Left handed, flat. In essence, York is a very fair track, ideal for the long-striding galloper. In recent seasons, the field tends to come more down the centre of the track than has historically been the case, particularly if conditions are testing. The track was made into a circuit in 2005, and offers a straight 5f/6f track, while 7f races start on a chute. Although it has a reputation for suiting front-runners, the data suggests that if anything, the opposite is true.
This Yorskhire racecourse offers the second biggest prize money per meeting in the UK after Ascot, and as such is a very well-respected and prestigious venue.
Three Grade 1 events are held at York Racecourse each year: the Juddmonte International Stakes, the Nunthorpe Stakes and the Yorkshire Oaks, along with the renowned Ebor Handicap - all of which are held as part of the four-day Ebor Festival every August. This festival was first established in 1843, and usually draws a great crowd as it is one of the last major flat meetings in the season.
The Ebor Handicap itself is well-known as the single most valuable flat handicap race in Europe, boasting a total purse of £1 million in 2019. The event’s name honours an abbreviated form of the Roman name for York (Eboracum).
York Racecourse is sometimes referred to as “the Knavesmire”, due to its situation on an expanse of marshy land known by that name during Medieval times. Historically, the swampy land would sometimes prove challenging for racers (such as in 1776, when the horses had to race through fifty yards of knee-deep water).
From these humble beginnings, York Racecourse has gone on to become a celebrated and high-status venue today. Over the years, it has received many famous guests - including Pope John Paul II, who arrived to address a crowd of 190,000 people in 1982. In fact, the venue has even been voted Racecourse of the Year multiple times (in 1997, 2003, and 2017).
The track is located less than a mile from York city centre, and as such is very straightforward to reach by car, rail, or bus. It boasts a capacity of 60,000 along with numerous great facilities including restaurants, bars and viewing areas to compliment the top-quality racing.
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