York Dante Festival: Exciting Entries & Meeting Info
Flat racing events continue to come thick and fast as we head into the summer months, and one of the fixtures on every racing enthusiast’s list is the York Dante Festival.
Established in 1958, the York Dante Festival has become a firm favourite in the summer sporting calendar and now serves as a key trial for the Epsom Derby. York Racecourse has been regularly voted the best in the country in terms of the race day experience, and with three thrilling days of action making up the Dante Festival – there’s plenty for guests to enjoy.
In this ultimate guide, find out more about the York Dante Festival, including dates, racing information, and key races.
When is the York Dante Festival?
In 2024, the York Dante Festival will take place from Wednesday 15th to Friday 17th May 2024, at York Racecourse.
What Time Should I Arrive at the Dante Festival?
York Racecourse opens its gates at 11:15am, while the first race usually gets underway between 1:30pm and 2pm.
Is There a Dress Code at York Racecourse?
While York Racecourse does require guests to adhere to a dress code – a day at the race provides racegoers with the perfect excuse to dress up in their finest attire!
County Stand Dress Code
Gentlemen within the County Stand must wear a jacket, collared shirt and tie or cravat. While there are no restrictions against wearing jeans and trainers, most gentlemen wear formal trousers and smart shoes to complete the look.
There is no formal dress code for ladies at York Racecourse, but many use the occasion to wear dresses, jumpsuits or co-ord with high-heeled shoes and fascinators or hats!
Grandstand & Paddock and Clocktower Enclosure
There is no formal dress code for men or women in the Grandstand & Paddock and Clocktower Enclosures, so feel free to dress how you wish.
We advise wearing comfortable clothing and dressing with the weather in mind to ensure you have the best race day experience.
However, York Racecourse strictly prohibits:
- Offensive clothing, either by style or slogan
- Bare chests
Where are the Betting Facilities at York Racecourse?
There are several ways to place a bet at the Dante Festival:
- Totepool betting
- Main betting ring
- William Hill betting shop
More than 300 totes betting Poincare ts situated around the course, meaning you’re never too far from a betting station.
The main betting ring is in front of the Knavesmire Stand, with an additional ring situated in the Clocktower Enclosure.
Unlike official racecourse bookmakers, Tote offers you a pool bet. Essentially, your stake in a race is pooled together with other bets – a little bit like a lottery – and shared among the winning customers.
If you’re considering placing a bet with Tote, there is a minimum stake of £2. Tote betting facilities also accept cash and card payments, making it one of the most convenient ways to have a flutter at the races.
Furthermore, any revenue made on Tote bets is pumped straight back into York Racecourse to ensure it can continue to deliver race day excellence!
York Dante Festival: Guide to Racing
The racing season at York Racecourse kicks off with the Dante Festival, and spectators will have the opportunity to enjoy a total of 21 races across three days of exhilarating action.
With sell-out crowds expected following the disruption caused by the pandemic, here’s everything you should know about one of the key meetings in the horseracing calendar.
Day One – Wednesday 15th May 2024
The Dante Festival kicks off on Wednesday 15th May, and the feature race on the card is the Group 2 Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes, which could deliver an early indication of this year’s Champion Sprinter.
Twenty-seven sprinters have entered the race, which in 2023, boasted a prize pot of £145,000, with the winner receiving more than £70,000.
The six-furlong sprint attracts some of the fastest up-and-coming horses in the game. Previous winners of the Duke of York Stakes include Delegator (2011), Invincible Army (2019) and Starman (2021).
The winner of the most recent running of this race in 2023 was Azure Blue, who was led to a tremendous victory by jockey Paul Mulrennan.
Besides the Duke of York Stakes, racegoers can also look forward to the Group 3 Musidora Stakes, which is seen as a major trial for the Epsom Oaks.
Day Two – Thursday 16th May 2024
All eyes are on the illustrious Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes on day two of the Festival.
The race was named in honour of a Yorkshire-trained horse of the same name, which won the version of the Derby at Newmarket in 1945.
Until 1971, the Dante Stakes was a Group 3 race, but as many trainers saw the race as a valuable trial for the Derby, its status was upgraded. The trip is also seen as the biggest of the three Classics for colts, with most winning rides going on to win the Cazoo Derby at Epsom.
The Dante Stakes is an anti-clockwise race run over 1 mile and 2 furlongs, with the winner set to receive more than £99,000 in prize money. Currently, the most successful jockey in the race is Pat Eddery, who amassed six wins between 1981 and 1993.
The most recent winner of the Dante Stakes in 2023 was The Foxes, ridden by Oisin Murphy and trained by Andrew Balding. White Birch and Continuous had to settle for second and third place respectively.
Another key race on Thursday’s card is the Group 2 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Fillies’ Stakes, open to female horses aged four years and over. There are currently 20 names still in the frame, with the winner set to enjoy £79,394.
The 2023 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Fillies’ Stakes saw the iconic Italian jockey Frankie Dettori guide Free Wind to victory last year ahead of Jack Mitchell’s Rogue Millennium and Sam James’ Poptronic in second and third place.
Besides the action on track, day two of the York Dante Festival also celebrates fashion and style, with racegoers using the occasion to dress up in their first attire on York Racecourse!
Day Three – Friday 17th May 2024
We’ve reached the grand finale of the York Dante Festival! There’s no shortage of excitement and plenty of opportunity for good fortune on the final day of the meeting at York Racecourse!
The Yorkshire Cup takes centre stage on Friday and the 2023 race boasted a mouthwatering purse of £180,000. Run over 1 mile and 5 furlongs – it’s one of the longest races at the meeting – and attracts some of the best runners of the season.
In 2011, the Yorkshire Cup was introduced as part of the British Champions Series and is now the first race in the long-distance category in the series.
There were several big names on the 2023 card, include top-class stayer Stradivarius, Charlie Appleby-trained Manobo, Aidan O’Brien’s High Definition and Alan King’s Trueshan. Trueshan finished ahead of Stradivarius on all three occasions they’ve met. The 2024 Paddy Power Yorkshire Cup Stakes could deliver some exhilarating action!
In the 2023 Paddy Power Yorkshire Cup, the most recent running of this race, Frankie Dettori rode Stradivarius to victory ahead of stern competition from Thunderous and Tashkhan, who had to settle for second and third place respectively.
Lester Piggott remains the most successful jockey in the race, winning it on eight different occasions between 1961 and 1982. Piggott is also the only jockey to have achieved a Yorkshire Cup double, which he did with mount Ardross in 1981 and 1982.
Don’t miss out on three jam-packed days of racing action this summer by securing your Dante Festival packages at York Racecourse with Eventmasters.
2024 York Dante Festival Hospitality
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