Ripon hail ‘good’ year of racing

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Racing bosses have hailed a pleasing year for Ripon Racecourse as it brings the curtain down on its season.

‘Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse’ will culminate its summer programme on Saturday with a seven-race programme which includes the £30,000 Ripon Cathedral City Of The Dales Handicap Stakes.

Michael Dods’ Spinatrix is likely to be declared for the sprint and will be looking to continue his fine form at the course, which included a second-place finish in the Great St Wilfrid Stakes last month.

Erin Boswell, Ripon Racecourse marketing executive, said: “Spinatrix has been quite a Ripon favourite over the last few years and has won quite a few of our high value races.

“He loves the track and so does his owners.

“In the early declarations there looks to be some very good horses so it should be a close race.”

Racing will start at 2.10pm with a contest for maiden two-year-olds.

Helmsley trainer David O’Meara and his retained jockey Danny Tudhope have as good as sown up the top trainer and top jockey prizes at the course for 2014.

The pair were also successful in the Great St Wilfrid, which saw Tudhope celebrating aboard Out Do.

The racecourse upped its overall prize money to more than one million pounds for the first time in 2014.

And, like Saturday’s upcoming feature, Boswell said a higher standard of horses have been attracted to the course due to the prize-money increase.

“The quality of racing is one thing that we certainly don’t feel short on,” Boswell said.

“A lot of people that go racing don’t go for the racing itself but we are one of those course where the quality of racing is always there.

“It’s something that we are quite proud of.”

And with a year that included a Monday meeting celebrating the Tour de France’s passing through Yorkshire, the course have hailed a positive year.

Boswell said: There’s been a few different things that we have tried this year. We have been a bit unlucky with the weather but that always against us.

“Other than that it’s been a really good season.

“We have tried a couple of things like the Friday evening Theakstons Beer Festival, and that’s something we are looking to work on.

“There’s also been a variety of different attractions on the children’s days.”

Boswell said plans are “up the sleeves” of course officials ahead of new ideas for next season.

She added: “We will wait until the season is finished, take a deep breath and then look forward to next year. We are looking to attract the local people and do things that are for them. It would be nice to let the local people know that we are there.”

l See Jeff Garlick’s racing tips in Turf Talk - page 93.

l Read more on page 59