York Racecourse

10 things you might not know about the racecourse

1. The International Ratings 2012 rank the Group 1 Juddmonte International as the second highest rated race in the world. The race was won by Frankel, recently confirmed as the best thoroughbred in history according to the world rankings.

2. With an extensive array of flower beds, hanging baskets, flower boxes and feature displays, the racecourse comes alive with colour, scent and summer sunshine. All plants are reared from seed or seedling from the racecourse's own floriculture unit. The flowers are diligently cared for by York's Head Gardener, Zachery Rafferty.

3. During a memorable sporting summer, York hosted a visit from both the Olympic Torch and Paralympic Lantern. Former Olympian Harvey Smith carried the torch down the home straight in partnership with Paddy in front of over 20,000 spectators.

4. York has 180 stables, laid out in four quadrangles. The stables have been a temporary home to star racehorses from Brigadier Gerard to Sea The Stars and Frankel and one of the quads has contained the home green of Dringhouses Bowling Club since 1929.

5. The Wine List at the track won a national Award for its variety and value. Responding to customer requests for a high quality, affordable rosé wine, a member of the team visited the vineyards to help blend a rosé for the popular Duc de Richelieu range of house wines.

6. The course's Ebor Stand played Denton International Airport in a recording of the ITV detective drama A Touch of Frost. The BBC has also hosted features from the course, with former Blue Peter presenter Zoe Salmon learning to ride here

7. York has boasted many distinguished visitors, including Pope John Paul II, who said open-air mass for more than 200,000 pilgrims during his visit to Britain on May 31, 1982.

8. The course has seen many memorable finishes, including that of legendary highwayman Dick Turpin, who was hanged on the Knavesmire on April 19, 1739.

9. York's highest attendance for a race meeting was recorded in 1851, when a crowd estimated at 150,000 saw The Flying Dutchman, winner of the Derby and St Leger in 1849, beat Voltigeur, who took both races the following year, in the so-called Great Match. The modern era record is the 42,586 who attended one July Saturday in 2010.

10. The Princess Royal has ridden a winner here. She won the Queen Mother's Cup on Insular on June 11, 1988. Of course, Her Majesty the Queen was present for all days of Royal Ascot at York in 2005.

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