Beverley chief executive full of praise for Yorkshire’s racecourses

SALLY Iggulden has praised the co-operation of all Yorkshire racecourses as the sport returns to Beverley this afternoon.

Beverley will stage its first meeting behind closed doors today.

The chief executive of the idyllic Westwood track says this will be the most challenging of her career in racing to date.

But she is greatly encouraged by the weekly Zoom meetings that officials from every Yorkshire track have been staging in recent weeks – and the exchange of ideas on WhatsApp.

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And she told The Yorkshire Post that this is testament to the collective effort which has been taking place to ensure the sport’s safe return in the county following the success of Pontefract’s meeting yesterday – the first in the county since lockdown restrictions were lifted.

Racing resumes at Beverley today after the lockdown.

“They say ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’, and that statement has never been more true,” said Iggulden.

“We’re all anxious. We’re all nervous. I’ve organised 400 race meetings and this has been the most challenging.

“But we’re all keeping in touch and that suport has been superb.”

One idea shared was her suggestion to order 30 rubber wedges to place under doors so people don’t have to use handles to open and shut them.

“It is little things like this that have been so helpful as we all learn from the experiences of each other,” added Iggulden who has been working closely with Pontefract’s chief operating officer Richard Hammill.

Meanwhile course specialist Kylie Rules makes a welcome comeback on the track at Beverley.

Trained in North Yorkshire by Ruth Carr, the five-year-old daughter of Aussie Rules enjoyed a golden spring in 2019 with four consecutive victories on the Westwood.

The assessor has since intervened – Kylie Rules is now 25lb higher than when she began her winning spree last April – but Carr is optimistic of a bold bid in the Follow Us On Twitter for Raceday Updates Handicap (3.50).

Stillington-based Carr said: “She’s in good form, and she’s looking forward to getting back to what she does best.

“She’s as enthusiastic as ever and she’s ready to run. The problem is, though, that she’s now so high up in the handicap compared to last April.

“Things are probably going to be difficult for her this year, but she’s in great order and we’re looking forward to seeing her back racing.

“She doesn’t mind a bit of juice in the ground – she wouldn’t want it bottomless – but she never lets us down. I don’t imagine it will be any different this time.”

Kylie Rules is top weight for the extended one-mile race at Beverley and takes on 10 rivals, including course-and-distance winners Dawaaleeb and Poet’s Dawn.

She will once again be ridden by Jimmy Sullivan, who created a small piece of history when he won the first UK race since the sport returned from a 76-day hiatus at Newcastle on June 1.

Carr is also represented at Beverley by Athmad, who runs in the Visit Handicap (3.20) over seven and a half furlongs.

The four-year-old gelding will be having just his second start for new connections following his switch from Brian Meehan’s yard in March.

Carr said: “We’re still learning about him as he’s only had the one run for us at Newcastle.

“That said, a turning and slightly more interesting track might see him improve. We’re quietly pleased with him.”

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