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In the saddle for a feast of racing at York's Ebor Festival
TENS of thousands of people are expected at Knavesmire over the next four days as the Ebor Festival gets under way.
The event is expected to attract up to 90,000 visitors, with 17,500 racegoers due tomorrow and attendance expected to grow towards the final day on Saturday.
Last year attracted record numbers to see the world’s highest-rated champion racehorse Frankel win the Juddmonte International Stakes.
While tomorrow is Ladies’ Day, this year there will be an emphasis on fashion throughout the festival, with well-dressed racegoers invited to take to the catwalk at the Fashion At The Ebor tent for the chance to win prizes including a holiday to Dubai.
The Ebor meeting is one of the richest in the north of England, with prize money this year totaling more than £3.2million and tomorrow’s Juddmonte International Stakes alone reaching £750,000.
James Brennan, the racecourse’s head of marketing, likened the atmosphere at the course the day before the races to Christmas Eve.
He said: “It’s the highlight of our year and we hope it lives up to that billing. It follows on from the marvellous day Frankel gave us last year. New winners will be crowned.” Mr Brennan said five tonnes of ice would be used to keep drinks and seafood cool, and 10,000 rounds of sandwiches and 2,000 Whitby crab prepared.
Extra police will be on duty to tackle any alcohol-related disorder.
As in previous race meetings temporary closure orders will be in place shortly before and after the races stopping crowds from using Scarcroft Hill, Telford Terrace and Wentworth Road, diverting racegoers up Albemarle Road on to The Mount.