News

2021 SEASON - COMMON QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Reviewed at 10am Monday 19th April.

With the Racecourse buildings gradually returning to life, in accordance with Government requirements, there is a more optimistic outlook for the summer months.

It is encouraging for everyone that the hard work behind both the scientific data and the ongoing vaccination programme give cause for genuine optimism. The "Government roadmap" places twelve York racedays comfortably after the given date for a nationwide move to “step 4” (currently being 21st June) so there is an expectation that there should be an easing of the restrictions on social contact from that date, offering the ability to welcome racegoers.


Consequently, York Racecourse is pleased to offer something to look forward to, by putting admission on sale for the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival (Wednesday 18th - Saturday 21st August) and eight other racedays, from July to October.

The website looks different to the one I remember?

  • The customer ticket booking process has been updated to respond to the increasing number of visits from mobile devices.
  • Customers can now follow a simple system of “tiles and drop downs”, to first choose their raceday and then their ticket type.
  • The latest generation of York Racecourse Gift Vouchers, launched in December 2020, can be redeemed online. The older paper vouchers are still valid and holders will need to follow the previous system by contacting the bookings team to redeem them.
  • The ticket delivery options for Grandstand & Paddock, now include an electronic ticket to be printed at home or held on a phone.

What is on sale?

  • The admissions on sale have been aligned to the “steps” in the Government “roadmap”.
  • In the first instance, only admission for the twelve days that fall after “step 4” (given by Government as no sooner than 21st June), meaning; Friday 9th July, Saturday 10th July, Friday evening 23rd July, Saturday 24th July, the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival (Wednesday 18th - Saturday 21st August), Sunday 5th September, Friday 24th September, Friday 8th October, Saturday 9th October.
  • General admission to County Stand, Grandstand and Paddock - including Groups of 6+ and with our automatic “buy 20 get one free” deal.
  • Age concessions.
  • Four day admission to the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.
  • The most popular “meal deal top-ups”- being County Carvery, Fish ‘n’ Fizz and the Picnic Platters.
  • Hospitality is available for ALL days from 22nd May please enquire using events@yorkracecoursehospitality.co.uk

What is NOT going on sale?

  • Given the uncertainties, the Melrose Club Lounge and Premier Racing Lounge and certain top-ups, are not currently being offered for sale. The strong number of “rollover customers” when considered with the limited physical space in these unique areas, as well as the nature of serving food and drinks within them, needs further consideration. Those booking for County Stand will be offered the chance to upgrade, should capacities allow.
  • Three day admission for the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival in any enclosure (existing purchasers are thanked for their patience ahead of further advice).

Will the races themselves be the same? And on the same day?

  • The intention is to run seven races on each day, including on the three weekdays of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival. The only exception is Friday evening 23rd July which traditionally hosts a six-race card.
  • This year the feature races are expected to be run on their usual days; as examples, the Group 1 Juddmonte International on Wednesday 18th August, the Sky Bet Ebor on Saturday 21st August and the John Smith’s Cup on Saturday 10th July. A full race programme will appear on the website and in the usual racing publications, as the days draw closer.

What can I expect to be the same on a raceday?

Much of the detail will evolve as we respond to the protocols applicable at the time, so work with Government and our local partners, however as an indication of broad themes:

  • At the heart of the day it will still be the live sporting action, with the usual number of exciting contests scheduled.
  • A warm Yorkshire welcome is assured.
  • There will be the opportunity to enjoy some locally sourced food, served using the best practice from restaurants and eateries.
  • Toasting a winner or drowning a sorrow will still be possible, though everyone will be expected to behave responsibly.
  • Having a bet will still be part of the challenge though the mechanism may adapt to the circumstances.
  • Expect fashion to still be part of the atmosphere.

What might change?

  • As much detail is yet to be confirmed by Government, a full Code of Conduct and Guide to the Experience will both be sent to racegoers nearer to their attendance date. Up to 72 hours before a raceday, customers retain the right to request a full refund in relation to any Covid-19 protocols which may be required.
  • Expect similar sorts of measures as you might encounter in other retail and leisure venues; for example extra hand sanitiser points, potentially one-way systems, managed queuing, limited numbers in lifts or on escalators, bigger spacing in both the viewing and seating areas. Perhaps more takeaways, disposable items. A recognition that participants, such as jockeys, may need to stay in their “green zone bubble”. These will adapt to the “roadmap steps”

Is Music Showcase Weekend happening as normal?

  • The Music Showcase Weekend (23 & 24 July) is confirmed as a racing fixture. However, the additional complexities of the combined nature of a racing and music event does mean that the concert aspect is yet to be confirmed. More details about this and any announcement of music artists will appear on the website or by following our social media channels. Thank you for your understanding.

What if a raceday is cancelled because of a change to the “roadmap” or other Covid-19 matters?

