Category Archives: York


York is back in action with the first Saturday of its eighteen day season (May 26).

As with every afternoon at York, the total prize money is into six figures, on this occasion over £225,000 for the seven race card, with a brand new feature race worth £90,000.

The Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Brontë Cup is the newest of York’s thirty Pattern races, it is a Group Three for older fillies and mares over one and three quarter miles and forms part of a wider initiative to encourage such horses to stay in training.

This is the first opportunity for weekend racegoers to explore the latest improvements to the racegoing experience at York, such as the new Clocktower Enclosure in the centre of the course with its new facilities, infrastructure and landscape.

The first of seven Saturday afternoon fixtures this season on the Knavesmire, the day welcomes back MansionBet – this time as sponsors of the £50,000 sprint handicap. Such races are as popular with Yorkshire trainers as with Yorkshire racegoers so expect a number of the runners to hail from the white rose county.

The Yorkshire Regiment, also return to put their name to a contest for novice two-year-olds and away from the track, the Regimental Band will entertain racegoers. It is also part a racing scheme known as Plus 10, meaning that there is a bonus of £10,000, awarded to the winning connections, if the horses are qualified.

The Infinity Tyres Irish Champions Weekend EBF Fillies Stakes is one of 23 races at York to also benefit from the generous support of The European Breeders’ Fund.

Brittains Beverages who produce extraordinary spirits, including local vodka and now both rum and gin, are the backers of a middle distance handicap. Gentleman amateur riders have their opportunity in the final race of the afternoon, a handicap contest over seven furlongs, sponsored once again by York-based John Wright Electrical Services Ltd, who have worked on the facilities at the racecourse. The team behind the stewarding at the track, Constant Security, support a handicap over seven furlongs.

Racegoers will have the chance to get close to a racehorse as Yorkshire based equine charity; New Beginnings are bringing Harry, (a thoroughbred who raced here in 1994 using his professional name of Golden Hello) as well as his friend Meg the pony.

The relaxed atmosphere of the first weekend fixture is further enhanced with live musical entertainment provided by the Band of the Yorkshire Regiment on the Weighing Room Lawn and Murphy’s Marbles under the Knavesmire Stand. The upbeat style of The Monotones provides the soundtrack to the late afternoon.

The totepool ‘Punters Panel’ will preview the action before racing from the winners’ enclosure, while a new giant screen on the John Carr Terrace will provide racegoers with an even closer view of proceedings on the track.

Those who want to find out more about this raceday and the season ahead can visit York’s website on<>

York Racecourse announces Al Basti Equiworld Dubai as new sponsor for Dante Stakes

York Racecourse is delighted to announce Al Basti Equiworld Dubai as the new sponsor of both the Group 2 Dante Stakes and the Group 2 Middleton Stakes, staged on the middle day of the Dante Festival 2019.

In a three year extension of the current partnership, the Dubai based business, founded by Malih Al Basti, will add the two feature contests to the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes which is already part of its high class sponsorship portfolio.

As an indication of a commitment to innovation, Al Basti had previously agreed to back a brand new Group 3 contest on the Knavesmire. The inaugural running of the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Brontë Cup will be this coming Saturday (26 May). There is £90,000 of prize money on offer to older fillies and mares over the staying distance of 1 mile & six furlongs.

The brand is already globally recognised as the leading provider of a wide range of equine products, and this latest support will further raise that profile, as the Dante is widely recognised as the premier trial for the Investec Derby, with ten colts having previously done the York/Epsom double.

As the racing world awaits news of whether the 2018 winner of the Dante, Roaring Lion, will head to Epsom or Chantilly; this announcement draws to a close the successful partnership with Betfred, for which the track is most grateful.

Trainer of Roaring Lion, John Gosden, also secured the 2018 Betfred Middleton Stakes courtesy of Coronet, and the impressive filly looks likely to return to Royal Ascot where she has already tasted Group 2 success. A strong performance in Berkshire would confirm a longer term planned return to the Knavesmire for the Darley Yorkshire Oaks on 23 August.

Racing connections at York are already familiar with Al Basti Equiworld, as the brand has backed the new Owners’ Welcome Building since it opened in 2015, as well as the main Owners and Trainers Restaurant and the Winning Connections Building.

Founder of the business, Malih Al Basti, is particularly keen to recognise the work done by both jockeys and racing staff; so the partnership continues to provide appropriate food for the jockeys and a complimentary meal for racing staff with a runner.

Speaking about the agreement, York Racecourse Chairman, Lord Grimthorpe said, “The Dante is a race that regularly showcases a real equine talent, so it is very exciting news that Malih and the rest of the team at Al Basti Equiworld share my enthusiasm for this famous contest.”

Summing up the partnership, Malih Al Basti said, “York Racecourse works hard to support horsemen and I share their commitment to Owners, Trainers, Jockeys and Racing Staff so I was keen to back their efforts. The Dante and indeed the Middleton are races that echo around the racing world and I am proud that they will now carry our name.”

Lord Grimthorpe also took the opportunity to acknowledge the role of the outgoing sponsors, saying, “both races have benefitted from the support of Fred Done and his team and everyone at York is hugely grateful for their backing. The highlight on the track was probably the victory of Golden Horn who went on to take the blue riband and amongst the fillies, the success of Midday will always be a special memory for me”.



EVE Johnson Houghton will hand On To Victory his stiffest assignment to date when saddling him for the Group 2 MansionBet Yorkshire Cup on the Knavesmire this Friday.

The four-year-old gelding is proving quietly progressive and opened his 2018 campaign with a close-up second in a Listed race at Nottingham.

He has subsequently been raised 5lb, to a career-high rating of 108, and Johnson Houghton feels there is more to come from her charge, who only went down by a neck on his seasonal return.

The Blewbury-based trainer said: “He needed that. He has come on a ton for the run. It’s a long season – he wasn’t wound up for that.”

Even so, Johnson Houghton is aware that her Gold Cup at Royal Ascot entry will have to improve again to be similarly competitive at York – especially if last year’s Goodwood Cup hero Stradivarius is declared for the £165,000 mile and three-quarter contest, which is part of the British Champions Series.

Johnson Houghton said: “Whether he is quite up to beating Stradivarius time will tell. But he is a very progressive horse and I think he’ll improve all year.

“We’ll know where we’re going after this race. If he’s not good enough for the Gold Cup then we’ll come back for the Sky Bet Ebor.”

The MansionBet Yorkshire Cup is one of three Pattern races on Friday’s seven-race card.

The opener at 2.20pm is a £50,000 Listed race for two-year-olds – the Langleys Solicitors British EBF Marygate Fillies’ Stakes.

That is followed by another £50,000 Listed contest, this time for three-year-olds over a mile – the Longines Irish Champions Weekend Fillies’ Stakes.

The Dante Festival at York runs from Wednesday, May 16 to Friday 18 May  inclusively.