PREVIEW: Race to beat cancer with Macmillan Charity Raceday at York Racecourse

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The race is on to beat cancer...with the 2023 Macmillan Charity Raceday at York Racecourse this Saturday – June 17.

BUY TICKETS: Racing begins on Friday and continues with the Macmillan fundraiser on Saturday. For tickets call 01904 620911 or visit

Building on 51 years of popularity with racing fans and with over £9.5 million already raised for good causes, Macmillan Charity Raceday at York Racecourse is the biggest charity raceday in Britain.

And it promises to be an afternoon of quality racing that again helps those in most need, writes James Brennan, Head of Marketing & Sponsorship at York Racecourse.

Saturday’s principal race is The Oakmere Homes Supporting Macmillan Sprint, one of Britain’s richest sprint handicaps for three-year-olds, it offers prize money of £100,000.

The roll of honour in this race over six furlongs includes top sprinters such as Cadeaux Genereux, Sheikh Albadou and more recently, Twilight Sun.

Still a relative new aspect of the event, the day will end celebrate the daring-do of twenty supporters who will undertake the Macmillan Jump of their Lives, a tandem sky-dive, each has pledged at least £3,000 to the charity and you can help them by visiting their donation pages on Just Giving.

The charity auction so generously supported over the years is now available to view online in advance of the raceday. This means everyone can place a bid for the many stunning lots.

One of the more unusual lots this year is a five4 course tasting lunch at the Michelin starred restaurant, Muse, in Belgravia. Visit for more information on how to make your bid.

Since 2012, a Listed race has featured on the Saturday racing programme.

This year the Sky Bet Race to the Ebor Grand Cup over 14 furlongs takes that slot with the Seat Unique Ganton Stakes run over a mile, on the Friday card. Both offer record prize money of £70,000 and so provide another reason to attend the meeting, just by attending on Saturday, racegoers will increase the money raised for charity.

Racing begins at 1.50pm on Friday whilst Saturday’s action starts at 2pm with the 33rd running of The Queen Mother’s Cup, the richest race for lady amateur riders in Britain and a contest won by The Princess Royal in 1988 as well as by ITV Racing presenter, Francesca Cumani in 2006. It offers an opportunity for the successful rider to toast her success in her own weight of Ayala champagne.

2023 Macmillan Charity Raceday at York Racecourse this Saturday – June 17.2023 Macmillan Charity Raceday at York Racecourse this Saturday – June 17.
2023 Macmillan Charity Raceday at York Racecourse this Saturday – June 17.

The high standard continues on this Charity Raceday with The Reg Griffin Appreciation EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes - a contest for two-year-olds named in honour of the founder of this Charity Day in 1971. The Ice Co° back a competitive handicap for the ninth year that denotes their support of Macmillan, a link that was cemented when company director, Polly Marr, rode in the Ride of Their Lives Race of 2013. Specialist in cleaning products, PPS, clean up the day by backing a second sprint over the six-furlong trip, though this time horses older than three can participate.

Macmillan Charity Day is part of a two-day meeting with racing on the Friday featuring a brace of the twenty-one contests at York to benefit from the backing of the European Breeders’ Fund.

The Newmarket based organisation are joining with York Racecourse in celebrating June as “pride” month, so the race title, branding, horserug and editorial all support the Racing With Pride, the body that champions the LGBTQ+ community in the sport.

The bloodstock powerhouse that is Juddmpnte joins with the EBF on Friday in a valuable development race for fillies in their first year on the track. The riders who are also learning their craft will feature in the apprentice race that gets Friday underway, generously backed by Constant Security. Racegoers enjoying a comfy seat in the Champagne Pavilion or Premier Racing Lounge have the team at Andy Thornton Furniture to thank, the West Yorkshire firm put their name to a fascinating handicap, for middle distance performers.

JOTL Spire team 2023 - L-R are Amelda McKenny, Lara Allen, Jay Naik, Ria Sagar and Sita TaylorJOTL Spire team 2023 - L-R are Amelda McKenny, Lara Allen, Jay Naik, Ria Sagar and Sita Taylor
JOTL Spire team 2023 - L-R are Amelda McKenny, Lara Allen, Jay Naik, Ria Sagar and Sita Taylor

With an on course presence on every Friday at York, Irish Thoroughbred Marketing sponsor a valuable handicap contest over the seven furlong trip. The SKF Rous Selling Stakes has now been supported for more than a dozen years by engineering company, SKF (UK) Ltd. Then Goffs UK will bring the excitement of the Sales Ring to the Winner’s Enclosure with an auction straight after the race.

The ‘Punters’ Panel’ takes place prior to racing on both days from the winner’s podium as a preview to the action on each day, while now eight giant screens will provide racegoers with an even closer view of proceedings on the track.

As part of a series of initiatives to get closer to the sport, groups of racegoers will be able to enjoy accompanied, complimentary trips to the round course starts conducted by Robert Earnshaw, a man who won the Gold Cup. On Saturday, they will also have the chance to meet the equine ambassador to the Knavesmire, Remy, a retired racehorse, courtesy of equine charity, New Beginnings.

True to York’s reputation, a bottle of champagne will be available for under £50. Other tastes are catered for with an extended range of craft beers including the new Ebor IPA, a brew created by Theakstons just for the racegoers. Heineken 0.0 as a refreshing, zero alcohol option, with water available on a complimentary basis from all the main bars.

Musical accompaniment to the action will take the form of different bands; the Monotones performing with their upbeat covers from the Roberto Stage then Melrose Stage after racing, whilst Dr Jazz will entertain the crowds on the Edwardian Weighing Room Lawn.

Those wanting a reminder of the day can visit the flower wall or the 360-degree selfie camera.