York Racecourse is looking forward to the 65th John Smith’s Cup, for many the informal highlight of the season, offering betting excitement and summer fun.

Racegoers can relax into their weekend on the Friday of the meeting watching high quality action courtesy of the Group Three William Hill Summer Stakes as the £85,000 highlight of a seven-race card, worth over £250,000.

The feature sponsor will joust with the betting public across five further competitive handicaps, backed by William Hill, Irish Thoroughbred Marketing and leading accountancy group, Azets. Whilst a future star could be unearthed in Novice Fillies Stakes, one of twenty-two contests to be backed by the European Breeders’ Fun over York’s season.

On Saturday, the 65th running of the John Smith’s Cup takes centre stage; for connections the £200,000 prize money and bespoke Wedgewood Trophy are the focus, for the crowd it will be finding the winner from the likely 22 contenders.

Pointers towards the best sprinters aimed at the Group One  Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe will come from the Listed John Smith’s City Walls Stakes, with the winner of the G3 John Smith’s Silver Cup being one to watch ahead of staying contests at the Sky Bet Ebor Festival.

The hope of summer finally arriving means the lawns and County Stand Garden should prove popular, all have either a view of the track or a giant HD screen.

The same big screens will follow the major action from Newmarket, with Wimbledon available on dedicated televisions around the site. 

Musical entertainment from jazz to popular covers, will be found around the Stands including from the Melrose Stage, after racing.

The traditional selfie wall remains a focal point for some, on Saturday the additional 360-selfie camera will offer a free memento of a visit.

Picnics continue to be welcome in the Clocktower Enclosure with freshly made sandwiches. Cash and card payment accepted.

The ‘Punters’ Panel’ takes place prior to racing on both days from the winner’s podium as a preview to the action on each day, while now eight giant screens will provide racegoers with an even closer view of proceedings on the track.

As part of a series of initiatives to get closer to the sport, groups of racegoers will be able to enjoy accompanied, complimentary trips to the round course starts conducted by Robert Earnshaw, a man who won the Gold Cup. On Saturday, they will also have the chance to meet the equine ambassador to the Knavesmire, Remy, a retired racehorse, courtesy of equine charity, New Beginnings.

True to York’s reputation, a bottle of champagne will be available for £50. Other tastes are catered for with an extended range of craft beers including the new Ebor IPA, a brew created by Theakston just for the racegoers. Heineken 0.0 as a refreshing, zero alcohol option, with water available on a complimentary basis from all the main bars.