The last chance to enjoy racing action at York in 2019 comes on Friday and Saturday (11 and 12 October). With prize money in excess of £400,000 on offer. Since 2014, the prize money for these two days has almost doubled in value, with all races seeing a boost in that time.
The feature of Friday, a handicap for three year old stayers backed by returning sponsor at York, RaceBets, is the twenty-first race of the York season to have a six figure prize pot, offering £100,000. Only in its fifth year, this race is intended to provide an autumn opportunity for the highly rated horses that may well have competed in the Sky Bet Melrose Stakes at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival. Last year’s winner, Elegiac, for trainer Mark Johnston, has had a truncated 2019 campaign.
The feature race of the Saturday meeting is also worth £100,000, the Coral Sprint Trophy, an ultra-competitive sprint handicap. Last year’s victor, Major Jumbo, has represented Kevin Ryan’s yard with credit in several Group One sprints this season.
The Listed Coral Rockingham Stakes, which showcased smart juvenile, Vintage Brut for Malton based, Tim Easterby last season, once again offers £50,000.
The ITV cameras will be at the track for both days, covering two races on Friday, including the £25,000 RaceBets Money Back 2nd 3rd 4th Stakes Handicap over a mile.
Friday will see the seventh staging of ‘Countryside Raceday’ with its biggest ever Countryside Market.
Looking to combine the delights of the rural life with the excitement of a raceday, the ‘Countryside Raceday’ on Friday will mean seven races being complemented by rural activity and products; including a sheepdog display. For those wishing to start their Christmas shopping early, there is a Countryside Market of local produce and crafts.
Friday’s card begins at 2pm and blends competitive handicaps with contests to develop the two year olds, as well as honing the talents of apprentice jockeys. Regular race sponsors on this day include TSG, the IT provider that supports the racecourse team. Regulars at York and visitors to the city will recognize The Parsonage Country House Hotel & Cloisters Spa at Escrick who return in support of a race on this day. The European Breeders’ Fund continue their backing of York with support of the contest for maiden two-year-olds that acknowledges their links to the Racing to School organisation. Completing a day of returning sponsors are Irish Thoroughbred Marketing and The Elevator Company.
Saturday’s quality seven race programme also begins at 2.05pm with the first of six races backed by Coral, a brand that first supported this day back in 1979. The last day of the season will mark the relationship with the Coldstream Guards Cup, courtesy of a middle-distance handicap that will bring the curtain down on 2019.
The meeting will also see the conclusion of the season long contests to be top jockey and trainer at York. In the Living North-sponsored jockeys’ race, northern based Danny Tudhope has continued his fine form at York and sits ahead of a chasing pack that includes Frankie Dettori, on seven winners.
The leaderboard of the Charles Clinkard Top Trainer at York is headed by John Gosden, with the Malton based, David O’Meara on his heels.
Racegoers will be able to enjoy the Chris Brown quartet or an upbeat Steel Band.