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TOP-CLASS action awaits at Thirsk on Saturday (April 22), when the North Yorkshire racecourse stages its opening meeting of the 2017 season with the first of five successive weekend fixtures in a row until May 20.

In the first of 16 meetings at Thirsk this year, a set of high-quality middle distance horses will line up for New Cherry Tree Premier Racegoers Package Handicap over 12 furlongs, a race which highlights one of the great new offers to racegoers this year.

For just £40, the package offers Premier Enclosure parking, entry and badge, the official racecard, a choice of alcoholic, soft or hot drink from the Cherry Tree Bar, which has its own private lawn area, the choice of gourmet food and A £2 Totepool betting voucher.

Yorkshire trainers Brian Ellison and David O’Meara lead the way with three entries each, although in a race which is often dominated by horses at the top of the handicap, Mark Johnston may have the ace in the hole with Final.

The five-year-old will be well forward after a campaign on the all-weather which saw him win at Lingfield in February and Newcastle last month. On his latest start, he clipped heels with another runner at Newcastle and gave jockey PJ McDonald a nasty looking fall.

Sharing top billing on Saturday is the seven-furlong Michael Foster Conditions Stakes, commemorating the long-serving director and former chairman of Thirsk.

A Class 3 event worth over £9,000 to the winner, the race usually attracts quality entries from several of the top Northern and Southern stables with Richard Fahey the outstanding yard. Since 2007, Fahey-trained horses have won three times and finished in the first four every year except 2010.

Racegoers will also be able to follow all the action on the big screen opposite the stands and Paddock.

As well as some thrilling racing on the track, there will be plenty of entertainment off it lots of interesting attraction to keep the younger racegoers occupied in the Family Enclosure.

Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £26 (£24 if booked online ahead of the day), while Paddock admission can be obtained for £16 (£15 online). There are also great reductions for group bookings. For more information go to

Gates open at 11am ahead of the first race at 1.50pm.

For further information please contact Thirsk racecourse on 01845 522276 or John Sexton on 01539 533005 or 07760 623106

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