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Another excellent season at Thirsk came to a close yesterday as the racecourse staged its 16th fixture of 2019 on Monday, September 16.

The 2019 season saw a total attendance increase of 6.5 per cent on the year before, while the racecourse’s enhanced owners and trainers facilities ensured a healthy average of more than 11 runners per race throughout the season, placing it in the top echelon of tracks across the country.

William Hill Summer Cup day on Saturday, August 3, the most valuable fixture of the year at Thirsk with more than £100,000 in prize money across seven races, attracted a modern day record crowd of 10,500 racegoers.

Thirsk’s feature race of the season, the £40,000 Cliff Stud Thirsk Hunt Cup on Saturday, May 4, was won by Hayadh, trained locally at Cowthorpe by Rebecca Bastiman and ridden by Lewis Edmunds. Paul Sutherland’s Cliff Stud, located just outside Helmsley, was unveiled as the sponsor in March on an initial three-year deal.

Scouting For Girls performed at Thirsk’s first music night on Friday, August 16. The after-racing gig was very well received and the racecourse hopes to announce its headline act for 2020 early in the New Year.

Sophie Brown and the Karl Burke-trained Baron Run captured the second edition of The Creditas Taking Care Of Business Stable Staff Stakes, run in aid of Racing Welfare, on Friday, August 30. Eleven stable staff took part in the charity contest and each runner was led up by a licenced jockey, who were keen to show their appreciation to the men and women who work tirelessly behind the scenes on a daily basis.

Richard Fahey captured the Harrowells top trainer award at Thirsk in 2019, with 13 winners from 77 runners at a strike rate of 17 per cent. The pick of his winners, Ventura Rebel, made a successful debut at Thirsk’s opening fixture on April 13 before going on to finish second in the G2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Musley Bank-based Fahey said: “Thirsk has been very good to us over the years. It is only 25 minutes away and we like having runners there.

“The new owners and trainer facilities are very good. In fairness, most racecourses are upping their game and when one does it, the others have to.

“It is great to see and can only be a benefit for the sport and industry as a whole.”

Other notable names to successfully grace the turf at Thirsk this year include the prolific King’s Advice. Trained by Mark Johnston and the winning-most horse of 2019 with eight victories, the five-year-old subsequently landed valuable handicaps at Newmarket’s July Festival and Glorious Goodwood.

The Harrowells leading jockey at Thirsk in 2019 was Danny Tudhope, who partnered 10 winners at a strike rate of 20 per cent, while Sean Davis claimed the Harrowells top apprentice award with five successes from 30 rides.

Weighing-room colleague Jack Garrity captured the popular Jockeys ‘Thimbledon’ Swingball Championship in the paddock before racing on Wednesday, July 3.

Thirsk director and former chairman Patrick Hibbert-Foy sadly passed away on Sunday, September 1, after a long and brave fight against cancer. Patrick, who spent many years in racing as a starter, stewards’ secretary and latterly a racecourse steward, made a huge contribution to the racecourse since joining the board in April, 2013. A horse named in his honour and in which Patrick was a part-owner, Idoapologise, produced a poignant moment at Thirsk yesterday when winning the opening Visit Sri Lanka Nursery Handicap under P J McDonald.

Racing returns to Thirsk in 2020 with the opening fixture taking place on Saturday, April 18.

During the close season, Thirsk will continue its very evident programme of recent investment in the facilities, with plans afoot to expand the capacity of the stable yard, re-roof the existing stable blocks and install a permanent ‘big screen’ within the Paddock.

Glamour, sophistication and socialising are all synonymous with a day at the races, but it is ramped up when it comes to Ladies Day.

Each of the nine racecourses in Yorkshire will be offering superb prizes for their Best Dressed Lady. The first competition is at Wetherby on Thursday, May 30 and they continue across Yorkshire throughout the summer before the final Ladies Day at Doncaster on Friday, September 13.

These are exciting days when everyone gets the chance to dress to impress and, uniquely in Yorkshire, all nine winners are invited to attend a Grand Final at Doncaster on Saturday, October 26 where they and their guest will be wined and dined in a private box for the day as well as having the chance to be crowned Go Racing In Yorkshire’s Best Dressed Lady 2019.

In addition to the title, the winner will take home a diamond ring worth £2,000 from loveVintageDiamonds.com, a two-night spa break at the Best Western Mount Pleasant Hotel and a £500 clothing voucher from new sponsor, Incognito.

So just what do you wear for Ladies Day? For Malton racehorse trainer Ruth Jefferson, choosing an outfit on a normal race day is fairly standard.

“I had 15 pairs of the same brand of black trousers at the last count,” said Ruth, when asked how she plans what to wear for the races. “Being practical is a must, there’s no point wearing a skirt that’s too tight for me to leg the jockey up!”

However, when it comes to special occasions like Ladies Day, Ruth who took over the training licence from her late father Malcolm, admits she needs a bit of help.

After an invite to Royal Ascot last year was followed up with a social media post along the lines of, “Can I wear trousers to Royal Ascot? Mum says no but I haven’t got a dress,” it was evident a spot of shopping was required!

Like all trainers, Ruth puts the needs of the horses and staff before herself and while she likes to keep an eye on the fashion scene, having the time to follow it up comes way down the ‘to do’ list.

“I need to be smart yet comfortable and able to work. It’s a balance between being able to be hands on with the horses but presentable to the owners and in the racecourse enclosures. I only wear white trousers if we’re running a grey!” Ruth added.

Just what to wear is an age-old problem for female racegoers, but fashion boutique, Incognito can certainly come up with the answer. The business which is now based in Bawtry has been in existence for over 30 years and has a keen racing clientele.

“Doncaster racecourse is just up the road and both my sister and I are regular attendees” said Jackie Reynolds, joint partner.

“We stock collections from very well-known designer brands, plus we are always careful to guide clients as we know that friends will be attending the same social events and don’t want to be wearing the same dress as someone else. Our personal service also helps to mitigate any fashion faux pas!” she added.

The boutique has a range of styles for all tastes and the sisters have an eye for knowing what will suit clients as soon as they walk through the door. With so much variety and expert guidance, finding the perfect outfit for Ladies Day will not be a problem.

Jackie and her sister Bernie took on the challenge of kitting out Ruth in garments that are both practical and stylish and did so with fantastic results.

“I live in jodhpurs and a fleece, so it’s really nice to be pushed out of my comfort zone. I’ve worn things at Incognito that I wouldn’t normally pick up in a shop and I’m pleasantly surprised by the outcome!” said Ruth, who also put herself in the hands of students from the White Rose College of Beauty for her hair and make-up.

“I definitely look younger and must try harder on a daily basis,” she joked when she saw the final result.

However, it wasn’t all about work as Jackie and Bernie prepared a glamorous look for Ruth and her mum Sue in readiness for their annual trip to York’s Ebor meeting in August, when Ladies Day is on Thursday, August 22.

“We’ve always loved going to York,” said Sue, “it’s a fantastic racecourse and it comes at a time when we are less busy at home so can relax and enjoy ourselves among colleagues and friends”.

While the outfits are the main focus of attention it is the accessories that enhance the detail. The winner of the Best Dressed Lady Final will have the perfect accompaniment as she sports a glistening 1920’s vintage ring made of 18 carat white gold from loveVintageDiamonds.com.

The two-stone twist crown is set with oval, cushion-shaped, rose-cut diamonds of the period and the total diamond weight is approximately 0.70 carats with a value of £2,000!

The winner will be able to tie in their trip to Incognito with a two night stay in a Spa Suite at the Best Western Mount Pleasant Hotel, a stay which includes champagne and home-made chocolates produced by the hotel’s own chocolatier on arrival, dinner with wine in the newly-refurbished Brassiere Artisan from the Table D’Hote menu, a full English breakfast on both days as well as a luxury fruit basket and Espa gift bag.

Helen McIlroy, of the Mount Pleasant Hotel said, “Given our proximity to Doncaster Racecourse we regularly have owners and trainers staying with us for the races or the sales and like to offer them some high-end luxury, whether their visit is for pleasure or for work purposes. It’s fitting that we should be able to offer something similar to Go Racing In Yorkshire’s Best Dressed Lady.”

