Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Channel 4’s Emma Spencer revelling in ‘great meeting’ at York Racecourse
THERE’S no Frankel, but today’s Juddmonte International at York should still be a “great renewal”, says Channel 4’s Emma Spencer.
The 34-year-old, a key member of the TV team that will beam events from Knavesmire into homes across the country during the four-day Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival, will be the first person to greet the winning jockey as she gets his thoughts on the way back to the winner’s enclosure.
After the brilliance of Frankel 12 months ago, the £750,000 ten- furlong showpiece this time looks like being a match race between Al Kazeem and Toronado and Spencer can’t wait.
“It was an unbelievable experience,” she said of last year’s contest.
“Everywhere you looked people had iPads and cameras and were taking pictures. It was standing room only.
“It was amazing because you don’t get that many horses on the Flat that capture the imagination. People were getting into their positions 30 minutes before the start of that race.
“I sometimes take it for granted as well that I am the first person that greets Frankel and Tom Queally to do that interview alongside him. I’ve never really thought about that before.
“People are clamouring to get a photo and I’m right there saying ‘well done’. It’s a great meeting. There’s no Frankel this year but it still looks a great renewal.
“This race has kind of sneaked under the radar for Toronado but it hasn’t come totally out of the blue.
“Al Kazeem’s participation would have been good in itself with him going for a fourth Group 1 this year and looking to become the first horse to win the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, the Eclipse and the Juddmonte International in one year.
“That would have been a sight to see in itself but now we have got a match.”
Spencer, who was brought up at Breckenbrough, near Thirsk, as her parents, Jack and Lynda Ramsden trained in the area, added that York played an important part in her childhood.
“I live in Newmarket and there’s quite a difference,” she said. “There were 11 racecourses within an hour’s drive and it was quite close knit. I loved living there.
“York was only half an hour away and it was a social highlight. When I was 15 or 16, everyone went. York do an amazing job.
“I love it. It’s a great meeting. Outside of the Juddmonte, there is the Nunthorpe, the Ebor, the Gimcrack, the Lowther – it just goes on and on.
“You see the best horses there and I am really looking forward to it.”
• Channel 4 Racing: Ebor Festival, Wednesday, August 21 to Saturday, August 24 live daily from 1.35pm.
Comments are closed on this article.