Sky Bet York Stakes highlight of 12th Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival

This year's Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival, sponsored by Sky Bet, gets underway tomorrow, Saturday, July 20, with an excellent card at Ripon starting off nine days of superb horseracing and entertainment in the White Rose county.

There are 10 race meetings over the nine days at eight racecourses.

 Sky Bet has been involved through race sponsorship since the first Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival in 2008 and stepped up its support in 2012 to become title sponsor.

The current sponsorship deal sees Sky Bet continue its support for the Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival until at least 2021.

The iconic Sky Bet Tipping Challenge, which has raised over £40,000 for charity since its inception in 2012, returns this year. The recipients of any proceeds in 2019 will once again be the Injured Jockeys Fund, the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and New Beginnings, the Yorkshire-based racehorse retraining charity.

Sky Bet will offer £9,000 in charity bets during the Sky Bet Tipping Challenge. Each of the 10 tipsters involved is given £100 to stake per day and the winnings are divided between the three charities.

The participants in 2019 include Yorkshire trainers David O'Meara, Mark Johnston, Richard Fahey and Tim Easterby. ITV Racing presenters Ed Chamberlin and Oli Bell are back again, alongside Sky Racing presenter Alex Hammond,plus racing pundit Jim McGrath, well-known for his many years on Channel 4 Racing and with Timeform. Sky Bet's Racing PR Manager Michael Shinners and a team from complete the 10 participants.

 Sky Bet once again sponsors all the seven-race card at York on Saturday, July 27, with the £120,000 G2 Sky Bet York Stakes taking centre stage.

The 10-furlong contest has been won by top performers such as Twice Over (2011), Mukhadram (2013) and Time Test (2016).

Last year's winner Thundering Blue returned to the Knavesmire just under a month later to finish an excellent third behind Roaring Lion in the G1 Juddmonte International.

The main supporting race is the £60,000 Sky Bet Dash Handicap over six furlongs.

Saturday, July 27 is day two of the Music Showcase Weekend at York. Legendary 1980s group Tears For Fears takes to the stage after racing at York on the evening of Friday, July 26, while Saturday, July 27 sees James Arthur, winner of the X Factor in 2012, perform after racing.

Danny Tudhope, who currently leads the Stobart Jockeys' Championship and is based in Thirsk, was the leading jockey at the Festival in both 2017 and 2018.

He said: "The Go Racing In Yorkshire Festival is great - I have been top jockey for the last two years and I'm certainly hoping to repeat that this year.

"I love riding in Yorkshire and for local trainers, so it's brilliant when I get the chance to do that. The festival also adds a bit of healthy competition amongst us jockeys, which is good.

"Obviously, I would love to be Champion Jockey, that would be the dream, but there is a long way to go and I just want to ride as many winners as possible."

Tudhope's wins at Yorkshire tracks this year have amounted to 39, including his 1,000th UK career victory on the David O'Meara-trained Ingleby Hollow at Thirsk last month.

Racing Welfare is the supported charity of the 2019 Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival, sponsored by Sky Bet.

As the charity of the week, Racing Welfare will also receive a £500 cheque, courtesy of the leading jockey of the Festival which is sponsored by Sky Bet.

A representative from Racing Welfare will be at each of the Festival race meetings, talking about the work that the charity does, who they can help and how. There will also be an exit collection at some courses.

The full list of fixtures for the 2019 Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival, sponsored by Sky Bet, is as follows:

 Saturday, July 20 - Ripon

Saturday, July 20 - Doncaster (evening)

Sunday, July 21 - Redcar

Monday, July 22 - Beverley (evening)

Tuesday, July 23 - Jack Berry House Open Afternoon 1.30pm - 6pm

Wednesday, July 24 - Catterick

Thursday, July 25 - Doncaster (evening)

Friday, July 26 - Thirsk

Friday, July 26 - York (evening)

Saturday, July 27 - York

Sunday, July 28 - Pontefract

In addition to the action on the track, this year's Festival will also feature an open afternoon on Tuesday, July 23 at Jack Berry House, the Injured Jockeys Fund's rehabilitation and fitness centre in Malton.

Throughout the week, at nearly all the racecourses, there will be Festival special additions to the bar and menu, including a Yorkshire Pudding wrap with beef and gravy offered by CGC Event Caterers.

A collaboration with Masons Yorkshire Gin has led to the introduction of a special Festival cocktail, consisting of Masons Tea Edition Gin and a lemon tonic, garnished with a sprig of mint.

Michael Shinners of Sky Bet said: "Sky Bet is delighted to once again extend its support to the Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival.

"Over the last seven years, we have raised over £40,000 for three excellent causes and I hope that once again we can donate a significant amount to the Injured Jockeys Fund, New Beginnings and Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

"The York Stakes has been sponsored every year by Sky Bet since its inception in 2006 and we look forward to another excellent renewal of the Group Two contest."