York’s two-day Music Showcase weekend on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon (July 26 & 27), supported by Sky Bet, combines Pattern race quality action on the track and live performances on the music stage, so it is no surprise that each event has a track record of being the best attended meeting of its type, in the country.
Given the forecast for a sunny week ahead, racegoers in County Stand are being advised that a formal jacket is not required, however Gentlemen still need to wear a collared shirt and tie.
An act that has already sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, will perform after racing on Friday evening 26 July, as Tears For Fears will be on stage.
After racing on Saturday 27 July, James Arthur, a northern pop powerhouse, with a string of hits including the Number Ones, "Impossible" & "Say you won't let go" will perform.
The only evening fixture of the season at York gets underway at 6.00 pm on Friday with gates opening at 4pm.
The highlight of a six race card has prize money of £125,000; is the eleventh running of a Listed race for fillies and mares, the British Stallion Studs EBF Lyric Stakes. On its own, it offers an impressive prize fund of £50,000 and is one of twenty-two contests on the Knavesmire this year supported by The European Breeders’ Fund. Last year’s race was won by the Juddmonte Farms owned, Desert Diamond, giving Sir Michael Stoute a third success in the race (after Diploma in 2016 and Nouriya in 2010) and a first win for jockey, Oisin Murphy.
Also featured on a Friday evening this year is a handicap contest over five and a half furlongs that demonstrates Sky Bet’s commitment to the sport as they help celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Professional Jockeys Association.
Both days form part of the Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival, an initiative that links the eight flat courses in the county, over nine days of fantastic sport. The Leeds based online betting firm have also taken the chance to demonstrate their support for racing in the County by backing this entire week.
Saturday’s quality seven-race programme means the prize money for the two days will approach £400,000. The action starts at 2-05 p.m. with the entire card sponsored by Sky Bet – the Leeds based firm who are also the sponsors of the first £1m Ebor Handicap at York.
The principal race on Saturday is the fourteenth running of The Sky Bet York Stakes, with prize money of £120,000; this Group 2 contest is run over the extended one mile and a quarter. Won to emotional scenes last year by Thundering Blue, a first pattern race victory for the star of David Menuisier’s yard who returned to York to take third place in the Group One Juddmonte International. So watch for this year’s champion in the richest race of York’s season, the £1,000,000 Juddmonte International on Wednesday 21 August.
Also featured on Saturday’s strong card is the fastest race of the two days, the Sky Bet Dash. This £50,000 sprint is over six furlongs. Last year’s winner was Flying Pursuit, who defended the race won in 2017 for Malton-based trainer Tim Easterby, though Nathan Evans and Rachel Richardson share the rider credits.
Several giant screens will enable racegoers to enjoy even more of the action from both the track and the stage on both days, as well as following the action from the other big Saturday race meeting at Ascot.
Away from the main stage, there will be music from both Doctor Thirsty and The Monotones. The popular ‘Punter’s Panel’ takes place prior to racing helping racegoers to identify possible winners.