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Thousands flocking to view 'super-horse' Frankel at York Racecourse's Ebor Festival
TENS of thousands of people will descend on Knavesmire today as the Ebor Festival gets under way at York Racecourse.
The four-day event is expected to attract more than 90,000 visitors, with organisers today expecting record numbers as super-horse Frankel make his much-anticipated move up in distance in the Juddmonte International Stakes.
The world’s highest-rated champion racehorse, worth an estimated £100 million, is unbeaten in 12 races and will today tackle eight rivals, racing over a mile and a quarter for the first time.
Tomorrow thousands will attend Ladies Day, with fashion guru Jeff Banks selecting best-dressed racegoers with prizes up for grabs including jewellery, and holidays to Dubai and the Caribbean.
The Ebor meeting is one of the richest in the north of England, with prize money this year totaling almost £3 million.
James Brennan, the racecourse’s head of marketing, said he hoped numbers would exceed last year’s 90,000-crowds and likened the atmosphere among staff to that of Christmas Eve.
He said: “Everyone is attuned to just how special Frankel is and it is extremely exciting to have him here.
“But one horse an Ebor festival does not make. We have Frankel’s baby brother Noble Mission racing half an hour earlier and on Saturday we have the Betfred Ebor which is one of the strongest competitions of the year. We have something for everyone.”
Frankel’s appearance has revived memories of colt Brigadier Gerard, who won 17 of his 18 races, with his only loss coming at York in 1972.
Extra police will be on duty today and have vowed to take robust action against troublemakers.
Sergeant Ed Noble of the York West police team, said: “Obviously we want to welcome visitors to the racecourse and to the city and we want to make sure they have a good experience when they come to the races.
“However, we also want to make sure what is best for the community too.”
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