FOOTBALL has had all kinds of mystics in the past from an octopus to a psychic cat and at Thirsk this weekend it will be jockeys predicting the result of the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Manchester United staged at Wembley later that afternoon.
Suitably attired in either the blue of Chelsea or the red of United, 10 jockeys will be going head-to-head in a five-a-side penalty shoot out to determine the likely winners of the last trophy of the English season.
The fun and games gets underway in the parade ring at 1.15pm with the winning team being asked to nominate a charity to which Thirsk racecourse will then make a donation.
The shoot-out was the brainchild of Thirsk’s raceday presenter Adele Mulrennan, whose husband Paul, the leading jockey on the course since 2014, is likely to be one of those taking part.
On a big day for the country, the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is taking place at Windsor and early comers will be able to follow proceedings on the screens from midday when the service in St George’s Chapel begins.
Saturday is also Irish Day at Thirsk, so some lively activities are guaranteed. Try your Irish dancing skills to the music of Blimey O’Reilly or head off to the James Herriot Hall, decked out in the Irish colours of green, white and orange where the FA Cup final will be shown live from 5.15pm. The bar will be open until 7pm.
The expected seven race card gets underway with the first race at 2.10pm and features some competitive racing. The gates open at 11am.
Some packages are still available online including Premier Enclosure badges at just £25 each, Paddock Enclosure at £15 each and Family Enclosure at £8 each. As always, children under 18 are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.
A few of the popular packages including the Dine and View Premier Package and the Mad Hatter’s Packages have closed online, but there is still availability by calling the racecourse on 01845 522276.