GREAT-GRANDMA Janice Wilson pulled off a blooming spectacular victory in the adults’ fancy dress competition on Redcar Races’ Caribbean Carnival Day.
Ripon’s most iconic race, The William Hill Great St. Wilfrid Handicap Stakes takes pride of place on an excellent card next Saturday, August 17th. The ITV4 cameras will be present for the most valuable raceday of the season at Yorkshire’s ‘Garden Racecourse’, with total prize money of £150,000 up for grabs.
The famous six-furlong Handicap has now been sponsored by William Hill for 26 years, their longest standing sports sponsorship and with £75,000 prize money on offer the 2019 renewal is sure to be fiercely competitive. The meeting also includes the seventh running of The William Hill Silver Trophy Handicap, a £20,000 ‘consolation’ race for the horses balloted out of the William Hill Great St. Wilfrid.
William Hill Spokesperson, Rupert Adams said: “We are very proud sponsors of the Great St Wilfrid Handicap, which delivers for us on a yearly basis. Amazingly this is our 26th year, by far the longest standing sponsorship in our portfolio and one we look forward to continuing with.”
The last nine winners of the historic contest have been trained in Yorkshire and with the likes of Tim Easterby, Richard Fahey and David O’Meara all likely to have multiple entries, who would bet against the trophy remaining in Yorkshire for a ninth consecutive year?
Last year’s contest was won by Gunmetal, trained locally in Maunby by David Barron and a bid to become only the second horse to win the race back-to-back is very much on the cards but Barron does have one eye on the skies.
His trainer David Barron said: “He’s in very good form, he’ll definitely be entered and the plan is to go and do exactly what he did last year. The potential problem would be soft ground. He prefers decent ground so we’re hoping there’s not too much rain in the next week”.
James Hutchinson, Managing Director and Clerk of the Course said:
“William Hill Great St Wilfrid day is always an occasion we really look forward to and we’re very proud to be William Hill’s longest standing sports sponsorship. For the past nine years the race has been won by Yorkshire-based trainers and Yorkshire looks likely to be very strongly represented once again”.
Racing on Saturday August 17th starts with the first of seven races at 1:30pm with entry from 11.00am. Racegoers can gain entry from just £7 per person in the ever popular Course Enclosure with FREE entry for accompanied Under 18’s into all enclosures.
Saturday’s musical entertainment on the bandstand is provided by The Summerbridge and Dacre Band and there will be bouncy castles for children in the Course Enclosure
You can keep up to date with all the latest news and offers from the course on their social media pages, or by visiting their website.
Tickets can be pre-booked for discounts or adult admission is available on the gates from £7 per person in the Course Enclosure (or Car to Course £20 – up to 4 adults), £17 in the Paddock and £26 for the Club Enclosure.
TRAINER Michael Dods is hoping Mabs Cross can go one better than last year in her quest for success in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York.
The five-year-old mare went down to Alpha Delphini by a nose in the thrilling 2018 renewal of the Group 1 sprint on the Knavesmire.
Mabs Cross went on to land a deserved success at the highest level with victory in the Prix de l’Abbaye last autumn.
And she returned in 2019 with success in a Group 3 at Newmarket and was last seen in public when finishing fourth to Blue Point in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Dods, based near Darlington, has since freshened up his stable star in readiness for a shot at the £400,000 five-furlong contest at York on Friday 23 August.
He said: “We are happy with Mabs Cross. She is in good form and we’re building the work up ready for having her A1 on the day.
“We just gave her a few easy weeks. The idea was to let her down a bit and then build her back up ready for York.
“The important thing to her is pace in the race. If she’s off the bridle at halfway you know she’ll come on at the end.
“I thought when she ran at Ascot she travelled too strongly throughout the race. But she’ll get a fast pace to aim at, at York.
“Last year, obviously we got pipped on the post but she ran a blinder. That set her up for France. So we’re aiming at going the same route.
“We’re happy where we’re at. We’re at a similar stage to where we were this time last year – we’re very pleased with her at the moment.”
Dods expects to bring a team of horses to the meeting over the four days.
The curtain-raising Sky Bet and Symphony Group Handicap could see him triple-handed with Dakota Gold, Jawwaal and Camacho Chief. The trio recently finished first, third and sixth respectively in the Sky Bet Dash at York.
Two more of Dods’ charges – Troubadour and Que Amoro – won at York last month. Both are pencilled in for return visits to the Knavesmire during the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival. The progressive Troubadour is ready to tackle the Sky Bet Nursery Handicap on Wednesday; while Que Amoro is being aimed at the closing race of the Festival, the Sky Bet Apprentice Stakes; both contests offer an eye catching £70,000 purse.
Dods confirmed: “We have a few that we intend to run there, all being well and if the ground conditions are what they want.
“We like to run at every York meeting but obviously at this fixture – and the horses seem to excel.
“There is never that many hard luck stories at York – it’s a great track, owners are well looked after, the facilities are fantastic for everybody, the horses, the staff.
“It’s just a fantastic racecourse, extremely well run and we like to have runners there.”
The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival runs from Wednesday 21 August until Saturday 24 August inclusively.