Ripon racecourse stages their most valuable race of the season on Saturday, the William Hill Great St Wilfrid Stakes, writes Jeff Garlick.
The prestigious six furlong race , which is named after the patron saint of Ripon, is worth almost £45,000 to winning connections who also receive a silver trophy depicting St Wilfrid on horseback.
Last year’s victor, Baccarat went on to win the the valuable Wokingham Stakes at this year’s Royal Ascot.
The St Wilfrid has been won by locally-based trainers for the last four years.
David O’Meara’s Pepper Lane won in 2011 and 2012 and is the only horse to win the race twice.
Scarcroft trainer Richard Whitaker saddled Damika to win in 2010 and Baccarat won for Malton’s Richard Fahey last year.
All three trainers hope to be represented again this year.
Malton trainer Richard Fahey entered eight horses originally, and his runners Eastern Impact and Supplicant look likely market leaders.
Whitaker will run recent course winner Piper’s Note and the O’Meara yard put up Out Do and Bondesire as their stable picks.
Saturday’s seven-race card will start at 2:15pm. The Great St Wilfrid is the feature race on the card and will go under starter’s orders at 3.30pm.