Category Archives: York


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.
For Tickets and more information PLEASE CALL 01904 620911 x225 Or visit


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


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