An historic Helmsley-based stud farm, once owned by horse racing legend Sir Henry Cecil, has signed a three-year sponsorship deal with Thirsk Racecourse to back Thirsk’s most prestigious race, the Thirsk Hunt Cup, until at least 2021.
Set in 220 acres above Helmsley, Cliff Stud specialises in foaling, and with its immaculately maintained paddocks and accommodation it can accommodate up to 65 horses at any one time. The Stud also boasts two beautifully appointed holiday cottages, which are named after Cecil and his most famous horse, Frankel.
Yorkshire businessman Paul Sutherland, who acquired Cliff Stud in 2017, said: “Thirsk Racecourse and Cliff Stud both have a deep-rooted history in horse racing. The Hambleton district and surrounding area has an incredible racing heritage, with many thriving training yards. At Cliff Stud we place owners and trainers at the heart of our business and we are very proud to be sponsoring a local, historic and high-profile race such as the Thirsk Hunt Cup.”
The Thirsk Hunt Cup began in 1859, with the intention of bringing together the Country’s leading hunters, with the very first winner taking home the princely sum of thirty sovereigns. These days the race is a very competitive flat, handicap contest over a distance of one mile. The next renewal is on Saturday 4th May 2019.
Thirsk Racecourse’s Clerk of the Course, James Sanderson, said: “The Thirsk Hunt Cup is Thirsk Racecourse’s most famous race and so we are thrilled that Cliff Stud, a venue equally synonymous with Yorkshire racing, will be sponsoring the race for the next three years. With their generous support, we will see the race’s prize money grow to at least £50,000 by 2021.”
Sanderson added: “This deal will ensure that The Cliff Stud Thirsk Hunt Cup Meeting will continue to be one of the most popular race days in the region and what is good for the Racecourse is also good to for the local economy, as we attract 55,000+ visitors a year. We are very grateful to Paul and all his team at Cliff Stud for their generous sponsorship.”
Thirsk stages 16 days of competitive flat racing in 2019, from the opening meeting on Saturday 13th April, until the season-finale on Monday 16th September.

AN EXCITING season for Thirsk reaches its climax on Saturday (September 8) with three of Yorkshire’s finest in an exciting tussle to be top trainer at the track this season.

It promises to be a thrilling sub-plot to the final day of Thirsk’s season as Richard Fahey, David O’Meara and Tim Easterby go head-to-head in a shoot-out to claim top honours for the year.

Fahey leads the way with eight winners this season and launches a five-horse raid on the last day card, although two of them, Grise Lightning and Queen Penn will be chasing the same pot in the feature race of the day, the Moody Construction Fillies Handicap.

Of the pair, the consistent Queen Penn seems to have the best chance even though she has yet to win this season. However, she gets a lot of weight here and ran an eye-catching race when third to Bedouin’s Story over course and distance less than three weeks ago.

“I am hoping for the best with all my runners, but as far as winning the title is concerned, I think I could be in trouble” joked Fahey with typical understatement, even though four of his eight winners came in the opening three meetings of Thirsk’s season.

Fahey, who has been far and away the most successful trainer at Thirsk in recent seasons, also runs Irreverent in the Jenny Roberts Millinery-EBF Novice Stakes, Firewater in the Barkers Of Northallerton Nursery Handicap and Accessor in the British Stallion Studs EBF Handicap.

O’Meara, who sits one behind Fahey on seven winners for the season, will have Mutadaffeq leading his small team when the five-year-old goes in the Calverts Carpets Hambleton Cup Handicap.

The five-year-old is at the top of the handicap, but is far from out of It on form and he usually runs well at Thirsk. He won his only start on the course in 2017 and though he has not won from two previous outings this year his second to Bayshore Freeway under 10st 2lbs in June was a high quality effort.

Whether Tim Easterby can come through and pip them both from his starting point of six winners is a moot point, but the Great Habton trainer fields a strong team of nine horses spread over five races with trainer’s wife Sarah quipping: “We are really going for it!”

Leading the charge is dual winner Angels in the Moody Construction Fillies Handicap, which will be the mount of David Allan, who is also on board Regal Mirage, one of two runners for the yard in the Calverts Carpets Hambleton Cup on the back of a recent battling performance when winning at Beverley.

Gates open at 11am ahead of the first race at 2pm.

Haute Couture meets high class action on one of the best days of the year at Thirsk as the North Yorkshire course brings down the curtain on its 2018 season with the ever-popular Ladies Day this Saturday (September 8).

Flying fillies on the track and fashionable fillies off it will be the order of a day packed with thrills, excitement, fun and laughter.

And while the lovely ladies will naturally take centre stage with the Best Dressed Lady not only carrying off the star prize, but also securing a place in the Go Racing In Yorkshire Best Dressed Lady final at Doncaster in October and the chance to win another super prize, the men are not forgotten.

There is a prize for the Best Dressed Gentleman and another prize in the Best Hat competition for which both Ladies and Gentlemen are eligible!

The competitions are open to all racegoers aged 18 and over and to take part all you need to do is get your glad rags on and look good!

To make it a little more special the Ladies Day Lawn Marquee is the place to be for fine food, a glass or two of bubbles,  trackside viewing and live music.  It’s the perfect spot to turn a great day into a truly special one, but hurry as spaces are limited and it is filling up fast.

On the track there will be a superb seven-race card starting at 2pm, but with the gates opening from 11am the fun starts early.

Tickets and packages are available online at www.thirskracecourse.net up to 8am on Friday, September 7 though tickets will be available on the day.

AVAST and belay me hearties there are pirates on the loose at Thirsk this Friday (August 31) when Cap’n Jack Sparrow and his scurvy crew return to the North Yorkshire course for another laughter-packed piratical Family Fun Day.

He’ll be looking to recruit some younger members to his crew from the landlubbers on course and there should be no need for press-ganging as there are bound to be plenty of volunteers.

There will even be a replica of the Captain’s ship The Black Pearl in the shape of a huge inflatable pirate ship assault course for the really adventurous.

However most would-be pirates may be happy to settle for the face painting, coconut shy and great treasure hunt which, if successful, could lead to a vast hoard of pirate treasure!

And if all that is not enough, the Big Floss Off competition will take place in the parade ring at 3pm with a super prize of a family ticket for two adults and two children to Flamingo Land Resort for the winner.

This will be chosen by special guests Minster FM, who are on course pumping out the music to get you going with those flossing skills.

Non-pirates are well catered for too, with a terrific afternoon’s racing featuring a seven-race card prefaced by Britain’s first ever role reversal charity race at 1.30pm.

For the ‘Creditas ‘Taking Care Of Business’ Stable Staff Stakes, the jockeys will have the job of leading up the horses and it will be the stable staff who will be riding them in the race!

Feature race is the six-furlong Theakston Pale Ale Handicap which has attracted a strong entry including the Roger Varian trained Equitation, who looked a certain winner in waiting when second to Lady Freyja at Newmarket two weeks ago.

Richard Fahey, who is once again leading the field for winners at Thirsk this season, has a strong entry on the day including last month’s Musselburgh winner Gabrial The Tiger, who would be a danger to all if taking his chance in the @Thirskraces Ladies’ Day Saturday 8th September Book Now Handicap.

The whole day promises to be one of the highlights of the summer at Thirsk with the gates opening at 11.30am.

Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £23 on the day, Paddock Enclosure costs £15 and Family Enclosure starts from £6.  Discounts are available if booked in advance along with great reductions for the special packages and for group bookings whilst, as always, adult accompanied children under 18 get in free.

thirsk Racecourse will be the stage for a big ‘Floss Off’ Competition at its upcoming ‘Pirates’ Family Race Day on Friday 31st August, in conjunction with local radio station Minster FM and popular North Yorkshire theme park Flamingo Land Resort.

The Floss (or Flossing) is a dance move and the name comes from the moves themselves, which involve a lot of fast arm and hip swings, as though using a huge, invisible piece of dental floss. The dance went ‘viral’ after Russell Horning did it during a Saturday Night Live performance of Katy Perry‘s music ‘Swish Swish’ and has since become a trend among children and teens.

Minster FM will be bringing the tunes to get the Competition off to an energetic start and they will also be crowning the winner, who will win a Flamingo Land Family Pass for 2 adults and 2 children, courtesy of Flamingo Land Resort.

Thirsk General Manager James Sanderson said, “That dance is much harder to perform than it appears but I am sure lots of our younger racegoers will give it a go, especially with the chance to win a fantastic family trip to Flamingo Land. I know Thirsk’s mascot, Lilly the Filly, is a great Flosser and is practising hard. I shall not be entering! ”

The competition will take place at the Parade Ring at 3.20pm, with Minster FM’s mascot, Minster Monster going head-to-head with Lilly the Filly.

The fixture is also Thirsk’s popular ‘Pirates Family Day’ and there will be Pirate inflatables, a Treasure Hunt, Captain Jack Sparrow and prizes for the best pirate outfits.

Racing gets underway with a charity race at 1.30pm, followed by the first race at 2pm.  Gates open from 11.30am.

Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £23 on the day, Paddock Enclosure costs £15 and Family Enclosure starts from £6.  Discounts are available if booked in advance along with great reductions for the special packages and for group bookings whilst, as always, adult accompanied children under 18 get in free. For more information go to www.thirskracecourse.net

THIRSK’S homage to the great James Herriot looks a family must this Monday (August 20) when the racecourse stages its ‘All Creatures’ Family Fun Day.

Set in the heart of Herriot country, Thirsk was one of the favourites of writer James Wight, who penned the famous novels which became one of Britain’s best-loved television series.

And to mark the association, Thirsk will not only have a great line-up of thoroughbreds contesting seven cracking races across the afternoon to keep the adults happy, but a terrific array of other animals sure to delight the children.

These include a petting farm and pony rides and for those more into action than animals, a bouncy castle, play areas and a whole lot more.

On the track, the feature is the ‘Today is Racing UK Club Day’ Handicap over five furlongs, with an 18-strong entry headed by the Brian Ellison-trained Eastern Racer, who caught the eye in no uncertain fashion when dashing away with the seventh round of the Go Racing In Yorkshire ‘Future Stars’ Apprentice Series on the course two weeks ago.

