MALTON’S open day is returning after a one-year absence, and has been relaunched as the ‘Malton Festival of Racing’.

The stables open day will be staged on Sunday, September 17, the day after Doncaster Racecourse has staged the St Leger.

Sponsored by Arena Racing Company, it will give Northern racing fans the chance to get up close and personal with some of the country’s leading equine stars, as well as enabling them to go behind-the-scenes at the yards of some of Yorkshire’s best-known trainers.

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Fifteen yards in the Malton area will be opening their doors, with Richard Fahey, Brian Ellison, Mick Easterby and David O’Meara all confirmed participants.

“I’m looking forward to opening Musley Bank for the Malton Festival of Racing,” said Fahey. “It’s fantastic to see this event returning to the calendar, and there will be a warm welcome for every visitor to the yard.”

After meeting trainers, stable staff and racehorses in the morning, visitors will be able to enjoy a range of afternoon attractions including a jockey’s relay show-jumping competition, a racing question-and-answer session in Malton market place, a racing personalities’ dog show and hobby horse races for stable staff.

There will be food, drink and shopping stalls in the market-place, with proceeds from the event going to the Racing Welfare charity.

“The Malton Festival of Racing, incorporating the Stables Open Day, is a key event for the horse-racing industry in the area,” said Sarah Fanning, regional welfare manager for the North at Racing Welfare.

“It helps to highlight the success of racing in the North of England, and provides a special opportunity for racing fans and local people to see the hard work that takes place behind the scenes in the sport.”

Tickets for the Malton Festival are priced at £10 for adults and £7.50 for concessions, with anyone aged 16 and under free of charge. Tickets are available from www.maltonfestivalofracing.co.uk.


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ROYAL ASCOT winner Benbatl is set to return to Group One company in next month’s Juddmonte International at York.

After staying on strongly to finish fifth behind Wings Of Eagles in the Derby, the Godolphin-owned colt progressed again to land the mile-and-a-quarter Group Three Hampton Court Stakes at the Royal meeting.

He has already come close on the Knavesmire, finishing second to Permian in the Dante Stakes, and is being lined up for a return to York on the opening day of next month’s Ebor meeting.

“He’s doing good,” said trainer Saeed bin Suroor. “We gave him an easy time after the race (at Ascot). He’s in the Juddmonte at York – a mile-and-a-quarter at this time is best for him.

“He’s improving all the time, and next year he’ll be a better horse. We’ll talk to Sheikh Mohammed – he’s coming to Newmarket soon – then we’ll make a decision.”