Malton-trained Castles In The Air has a special assignment at York on Saturday – to win on the annual charity raceday, which is so close to the heart of his owner, Jim McGrath, well-known as a racing pundit on Channel 4 television.

The Richard Fahey-trained gelding runs in the Charles Henry Memorial Handicap, the seventh and final race at Saturday’s meeting, which will run under a new branding.

For the first time in its near four-decade history, the Timeform name will not be involved in this hugely-popular fixture, which has raised almost £4.5million for worthy causes since its inception in 1971.

McGrath, however, who, after a lengthy association, quit as a Timeform director earlier this year, has worked tirelessly with his business partner, Roger Trevitt, to ensure Saturday’s event will be another great success.

Re-named the Macmillan Charity Day, in recognition of the organisation which will receive 90 per cent of money raised from the raceday and from the auction held at a glitzy dinner at the course the previous evening, the feature race is the £100,000 Reg Griffin Memorial Trophy, which McGrath has sponsored in aid of his great friend, who died earlier this year, and who was the original founder of the charity day, a role he maintained right through until last year.

This fiercely-competitive sprint handicap will play host to the likes of Tim Easterby’s smart Favourite Girl, the Linda Stubbs-trained Five Star Junior, a prolific winner earlier this year, and Sloop Johnb, winner of his last two races, including a tough heat on Knavesmire last month.

Interestingly, the first-ever running of this race 38 years ago, when the first Timeform Charity Day was run at Doncaster – it transferred to York the following year – was won by a horse called Charlton, owned by the Queen.

McGrath’s passion for the charity day – he is aiming to equal the £275,000 raised last year – will certainly extend to the final contest, when his colours will be carried by Castles In The Air, a winner last time out at Hamilton. Another victory on Saturday, of all days, would be extra-special to his owner.

McGrath had previously co-owned Castles In The Air with Griffin, and the pair of them had visited Fahey’s Malton yard to see the horse only a couple of weeks before Griffin passed away.

Saturday’s card kicks off with the Queen Mother’s Cup, the most prestigious race of the season for lady amateur riders.

Alyson Deniel took the honours 12 months ago aboard Step This Way and the Norton-based rider, who, as is traditional with this contest, won her weight in champagne, is hoping to team up with the same Mark Johnston-trained mount as she seeks a notable encore.

Locally-based colleague Wendy Gibson, who has never ridden in this race, faces an anxious time wondering if her moment will come on Saturday. She is due to partner Grand Art – a York winner a couple of weeks ago – for her boss, Paul Midgley, but the lowly-weighted gelding is not certain to make the cut in a race which is confined to 20 runners.

All in all, a cracking day’s racing is ensured at York on Saturday, all in a very good cause.

McGrath said: “We are hoping it is another big success. We have some wonderful auction items, and everyone who goes racing on Saturday, whether in the Members’ or the cheapest enclosure, will be contributing to the day through a portion of their entrance fee.”

Peter Beaumont has trained hundreds of winners over jumps and in point-to-points, and will always be best remembered for his handling of Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Jodami, but the Brandsby veteran changed the goalposts last week – by recording his first-ever winner on the Flat.

The popular Beaumont and his team deserve the highest praise for having Golden Groom in such excellent nick on his first outing since 2007, the gelding having undergone stem-cell surgery for a serious leg problem in the meantime.

“That was lovely,” said Beaumont, whose only previous success on the Flat was with Gale Force in the Newmarket Town Plate, an historic race but one which is not run under the Rules of Racing.

Beaumont, who has held a training licence for 22 years, added: “It’s taken a while to get Golden Groom right, and his owner Colin Stirling has been very patient.”

While Golden Groom did Beaumont a good turn, it is doubtful the trainer will ever develop a real soft spot for a horse he describes as “a swine”. Beaumont added: “He kicks and he bites and he really means it. He’s not an easy horse to handle.”

Ripon’s feature race fell to John Quinn and John Rowbottom with Grazeon Gold Blend, who gained victory by a nose under up-and-coming apprentice Jamie Kyne.

“Jamie has that knack of being able to get horses to run for him, which is something you can’t teach and you can’t learn,” said Quinn.

Patience is a virtue among racehorse trainers, as Julie Camacho has discovered this season, following a virus in her Norton yard.

But the green shoots of recovery are now evident, following several recent placed efforts by her horses and a welcome winner, courtesy of Young Gladiator at Newcastle last Saturday night.

Steve Brown, the trainer’s husband and able assistant, said: “We knew it was going to be a quiet spring, but, although not all our horses are right yet, they are getting there, and that has been confirmed recently with some placed horses and a winner.”

Paul Midgley may not have been too pleased that somebody beat him to the best prices available for Three Good Friends at rain-drenched Southwell last Sunday, but the Westow trainer was delighted to see his well-backed juvenile do the business all the same.

Backed from 16-1 (and more than double that on the betting exchanges) into 13-2, Three Good Friends did her job in determined style.

“I thought she’d like the sand surface, as she wants give in the ground on grass,” said Midgley. “It’s just a pity that someone nicked the best price.”

The previous night, Midgley had saddled two of the six runners in the sprint handicap at Newcastle and saw them finish first and third, with Dispol Grand taking the lion’s share of the spoils.

“He’s as hard as nails,” said the in-form trainer. “I wouldn’t like to get into a fight with him.”

Mick Kinane, seen at his vintage best when winning Saturday’s Epsom Derby on Sea The Stars, had, just three-quarters of an hour earlier, been beaten a short-head on the Tim Easterby-trained Captain Dunne in the £75,000 Investec ‘Dash’.

Over the fastest five-furlong course in the world, Captain Dunne led everywhere bar the last couple of strides, when he was nailed by the David Nicholls-trained Indian Trail, ridden by Paul Quinn. The time of the race? Just under 55 seconds.

Ryedale jockey Duran Fentiman notched the biggest success of his career at Musselburgh when winning last Saturday’s £40,000 Scottish Sprint Cup aboard Pavershooz, trained at Flaxton by Noel Wilson.

Tom Eaves is another local rider enjoying a fine time at present. The Norton-based jockey landed a Hamilton hat-trick last week, while Ryedale apprentice Freddie Tylicki is another hot jock at present. After two weeks’ suspension, under the totting-up system for breaching the whip rules, the 5lb claimer returned on Saturday with a winner at Doncaster and followed up with further successes at Southwell on Sunday and Pontefract on Monday evening.

Paul Pickard is another apprentice going well. He posted two Scottish successes last week within 72 hours on the same horse – the Alan Swinbank-trained Baizically.

Every apprentice remembers their first winner as a special moment, and last week it was the turn of Lee Topliss to enjoy that occasion at Ayr.

Topliss, 19, who is attached to Richard Fahey’s Malton stable, gained a wide-margin success on the versatile Joe Jo Star, who shone as expected as the odds-on favourite.

Previously attached to the Nottinghamshire stable of Derek Shaw, Topliss joined Fahey in the spring and has wasted no time getting off the mark.