The seven-furlong EBF Novice Stakes has attracted a very strong entry including Juthoor, who is trained by William Haggas at Newmarket for owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum. The gelding looked a sure-fire future winner when third to Borodin over course and distance in June.

Racing starts with the Racing UK Extra on racinguk.com Novice Stakes for two-year-olds at 2.05pm, although the gates will be open from 11.30am.

Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £23 on the day, Paddock Enclosure costs £15 and Family Enclosure starts from £6.  Discounts are available if booked in advance along with great reductions for the special packages and for group bookings whilst, as always, adult accompanied children under 18 get in free. For more information go to www.thirskracecourse.net

HIGH QUALITY racing just keeps on coming at Thirsk with a Summer Evening spectacular lined up for next Tuesday (August 14), highlighted by two races for two-year-olds and the British EBF Fillies Novice Stakes.

There has hardly time to draw breath since the two day William Hill Thirsk Summer Cup last weekend, but it will be all systems go for another great meeting next week with a seven race card on offer.

And with music from Jump The Q to keep everyone entertained, what better way to unwind after a hard day than at one of the country’s most beautiful racecourses.

Pick of the card is likely to be the British EBF Fillies Novice Stakes, which is likely to attract some useful fillies hoping to make their mark.

But with a competitive nursery for the two-year-olds in the All Creatures Family Day At Thirsk Monday 20th August and a chance for some of the more stoutly bred juveniles in the seven furlong Licensed For Wedding Ceremonies At Thirsk Novice Auction Stakes, there will be useful pointers for the future.

Racing gets underway with the Betfair Flat Novice Amateur Riders Handicap at 5.20pm although the gates will be open from 3pm.

Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £23 on the day, Paddock Enclosure costs £15 and Family Enclosure starts from £6.  Discounts are available if booked in advance along with great reductions for the special packages and for group bookings whilst, as always, adult accompanied children under 18 get in free. For more information go to www.thirskracecourse.net

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.

The circus is coming to Catterick Races on Tuesday 7 August for the first of two family days at the course this August. The day is set to be full of action with 7 thrilling races and free children’s entertainment; and will provide a fun day out for the whole family this summer holiday.

The first race of the day is scheduled for 2.05pm, with the gates opening 2 hours before that, at 12.05pm. The feature race of the afternoon is The Racing UK Profits Returned to Racing Handicap Stakes, which will be run over 1 mile 6 furlongs and offers a total prize fund of £11,236. The final race is scheduled for 5.15pm.

Under 18’s go free to all Catterick Racecourse’s fixtures, when accompanied by an adult, and alongside the racing action on Tuesday 7 August there will be a variety of fun activities for the younger race goers to enjoy.

The free entertainment will include bouncy castles, a roundabout and the circus! The National Festival Circus, with a magical mix of laughter and excitement, will be doing three half hour shows throughout the afternoon in their big top tent within the Course Enclosure.

In addition, there will also be a treasure hunt in the Course Enclosure where children will have the opportunity to enter a draw to win a pair of tickets for Lightwater Valley Theme Park at the end! Treasure hunters will need to follow a series of clues around the course to win a sweet prize and the chance to enter the prize draw.

Emma Binnian, Sales & Marketing Manager said: “There’s a lot going on this August at Catterick, with two family days and Ladies’ Evening too. The first of the three fixtures, The Circus Family Day, will get things off to a great start with lots of free kid’s entertainment and plenty of action for the adults to enjoy on the track!”

The second of Catterick’s August Family days takes place on Wednesday 29th August.

As with all Catterick Racecourse’s fixtures, a big screen will be at the course on the day to give racegoers the best view of all the action and the free shuttle bus will be running to take racegoers from Richmond Market Place to the racecourse, approximately one hour prior to the first race, and will return again after the last race.

Tickets will be available to purchase at the gates on the day, while advanced and group booking discounts are available at www.catterickbridge.co.uk. Accompanied under 18’s are free of charge and do not require a ticket.

FESTIVAL FUN for all the family comes to Thirsk this Friday (July 27) when the racecourse plays host to the annual Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival, supported by Sky Bet.

As well as a cracking seven race card featuring the JW 4×4 Northallerton Nursery Handicap, there will be plenty of activities going on around the course to delight all the family.

Racing Welfare, the charity that looks out for many of the unsung heroes of racing like the stable and stud workers who devote their lives to caring for racehorses, will be offering racegoers the chance to test their skills as a jockey.

The official charity of the Festival this year, Racing Welfare are bringing along their equiciser with competitions for the skilled – like the professional jockeys – and the not so skilled. So if you fancy yourself as a budding Ryan Moore then go along and find out!

This being the Festival, there will be a guest appearance from the official mascot Festival Freddie, who will be touring the course handing out sweets and goodies to racegoers, while there is a chance to have yourself snapped with him and collect your photograph for free on the Go Racing In Yorkshire Facebook page.

Thrills are guaranteed with the great action on the track with plenty of fun for all the family off it and, as always, adult accompanied children under 18 get in free.

Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £23 on the day, Paddock Enclosure costs £15 and Family Enclosure starts from £6. Discounts are available if booked in advance along with great reductions for the special packages. For more information go to www.thirskracecourse.net.

The gates open at 11.30am ahead of the first race at 2pm.

A TOUCH of the famous Oktoberfest comes to Thirsk next Tuesday with the third annual Beer Festival evening at the North Yorkshire course, held in association with the Pennine Brewery from the nearby village of Well.

In addition to a cracking seven race card, there will be an opportunity to choose from a whole host of craft beers and ciders many from micro-breweries – and for the first 100 people through the gates, there is a token to get £1 off your first pint. Whilst for those who prefer a refreshing cocktail, a specialist Gin bar will be set alongside the ales.

It’s an evening for the purist with some exciting racing to enjoy and refreshment for those who simply enjoy beers, ciders and gins for their great taste. An occasion when real racing meets real ale.

There will also be live music throughout the evening with the Rockin’ Deke Rivers performing live in the Paddock Enclosure.

Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £23 (£21 if booked online ahead of the day), while Paddock admission can be obtained for £15 (£14 online). There are also great reductions for group bookings while, as always, adult-accompanied children under 18 get in free.

As Thirsk enters the second half of its 16-day season, it could pay to keep an eye on the runners of trainer Michael Dods, whose team has been running into form recently. The Darlington-based handler sent out 18 winners in the previous three seasons, but has only had one at the track so far this year.

Gates open at 3.30pm ahead of the first race at 6.10pm. For more information go to: www.thirskracecourse.net

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.

EASINGWOLD trainer Ruth Carr, who is never far away with her runners at Thirsk, has given notice of a potential boom or backers with a seven horse raid on her local course on Saturday evening.

Things start with a bang for the trainer with three runners in the opening Subscribe To Racing UK On Youtube Handicap and she believes that all three go with live chances.

“Kibaar is very well handicapped” says the trainer, who has booked Jack Garritty to take the ride, “while both Kingstreet Lady and Fuel Injection have been running consistently and go there on merit”.

A little more problematical is Rozy Boys in the ABF The Soldiers Charity Selling Stakes, a race he looks well up to winning.

“On ability he has a great chance, but he doesn’t always run as well as he should!” said Ruth with typical honesty,

Of the rest of her team, she is particularly hopeful for Be Perfect, who was well beaten in the valuable JW 4×4 Northallerton Handicap at Thirsk last month, but has since turned in a much better effort when second on the all-weather at Wolverhampton.

“That was a very encouraging run and I hope to see him build on that in the Cliff Stud Rearing Winners Handicap” she added.

This is Thirsk’s second meeting of the week following the extra meeting on Tuesday and this Saturday there will be live music throughout the evening performed by The Pipes & Drums Band of 103 Regt RA (V) , who will be playing before racing and between races along with Jump the Q who will also be performing.
Gates open at 3.30pm ahead of the First Race at 5.45pm.

Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £23 (£21 if booked online ahead of the day), while Paddock admission can be obtained for £15 (£14 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.

KEVIN RYAN, who needs just one more winner to take his tally in Britain to 1,500 could hit the target with the veteran Bogart in the Watch Racing UK On Talktalk TV Handicap at Thirsk’s extra meeting tomorrow.
The fixture switched from Wetherby as part of the deal which took last Saturday’s scheduled Thirsk Hunt Cup meeting in the other direction to avoid a clash with the Tour De Yorkshire cycle race which was passing through Thirsk that day, has produced some great fields.
For Hambleton trainer Ryan, it could be a red-letter day on his local course as he chases that one winner needed for a significant landmark success.
He had three chances at Beverley on Monday, but it would be particularly significant if Bogart could do the trick as the nine-year-old has been in great form this year after a winless run stretching back to a valuable York handicap at the 2013 Ebor Festival.
However, an eye-catching second on the all-weather at Chelmsford was followed by a cracking run to take third at Beverley last time when he started favourite and with Bogart off the same handicap mark here, he has every chance of working the oracle.
He goes best with Tom Eaves in the saddle and the jockey is on board again tomorrow, just as he was for the first time this year at Beverley, so it could be a case of ‘here’s looking at you, Kev’ for the Hambleton trainer this time.
John Gosden has a cracking record just about everywhere in the country, but his tally of one win since 2014 at Thirsk indicates that the Newmarket trainer is a fairly infrequent raider to North Yorkshire.
However, he has a two-horse raid tomorrow including Hinde Street, who landed a 25-1 stunner first time up at Lingfield last month and will be a much warmer order in the Subscribe To Racing UK On Youtube Novice Stakes.
Owned by Michael Tabor, the son of Giant’s Causeway was pretty impressive on his racecourse bow and could prove hard to beat in what looks a quality race.
Racing gets underway at Thirsk at 1.55pm with the first of a sparkling eight races, although the gates open at 11am.

