ACTION for a "record-breaking" season at York Racecourse gets underway this week, with the three-day Dante Festival kicking things off.

There is a record investment across the season of £10.75 million in prize money, a 15 per cent year on year increase in executive contribution to prize money by York.

Further investment will also see the continuing improvements to the facilities for racegoers, connections and horses, as well as a full programme of entertainment with bonus features across an 18-day season.

Prize money over the three days of the Dante Festival alone is over £1.4 million, meaning a near six-figure increase on 2022. All eight of the Pattern grade contests see an increase to new record levels.

York Press: Racegoers at the 2022 Dante Festival at York RacecourseRacegoers at the 2022 Dante Festival at York Racecourse (Image: PA)

Despite this investment, all admission prices on the day at the Dante Festival have been frozen at their 2022 rate, meaning admission to the Clocktower Enclosure remains just £8, with further age, group and advance concessions across the enclosures.

This includes the new Club 26 in partnership with Qipco British Champions Series where racegoers aged 18 to 26 could apply for advance tickets for Boodles Yorkshire Cup day at just £10.

Wednesday’s now £130,000 Group 3 Tattersalls Musidora is one of 39 races across the York season to offer at least a six-figure sum to connections. A feature race for three-year-old fillies, the Musidora has proved to be a leading form indicator for the Betfred Oaks, with seven champion fillies that have gone on to achieve Classic glory.

The Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante, the race that gives the Festival its name by honouring the last Yorkshire trained winner of the Derby back in 1945, is the feature race of the Thursday.

York Press: Racegoers brave the weather with umbrellas during the 2022 Dante FestivalRacegoers brave the weather with umbrellas during the 2022 Dante Festival (Image: PA)

Friday’s principal race, The Yorkshire Cup, boasts a new sponsor in Boodles, with the leading jewellery brand being part of a boost to the £180,000 now on offer to the leading stayers over one mile and three-quarters.

The new season at York Racecourse will see the opening of 'The Flying Frankie' - a Theakston’s backed cask ale pub, to toast the success of the  Italian rider. Set at the southern end of the John Carr Terrace for County Stand racegoers and stocked with a selection of North Yorkshire brewed ales from the famous Theakston stable, it will feature an IPA created especially for the Knavesmire racegoer.

The racecourse will continue complimentary guided behind-the-scenes tours before racing and minibus trips to the start for racegoers.

York Press: Horses and jockeys compete during the 2022 eventHorses and jockeys compete during the 2022 event (Image: PA)

Ahead of the season, York has continued to invest in the racing surface and facilities for horses and their handlers. A six-figure project has seen a new drainage and localised irrigation system.

York will be supporting Racing Welfare in its Mental Health Awareness week activity, with a particular focus on the opening day.