Local owner Keith Brown on Tuesday throws two darts at the board in his quest to land a first Beverley winner of the season.

Brown, who resides in nearby Swanland, is best known in the racing game for his association with Top Notch Tonto, runner-up in the 2013 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.

But he loves nothing more than a Beverley winner, and hopes Dream Walker and Moonlit Sands can do the business on Tuesday’s eight-race card.

Ten-year-old Dream Walker is a popular horse, having earned nearly £200,000 in prize-money – largely through his exploits in big races in Ireland.

Following a spell with Co Kildare trainer Jarlath Fahey, he is now back in the care of Brian Ellison ahead of the Handicap (4.15).

Brown said: “Jarlath is a brilliant guy – there was no falling-out, or anything like that – but we just couldn’t get the ground for him over there.

“Ireland had one of the driest summers in memory so we thought it would be a good idea to send him back to Brian’s.

“He’s in super form, but we’d be really hoping for a bit of rain before racing as he loves cut in the ground.

“He doesn’t owe us a penny as he’s been such a great horse over the years.

“But if we do get that bit of rain, he’d definitely take all the beating, I’d say.”

Dream Walker must shoulder top weight in the eight-and-a-half-furlong test, with perhaps recent Carlisle runner-up Ghayyar his biggest rival.

Ellison and Brown combine earlier on the card with Moonlit Sands, who runs in the five-furlong Malcolm Greenslade Doncaster LVA Stalwart Memorial Handicap (2.15).

The four-year-old daughter of Footstepsinthesand has not raced since September 2018, but her sole career victory came over this course and distance in May.

Brown said: “She’s in great order and loves Beverley, having won there before and finishing second a few times.

“She’ll go well, I hope, but it’s her first run of the season and she might need the outing.

“I love having Beverley winners as it’s my local track. We’ve had some bad luck in recent years, though, but hopefully that will change on Tuesday.”

Brown also had an update on the nine-year-old Top Notch Tonto, who is still game as ever – even if his recent performances have not reflected his enthusiasm.

He said: “I think this will be his last season, but he loves life and we love him.

“He’s been a major part of my life and there are no shortage of offers from people when we do call it a day.

“I imagine he’ll end up as a riding horse somewhere, but it would be lovely if we can get him another win on his way out.”

The first of eight races at Beverley starts at 1.45pm, with the feature event being the historic 133rd Year of the Watt Memorial Handicap (2.45) for stayers

The going is good to firm, with watering taking place to preserve conditions, while the forecast on Tuesday is for sunny spells, the risk of a shower in the afternoon, and a high of 19C.

Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival Partners with Racing Charity

Racing Welfare, a registered charity which supports the workforce of British horseracing, is to be the beneficiary of this year’s Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival, sponsored by Sky Bet.

Richard Hammill, Chief Operating Officer and Clerk of the Course at Pontefract Racecourse and member of the Go Racing in Yorkshire Marketing Committee said,

“We wanted to work with Racing Welfare because they are the dominant charity that looks after people who work in the racing industry.  We are particularly keen for them to focus on mental health and wellbeing as this is a very current and relevant subject and Racing Welfare have services to help people who might be suffering and, just as importantly teach people to look after their mental health, as they would their physical health.”

A representative from Racing Welfare will be at each of the Summer Festival race meetings, talking about the work that the charity does, who they can help and how.  There will also be an exit collection from some courses.

Dawn Goodfellow, Chief Executive of Racing Welfare said,

“The Summer Festival is a superb initiative and we are delighted to be the beneficiary charity for this year.  Go Racing in Yorkshire does a fantastic job of promoting the rich offering of racing in the county and funds raised from our association will go towards extending the reach of our mental health support services.  We’re very proud to be involved with the Summer Festival this year and hope that many people will come racing over the nine days.”

As the charity of the week, Racing Welfare will also receive a £500 cheque, courtesy of the leading jockey of the festival which is sponsored by Sky Bet.

The Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival takes place from Saturday, July 20 to Sunday, July 28, when there will 10 race meetings, over nine days at eight courses.  In addition, there will be an open afternoon at Jack Berry House on Tuesday, July 23.


NEWMARKET trainer Simon Crisford is looking forward to running the high-quality Mordin in the John Smith’s Diamond Jubilee Cup at York on Saturday.

The consistent five-year-old, who recorded a fourth career success when easily winning on his seasonal reappearance at Haydock, already boasts significant form in heritage handicap company having finished runner-up in the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket last season.

Mordin was last seen lining up in the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot where he was beaten just over four lengths into tenth, and the son of Invincible Spirit will return to the extended mile and a quarter on the Knavesmire having run midfield in the corresponding race last season.

However, the in-form Crisford – whose fine season was headlined by a first success at the Royal meeting last month – is under no illusions of the task facing Mordin as he goes to post for a red-hot renewal of the £200,000 feature contest.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Crisford said. “It’s such a famous, historic race and it’s one of those races that is so difficult to win because it’s so competitive.

“The horse is approaching the race in good form – he ran in the contest last year – and we’re very pleased with him.”

A maximum field of 22 are set to enter the new larger stalls at York for the 2019 running of the John Smith’s Diamond Jubilee Cup – a race first staged in 1960 and one that has often produced a subsequent Group-level winner.

Mordin has been drawn in stall 20 on Saturday and Crisford admits he would have preferred a lower stall.

“He’s got an awkward post position, which doesn’t give us a lot of options being drawn out wide,” the trainer said.

Mordin, rated 106, will be partnered for the first time by apprentice Seamus Cronin, who will claim a handy 5lb on what is his second ride for the stable; seeking to emulate subsequent Champion Jockey Paul Hanagan who took the contest back in 2002.

“Mordin has reached a very respectable level and he’s obviously a very good horse, but with the rating he has it makes life tough for him in handicaps, but also tough if he steps beyond handicap company,” Crisford added.

“He’s in one of those areas where the racing is particularly competitive and it’s hard for him to be winning, but he deserves to take his chance.

“I was looking for someone to take a bit of weight off his back. Seamus is a very promising young jockey and hopefully the horse can give him a good ride.”

The action begins on Saturday with the John Smith’s City Walls Stakes, a Listed contest run over five furlongs, and the ten-strong field includes veteran speedster Caspian Prince.

Later on the card, Gold Mount – who won the Listed Sky Bet Race To The Ebor Grand Cup Stakes over York’s one mile and six furlong-trip last month – will return to the same course and distance in the Group 3 John Smith’s Silver Cup Stakes where a number of contenders for the £1m Sky Bet Ebor itself will be put to the test.

The six-year-old was mooted as a potential Melbourne Cup aspirant following that two and a quarter-length victory and he will face seven rivals as he bids to maintain his unbeaten record for Ian Williams.

The high-class, seven-race card gets underway at 2.05pm.