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.

AN EXCITING 17-day season for Thirsk gets underway on Saturday (April 21) with three £15,000 races on a seven-race card.

The ebfstallions.com Michael Foster Conditions Stakes, commemorates a former Thirsk chairman and is always a competitive event. It is also a regular early season target for top trainer Richard Fahey.

The Musley Bank handler has an interesting record in the race in recent years, having saddled either the winner or the runner-up in each of the last six seasons in the perfect sequence of 212121 since 2012.

Rene Mathis, the runner-up in 2016 went one better last year for the Fahey stable and if the sequence continues expect him to have the runner-up in Saturday’s seven furlong race!

The JW 4×4 Northallerton Handicap should be another competitive contest over a mile and a half, while the sprinters will be on show for another £15,000 prize in the five furlong Watch Racing UK In Stunning HD Handicap.

Off the track, the on-going project of the new Owners and Trainers Suite with its head-on views of the action is expected to be completed this year, adding to the recent developments which have completely upgraded the facilities at the course.

This weekend, there will be live music throughout the day supplied by Rockin’ Deke Rivers, 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 £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.

TWO OF the leading racing journalists of recent years are remembered at Thirsk on Saturday with the unveiling of commemorative benches outside the weighing room.

Ray Gilpin, the former Northern correspondent of the Racing Post and Tom O’Ryan, whose career took him from jockey to race-reader for Raceform to journalist for the Racing Post and latterly presenter for Racing UK, both made huge contributions to racing in Yorkshire.

Gilpin, who died in 2015, was a popular figure on the racecourse and was a former vice-President of the Horserace Writers and Photographers Association as well as being the Northern chairman.

O’Ryan, who died after a short illness in 2016, had latterly been raceday presenter at York racecourse. Ironically, he was the driving force behind a commemorative bench at Thirsk in memory of his old Raceform colleague Alan Amies.

The benches will be unveiled at Saturday’s Ladies Day meeting at Thirsk by Sue Gilpin and Wendy O’Ryan.

 

ICEFALL and Swaheen, who were both touched off in a tight photo finish to the 2016 Calverts Carpets Hambleton Cup, will both be back at Thirsk on Ladies Day this Saturday (September 9) to renew their rivalry,

Twelve months ago, Icefall made a gallant attempt to make all the running only to be touched off by a head by Tamayuz Magic with Swaheen a further head away in third after producing a strong late challenge.

“He ran a great race last year and I think he will run very well again on Saturday” said Icefall’s trainer Tim Easterby, who has had to be patient with the 83-rated son of Frozen Power with just two runs this season.

“He was wrong in his coat in the early part of the year, but has been in good form for some time and I have been desperate to run him, but there hasn’t been a race for him. The only recent one before the Hambleton Cup was at Hamilton and the ground was too heavy for him. There is a definite shortage of races for a horse like him” the trainer added.

One trainer who is hoping to see Icefall attempt to run them all off their feet again this weekend is Julie Camacho, who saddles Swaheen, now 5lbs better off with his rival for that head defeat.

“He is in really good nick at the moment although a little rain would definitely help as he likes to get some dig into the ground.

“He also likes a strong gallop, so fingers crossed he will get that and if it is Icefall who makes it then hopefully he will get past this time!” she said.

It is by no means a two-horse race with Michael Dods improving three-year-old Barwell at the bottom of the handicap and Alistair Whillans saddling the in-form Royal Shaheen amongst others, but it would be no surprise to see last season’s near misses fighting out the finish again.

As well as top class action on the track with an eight-race card, there will be high fashion on show off it with plenty of Ladies Day prizes to be won.

Barkers of Northallerton are sponsoring both the Best Dressed Lady and Best Dressed Gentleman competitions with £500 worth of fashion vouchers for each winner, £300 vouchers for the runners up and £200 vouchers for the third in each competition.
There is also a Best Hat competition, supported by Harrogate-based Jenny Roberts Original British Millinary, who are also sponsoring the two divisions of the Novice Stakes, the first of which is the opening race at 1.45pm.
For the Best Hat competition, there is a £350 voucher for a Bespoke Jenny Roberts hat to be won with a day’s millinery tuition at the Jenny Roberts’ studio in Harrogate for the runner-up and a hat hire voucher for the third.
The first, second and third in all three categories will also receive a bottle of champagne.
In addition, the best dressed lady will go through to represent Thirsk in the Go Racing In Yorkshire Best Dressed Lady final at Doncaster in October with the chance to win a luxury spa weekend at the Best Western Mount Pleasant Hotel, Bawtry, a £500 fashion voucher for Yasmine of Bawtry and a vintage diamond ring courtesy of loveVintagediamonds.com.

It’s the perfect mix of haute couture fashion and first class racing at Thirsk this Saturday (September 9) when the annual Ladies Day takes centre-stage at the North Yorkshire track.
What is always one of the most popular days of the season at the course will feature a dazzling array of colour and elegance coupled with some outstanding seven-race action on the track featuring the EBF Handicap and the Calverts Carpets Hambleton Cup.
And it is not just the ladies who stand to win as Barkers of Northallerton are sponsoring both the Best Dressed Lady and Best Dressed Gentleman competitions with £500 worth of fashion vouchers for each winner, £300 vouchers for the runners up and £200 for the third in each competition.
There is also a Best Hat competition, supported by Harrogate-based Jenny Roberts Original British Millinary, who are also sponsoring the opening race at 2.15pm.
For the Best Hat competition, there is a £350 voucher for a Bespoke Jenny Roberts hat to be won with a day’s millinery tuition at the Jenny Roberts’ studio in Harrogate for the runner-up and a hat hire voucher for the third.
The first, second and third in all three categories will also receive a bottle of champagne.
In addition, the best dressed lady will go through to represent Thirsk in the Go Racing In Yorkshire Best Dressed Lady final at Doncaster in October with the chance to win a luxury spa weekend at the Best Western Mount Pleasant Hotel, Bawtry, a £500 fashion voucher for Yasmine of Bawtry and a vintage diamond ring courtesy of loveVintagediamonds.com.
On track, the EBF Handicap, run over a distance just short of a mile, should prove a competitive race, as should the Hambleton Cup over an extended 12 furlongs, won last year by Mick Easterby’s Tamayuz Magic is always hotly contested.
Entrance to the Premier Enclosure is £28 and £16 to go into the Paddock Enclosure when tickets are bought on the day, but there are significant reductions for pre-purchase which can be done online at www.thirskracecourse.net where there are details of all packages.
Children under 18 are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult and there are play areas for the children. A big screen will be in operation to show all the action.
Car and coach parking is free, unless taking advantage of the Park and View Family Ticket.
The first race is at 2.15pm, but the gates are open from 11am

HAVING missed out on a crack at the Betfred Mile at Glorious Goodwood on Friday, York winner Chiefofchiefs heads North instead with Newmarket trainer Charlie Fellowes targeting the £30,000 Totepool Summer Cup at Thirsk on Saturday.

No trainer south of Malton has yet won the Summer Cup, which has its sixth renewal this weekend, but Fellowes is very hopeful of breaking that hoodoo with his talented four-year-old.

“He is a lovely, big horse who takes his racing very well and he has come out of his win at York two weeks ago really well. He had been aimed at the Betfred Mile at Goodwood, but when he was balloted out, I always had the Summer Cup as an excellent fall-back position.

“It comes just 24 hours later and is an outstanding race with a really good pot, so it was always the intention to target it if Goodwood didn’t materialise” said Fellowes.

The Newmarket trainer has fond memories of the North Yorkshire track even though he has only had four runners there in the four seasons he has been training.

“I had a winner at Thirsk in my season with a horse called Epsom Hill. He was a three-year-old running in a competitive handicap over 12 furlongs in pretty bottomless ground. It was raining so hard that you could hardly see the race on television but he absolutely sluiced up and won in a canter” the trainer recalled.

Whether Chiefofchiefs will do the same on Saturday remains to be seen, but providing the ground is not extreme – and there is no reason to believe it will be – then Fellowes expects another solid performance to follow up his half-length defeat of Arcanada in the John Smith’s Racing Handicap at York on July 15.

The Totepool Summer Cup is the highlight of a very competitive card on Saturday when the main supporting race is the Peter Bell Memorial Handicap.

Racegoers will be able to follow all the action on the big screen opposite the stands, with the races from Glorious Goodwood interspersing with the racing at Thirsk.

