Jardine targeting Saturday's feature race at Thirsk with Alexander James

Thirsk Racecourse stages one of its biggest races of the year this Saturday, August 3, with the £30,000 William Hill Thirsk Summer Cup Handicap (4.00pm) headlining an excellent seven-race card.

First run in 2012, the William Hill Thirsk Summer Cup Handicap is always hugely competitive and three of the seven winners to date have been returned at double-figure odds.

The tremendous 39 entries include Mikmak, who has the chance to become the first dual winner of the mile contest following a dominant victory 12 months ago. One of three entries for Yorkshire trainer Tim Easterby, Mikmak produced his best performance of the campaign last time out when second in a 10-furlong handicap at Ripon on July 8.

Sir Michael Stoute has a 57 per cent strike rate at Thirsk over the last five years, with eight winners from 14 runners, and the Newmarket handler could be represented by Davydenko. Owned and bred by Cheveley Park Stud, Davydenko captured a mile novice race at Thirsk on June 3 before finishing down the field in the Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot on his latest start.

Fellow three-year-old Alexander James (Iain Jardine) is set for his first run in a handicap from a rating of 89. Following a 13-length debut victory on Fibresand at Southwell on April 29, the son of Camelot finished third in both a mile novice race at Thirsk on May 11 and a six-furlong novice event at Hamilton on June 6.

Jardine said today: "I am hoping the ground remains soft for Alexander James and the weather forecast looks pretty promising in that respect.

"He has not run for a while because we have been waiting for the right race with suitable conditions.

"I think he is a nice horse that is hopefully still on the upgrade. He won very well first time out at Southwell and his last couple of runs have been solid - he just needs soft ground.

"We dropped him back to six furlongs because he shows a bit pace and it is a real stiff finish there at Hamilton, especially on testing ground. He ran with credit and didn't disgrace himself, but I would think a mile is more like his best trip.

"He works like a 90-rated horse so whether we have anything to play with is another thing, but I would hope he will be competitive on his first run in a handicap."

Middleham trainer Mark Johnston has four entries to choose from. They include Seductive Moment, who bids for a three-timer at Beverley this afternoon following wins at Newmarket and Windsor in the last fortnight.

Other last time out winners among the entries include Ascot scorer Star Shield (David O'Meara), Lord Of The Rock (Lawrence Mullaney), who has not raced since winning on testing ground at Haydock Park in April, and recent Ripon victor Alfred Richardson (John Davies).

The going at Thirsk is currently Soft following 30mm of rain since Friday. The forecast is set to remain unsettled for much of the week.

Racing on Saturday, August 3 gets, underway at 1.45pm and ends at 5.10pm, with the gates opening at 11am.

There will be live music from the brilliant Ezee Goin' throughout the day, bouncy castles for the children, along with activities the whole family can enjoy.

All accompanied children aged under 18 gain free entry to Saturday's fixture. There is availability in all enclosures and admission prices start from £8.

Free parking is offered and the racecourse is less than a mile from Thirsk Station, from where a free shuttle-bus operates.

All the information needed by new and existing racegoers can be found on the racecourse's official website - www.thirskracecourse.net - where tickets can be bought, along with many special packages.

2019 Thirsk Racecourse remaining fixtures

Friday 9th August - James Herriot 'All Creatures Great & Small' Family Raceday - 11:30am/ 1:50pm/4:50pm

Friday evening 16th August - Racing & Scouting for Girls play after Evening Racing - 3:00pm/4:55pm/8:05pm

Friday 30th August - Pirates Family Day Raceday - 11:30am/1:30pm/5:15pm

Saturday 7th September - Ladies' Raceday - 11:00am/2:00pm/5:30pm

Monday 16th September - Season Finale Raceday - 11:30am/2:00pm/5:30pm

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