York’s ‘Day at the races’ raises £150k for cancer charity Macmillan

A sell-out afternoon at York Races has helped to raise more than £150,000 – and counting – for cancer charity Macmillan.

This was the 50th Macmillan Charity Raceday held at the racecourse.

And the money that has come in so far has helped bring the total raised for the charity by the racecourser to £9 million over the course of 50 years, said racecourse spokesman James Brennan.

Among the 4,000 punters who turned out in the sunshine to see the racing were several Macmillan nurses.

“It was great for them to get a bit of downtime and enjoy some sun at the races,” Mr Brennan said.

Just as it did yesterday, the weather remained good – so the Covid-reduced crowd were able to make full use of the outdoor facilities.

“It has been a wonderful afternoon,” Mr Brennan said. “It was nice to see everybody using the open spaces, sitting out on the terraces and on the lawns – and to hear real cheers!”

There were some tears, too – not least from Doreen ‘Dottie’ Davenport, when her horse La Trinidad – trained by Nawton’s Roger Fell and ridden by Jason Hart – triumphed in the day’s sixth race, the Ice Co Supporting Macmillan Handicap.

Dottie was joined in the winners’ enclosure by her granddaughters. “It was a nice moment,” Mr Brennan said.

While North Yorkshire trainers scored a clean sweep in yesterday’s racing, today’s seven races attracted winners from across the country – including Bosh, trained by Marlborough’s Richard Hannon, who won the day’s fifth race, the Reg Griffin Appreciation ebfstallions.com Maiden Stakes.

There were more than 40 lots available in today’s ‘silent auction’ for Macmillan, including a viewing box at the races, a Brompton folding bike – and a three-night opera break for two in Verona.

The Ride of Their Lives charity race, which was originally planned for today, had to be postponed until Friday, September 24 to give the 12 amateur jockeys time to train and fundraise after lockdown.

But that will just give racegoers a second chance to donate to Macmillan, Mr Brennan said.

Coincidentally, the race has been delayed to the same day as Macmillan’s coffee morning. “That was pure serendipity,” Mr Brennan said. “The race was moved before Macmillan confirmed the date of their coffee morning.”

York Press | News