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

Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £28 on Saturday (£25 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 www.thirskracecourse.net

Gates open at 11am ahead of the first race at 2.15pm.

On Friday, Thirsk stages an eight-race card, starting at 1.40pm and featuring the Breeders Backing Racing EBF Stakes which sees the 2015 Thirsk Hunt Cup winner Sound Advice take on last season’s Royal Lodge Stakes third Sea Fox and both That Is The Spirit and Mount Tahan, who were split by a head when they met at Ayr last September. The gates open at 11.30am.

AFTER a fantastic Festival Friday, get set for a super Summer Saturday at Thirsk this weekend when the Totepool Thirsk Summer Cup will be the highlight of a two-day meeting at the North Yorkshire track.

With £30,000 in prize money and run over a distance just short of a mile, the Summer Cup has proved a highly competitive race since its introduction into Thirsk’s racing calendar in 2012.

In its short history, it has proved to be a benefit for Northern trainers and a graveyard for favourites, although the second of those sequences was cracked last year when Ginger Jack, starting at 9-2 joint favourite, was one of the last winners for Stockton trainer Garry Moss.

Before Ginger Jack brought some relief to backers, Osteopathic Remedy, who won the 2014 renewal for Darlington trainer Michael Dods, had been the only winner under 10-1 with even Richard Fahey’s 2012 winner Lord Aeryn going off at 20-1!

On a terrific Saturday card, the main support to the Summer Cup comes from another class three contest, the Peter Bell Memorial Handicap, commemorating one of the most important figures In Thirsk’s recent history.

Friday’s card features two class three events, the Tomrods Steel Stockholders Nursery Handicap and the Breeders Backing Racing EBF Conditions Stakes before attention turns the Saturday card and the latest renewal of the Summer Cup, a race which has quickly established itself with owners, trainers and the racing public alike.

Racegoers will also be able to follow all the action on the big screen opposite the stands and Paddock, with action from the big meeting at Glorious Goodwood interspersed with the racing at Thirsk.

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

Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £28 on Saturday (£25 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 www.thirskracecourse.net

Gates open at 11am ahead of the first race at 2.15pm, while on Friday the gates open at 11.30am with the first race at 1.40pm.

Irish eyes may be smiling at Thirsk on Saturday (May 20), but it could be female eyes that are flashing with delight after the two big sprints that highlight the ever-popular annual Irish Day at the North Yorkshire track.

Ruth Carr, who trains just down the road at Stillington, can take centre stage with Pipers Note in the big race of the day, the Constant Security Services Handicap, which carries a prize of almost £13,000 to the winner.

Pipers Note was trained by Richard Whitaker when he won the David Chapman Handicap at Ripon last season, a race which commemorates her grandfather and while the seven-year-old has run well in four races since moving to Carr’s yard, he has still to win for his new handler.

“It’s a pity that the rain has come as he would prefer better ground, but he is in good form and all the horses are running well, so I shall let him take his chance” said Ruth.

And she added: “He would have an obvious chance on his run in the Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster when he was third to Tupi, but he ran a lot better than the result suggests when he was eighth at Ripon last time as he got no room at all at a vital stage of the race”.

Less clear cut is the chance of Roaring Forties, who makes his return to racing after almost two years on the sidelines for Wetherby trainer Rebecca Bastiman in the six furlong UKinsuranceNET Handicap.

Formerly trained by Charlie Appleby for Godolphin, Roaring Forties looked to have a bright future when coming back from a gelding operation to win nurseries at Chester and Kempton in 2015, but he has not been seen out since finishing last but one in the Betway Nursery at York’s Ebor meeting that August.

“I bought him at Doncaster as he had had a few issues, but nothing too bad and he has settled in really well. We have a completely different regime to the one he has been used to and I think it has suited him.

“He has been off the track for a long time, but has been working well at home and while I am not sure the ground will altogether suit him, you have to start somewhere and I am hopeful he will run well” said Rebecca.

There is a strong supporting card featuring the Wharton Construction Maiden Stakes and the Marion Gibson Brown Handicap on a day which opens with the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden Fillies Stakes.

The Irish theme continues off the track with live music in the Paddock Enclosure where the Irish band Murphy’s Marbles make a welcome return to the course after their brilliant sets last year kept racegoers’ feet tapping.

For the youngsters there is plenty of entertainment too, with bouncy castles and a children’s play area in the family enclosure, while there will be a chance to follow the action on the big screens in the Paddock Enclosure and trackside.

Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £28, and it’s £16 to go in the Paddock on the day, but there are great discounts for pre-booking and for groups, while, as always at Thirsk, admission for children under the age of 18 is free, as long as they are accompanied by a paying adult. Car parking is also free.

 

Racing starts at 2.10pm, but the gates will open at 11am.

 

You won’t need to have kissed the Blarney Stone to enjoy your racing the Irish way when a touch of the Emerald Isle returns to North Yorkshire this Saturday (May 20) for Thirsk’s annual Irish Day.

Enjoy all the craic as the fun and excitement for which the Irish are famous will feature on a day that always figures as one of the best in the Thirsk calendar.

On the track, the feature race is the Constant Security-backed sprint handicap over five furlongs for four-year-olds and upwards, a contest which local trainer Kevin Ryan has targeted with some success since its introduction in 2014.

Ryan won the first two runnings of the race with Comino and Kelinni, but his outsider Fast Act could never get into contention 12 months ago and when the Julie Camacho-trained Judicial beat a strong field including this season’s All-Weather Sprint champion Kimberella.

There is a strong supporting card featuring the Wharton Construction won in 2016 by Ruth Carr’s Explain and the Marion Gibson Brown Handicap, which was divided last year and produced two cracking races with tight finishes.

The Irish theme continues off the track with live music in the Paddock Enclosure where the Irish band Murphy’s Marbles make a welcome return to the course after their brilliant sets last year kept racegoers’ feet tapping.

For the youngsters there is plenty of entertainment too, with bouncy castles and a children’s play area in the family enclosure, while there will be a chance to follow the action on the big screens in the Paddock Enclosure and trackside.

Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £28, and it’s £16 to go in the Paddock on the day, but there are great discounts for pre-booking and for groups, while, as always at Thirsk, admission for children under the age of 18 is free, as long as they are accompanied by a paying adult. Car parking is also free.

 

Racing is scheduled to start with the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden Fillies Stakes at 2.10pm and the gates will open at 11am.

 

Winners may have temporarily dried up for Keith Dalgleish, but the Carluke trainer is hopeful things will get back on track when he makes a two-pronged attack on the Totepool Thirsk Hunt Cup this weekend.

After a bright start to the year when he rattled off a dozen winners by the middle of April, the winners have stalled in the last couple of weeks for Dalgleish as they have for Philip Makin, who rides most of the yard’s runners.

However, a cracking effort by Cliff Bay, who dead-heated for second place when just a head behind winner Teodoro at Redcar on Thursday, suggest that another winner surge is on the way and it could take off at the North Yorkshire track on Saturday.

Dalgleish is double-handed in the £16,000-to-the-winner Thirsk feature with Sound Advice and Lat Hawill and a good case can be made for both to turn in top performances.

Sound Advice won the Hunt Cup in 2015 and though he makes his seasonal bow has to be respected. His win two years ago and a success last season in a valuable Chester handicap with recent Thirsk winner Rene Mathis beaten into fourth, suggest he could go well on a track which has seen him win twice and be second once from just three appearances.

He will be ridden by Rowan Scott, winner of Go Racing In Yorkshire’s Future Stars Apprentice Series last season as Makin opts to partner Lat Hawill on the back of an eye-catching second to Twin Appeal at Musselburgh last month. He was ridden by Shirley Teasdale that day as, ironically, Makin was on the David Barron-trained winner.

As always with the Hunt Cup, a very competitive race is in prospect. Brian Ellison, Kevin Ryan and John Quinn are also double-handed while Richard Fahey, the leading trainer at Thirsk, runs Spring Offensive following a bold run in the Irish Lincolnshire Handicap at Naas last time.

Other trainers to note are Tim Easterby, who runs last year’s fourth Silvery Moon off a 5lbs lower mark and Brian Meehan, whose team has run into form and who saddles Mutarakez here.

The Hunt Cup is centrepiece of a terrific seven race card at Thirsk, which gets under way with the Totescoop6 Play For Just £2 Today Novice Auction Stakes at 1.55 and as well as top class action on the track there will be music from The Playlist and lots of activities for the younger racegoers in the Family Enclosure. Admission for under 18’s is free when accompanied by an adult.

New for 2017 is the Cherry Tree Premier Package which offers entry and badge for the Premier Enclosure, parking, 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 all for just £40.

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

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 www.thirskracecourse.net  Gates open at 11am.

A RACE which began with the intention of bringing together some leading hunters from around the country, will attract some top mile handicappers when the historic Thirsk Hunt Cup takes centre stage on Saturday.

For the third week in a row, Thirsk stages a weekend fixture with a meeting backed entirely by Totepool and with the Hunt Cup as the centrepiece.

