Daniel Tudhope - Turf Topics: Aiming to sprint in at York with Edward Lewis

Action at the recent Dante Festival at York Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture: Simon Cooper/PA WireAction at the recent Dante Festival at York Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture: Simon Cooper/PA Wire
Action at the recent Dante Festival at York Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture: Simon Cooper/PA Wire
THIS WEEK, Britain's second most popular spectator sport launched a promotion for what was previously an under-exploited secret.

That is under-18s are admitted free to most racing fixtures. That is very much the case at York this afternoon.

Understandably, Lacey, Amiya and Ashton all enjoy going racing with me and for young people to see thoroughbreds up close is a real thrill.

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So I hope the new campaign that features both Britain’s Got Talent judge and top children’s author David Walliams and The Crown’s Billy Jenkins proves a winner.

I imagine that plenty of youngsters named ‘Edward’ or ‘Lewis’ will be cheering on my mount in one of the feature races of the day on today’s seven-race card worth £225,000 in prize-money.

Already a runner-up in the Symphony Group Handicap at the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival last summer, Edward Lewis has shown some good form on the track.

Trainer David O’Meara has aimed the five-year-old at the five-furlong £50,000 MansionBet Sprint at 3.40pm.

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York handicaps – especially ones with as many as 19 runners in them – are devilishly difficult to win, but my lad will be towards the top of the betting.

The leading Yorkshire trainers – including John Quinn, Richard Fahey (already five Knavesmire winners between them this term) and Mick Easterby – have fancied runners, so it’s short odds for some local celebrations.

A brand new race is the Group 3 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Brontë Cup and I have been booked to ride Mam’Selle by Newmarket trainer and Yorkshireman-in-exile William Haggas.

Last week saw him presented with the unusual prize of a fine pair shoes after he was crowned as the Charles Clinkard Champion Trainer at York in 2017.

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The £90,000 one-mile-and-three-quarter race for older fillies and mares forms part of a wider initiative to encourage such horses to remain in training in the UK.

My filly won a trio of races last year and was third on her seasonal debut at Goodwood. This will be my first time on her back.

Creating a safe and enjoyable atmosphere at the races has been much in the news of late and last week’s Dante Festival was exactly that.

I know tracks like York put a lot of effort behind creating those conditions and the sponsors of the opening race, Constant Security, are their very experienced provider of stewarding services.

What’s more, they hail from Mexborough.

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I reckon that my mount, Salateen, could be ahead of the handicapper so, hopefully, I’ll get to meet them.

I take my maximum number of rides at Knavesmire today – six – as I cannot contest the finale, at 5.25pm, which is restricted to gentleman amateur riders.

I am sure the 20 jockeys will have a great time riding in the John Wright Electrical-backed contest as riding on Knavesmire in front of a big crowd remains a thrill even for someone as experienced as myself.

Find out more about racing at York at www.yorkracecourse.co.uk. Tickets are available on the gate for this afternoon’s meeting.