One of the best and most popular racehorses in training has flown in to the region as as the racing world descends on York for the Sky Bet Ebor Festival.

Teesside Airport’s cargo facility welcomed three VIP athletes through its doors – top championship horses set for one of the North’s biggest race meetings.

The cargo hub greeted its first horses today (Wednesday, August 23), with a number flying in from Ireland tomorrow.

The charges include Paddington, favourite for today’s Juddmonte International.

The Northern Echo: Juddmonte International favourite Paddington walks off the ramp into Teesside Airport’s Freight FacilityJuddmonte International favourite Paddington walks off the ramp into Teesside Airport’s Freight Facility (Image: TEESSIDE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT)

The headline race on the opening day of the four-day event, the Group One contest is one of the highlight of not only the Ebor fixture but of the whole Flat calendar.

Paddington has won a string of Group One events that includes the Irish 2,000 Guineas, the St James’s Palace Stakes, the Coral-Eclipse and the Sussex Stakes and now aims to add a fifth success at the top level to an already stellar CV.

He will face John and Thady Gosden’s Mostahdaf, a four-length winner of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, plus his stablemate Nashwa and Andrew Balding’s Dante hero The Foxes.

Teesside’s £2.5million state-of-the-art cargo facility has gone from strength to strength since it opened for business in August last year, becoming the UK’s newest Border Control Point – meaning it can now handle flowers, fruit and vegetables – in January.

The facility can offload, process and get cargo on the road in as little as 30 minutes following aircraft touchdown.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Our cargo facility has the expertise to handle anything thrown at it and it is great to welcome these magnificent and highly valuable thoroughbreds through our airport.

Read more stories here:

Get the latest news, sports, and entertainment delivered straight to your device for just £3 for three months. 

“Our experienced team helped ensure the horses disembarked safely and got them on the road to York, where lots of local people will be heading this week to enjoy the racing.

“No matter what the consignment, our expert handlers can turn it around quickly and easily, with our brilliant onward road and rail connections making our hub a no-brainer for the 70,000 businesses within an hour of the airport.

“It just goes to show, that our plan for the airport was the right one and we’re on the right track to make it a success for years to come, whatever the neigh-sayers might want you to think.”