It is more than 150 years since Thirsk race committee took out nationwide adverts hoping to see “Leicestershire or Melton flyers put in an appearance and nor would a Cheshire or Scotch good hunter be unwelcome”. Today, it is cracking mile handicappers that make their way to Thirsk for this competitive event.

Recent winners include the Godolphin star Farrh, who won the race in 2012 and went on to finish second to the mighty Frankel in the Juddmonte International at York three months later before winning both the group one Lockinge Stakes and the Champion Stakes in 2013.

Since then, there have been four straight Northern-trained winners including last year’s winner Finn Class, a second Thirsk Hunt Cup winner for Darlington trainer Michael Dods and, at 16-1, the longest priced winner of the race since Hallion in 2003.

As well as top class racing on the track there will be plenty of interest off it with music from The Playlist and lots of fun for the younger racegoers in the Family Enclosure with admission for under 18’s free when accompanied by an adult.

New for 2017 is the Cherry Tree Premier Package which offers entry and badge for the Premier Enclosure, parking, 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 all for just £40.

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

Gates open at 11am ahead of the first race at 1.55pm.

STAR TRAINERS Richard Fahey and David O’Meara will go head-to-head in the two feature races on a high quality card to mark the opening day of Thirsk’s 2017 season on Saturday.

The pair come up against each other in a cracking renewal of the EBFstallions.com Michael Foster Stakes, a race, which commemorates the long-serving director and former chairman of the North Yorkshire course, and lock horns again in the New “Cherry Tree” Racegoers Package Handicap.

In the Michael Foster Fahey’s Rene Mathis, who was second in the race last year, is up against O’Meara’s group race performer Custom Cut in what promises to be a fascinating clash, although it nearly didn’t happen with Fahey making a last minute decision to run.

“I was a bit worried about the opposition and it was 50-50 an hour before declarations, but when just three were declared and the race reopened, I had another look and decided to give it a go” said Fahey.

The Malton trainer certainly knows what it takes to win as he has an outstanding record in the race with three winners in the past 10 years, while his runners have made the frame in six of the other seven runnings. The one exception was 2010 when Fahey wasn’t represented.

With over 30 winners on the board already this season and a team in form as evidenced by a Beverley double on Wednesday, Fahey has high hopes that Rene Mathis will go one better after chasing home Kevin Ryan’s Kelinni last year.

Although Ryan is represented by Mount Tahan, who was fifth in the Spring Mile at Doncaster last time, the main threat looks to be O’Meara’s Custom Cut, who has been plying his trade in group races. He was beaten a neck when third in the group three Diomed Stakes at Epsom last June and was placed in both the Strensall Stakes at York and the Boomerang Stakes at Leopardstown.

“Custom Cut is in good form following his run in the Doncaster Mile last time and I have no worries about dropping him back to seven furlongs” said O’Meara.

It will be the first time Custom Cut has run over a trip shorter than a mile since he was tenth in the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp in 2015.

Fahey and O’Meara go head-to-head again in the Cherry Tree with Gabrial’s King and Saved By The Bell, although both may be trumped by Tim Easterby’s Mukhayyam, who Is sure to improve for a recent run at Catterick.

Off the track, there will be live music throughout the day supplied by The White Ties and lots for younger racegoers to enjoy 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 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 1.50pm.

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 EBFstallions.com 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 www.thirskracecourse.net

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

You have to get up pretty early to put one over on wily veteran trainer Mick Easterby, but his granddaughter Jacqueline Coward is hoping to do just that when they go head-to-head for the first time in the UKinsuranceNET Hambleton Cup on Ladies Day at Thirsk on Saturday.
First season trainer Jacqueline runs Tapis Libre, a horse she inherited from her grandad this summer, while Mick will be represented by Tamayuz Magic in the £10,000 contest, a race he last won with Sporting Gesture in 2005.

Tapis Libre, who was beaten only four lengths when fifth behind Scrutinise in last season’s Hambleton Cup, made a winning start for his new trainer with an impressive success in the Ladies Derby at Epsom in July and though eight-years-old still has plenty of dash.

“How exciting to be taking on my grandfather, I want to beat him!” said Jacqueline, “he has been a great help to me, but we do have some lively banter so it will be great. This is the first time we have both run a horse in the same race!”

Tamayuz Magic, who won at Thirsk in May and has only once finished out of the frame in six visits to the North Yorkshire track, is at his best when there is cut in the ground so is likely to have conditions to suit.

“He’s been declared and we shall definitely run if the ground doesn’t firm up” said Mick’s son and assistant David Easterby, “and Jacqueline having a runner does make it that bit more interesting by creating a bit of family rivalry!”

Not that the family interest ends just there as Mick’s nephew Tim will also have a runner in the Cup with Icefall representing his Great Habton yard.

The Hambleton Cup represents a first venture into race sponsorship for the Darlington-based UKinsuranceNET, an online insurance company. Managing Director Steve Bradley is a long-standing owner who has had horses with Richard Fahey and Jane Chapple-Hyam among others.

“I have had quite a few winners, so have experienced the thrill of being a winning owner and now I shall see what it is like from the other side of the fence by sponsoring a race. We shall have a great day as we are using it to reward our hard-working staff with a day at the races!” he said.

Ladies Day is always one of the highlights of Thirsk’s season and with prizes for the Best Dressed Lady, Best Dressed Gentleman and Best Hat to be won, it promises to be a great mix of high fashion and top quality racing.

There is an eight race card starting at 2.20pm with entrance to the Premier Enclosure costing £27, while it’s £16 to go in the Paddock. Price reductions are available on line at www.thirskracecourse.net and children under 18 get in free when accompanied by a paying adult.
Car and coach parking is free, a big screen will show the action and there are play areas for the children. Gates open at 11am.

High fashion and top class racing go hand in hand when the annual Ladies Day takes centre-stage for Thirsk’s penultimate meeting of the season on Saturday September 3.
What is always one of the most popular days of the season at the North Yorkshire course will feature a dazzling array of colour and elegance coupled with some outstanding action on the track featuring the UKinsuranceNET Hambleton Cup.
And it is not just the ladies who stand to win as Barkers of Northallerton are sponsoring both the Best Dressed Lady and Best Dressed Gentleman competitions with £500 worth of fashion vouchers for each winner, £200 vouchers for the runners up and £100 for the third in each competition.
In the Best Hat competition there is a £350 voucher for a Bespoke Jenny Roberts hat to be won with £100 for the runner-up and £75 for the third.
And the best dressed lady will go through to represent Thirsk in the Go Racing In Yorkshire Best Dressed Lady final at Doncaster in October with the chance to win a luxury spa weekend at the Best Western Mount Pleasant Hotel, Bawtry, a £500 fashion voucher for Yasmine of Bawtry and a vintage diamond ring courtesy of loveVintagediamonds.com.
On track, the Hambleton Cup represents a first sortie into race sponsorship for UKinsuranceNET, one of the country’s leading online insurance websites.
Entrance to the Premier Enclosure costs £27, while it’s £16 to go in the Paddock. Price reductions are available on line at www.thirskracecourse.net. Children under 18 get in free when accompanied by a paying adult.
Car and coach parking is free, a big screen will show the action and there are play areas for the children. Gates open at 11am.

Top class racing and fun for all the family will be the two keynotes of Thirsk’s themed Family Day series this month.

The three-day spectacular is spread across the August holiday period and have light sabres at the ready as it ngets under way with a Star Wars-themed Family Day next Tuesday, August 9.

Racegoers will be able to meet their Star Wars Heroes or, for the more adventurous, there is an invitation to come racing dressed as your favourite Star Wars Characters, whether its Hans Solo, Darth Vader or just a storm trooper.

With a children’s play area and inflatable castles, this really is a fun, family day out and children under 18 go free with a full paying adult.

Monday August 15 is James Herriot “All Creatures Great and Small” Family Day, offering action packed racing for the adults, but with plenty of fun to keep the younger racegoer entertained too, including a small petting farm, pony rides and inflatables, all in the Family Enclosure.

And then it will be the turn of Captain Jack Sparrow to provide the off-track entertainment for everyone on Friday August 26 with his swashbuckling shenanigans on Pirate Day.

The kids will love the 25-metre inflatable pirate ship and as always accompanied children under the age of 18 are admitted free-of-charge, making a day at Thirsk races great value for families.

All the children’s entertainment is in the Family Enclosure, which has grandstand viewing, a betting ring, Totepool betting windows and a fantastic children’s playground for the youngsters. Snacks, fast food outlets and bar facilities are available throughout the Family Enclosure

A Park & View ticket admits a car plus up to four adults to a specified trackside area within the Family Enclosure, ideal for car-boot picnics.

Family Enclosure patrons may transfer-up to the Paddock Enclosure on the day for the designated transfer fee.

RACING fans are in for a real treat at Thirsk this weekend when the course stages it’s mid-season highlight – the Totepool Summer Cup.

Carrying a first prize of £20,000, the one-mile contest is the centrepiece of the second stage of this weekend’s meeting on Saturday and always attracts a competitive field and looks set to do so again.

In the five years since it was introduced into the Thirsk calendar, the Summer Cup has been won exclusively by Northern trainers, with two victories going to local handler David Barron while last year’s winner was Altharoos for Middleham trainer Sally Hall.