  • All bookings come with both a money back guarantee and the assurance that York Racecourse will observe whatever Covid-19 measures are expected, at the time of the racedays. Up to 72 hours before a raceday, customers retain the right to request a full refund in relation to any Covid-19 protocols which may be required. It would be automatically offered if guidance meant a paying crowd were no longer permitted.

What about the racedays in May and June?

  •  Our thinking has been guided by the “steps” in the Government “roadmap”.
  • Unfortunately, the Dante Festival (Wed 12th - Friday 14th May) is scheduled to operate as a “behind closed doors” event as it falls within “step 2” of the roadmap guidelines. People who kindly rolled over their booking should have been contacted by email with the offer of a transfer to later in the season, a further rollover or a full refund. The ITV cameras will show four feature races each day, with Racing TV subscribers able to enjoy all twenty-one contests.
  • The three York racedays in May and June (Saturday 22nd May, Friday 11th and Saturday 12th June) that fall under the current “step 3” roadmap dates (17 th May - 21st June), are set to have a limited crowd. As further detail is still expected from Government, more information will follow in due course.
  • Those particularly keen to attend one of these dates should consider having the extra treat of an afternoon in one of our hospitality restaurants. These will be open for “rollover “bookings, so there should be some extra capacity within the limited crowd numbers. Please enquire by email to events@yorkracecoursehospitality.co.uk

Why can’t you just move the Dante Festival to run a week later, so under “step 3”?

  • Though we both share and applaud the enthusiasm of this request, sadly it would not be possible. As you might appreciate, in the racing world, the very quality of the runners at Dante sees them progress to the Classics and Royal Ascot, so the wider season would need to be rescheduled. There also remains the risk, as clearly articulated by the Prime Minister, that the dates of the respective steps might yet slip, so a later Dante Festival could still find itself under step 2 protocols.

I “rolled over” my booking for May 22nd, June 11th and 12th - what does it mean for me?

  • Thank you for your support. As your chosen raceday falls under the current “step 3” roadmap dates (17th May - 21st June), these are set to have a limited crowd. Given your support by “rolling over” your booking, you are a priority for access. As further detail is still expected from Government more information will follow in due course, for example around how we will address “meal deals”. So, please check the website or follow our social media channels for updates.

I “rolled over” my booking for July to October racedays, what does it mean for me?

  • Thank you for your support. The "Government roadmap" places your chosen day as amongst twelve York racedays after the given date for a nationwide move to “step 4” (currently being 21st June) so there is an expectation that there should be an easing of the restrictions on social contact from that date, offering the ability to welcome racegoers in greater numbers. Given your support by “rolling over” your booking, you are a priority for access and need take no further action. As further detail is still expected from Government, more information about the raceday experience, will follow in due course. Please check the website or follow our social media channels.

Will I be expected to wear a face covering?

  • The expectation to wear a mask will adopt the wider requirements set out by Government and best practice, at that time.

Will I be expected to take a Covid-19 test or to show a vaccination certificate?

•    These are questions still being considered by Government in relation to all venues and may vary at different points of the summer. York Racecourse will expect racegoers to comply with any guidance applicable at the time of a given raceday.

I am an existing Annual Badgeholder, what does it mean for me?

  • Existing Annual Badgeholders, meaning those who generously “rolled over” their 2020 subscription are to the fore of thinking and so planning. Consequently, we are planning for their return for all the fifteen racedays from Saturday 22nd May as we intend to count Annual badgeholders as a key component of the limited crowd permitted from “step 3 “of the Government “roadmap”. More details on the experience of those days is awaited from Government.  This, as well as decisions around the “green zone” for jockeys/trainers/stable staff/officials, will affect how some areas of the racecourse can be opened. An appropriate credit for the Dante Festival which has to operate behind closed doors, will be made towards 2022 subscriptions.
  • People who held an Annual Badge in 2019 who did not renew for 2020 are thanked for their patience and asked to await further information. As the situation about future capacities is clarified, we hope to be in a position to recognise their previous support.

Can I book hospitality?

  • Why not consider having the extra treat of an afternoon in one of our hospitality restaurants. These will be open for all fifteen racedays in step 3 and 4, so from Saturday 22nd May. Please enquire by email to events@yorkracecoursehospitality.co.uk.

Do children under 16yo need an advance booked admission badge/ticket?

  • The next generation of racing fans are always welcome and for the vast majority of racedays, those aged under sixteen do NOT need to buy an admission in advance. The only exception is Music Showcase Weekend (July 23rd & 24th) when those aged 4-15yo will need a special £10 admission. These are a prompted top up purchase when buying adult admission for these two days.

What about the Clocktower Enclosure?

  • As this is traditionally a “pay on the gate” area, it is yet to be put on sale.

I have a specific question?

  • We understand that not every query will have been answered here, we hope to have addressed the main ones. Most other questions are likely to require further clarity from Government before we are able to give a measured answer, thank you for your understanding. Please do submit your question as we would hope to answer them all in future updates to our information, though the team may well have no immediate further information. Main contact is enquiries@yorkracecourse.co.uk

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