York’s two-day Music Showcase weekend on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon (July 28 & 29), 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.
Grammy award winner, Jess Glynne is set to play on the evening of Friday 28 July, entertaining the Knavesmire crowd with her five number one singles.
After racing on Saturday 29 July, All Saints, chart toppers themselves and special guests on the recent Take That “Wonderland” Tour, will be the headline act. The all-girl quartet are recognisable for their harmonious brand of pop that has led to number one singles such as “Never Ever” as well as two Brit Awards and a recent album, Red Flag.
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 valuable six race card is the ninth running of a Listed race for fillies and mares, the British Stallion Studs EBF Lyric Stakes offering an increased prize fund of £50,000 and one of twenty-one contests on the Knavesmire this year supported by The European Breeders’ Fund. Last year’s race was won by Diploma, another smart sort in the colours of HM The Queen, from the yard of Sir Michael Stoute.
Also featured on a Friday evening card now worth over £110,000 is a handicap contest over five and a half furlongs that demonstrates Sky Bet’s commitment to The Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival, as this meeting is part of the initiative that links the eight flat courses in the county, over nine days of fantastic sport.
Apprentice jockeys are in the spotlight in the opening race, The Think as One Stakes, with two-year-olds being the rationale for The Best One Xtra Local Median Auction Novice Stakes; whilst a competitive handicap takes the name of Irish Thoroughbred Marketing. A much missed York Annual Badgeholder , Tom Parsons, is remembered by just the sort of handicap that he enjoyed solving.
Saturday’s quality seven-race programme means the prize money for Saturday will exceed £250,000. The action starts at 2.05 p.m. with the entire card sponsored by Sky Bet – the Leeds based firm who are regular supporters of York and also one of the leading horseracing, gaming and sports betting companies in the U.K.
The principal race on Saturday is the twelfth running of The Sky Bet York Stakes, at a record prize money offering of £120,000 (up by £20,000); this Group 2 contest is run over the extended one mile and a quarter. Won last year by Time Test, a thoroughbred now running in Group One races in the USA, still in those famous Juddmonte silks. According to recent history Saturday’s victor could reappear in the best race in Great Britain and the richest race of York’s season, the £1,000,000 Juddmonte International on Wednesday 23 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 Kimberalla, yet another of the quality sprinters trained by David “Dandy” Nicholls whose passing sees the horse now in the care of fellow Yorkshire handler, Richard Fahey.
Former racehorses now in the care of ‘New Beginnings’, a Yorkshire-based charity, are in attendance on Saturday, enabling racegoers to see them at close hand.
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 and Test Match cricket from The Oval.
Away from the main stage, there will be music from both Doctor Jazz and The Monotones. The popular ‘Punter’s Panel’ takes place prior to racing helping racegoers to identify possible winners.
For the best in racing and live music York is the perfect venue.