The 2018 Go Racing In Yorkshire Festival was launched at Tim Easterby’s yard on Monday 16th July. Tim is a born and bred Yorkshireman and passionately supports the initiative making his yard the ideal venue to launch the event.
The festival takes place over nine days between 21st and 29th July and includes eight of the nine racecourses in Yorkshire. Racing is being held at Ripon, Redcar, Beverley, Catterick, Doncaster, Thirsk, York and Pontefract. Along with the racing there is live music, family events and much more.
When I visited the Easterby yard for the press launch I was very warmly welcomed by Tim and his wife Sarah. Sarah told me that she had been out at the weekend and had walked over 20 miles in preparation for The Northumberland Coast Mighty Hike which is a 26 mile hike for Macmillan Cancer Support. Sarah has a JustGiving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sarah-easterby and I am sure all donations would be gratefully accepted.
The yard is a real family affair, set up by Tim’s father Peter who handed over the reins to Tim in 1996 after 45 years. He is still the only trainer to have saddled over 1,000 winners on the Flat and over the Jumps. Peter is definitely not retired and is in the yard every day and watching the horses on the gallops.
The day I visited, Tim’s 12 year old son Thomas had ridden out on the gallops for the first time. He definitely understood the difference between riding his pony and a Thoroughbred racehorse! He works in the yard during the school holidays and offered the opinion that it was much better than being at school. Tim told me that he gets up early for work in the summer, but that it is not the same getting him up for school. Tim’s elder son William was also in the yard assisting with training. He is also an amateur Flat and Jump jockey and rides for the yard.
After a coffee we went up to the gallops which are owned by the Easterbys. Tim explained that the gallops are 1¼ miles in length and that the older horses are cantered for 6 furlongs whereas the two year olds will work between 2 furlongs and 3½ furlongs.
Talk inevitably moved on to the yard’s current star Wells Farhh Go, as the three year old Bay Colt won the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy Stakes at Newmarket last week and is highly fancied for the St Leger. Everybody in the yard had an opinion on the horse. So it was back into the minibus to visit his box.
Peter feels that he is only now reaching his potential and felt that race tactics before his Newmarket success had been wrong and ventured the opinion that is was their fault. Previously Wells Farhh Go had been dropped in to his races and asked to make his effort later in the race. Sarah told me that they had learned a lot from his run at Royal Ascot and Tim said that dropping him in had been the wrong thing to do as there was no pace in the race and that he is not a sprinter so by the time the horse had got going the race had got away from him.
By contrast at Newmarket he was ridden confidently from the front by his jockey David Allan who gave him a breather half way through the race, but he was never headed and won the 1 mile 4 furlong contest well. It was a superbly judged ride. He is entered in the final Classic of the season, the St Leger at Doncaster and all of his connections are quietly confident that he will do rather well. Tim feels that he has got “as good a chance as any”.
Should he win the St Leger he will be emulating Bollin Eric who won the 2004 renewal for Tim Easterby. I asked Tim if the two horses had any similarities. He told me that both horses had similar temperaments and that Bollin Eric was a very good horse who was progressive and got better with every run. He sees the same qualities in Wells Farhh Go. He also said that Wells Farhh Go stuck it out well when making all at Newmarket and that he is a proper stayer.
He commented that he had come out of the race well and was initially being aimed at Glorious Goodwood but will be held back for the St Voltigeur Stakes at York as he wants to “save some petrol in the tank” for his run in the St Leger.
Asked about the Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival he thinks that it is a great promotional thing for the county and that it is good for Yorkshire trainers and it gives them decent races to aim at.
THE GO RACING IN YORKSHIRE SUMMER FESTIVAL 2018
The Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival brings together eight of the Yorkshire racecourses for a week long racing spectacular commencing on Saturday 21st July at Ripon Racecourse and finishing eight days later at Pontefract Racecourse on Sunday 29th July.
The Festival sponsor is Skybet, with a recently agreed continuing sponsorship of the festival until 2021.
A magnificent week of horseracing and entertainment awaits Yorkshire racegoers with everything from Family Days at Redcar and Pontefract, Carnival Night at Beverley, Sir Tom Jones and Boyzone at York and great family entertainment and live music at all the racecourses. Children go free with an accompanying adult, making Yorkshire racing a great family day out!
In 2018, Racing Welfare is the supported charity for the festival. They will be at every racecourse with their stand which includes an equicisor. Before racing at every course a jockey will come out and give a demonstration before inviting all racegoers to have a go! Festival Freddie, the festival mascot will be around the courses, giving out sweets and goodies with a photographer. All photographs each day can be found on the Go Racing In Yorkshire Facebook page and can be downloaded for free.
The Go Racing in Yorkshire 2018 Summer Festival continues to grow and will be an exciting week of racing right across the county.
- 21st July – Ripon
- 22nd July – Redcar
- 23rd July – Beverley (eve)
- 25th July – Catterick
- 26th July – Doncaster (eve)
- 27th July – Thirsk
- 27th July – York (eve)
- 28th July – York
- 29th July – Pontefract.
For more information visit goracing.co.uk