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York Racecourse cashing in with Coral Sprint Trophy
YORK Racecourse will close the 2012 season this weekend with the richest October meeting ever staged.
More than £260,000 in prize money will be on offer on Friday and Saturday, with the latter day – the last chance to enjoy racing action on Knavesmire this year – seeing the Coral Sprint Trophy take pride of place as the £75,000 feature race.
Precocious two-year-olds are catered for in The Coral Rockingham Stakes, a £40,000 Listed race. Both races are run over six furlongs.
Friday’s seven-race programme, the inaugural Countryside Raceday, blends competitive handicaps with contests to develop the two-year-olds as well as a race for amateur riders.
The meeting will also see the conclusion of the season-long fight to be top jockey and trainer at York.
In the jockeys’ race, the six-time champion jockey, Kieren Fallon, and classic-winning rider, William Buick, lead the way with eight winners apiece, followed by North Yorkshire-based David Allan and Philip Makin.
With 13 races to be contested by the professionals over the two days, the competition looks like going down to the wire.
The top trainer title is equally close with Malton handler Richard Fahey’s six-year domination of this award facing serious competition.
Newmarket-based William Haggas heads the table with eight winners, followed by the North Yorkshire-based pair of Tim Easterby and David O’Meara, who have both recorded seven victories. Fahey has four.
Four large screens will cover both racing on Knavesmire and the major contests from Newmarket’s Future British Champions Day on the Saturday.
The first contest at York on Friday is at 2pm, with Saturday’s card starting at 2.05pm.
Meanwhile, North Yorkshire Olympic silver medallist Nicola Wilson will be riding Opposition Buzz, the horse on which she starred in Great Britain’s team eventing charge for London 2012 glory, round the Wetherby Racecourse parade ring when the track kicks off its jumps season next Wednesday.
The principal contest of a seven-race card, which starts at 2.20pm, is the Bobby Renton Handicap Chase, a contest over the extended two and a half miles which remembers the late trainer, who saddled Freebooter to win the 1950 Grand National from his base near Ripon.