YORK Racecourse has reached the half way point in its 2017 season, as the ninth race meeting of 18 draws to a close.

Course chiefs estimate around 34,000 people will have gone through the turnstiles on the Knavesmire today - slightly down on last year's figure as many were kept away by poor weather forecasts.

The day drew to a close with Malton-based trainer John Quinn getting a winner in the last race, the John Smith's Stakes Nursery Handicap.

Earlier, Sir Michael Stoute had won the biggest race of the day the John Smith's Cup, while jockey James Doyle rode the winner in successive races.

The racecourse's marketing manager James Brennan said that despite the rain, York will still have seen the biggest racing crowd anywhere in the country today.

The course now faces a two week wait until the music showcase weekend with Jess Glynne, and staff will come back in on Monday and "dust themselves down" before getting on with more preparations, he added.

Today's meeting marked the half way point of the season and now the course has "turned for home" excitement is building for the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor festival in August.

"Now on race day, when the trainers and jockeys are here, the talk is all about which horses are doing well and which they are going to bring back for the big races in August," Mr Brennan said.

The 2017 season so far has seen the brand new day of racing with Olly Murs on July 1 attract around 43,000 people, while the Macmillan charity day raised a record £500,000, he added.