Despite the most recent Government announcement, the two days of the John Smith’s Cup meeting, Friday 9 and Saturday 10 July, did still take place whilst the nation remained under “Step 3 of the Government’s roadmap”.
Regrettably, this meant that attendance was still limited by Government, with just 4,000 racegoers able to join us for what was another memorable occasion in the 62-year history of this race.
Priority was given to Owners of the runners, Annual Badgeholders, limited hospitality guests and those who “rolled over” their 2020 booking.
As the key facilities that were used were those in the traditional County Stand areas, the remaining places were confirmed, based on the date of booking for the County Stand.
For those who made a booking for these days, this means:
- County Stand Bookings: please look out for an email sent well ahead of the meeting, that indicated the status of your booking:
a) confirming that a place had been offered a place in the limited crowd, or;
b) for those who booked County Stand after 3 June for Friday and 27 March for Saturday: unfortunately, the cap on numbers meant there was simply not space for them. The person who made the booking has been emailed with the offer of loyalty deals on a transfer to some future dates this season, or a rollover to July 2022, or a full refund- all the details were on the email.
- Grandstand & Paddock Bookings: with the exception of those who kindly “rolled over” their 2020 booking, regrettably, Grandstand & Paddock racegoers who booked in 2021 were not able to join us.
The person who made the booking has been emailed with the offer of loyalty deals on a transfer to some future dates this season, or a rollover to July 2022, or a full refund - all the details will be on the email. Please check SPAM folders, and ensure it is the email account used to make the booking.
Any requested refunds for 9 and 10 July are being processed by our small team and customers should begin to see refunds appearing on the statement of the payment card originally used, during w/c 5 July. This is an ongoing process. Where there is a query, for example if the original payment card has since expired, the team will make direct contact with the cardholder. Thank you for your patience.
Admission for eight days from 23 July remains available to advance book.
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.
· There are some Covid-19 pages to read, and then Terms & Conditions to accept.
What is on sale?
· A wide number of admission options for eight days - being Friday evening 23 July, Saturday 24 July, the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival (Wednesday 18 to Saturday 21 August), Sunday 5 September, Friday 24 September, Friday 8 October and Saturday 9 October, meaning:
o general admission to County Stand, Grandstand & Paddock - including Groups of 6+ and with our automatic “buy 20 get one free” deal;
o age concessions;
o four-day admission to the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival; and
o the most popular “meal deal top-ups”- being County Carvery, Fish ‘n’ Fizz and the Picnic Platters.
- Hospitality is available, subject to availability and protocols by raceday. Please enquire using [email protected]
What is NOT on sale?
· Given the situation, the Melrose Club Lounge, Premier Racing Lounge and certain top-ups are not currently being offered for new sales. 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. For the racedays in June, the Melrose Club Lounge operated successfully with a smaller capacity and revised menu. There will be an email in due course for those holding a rollover booking for the Premier Racing Lounge and Melrose Club Lounge for Music Showcase Weekend. County Stand customers for any relevant days, 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).
· Clocktower Enclosure is traditionally "pay on the gate", so it is not on sale in advance but will now be operating as normal for the remaining 2021 racedays.
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 23 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 18 August, the Sky Bet Ebor on Saturday 21 August and the John Smith’s Cup on Saturday 10 July. A full race programme is available on the website and in the usual racing publications, which would both reflect any amendments 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, as we 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; and
· expect fashion to still be part of the atmosphere.
Is Music Showcase Weekend happening as normal?
· The Music Showcase Weekend (23 and 24 July) is confirmed as a racing fixture.
· The artists set to perform have been announced as being Rick Astley for Friday evening 23 July, with McFLY due on stage after racing on Saturday afternoon, 24 July.
· The guidance for these racedays remains “hands, face, space, fresh air”. There will be hand sanitiser stations around the racecourse. Face coverings will be optional.
· Badges/tickets for this meeting will be despatched after the John Smith's meeting, so no sooner than w/c 12 July.
· If you booked for one of our 2020 Music Showcase Weekend racedays, please click here
for the email sent out on 5 May 2021.
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.
I “rolled over” my booking for July to October racedays, what does it mean for me?
· Thank you for your support. The "Government roadmap" currently places a number of these days as being amongst eight York racedays after the given date for a nationwide move to “Step 4” (currently being 19 July), 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?
· Government guidance is now that face coverings are optional but advisable, especially when indoors or in busy areas. York Racecourse will not be insisting that racegoers wear a face covering.
I am an existing Annual Badgeholder, what does it mean for me?
· Existing Annual Badgeholders remain to the fore of thinking and so are counted as part of any limited crowd. Consequently, we have welcomed Annual Badgeholders to three days already, starting with Saturday 22 May, and look forward to doing so again for both days of the John Smith’s meeting.
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 racedays in steps 3 and 4, from 23 July. Please enquire by email to [email protected]
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 (23 and 24 July) 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 will be open from Friday 23 July.
I have a specific question?
· We understand that not every query will have been answered here and 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. The main contact is [email protected]
For our latest information in regards to our remaining racedays please click here.