Ripon’s most valuable and iconic race of the season, The William Hill Great St. Wilfrid Stakes takes pride of place on a top-class card this Saturday, August 19th. The famous Handicap for sprinters over six furlong will be the talk of the weekend’s action, with owners looking to land some of the £75,000 prize pot on offer for the big race.
It’s the most valuable raceday of the season at Yorkshire’s ‘Garden Racecourse’ with total prize money of £150,000 up for grabs. The meeting also includes the fifth running of The William Hill Silver Trophy, a £20,000, ‘consolation’ race for the horses entered but unable to get into the feature race.
The successful owner in Saturday’s big race will receive a silver trophy depicting Ripon’s Patron Saint, St. Wilfrid, mounted on horseback along with a healthy first prize fund of over £43,575.
The winning trainer of the race will also be presented with the William Hill floral gala, a unique tribute inspired by that given to winner of the American ‘Breeders Cup. Introduced in 2016, the floral gala which is handmade by Ripon florist Rebecca Passman at Floral Pride is made with individual flower heads and will be displayed on course throughout the afternoon before presented to the winner of the race which takes place at 3:15pm. (Pictured)
Last year’s contest was won by ‘Nameitwhatyoulike’ who is entered again and set to challenge for back to back wins.
Trainer Bryan Smart said : “He is in good order and working well at home, he loves the track at Ripon so we are hopeful he will run a good race”.
Vicky Smart, Wife of winning trainer Bryan Smart, said: “The highlight of last season for us was the floral award given by Ripon Racecourse to our Great St Wilfrid winner ‘Nameitwhatyoulike’. It made us feel like champions at the Kentucky Derby and was so fitting to the track which is so well known for its beautiful flowers.
“The floral gala was handmade locally with individual flower heads and was displayed with pride in our yard at Hambleton for weeks afterwards and was only removed when the first storm of autumn threatened to carry it across the North York Moors.”
“We are looking forward to returning to Ripon Racecourse this weekend for the Great St Wilfrid and have a strong team of horses entered, hoping to bring the trophy and the flower garland back to Hambleton again in 2017.”
James Hutchinson, Managing Director and Clerk of the Course said:
“It’s one of our highlights of the season and something we build up to over a period with huge excitement. For the past six years the race has been won by Yorkshire trainers and the field is set to be full of talented Yorkshire sprinters once again”.
Racing on Saturday August 19th starts with the first of seven races at 2:05pm with entry from 11.30am. Racegoers can gain entry from just £7 per person in the ever popular Course Enclosure with FREE entry for accompanied u18’s into all enclosures.
Saturday’s musical entertainment on the bandstand is provided by The Otley Brass Band, together with a selection of rides such as bouncy castles and inflatables for children in the Course Enclosure alongside their permanent play area (weather dependant).
You can keep up to date with all the latest news and offers from the course on their social media pages, or by visiting their website.