YORK Racecourse has promised "spectacular racing action" ahead of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.

Fans are set to return to the flagship event which is taking place from Wednesday, August 18 until Saturday, August 21.

The race programme and prize money on offer for the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival stands at £4.7m - more than double which was on offer in 2020.

William Derby, chief executive and clerk of the course, told the Racing Post that there could be as many as 83,000 spectators at the four day event. That's the number of racegoers who attended Ebor 2019.

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Mr Derby said: "The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival is simply the highlight of our year and has been much missed by many for two years now.

"With the return of spectators and the prospect of some spectacular racing action, we are all set for our flagship event and cannot wait to welcome everybody back to the Knavesmire.

"I very much hope racegoers, connections, bettors and viewers will enjoy the feast on offer.”

With days to go until the flagship meeting gets underway, here's a rundown of what racegoers can expect.


Four day badges for all of the County Stand, Grandstand & Paddock and Clocktower Enclosure have sold out. 

Tickets for the Juddmonte International on Wednesday, August 18 are available online. 

You can still get an array of tickets for the Darley Yorkshire Oaks and Ladies Day event on Thursday, August 19.

Meanwhile on Friday, August 20, there is still capacity for the Coolmore Nunthorpe raceday.

For Saturday's races, the County Stand and Grandstand & Paddock Enclosures have reached full capacity. But limited tickets are available at the Clocktower Enclosure.


The flagship Group 1 contests have been restored to their record 2019 levels, with the £1m Juddmonte International - the Longines World’s Best Race, the £400,000 Darley Yorkshire Oaks and the Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe.

An analysis of all the Black Type race values combined places them within 8 per cent of those record levels of 2019.

The meeting as a whole returns to 88 per cent of the pre-Covid levels - a high bar as 2019 was a record year.

The minimum prize for any race will be £70,000 – the highest amount for any flat festival this summer.

For the first time, 14 of the 28 races will be run for a six figure or more purse.

This year will be the first occasion that racegoers will enjoy a 28-race programme with seven races on each day. Previously there were six races on the midweek racedays.

There is also the £70,000 Irish Thoroughbred Marketing backed 5-furlong sprint handicap for fillies and mares on the Wednesday, 7-furlong European Breeders’ Fund nursery on the Thursday and 10 furlong Assured Data Services EBF Fillies’ handicap on the Friday.

The Sky Bet Ebor remains Europe’s richest flat handicap, worth more than double any other flat handicap in Britain and will be run at its 2018 level of £500,000.  The Sky Bet Melrose for three-year-olds retains its record prize money level of 2019, being £125,000 as they contest the same trip on Saturday, with the winner assuring their berth in the Sky Bet Ebor of 2022.

Highlights at Ebor

Other highlights include the Group 2 Sky Bet City of York Stakes which will be run at a Group 1 value of £200,000.

The two flagship Group 2 juvenile races, the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes and Sky Bet Lowther, with both to be run for more than double minimum values at £150,000; as will the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup and Sky Bet Great Voltigeur.

The Clipper Logistics Mile, with a 18 per cent boost to its 2019 prize fund to £100,000, has been upgraded to an early closing heritage handicap.

At £70,000 apiece, the EBF Convivial, skybet.com Nursery and the Sky Bet Apprentice Stakes remain the richest maiden, nursery and apprentice races respectively in Britain.

Special tribute

 In a fitting tribute to the popular racing journalist who passed away in 2015, the ‘Ray Gilpin red armband’ will be worn by the leading rider during the week, with a special prize offered by Sky Bet to the most successful jockey over the 28 races.

In a new initiative for Thursday, in association with long-standing sponsor, Goffs UK, and Theault Horse Boxes, the winning owner from the £200,000 Goffs Premier Yearling Stakes will win a ‘voucher for a free horse’ to be redeemed against a yearling for the following week’s Goffs Premier Yearling Sale at Doncaster.

Battaash visits the racecourse

On Friday, Battaash, the recently retired two-time Coolmore Nunthorpe champion and course record-holder for the five-furlong trip, will visit the Knavesmire.  By kind permission of Sheikha Hissa Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Battaash will parade ahead of the feature sprint, to let York racegoers and everyone watching celebrate his amazing sprinting career.