YORK Racecourse has announced a further boost of £60,000 to the already record prize money for its flagship meeting, the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival

Taken in conjunction with previous announcements, it sees the year-on-year prize fund increase by £320,000 to a record level of over £4.4 million for the four days from Wednesday, August 23 to Saturday, August 26. That represents a 50 per cent increase in the last five years.

The highest profile race to benefit from this latest cash injection is the Sky Bet City of York Stakes, which will now offer £175,000 to the field contesting this seven furlong race on Friday, August 25 – retaining it as Britain’s richest Group Three contest.

The minimum prize money for any race at the Festival will now be £70,000, up from £60,000 in 2016.

That follows the additional boost in prize money to nine contests, including those that were already the richest maiden (British Stallion Studs EBF Convivial Maiden Stakes), richest nursery (Betway Stakes – 6f handicap on the Wednesday) and richest apprentice (Betfred Apprentice Stakes – 5f handicap finale) contests in Britain.

Some 22 races, out of the 25 to be staged, have seen an increase in prize fund since their 2016 running – with every contest on the opening and closing days set to be more valuable.

The feature race of the week, the Group One Juddmonte International, is already Britain’s highest rated race according to the average three-year rating by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities. This contest will become the richest race ever run at York, with £1 million on offer.

The Darley Yorkshire Oaks, ranked as Europe’s highest rated contest for fillies and mares, and the Coolmore Nunthorpe, the best five furlong sprint in the world, will both see increases to reach their richest ever renewals at £350,000.

The Sky Bet Lowther increases by £25,000 to £225,000 – the same level as the Al Basti Equiworld Gimcrack, making them Britain’s richest Group Two’s for juvenile fillies and colts respectively.

Completing the feature race set in August is Saturday’s Betfred Ebor, with Europe’s richest flat handicap of 2016, increased again to £285,000.

York Racecourse chairman Lord Grimthorpe said: “York is delighted that our continued commercial success in the first half of the season has allowed us to keep investing in the prize money, facilities and experience of racing at York.

"The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival is our flagship meeting and we look forward to welcoming the racegoers and supporters to York to see the world’s best horses and jockeys competing on the Knavesmire.

"It already looks set to be a fabulous four days of racing action. Our continued thanks to our supporters and sponsors who help us to invest in racing at York.”