York racecourse has provided a welcome boost to the racing industry as it announced on Wednesday that the three Group 1 races at the Ebor Festival in August and next month’s Dante Stakes will return to their pre-covid prize-money levels of 2019.
The news means the Juddmonte International on August 18 will once again offer £1 million in prize-money while the Darley Yorkshire Oaks on August 19 will see fillies and mares competing for a share of £400,000. A sum of £400,000 is also on offer for the sprinters in the Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes on August 20.
Next month’s Group 2 Dante Stakes will be run at a prize-fund of £165,000, three times the level that it was run for last year when won by the Mark Johnston-trained Thunderous.
William Derby, Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course, said: “York racecourse is proud of its record of investing in prize-money to help sustain the wider racing industry and to attract the best horses to the Knavesmire.
“This is a time when that strategy needed to be confirmed and we are pleased to be able to commit to returning these four contests to their pre-Covid levels. The seven-figure investment in the Juddmonte International reflects its status as the Longines World’s Best Race.
“Clearly, the world is still in a difficult place and we will hugely miss the presence of spectators at the Dante Festival 2021. However, we wanted to make a positive announcement that reflects what York believes is in the shared best interest of the sport that everyone involved with the Knavesmire loves.
“The backing of our sponsors and supporters is deeply appreciated. We are excited about the prospect of some fantastic racing in May and the return of owners at the Dante Festival. Thereafter, we very much look forward to the return of spectators to York as the summer unfolds.”