There’s fun for all at the annual Press Family Sunday at York Racecourse (Sunday 8 September), including valuable prize money for a seven-race thoroughbred card worth approaching £150,000.
The feature race, the Listed LNER supporting CALM Garrowby Stakes alone, backed by locally based train operator, LNER, in support of their charity partner, offers £50,000.
Back by popular demand to the day is children’s favourite, Chase, from the hit show, Paw Patrol, who will make appearances at intervals throughout the day on the Knavesmire.
The only Sunday of the season sees the return of the Finals as young riders take part in the Charles Owen Pony Racing Series.
It is a full day out for both the novice and regular racegoer and those under 18 years of age will be admitted free of charge into all enclosures, though the under 16s will need to be accompanied. Continuing from the previous years is the popular offer of a single admission combining both the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure with the improved Clocktower Enclosure for just £13. This will enable racegoers bringing a traditional picnic into the Clocktower Enclosure to enjoy their lunch and then take advantage of the special ‘picnic hamper cloakroom’ and then cross over the track to see the horses close up in the Parade Ring and sample the facilities on the stands side.
Also, for this special family meeting, the County Stand dress code is relaxed, with smart casual being the advice.
The action on the track begins at 12.50p.m. with a couple of races, the respective Conditions Finals in the 2019 Charles Owen Pony Racing Series, showcasing the talents of the next generation of riders.
Racing under rules starts at 1.50pm with the long term partners, Coopers Marquees backing a competitive looking handicap. At the close of play, the advertising agency used by the course, SHA & Carat, back an apprentice contest that forms part of the “Future Stars” Series created by Go Racing in Yorkshire.
In between, the card also remembers a regular York racegoer as the family and friends of Judith Marshall, continue to give their support to a race that carries her name.
Sprinters take part in the afternoon’s richest race, LNER supporting CALM Garrowby Stakes, this is the eighth running of this Listed race run over six furlongs, won last year by Limato for Henry Candy’s yard. Stayers have their opportunity in The Little Green Rascals Children’s Nurseries Stakes (a handicap contest over two miles), which sees the leading local nursery group continue on the roster of York supporter on the most appropriate of days. The sporting action also includes a chance for those whose specialism is the middle distance as Hanson Springs return to support the race run over the mile and a quarter trip.
The ongoing support of the European Breeders’ Fund is recognised in a pair of contests, part of their generous twenty-two race backing of the action at York of the season.
The final contest for the upcoming jockeys is part of the ‘Go Racing in Yorkshire’ Future Stars Apprentice Series – now in its seventh year – which culminates in a Final at Doncaster in November. Coming into this race, two time winner, Kieran Schofield, leads by three points from Harry Russell, but with the legs at York and Catterick plus the Final itself still to go, there are still enough races for the situation to change.
The Racing Interactive Zone will offer the chance to ride a virtual racehorse, to try on racing silks, question our experts and enter a colouring competition. Meanwhile, the retired racehorses are former stars of the track waiting to meet racegoers.
New this year is a range of Giant Inflatables such as the Giraffe Slide and Jungle Run, joining the perennial favourites, the bouncy castles, in the Big Top Entertainment Zone. The energetic can have a go at Zorb football, whilst those wanting a seat can take to the cab of one of the mighty machines from Diggerland.
Proven popular in recent years is Sam’s Safari, the chance to get close nature as well the face painting competition.
Younger racegoers can enjoy a Pony Ride either by using a voucher in the racecard or by paying a small charge. This is the only activity with a “top up charge” this year, after the Racecourse decided to include the other entertainments in the ticket price, bringing their operation more in-house and so not having the outdoor funfair rides this year.
‘Tommo’ – well-known broadcaster, Derek Thompson will share his knowledge of the sport. Listen out for his racing guide and be ready to say hello and see yourself on the big screens as he roams the stands.
Three-course Sunday lunches are being served from noon or you might want to enjoy a fresh sandwich on one of the many lawns; whatever your culinary choice, a great afternoon awaits.