YORK Racecourse is seeking to distance itself from Prince Andrew by renaming a race called the Duke of York Stakes.

A racecourse spokesman said today that the Duke of York Stakes was introduced back in 1895, named after Prince George, the Duke of York at that time, who was later crowned King George V.

He said it was now a prestige sprint contest, staged each May and, to 'better reflect its long history and the specific Duke of York that it remembers,' the racecourse had applied to the British Horseracing Authority to amend the race title to “The 1895 Duke of York Stakes."

He said the course didn’t want the name of the race to be a 'distraction.'

Prince Andrew was appointed patron of the course in 2015, when he officially opened the course’s new weighing room, but gave up the role in 2019.

The racecourse's name change proposal comes after a senior York councillor and a York MP called for Prince Andrew to relinquish his title Duke of York, after Virginia Giuffre was given the go-ahead to sue the duke in the US for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager. The duke has strenuously denied the allegations.