Racecourse makeover wins Royal seal of approval

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With the forecast looking fine for the rest of the week, the crowds should be out in force today for the week’s eagerly anticipated feature race, the Betfred Dante, a Group Two contest offering a record prize fund of £160,000.

Yorkshire-trained horses have won the previous two races, with last year’s surprise winner, The Grey Gatsby, going on to further victories at Chantilly in the French Derby and Leopardstown in the Irish Champion Stakes.

Lydia Luu, age 3, from Leeds, with her mum Jun Cai and dad Steve Luu. Picture by Simon Hulme

Lydia Luu, age 3, from Leeds, with her mum Jun Cai and dad Steve Luu. Picture by Simon Hulme

An extra listed race today - the £40,000 British Stallion Studs EBF Westow Stakes for three-year-old sprinters - means York will now host thirty races across the season with Black Type status, a further indication of the racecourse’s strength.

Day one of the Dante Festival at York Racecourse

Day one of the Dante Festival at York Racecourse

Day one of the Dante Festival at York Racecourse

Day one of the Dante Festival at York Racecourse

Day one of the Dante Festival at York Racecourse

Day one of the Dante Festival at York Racecourse