York race course is under starter's orders for a fabulous two days of turf action.

But warnings have been issued to race goers travelling to the John Smith's Cup at the Knavesmire today and tomorrow.

Police will be out in force at the track for the event, which has been dogged by binge drinking problems in the past.

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "Extra police will be on duty both at the racecourse and the surrounding area to provide a reassuring presence.

"We also ask that race-goers take heed of our summer safety campaign, don’t drink to excess and ensure that both you and your friends stay safe and have a good time.

"The vast majority of race-goers enjoy the day in good spirits, please don’t let excessive alcohol consumption spoil an enjoyable occasion."

Police underlined the operation was to minimise disturbance to residents and ensure racegoers who want to enjoy York ’s nightlife afterwards, can do so safely.

Marketing Director James Brennan said it was sensible advice for anyone attending any sporting event and John Smith's had a sound track record on promoting sensible drinking.

He added: "We are looking forward to two days of an event which is a special thrill to race goers."