WHAT a time it is to be a Malton trainer, and what a time to take a sneak peek behind the scenes.
Almost 1,000 racehorses reside in the historic Ryedale racing company - encompassing the towns of Malton and Norton - and visitors can probably see them all on Sunday.
From the latest Group 1 winner, The Wow Signal, to the great Monet’s Garden, an invasion of thoroughbred fans will sweep across the yards of Richard Fahey, John Quinn, Brian Ellison and many more at the Betfair Malton Stables’ Open Day.
Ryedale racing is surfing a huge wave at present.
Fahey is the master of Musley Bank 200 strong yard, which houses such horses as Group 1 winner Garswood, Northumberland Plate winner Angel Gabrial and Baccarat, winner of Royal Ascot’s Wokingham Handicap.
Quinn continues to be a trainer on the rise while, all over the area, the stables are getting fuller and the winners are getting bigger. Now, for one morning, their doors are opened to all.
Twenty trainers will be providing an insight into their yards which will be complemented by demonstrations and exhibitions by vets, saddlers, farriers, equine dentists, retired racehorses, pupils of the Northern Racing College and much more.
Charity is the main winner with Jack Berry House, Racing Welfare, Malton Hospital and Yorkshire Air Ambulance will all benefiting from proceeds of admission, which is £10 with accompanied under-12s admitted free.
Tim FitzGerald, chairman of the Malton Racing Association, said he hopes as many as 4,000 visitors will turn out.
“The forecast looks good and we are all set,” he said. “It is all for a good cause and thanks go to everyone who has worked so hard to bring the day together, all our supporters and helpers, trainers and stable staff. Without them, it wouldn’t happen.
“We have given more than £10,000 to charity each year since the open day returned and, hopefully, it will be another fantastic occasion. The area really is on the up.
“There are more horses in Malton and Norton than there has ever been and there will be some great attractions for people to come and see. It takes a lot of organisation and Karon Brown has worked very hard (at organising the occasion).
“A lot of people have helped us and it is a great opportunity for people to come up to look and to get up close to the horses.”
Stables on Sunday will be open from 9am until 1pm with the exception of David O’Meara, at Nawton near Helmsley, who will have his gates ajar slightly earlier and will close at 11.30am.
Stars such as the reliable Penitent and Royal Ascot winner Louis The Pious will be on show, along with Custom Cut, a Group 3 winner at York’s Ebor Festival last week.
Fahey’s yard – only accessible through the park-and-ride system operating from Malton Market Place – is bound to be a popular port of call.
With the likes of Group 1 winner Garswood, Northumberland Plate winner Angel Gabrial and Baccarat, winner of Royal Ascot’s Wokingham Handicap, on display, the ever-expanding yard is expected to be very busy.
At Quinn’s historic Highfield yard, the chief attraction will be The Wow Signal, the brilliant winner of the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot who followed up at Deauville in France in the Group 1 Prix Morny for Quinn.
Visitors will be spoilt for choice in that corner. Malcolm Jefferson’s powerful jumps yard is close by, while across the road, Ollie Pears, Tony Coyle, Suzzanne France, Kristin Stubbs, Neville Bycroft, John Wainwright and Brian Ellison all have yards.
At the latter’s main base, Spring Cottage Stables, the trainer will be showing off not only his classy performer Top Notch Tonto, but also his new equine water walker - a valuable training add.
Horse whisperer Gary Witheford will again be in action, giving away his secrets at Tim Etherington’s Wold House Stables just up the road from Ellison’s yard.
Tim Easterby is opening all his three yards, while FitzGerald will once more house the hugely popular Monet’s Garden at his Norton Grange stables just over the bridge into Norton.
Other trainers also getting in on the act are Nigel Tinkler, Peter Niven, Lee James, Lawrence Mullaney, Mark Campion, Sara Ender, Julie Camacho and Brian Rothwell.
But it is not just about the yards. A series of afternoon events centre around the Rainbow Equine Clinic and Malton Market Place where, apart from a roadshow and exhibitions, a grand quiz - with trainers going up against the jockeys and a team from the Injured Jockeys’ Fund - gets under way at 2pm.
It’s a day that is not to be missed.