Category Archives: York


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.


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.

Training for Go Racing in Yorkshire Ladies’ Days

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, 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

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.”