Thirsk ….

The home of James Wight – better known as James Herriot, the renowned author.

The birthplace of Thomas Lord – the founder of the most famous cricket ground in the world.

And, according to the local website, the home to the picturesque country racecourse that stages high quality flat racing.

Now, every bit of the above is true, although racing aficionados may elect to dispute the final clause!

However, to me it represents a particularly personal holy grail.

Since Alarico won at Lingfield on 28th January 1997, I have managed to secure at least one winner at all the currently operational racecourses in England, Wales and Scotland. And also managed to saddle horses first passed the post at the now defunct Folkestone and Hereford.

This is with one exception, Thirsk.

The small town in North Yorkshire with a population of less than 5,000, is the one racecourse that has failed to provide me a winner …. and it’s not as if I’ve not tried!

Since Prairie Law ran down the field in September 2004, I have sent many runners on the long road to Thirsk without success.

Whilst the racing business is obsessed with statistics, and it is sport that lends itself to analysis by figures, it would be an especially proud moment for me personally if I could add a Thirsk winner to my CV and complete a full-set of courses in the UK at which I have been successful.

I, for one, cannot think of another currently licensed trainer that has managed this feat.

But Thirsk is my mission now!