track with live music in the Paddock Enclosure where the Irish band Murphy’s Marbles make a welcome return to the course after their brilliant sets last year kept racegoers’ feet tapping.

For the youngsters there is plenty of entertainment too, with bouncy castles and a children’s play area in the family enclosure, while there will be a chance to follow the action on the big screens in the Paddock Enclosure and trackside.

Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £28, and it’s £16 to go in the Paddock on the day, but there are great discounts for pre-booking and for groups, while, as always at Thirsk, admission for children under the age of 18 is free, as long as they are accompanied by a paying adult. Car parking is also free.

 

Racing starts at 2.10pm, but the gates will open at 11am.