SUE SMITH’S De Boitron and Stagecoach Pearl head the 17 entries for Saturday’s Castleford Chase at Wetherby.
Both are course specialists – De Boitron won at the track in December last year while Stagecoach Pearl triumphed at the beginning of the month under young conditional Callum Bewley.
De Boitron, 11 on New Year’s Day, was a creditable fifth in Huntingdon’s Peterborough Chase on December 7 and could be a contender for the Byrne Plate at the Cheltenham Festival if he maintains form and fitness.
The Smith stable has a special affinity with the Castleford Chase after Mister McGoldrick triumphed in 2005 – it was the track where the steeplechasing star really excelled.
Graham Orange, the voice of Yorkshire Racing for almost 30 years, has been named the Yorkshire Racing Personality of the Year. He is due to retire next March after Doncaster’s Lincoln meeting.
Yorkshire riders Joe Fanning, Jason Hart and Graham Lee all collected Lesters at last night’s Professional Jockeys’ Association celebration.
Richard Hughes and Ryan Moore were also honoured for their high-profile successes on the Flat, while the NH roll of honour was dominated by AP McCoy and Lucy Alexander, who each won three awards.