TOP TRAINER Richard Fahey, who has a cracking record at Thirsk’s opening meeting of the season, will have his usual strong hand to play when the 2018 campaign gets underway at the North Yorkshire track on Saturday.
Leading the charge for the Musley Bank trainer is the smart Kimberella, who steps up to seven furlongs for the first time since October, 2016 when he tries to enhance to yard’s terrific record in the Michael Foster Stakes.
Since joining Fahey at the start of last season, Kimberalla has campaigned exclusively over five and six furlongs, winning three times including the valuable all-weather sprint championship at Lingfield and the listed Queensferry Stakes at Chester.
“It is a bit of a step into the unknown and very much a fact-finding mission, but he looks as though he will stay the trip. It will not be easy for him with his penalties, but he takes his chance and we shall see what happens” said Fahey.
If the yard’s record is anything to go by, then Kimberella is sure to go very close as over the last six seasons Fahey has won the race three times and saddled the second placed horse in the other three.
Another member of the Fahey team expected to give a good account at Thirsk is Wasntexpectingthat, who caught the eye when making significant late headway to take third place in the Brocklesby at Doncaster last month.
“He has come on a lot for that run” says Fahey, who is expecting the colt to run well in the opening Visit The All New racinguk.com Maiden Stakes.
The meeting features three £15,000 races on a seven-race card with the JW 4×4 Northallerton Handicap looking to be a competitive contest.
Michael Dods, another trainer with an impressive Thirsk record, runs Mister Belvedere, who was second on the all-weather at Newcastle on his seasonal bow. It would be an emotional winner for jockey Paul Mulrennan, who started his comeback after an horrific fall at Newcastle last month at Ripon on Thursday.
In the five furlong Watch Racing UK In Stunning HD Handicap, Kevin Ryan’s Savalas puts his 100 per cent Thirsk record on the line. An impressive winner on the course last July, Savalas comes into the race in good form after a clear-cut all-the-way win at Wolverhampton three weeks ago.
There will be live music throughout the day supplied by Rockin’ Deke Rivers, who will be playing on the bandstand before racing and between races, while there will be lots for younger racegoers to enjoy, including a bouncy castle, in the Family Enclosure.
Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £27 (£24 if booked online ahead of the day), while Paddock admission can be obtained for £17 (£15 online). There are also great reductions for group bookings while, as always, adult accompanied children under 18 get in free. For more information go to www.thirskracecourse.net.
Gates open at 11am ahead of the first race at 1.55pm.