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Excitement builds for Press Family Raceday at York Racecourse
FUTURE stars of the racing world will be competing at this weekend’s Press Family Raceday at York Racecourse.
Sunday’s event will host a pony race grand final for the first time in its history with 24 young jockeys going head to head in the final of the Charles Owen Pony Race series.
The pony races will take place alongside seven professional races on the day, with more than £100,000 of prize money at stake, as well as family entertainments including an appearance from Peppa Pig.
Staff at the racecourse have been hard at work preparing for the family raceday, the biggest Sunday race meeting in the country.
The racecourse’s James Brennan said: “It’s a lovely, special atmosphere at the family raceday, I think because it’s Sunday just as summer is drawing to a close, and because of all the children there. It’s a pleasure for us to work at.”
For the 14 to 16-year-old riders, racing in front of 20,000 adults and 5,000 children at Knavesmire is “all that an aspiring jockey dreams of,” Mr Brennan.
Anthea Morshead’s son, Henry, will be racing the pony class for the last time this year.
“Watching as a mother, the pony races are totally nerve-wracking. There’s not much difference between them and the professional jockeys – apart from the size of the riders and the horses,” she said.
The raceday opens at 11.15am on Sunday with free admission for accompanied under 16s.
Special £12 adult tickets will let racegoers into the Grandstand and Paddock Enclosure with the Course Enclosure, so families can take a picnic into the Course Enclosure then use the “picnic hamper cloakroom” and head over to the track to see the horses close up in the Parade Ring.
The County Stand dress code has been relaxed to “smart casual” for the family day, and action on the track begins at 1pm with the two pony race finals. Racing under rule starts at 2pm, and the racecourse will also be offering young fans pony rides and a chance to try out an Equisizer mechanical horse.
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