YORK Racecourse's last meeting of 2018 this Friday and Saturday will be the most valuable October finale ever on Knavesmire.

Since 2014, the prize money for these two days has almost doubled in value, with all races seeing a boost in that time and the record total on offer now approaching £500,000.

The feature of Friday, a handicap for three-year-old stayers backed by new sponsor RaceBets, is the 21st race of the York season to have a six-figure prize pot, offering £100,000.

Only in its fourth year, this race is intended to provide an autumn opportunity for the highly rated horses that may well have competed in the Sky Bet Melrose Stakes at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.

Last year’s winner, Brimham Rocks, for trainer Ralph Beckett, is now competing in Group 1 contests in Australia for his new connections.

The feature race on Saturday is also worth £100,000 - the Coral Sprint Trophy, an ultra-competitive sprint handicap.

Last year’s victor, Teruntum Star, has represented Kevin Ryan’s yard in feature handicaps this season.

The Listed Coral Rockingham Stakes, which showcased smart juvenile Rebel Assault for the record-breaking Mark Johnston yard last season, again offers £50,000.

The ITV cameras will be at the track for both days, covering two races on Friday, including the £30,000 RaceBets Money Back 2nd 3rd 4th Stakes Handicap over a mile.

Friday will see the seventh staging of ‘Countryside Raceday’ with its biggest ever countryside market.

The seven races will be complemented by rural activity and products; including a sheepdog display.

Friday’s card begins at 2.05pm and blends competitive handicaps with contests to develop the two-year-olds, as well as honing the talents of apprentice jockeys.

Race sponsors on this day include TSG, the IT provider that supports the racecourse team, the Parsonage Country House Hotel & Cloisters Spa at Escrick, the European Breeders’ Fund, Irish Thoroughbred Marketing and The Elevator Company.

Saturday’s seven-race programme also begins at 2.05pm with the first of six races backed by Coral, a brand that first supported this day back in 1979.

The last day of the season will be accompanied by the sound of the Corps of Drums in support of the Coldstream Guards Cup, a middle-distance handicap that will bring the curtain down on 2018.

The meeting will also see the conclusion of the season-long contests to be top jockey and trainer at York.

In the Living North-sponsored jockeys’ race, the Juddmonte International winning rider, Oisin Murphy, sits tied with Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup victor Frankie Dettori on seven winners apiece.

A pair of former champions, Paul Hanagan (six) and Danny Tudhope (five) retain hopes that their northern connections may herald a late charge.

The leaderboard of the Charles Clinkard Top Trainer at York is headed by Richard Fahey, who has already sent out 16 winners from his Musley Bank base. He is on track to record a ninth York title, being seven clear of Newmarket’s John Gosden.

Six large screens will cover racing on Knavesmire and the major contests from Newmarket. The Punters’ Panel will offer tips before racing on each day.