A BRILLIANT weekend of superb racing lies ahead at Thirsk this Friday and Saturday when one of the highlights of the course’s calendar takes centre stage.
The William Hill Thirsk Summer Cup, the feature race on Saturday’s card, was introduced in 2012 and has quickly established itself as one of the major events in the racing year.
So far, it has proved to be a great race for Northern trainers who have taken every running of the race and all but two have been trained in Yorkshire.
That includes both of last year’s ‘winners’ Florenza and Moonlightnavigator who battled out a thrilling dead-heat to give Middleham’s Chris Fairhurst and Malton’s John Quinn a share of the spoils.
For punters, winners have been hard to find with only the 2016 winner Ginger Jack, who started at 9-2 joint favourite and the 2014 winner Osteopathic Remedy at 8-1 starting at single figure prices.
On past results, the best advice is to go for a five-year-old trained in the North as that is the profile which fits four of the seven winners including Moonlightnavigator.
With an excellent supporting card including the seven furlong Peter Bell Memorial Handicap, a race run in memory of a man who did so much for racing at Thirsk and the 12 furlong JW 4×4 Northallerton Handicap, Saturday’s racing promises to be one of the best days of the season.
There will be live music by Ezee Goin’, who will be playing before racing and between races throughout the afternoon, while there will be lots for younger racegoers to enjoy, including a bouncy castle, in the Family Enclosure.
Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £29 on the day, Paddock Enclosure costs £17 and Family Enclosure starts from £8. Discounts are available if booked in advance along with great reductions for the special packages and for group bookings while, as always, adult accompanied children under 18 get in free. For more information go to: www.thirskracecourse.net
Gates open on Saturday at 11am ahead of the first race at 1.45pm.
Super Saturday follows a fantastic Friday at Thirsk featuring the British EBF Conditions Stakes in which Silvestre De Sousa, fresh from a four-timer at Pontefract on Sunday, could team up with his former boss Mark Johnston to ride the promising Dream Today.
De Sousa and Johnston are also likely to join forces with dual winner New Winds, who heads the weights in the very competitive looking British Stallion Studs EBF Fillies Nursery Handicap.
The card, which also features the seventh round of the Go Racing In Yorkshire Future Stars Apprentice Series led by Sebastian Woods, gets underway with a first race at 1.40pm.