Having finished well down the field in 2014, Altharoos really stepped up to the plate in the hands of recent Royal Ascot-winning jockey Dougie Costello, as the six-year-old gelding defied odds of 25-1 to win by a length and a neck from fellow outsiders Amood (33-1) and Lawyer (28-1).

Altharoos could well be back for a third successive appearance in the race. He went up in the weights for last year’s win and struggled in subsequent races, but the handicapper has relented recently and his run behind Gurkha Friend at Pontefract 10 days ago suggests better times ahead.

With music from Ezee Going and plenty of entertainment for the children in the Family Enclosure, it promises to be a great day for all the family.

Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs£27, but can be secured for £25 if pre-booked online at www.thirskracecourse.net. Paddock admission costs £16 (£15); while under-18s enter free if accompanied by a paying adult.

Gates open at 11am, and the first race is scheduled for 1.50pm.

 

WITHHOLD, an eye-catching fourth on his racecourse debut at Haydock last month, can enhance a family tradition by taking the starring role in the Justgiving.com/Marcia-Sanderson For Macmillan Maiden Stakes on Irish Day at Thirsk tomorrow (May 14).
Khalid Abdulla’s colt, trained by Charles Hills, will be out to go one better than his half-brother Three Peaks, who was representing the same team when running a cracking race to chase home red-hot favourite Famous Kid over a mile at Thirsk just two years ago.
Withhold is the only runner Hills is sending to the meeting, though the same could be said for Newmarket trainers David Simcock, who saddles Goldmember and Rae Guest, who runs Hongkong Adventure in the race.
Goldmember has finished down the field twice in competitive events at Newbury and Newmarket and better can be expected from him, while Hongkong Adventure switches to the Turf for the first time after two placed efforts on the all-weather at Lingfield and Wolverhampton.
Feature race is the £20,000 Constant Security Services Handicap over five furlongs which offers the in-form Tumblewind a chance to follow up her impressive win over course and distance three weeks ago. Richard Whitaker’s mare has won twice from five visits to Thirsk and been third on another occasion.
Irish Day is always a popular occasion at Thirsk and among the many attractions will be the Irish band Murphy’s Marbels, who will be performing in the James Herriot Hall in the Paddock Enclosure, which will be fitted out appropriately
For the youngsters there is plenty of entertainment too, with bouncy castles and a children’s play area in the family enclosure, while there will be a chance to follow the action on the big screens in the Paddock Enclosure and trackside.
Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £25, and it’s £16 to go in the Paddock on the day while, as always at Thirsk, admission for children under the age of 18 is free, as long as they are accompanied by a paying adult and car parking is also free.

Racing gets under way with the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden Stakes at 1.45pm while the gates will be open from noon.

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THERE WILL be no need for a four-leaf clover to enjoy the luck of the Irish at Thirsk on Saturday (May 14) when a touch of the Blarney comes to the North Yorkshire track.
The Irish are famous for having fun and that will be the keynote for racegoers on Irish Day at Thirsk to match some top class action on the track.
Feature race is the Constant Security-backed sprint handicap over five furlongs for four-year-olds and upwards. With £20,000 in prize money, a competitive field looks assured.
There is a strong supporting card too backed by Irish Stallion Farms EBF, BDS Yorkshire, Wharton Construction and the Family of the late Marion Gibson Brown.
The Irish theme continues in the James Herriot Hall in the Paddock Enclosure where the Irish band Murphy’s Marbels will be performing as a bit of Dublin comes to North Yorkshire.
For the youngsters there is plenty of entertainment too, with bouncy castles and a children’s play area in the family enclosure, while there will be a chance to follow the action on the big screens in the Paddock Enclosure and trackside.
Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £25, and it’s £16 to go in the Paddock on the day with discounts for pre-booking, while, as always at Thirsk, admission for children under the age of 18 is free, as long as they are accompanied by a paying adult and car parking is also free.

Racing is scheduled to start at 1.55pm and the gates will open at noon.

TOP NORTHERN jockey Paul Mulrennan, the leading rider at Thirsk over the past five seasons, looks set to be celebrating again when the Pennine Brewery Beer and Cider Festival is held at North Yorkshire course tomorrow evening (May 7).
Mulrennan has a full book of rides on the seven-race card, but his best of the night could be Card High, his mount in the featured Elwick Stud Handicap.
The jockey boasts an impressive record on the Wilf Storey-trained six-year-old, having ridden him just three times and been a winner twice – at Newcastle and Catterick last season.
“Paul gets on very well with Card High, who has come out of his first race of the season at Catterick very well and I hope he will run another good race at Thirsk” said Storey.
But he added a note of caution, saying: “The problem these days is finding races for him. He has been a good servant to the yard over the last few years, but has risen in the weights and is now on a career high of 78, so it is not easy”.
The Elwick Stud is owned by Geoff Turnbull, who is not only a great supporter of racing at Thirsk, but also a massive supporter of the ABF, the soldiers’ charity, which will also benefit from fund-raising during the evening and has a race named its honour.
Another of the main supporting races is the Dick Peacock Sprint Handicap, which commemorates the great Middleham trainer and this looks to provide John Quinn’s Indian Pursuit with a great chance of stepping up on his seasonal debut sixth at Ripon last month.
Indian Pursuit gained in his only win so far at Catterick, on the one occasion that he was ridden by Philip Makin, who is back in the plate tomorrow.
His run in heavy ground at Ripon was very promising as conditions were particularly testing and though race winner Bossipop is in the field again tomorrow, Indian Pursuit has a 7lbs pull in the weights and can reverse the form.
This will be the first time that the Beer Festival has come to Thirsk and will be held in the Paddock Enclosure and therefore accessible to all racegoers with Paddock or Premier admission, but will not be accessible from the Family Enclosure.
Pennine Brewing Company is an 18-barrel micro-brewery based at Well Hall Farm at Well, near Masham not too far from Thirsk and they will have 16 different beers and ciders to try.
With live music from Yorkshire’s own Ezee Goin, who provide an eclectic mix of goodtimes boogie, blues and rock and covers of the classic hits from the 60’s and 70’s as well as fun for all the kids in the Family Enclosure, it promises to be a great evening for all the family.
Gates open at 3pm with a happy hour between 3pm and 4pm when there will be 50p off a Festival pint with the first race, the Pennine Brewing Craft Beer and Cider Festival Selling Stakes, due off at 5.35pm.
Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £22, and it’s £15 to go in the Paddock with admission for children under the age of 18 free when accompanied by a paying adult.

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The perfect combination of high quality racing and top quality beers comes to Thirsk this Saturday evening (May 7) with a seven race card providing the focal point to the Pennine Brewery Beer Festival.
This will be the first time that the Beer Festival has come to Thirsk and will be held in the Paddock Enclosure and therefore accessible to all racegoers with Paddock or Premier admission, but will not be accessible from the Family Enclosure.
Pennine Brewing Company is an 18-barrel micro-brewery based at Well Hall Farm at Well, near Masham and not too far from Thirsk and will have 16 different beers and ciders to try – so patrons are advised to make sure they have a designated driver for the day!
As well as sampling some of the quality beers and ciders that have made Pennine Brewery products in demand at outlets nationwide, there will be top quality racing featuring the £8,000 GT Group Handicap over 12 furlongs.
The main supporting races are the six furlong Dick Peacock Sprint Handicap, commemorating one of the great post-war Middleham trainers and the five furlong ABF The Soldiers Charity Fillies Handicap.
With live music from Yorkshire’s own Ezee Goin, who provide an eclectic mix of goodtimes boogie, blues and rock and covers of the classic hits from the 60’s and 70’s as well as fun for all the kids in the Family Enclosure, it promises to be a great evening to suit all the family.
Gates open at 3pm with a happy hour between 3pm and 4pm when there will be 50p off a Festival pint with the first race, the Pennine Brewing Craft Beer and Cider Festival Selling Stakes due off at 5.35pm.
Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £22, and it’s £15 to go in the Paddock with admission for children under the age of 18 free when accompanied by a paying adult.

THIRSK HUNT CUP TAKES CENTRE STAGE

HOT ON the heels of a fantastic return of Sunday racing to Thirsk, the pretty North Yorkshire course is gearing up for one of the big days in the calendar the Thirsk Hunt Cup, highlight of a brilliant day’s racing at the track this Saturday (April 30).
The course is still buzzing after staging what was only the second Sunday fixture in its history last weekend, so the atmosphere will be perfect for what is always one of the best day’s racing at Thirsk.

Northern trainers have dominated the Hunt Cup over recent years although one notable exception was Farhh, a 5-4 winner for Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor in 2012 before going on to take on Frankel in some of the top group one races that season, including finishing second to the great horse in both the Juddmonte Internation at York and the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

Farrh developed into a top group one performer and in 2013 win both the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury and the Champion Stakes at Ascot in his only two outings.

The action is schedule to get underway with the first race at 1.55pm, although the gates will open at 11am.

Although there will be plenty of gripping action on the course, there will be plenty to keep the youngsters amused in the family enclosure and, as always, it will be free admission for children accompanied by a paying adult

Racegoers will be able to follow the action on the big screen opposite the Paddock.

