Corks popped as race-goers turned out in force to give The Sport of Kings a champagne welcome back to York.

Knavesmire was packed with more than 25,000 spectators enjoying the sunshine, a glass of bubbly, and the action on the course on Saturday.

The stands were fizzing with excitement from when the gates opened at 11.15am for the May Spring Meeting.

There were gasps of disbelief when the main event of the day, Stowe Family Law LLP Grand Cup, ended in a rare dead heat between Malton-trained Clever Cookie and Ralston Road from Ireland.

The other drama of the afternoon centred on Mansfield-based bin cleaner Craig Brazier - who won £1.3 million on the horses last weekend.

He missed out on the chance to double his winnings on a bonus race by betting on Tumbleweed to win the 2.50pm only to see him overtaken by Top Boy.

It meant that the £5.5 million jackpot was shared between three ticket holders representing large syndicates.

It was the first Saturday of racing at York – which resumes on Friday the 13th for the June Meeting which since 1971 has raised nearly £6 million for good causes.

Marketing manager James Brennan said: “Given the weather we have had over the bank holiday it was just a great relief for everyone to get outside.”