James Stevens from the Racing Post previews August's top meetings

In the peak of the summer racing calendar, there are few Flat meetings that attract such a star-studded line-up as the Ebor. Last year, the likes of Enable, Ulysses, Churchill, Barney Roy, Lady Aurelia and Cracksman all featured - the only meeting, indeed, which attracted all these stars. It promises to feature all of racing’s big names once again.

The Juddmonte International is one of the pinnacle races on the Flat calendar, which always attracts some of Europe’s best middle-distance horses. With a winners’ list that includes the likes of Frankel, Sea The Stars, Australia and Postponed in recent years - it’s a race of high calibre.

This year Prince of Wales’s Stakes winner Poet’s Word should line up, while the brilliant-on-his-day Cracksman could also head to the Knavesmire; of the three-year-old crop, Roaring Lion and Saxon Warrior should renew their rivalry after their thrilling battle in the Coral-Eclipse. It’s a line-up that never fails to disappoint.

Racing has been waiting to see the return of superstar Enable, and the Darley Yorkshire Oaks may be where she makes her return to the racecourse. She took the Group 1 prize last season before powering clear in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe a few months later.

A comeback win is far from guaranteed for Enable, as Yorkshire’s very own Karl Burke has a star of his own in the form of Laurens. After claiming two Group 1 prizes in France, she is being targeted at a fourth career top-level prize on the second day of the Ebor meeting.

The Friday of the four-day meeting will witness the latest running of the Coolmore Nunthorpe, one of Europe’s most prestigious sprint prizes.

Last season it proved one of the most memorable races of the year, when Frankie Dettori celebrated victory aboard Lady Aurelia only to then discover he had lost out to Marsha in a photo finish. Sadly those two won’t feature this year, but a rematch between King’s Stand winner Blue Point and second Battaash would certainly make it a race to savour.

On Saturday the Sky Bet Ebor takes centre stage, at £500,000 the most valuable Flat handicap in Europe. The race is always ferociously competitive and will attract a quality line-up for its 175th renewal.

August itself starts with high-quality action from Glorious Goodwood, and there is no better way to start the month than with the Qatar Sussex Stakes. The Group 1 event is always an early and intriguing meeting point between three-year-old milers and their older counterparts.

This year unbeaten St James’ Palace victor Without Parole is the one to beat, although the likes of Lightning Spear, Gustav Klimt, Rhododendron and Beat The Bank would certainly make it a competitive race.

On the Tuesday of the five-day meeting, Stradivarius will hope to win another leg of the £1 million Stayers Triple Crown in the Qatar Goodwood Cup, following wins in the Yorkshire Cup and his thrilling success in the Gold Cup. The four-year-old won the contest last year and he is highly fancied to defend his crown.

Glorious Goodwood also features the King George Stakes, Stewards’ Cup and Group 1 Nassau Stakes in what is always a thrilling week.

by The Racing Post's James Stevens at Rewards4Racing

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