CAPTAIN Dunne, one of the most popular sprint handicappers in the North, is poised to return to the scene of two of his most recent triumphs on Sunday.
Tim Easterby’s evergreen 11-year-old is entered in Thirsk’s feature Watch Racing UK in HD Handicap over five furlongs, one of seven contests in the racecourse’s first Sunday meeting for over 10 years.

Captain Dunne usually comes to hand early and did so last season when he won his first to races, both of them at Thirsk last May, winning at 25-1 and again at 16-1 both times in the hands of Rachel Richardson, who made it three wins when Captain Dunne scored at Catterick in July.

The veteran has been a great servant to his Great Habton trainer and has run 89 races, winning 12 of them and reaching the frame on a further 25 occasions.

“Captain Dunne has been working well and is very likely to go to Thirsk on Sunday. He is also in at Doncaster on Friday, but I am favouring Thirsk at the moment” said Easterby.

There will be six supporting races on the Thirsk card which gets under way at 2.20pm. Gates open at 11am.

With it being a Family Sunday Fun Day, the emphasis off the track is providing fun for the children, who get in free when accompanied by a paying adult. The Family Enclosure will feature a range of activities including pony rides, a Punch and Judy show, bouncy castles and a playground.

There will be a big screen on which to follow the racing, while musical entertainment will be provided by the Playlist..

 

 

SUNDAY racing returns to Thirsk for the first time in more than a decade when the course stages a Family Sunday Fun Day next weekend.
It will be only the second time in its history that a Sunday meeting will have been held at the popular North Yorkshire racecourse and to mark the event, it is being supported by Racing UK.

Britain’s foremost racing channel is giving the chance for members of the Racing UK club to purchase two tickets for the price of one. All subscribers to Racing UK have until this Friday to contact the racecourse and take up the offer.

The action gets underway with the first race at 2.20pm, although the gates will open at 11am.

As fun for all the family is the order of the day, there will be lots to keep the younger racegoers happy with pony rides, a Punch and Judy show, bouncy castles and a playground for the children in the family enclosure.

There will also be live music will be provided by The Playlist, while racegoers will be able to follow the action on the big screen opposite the Paddock.

Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £22, and it’s £15 to go in the Paddock with children under 18 getting in free if accompanied by a paying adult.

MALTON trainer Brian Ellison is hoping stable stalwart Balty Boys can go one better than last year when he runs in Thirsk’s EBF Stallions.com Michael Foster Conditions Stakes over seven furlongs on Saturday.
The seven-year-old Cape Cross gelding was beaten a length and a quarter by Heaven’s Guest in this £15,000 event in 2015, and later in the season went on to run the same horse to a fast-diminishing head in the valuable Gigaset International Stakes at Ascot.
Following his Thirsk run, Balty Boys landed a competitive event at Newmarket, while he followed up his sterling effort at Ascot by landing a Group Three contest at Haydock before his form tailed off in the autumn as a tough campaign took its toll.
Ellison reports Balty Boys to be in good shape for his seasonal reappearance on Thirsk’s seven-race card – the North Yorkshire racecourse’s first of 17 meetings in 2016.
He said: “Balty Boys definitely runs on Saturday, having been in it last year. He had a great season last time and has done plenty of work, but he will improve for the run. We are using this as a prep for the Bet365 Mile at Sandown on April 22”.
Ellison added: “I intend to have runners in every race on the Thirsk card and the horses are quite forward and very well”.
Last season’s winning trainer Richard Fahey could again provide strong opposition to Balty Boys in the form of last season’s Goodwood winner Rene Mathis, who looks sure to improve on the back of his solid run when fifteenth behind Secret Brief in the Betway Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster earlier this month.
Another horse beaten in the Lincoln to hold an entry on Saturday is David O’Meara’s French import Lord Of The Land. A progressive sort for Andre Fabre in 2015, Lord Of The Land will be on a recovery mission if taking his chance as he finished a disappointing 19th in the Lincoln after being gambled on to 6-1 second favourite.
He is clearly highly regarded by O’Meara as Lord Of The Land holds an entry for the group three Amethyst Stakes at Leopardstown next monthj.
Racegoers’ entertainment at Thirsk will be enhanced by the big screen opposite the stands and paddock, while music will be provided by Gary Grace, “The New King Of Swing.”
For the children, there will be bouncy castles and a playground in the Family Enclosure.
Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £25, while Paddock admission can be obtained for £16. For more information, go to: www.thirskracecourse.net
Gates open at 11am and the first race will be staged at 1.45pm.

TOP-CLASS action is in prospect when Thirsk racecourse stages its opening meeting of the 2016 season on Saturday, April 16.

In the first of 17 meetings at the North Yorkshire track this year, a high-quality batch of middle-distance performers are expected to line up for the feature race on the card, the Eileen House 80th Birthday Handicap, over a mile and a half, for four-year-olds and upwards, which carries prize money of £22,000.

The main supporting race is the seven-furlong Michael Foster Conditions Stakes, commemorating the long-serving director and former chairman of Thirsk.

A Class 3 event carrying prize money of £15,000, the race usually attracts quality entries from several of the top Northern and Southern stables and was won last year by the Richard Fahey-trained Heaven’s Guest, who went on to win a valuable handicap at Ascot as well as finishing fourth in the listed Sky Bet City of York Stakes at York.

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 with music from Gary Grace, “The New King Of Swing”, while there will be plenty to keep the younger racegoers occupied with bouncy castles and a playground in the Family Enclosure.

Entry to the Premier Enclosure costs £25 (£24 if booked online), while Paddock admission can be obtained for £16 (£15 online). There are also reductions for group bookings. For more information go to www.thirskracecourse.net

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

Top trainer Richard Fahey is aiming to turn on the style on Ladies Day at Thirsk on Saturday when he saddles Third Time Lucky in the featured Personal Touches Handicap.
While racegoers will be dressed to impress in hopes of winning some of the top prizes on offer for the Best Dressed Lady and Gentleman, which is always a popular centrepiece to the final day of the season at the North Yorkshire track, Fahey hopes his grey charmer will be strutting its stuff.
The Malton handler looks sure to finish as leading trainer for the season at Thirsk with 11 winners to his name at the track this year and a win for Third Time Lucky would certainly put the gloss on it.
“He could be my only runner of the day at Thirsk this weekend” said Fahey, “although I do have a couple in the two-year-old race who might go, but one of them is sweating on the ballot.
“Third Time Lucky definitely runs, though. He has come out of his race at Goodwood well and is in really good order so we have to be very hopeful of a big run from him”.
The three-year-old showed a liking for Thirsk on his only previous visit to the track when finishing second to Caius College Girl as a two-year-old, while he has been in really good form this season.
He reeled off a hat-trick of wins from his first three starts at Musselburgh and Leicester and though he will be running off a career-high mark of 90 on Saturday, that is only 1lb more than on his previous start when he was an eye-catching fourth in the Turf Club Handicap at Glorious Goodwood.
He looked like he might be the winner that day as he led the big field into the final furlong, but in a desperate finish of three heads, was relegated to fourth place in the dying strides. A repeat of that run will make him hard to beat on Saturday.
Ladies Day is always a showy occasion at Thirsk and as well as carrying off a top prize on the day, the winner will go forward to represent the course in the Go Racing In Yorkshire Best Dressed Lady final at Doncaster on October 24.
Racing at Thirsk gets underway at 1.55 on Saturday, with the last race at 5.25.

 

Michael Dods’ veteran handicapper Orthopaedic Remedy will bid for a third victory in the £30,000 totepool Thirsk Summer Cup at the North Yorkshire track on Saturday.

Now 11 years old, Orthopaedic Remedy won the Summer Cup for the first time in 2011 and then came back to win again 12 months ago and Dods is hopeful of another big run if all goes well.
“He is in great form and I am really keen for him to run again. Hopefully he will get into the race – he needs just three to come out!” said the Darlington trainer.
In his long career, Orthopaedic Remedy has run 21 races at Thirsk and has finished in the frame 13 times, including four wins which have among them his two victories in the totepool Summer Cup, plus a success in the totepool Thirsk Hunt Cup back in 2010.
“He certainly loves it at Thirsk and I won’t be too disappointed if the ground is soft as those are his favourite conditions. The biggest task is finding a jockey as Connor Beasley would usually ride, but unfortunately he’s out for the season” said Dods.
As well as Orthopaedic Remedy, Dods is also sweating on Kiwi Bay getting into the race, but he needs only one of those above him to drop out and it will be amazing if either of them misses out.
So it is likely the Darlington trainer will be three-handed as he also saddles Finn Class, who is guaranteed to run. Finn Class is the mount of Paul Mulrennan, who was top jockey at Thirsk last season and with four winners at the track this year is leading the way again alongside David Allan and Philip Makin.
“They are both there on merit and should go well” said Dods, “Finn Class has won his last two and shows his best form on decent ground, while Kiwi Bay has been running well without getting his head in front and will not mind it soft”.
The totepool Thirsk Summer Cup is one of the features of a seven race card on Saturday, the second stage of a two-day meeting which starts on Friday. Racing gets underway at 1.50pm on both days.