The Ebor Festival is York’s flagship meeting and this year takes place from Wednesday, August 23rd to Saturday, August 26th. Expect high-class action and frantic finishes on the Knavesmire, with three Group 1 races headlining a meeting that is steeped in history.
The highlight on day one of the Ebor Festival is the Juddmonte International, which is set to become the richest race run at York, with £1 million up for grabs. The race has an illustrious roll of honour, with superstars Frankel and Sea The Stars among the former winners. This year’s race features Coral-Eclipse runner-up Barney Roy, joint-favourite with Churchill, as well as stars such as Ulysses and Shutter Speed. Barney Roy, the Richard Hannon-trained colt who won the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, finished second behind Ulysses in the Sandown showpiece but connections believe he can make his presence felt at York.
The feature race on day two of the meeting is the Yorkshire Oaks run over a mile and half. It is a race for top middle-distance mares and fillies and features Enable, this season’s star filly and a two-time Classic winner. John Gosden’s filly was last seen winning the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes by an impressive four and a half lengths, a win that put her in line for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Expect her to dazzle once again.
The Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes attracts some of the best sprinters in the world and this year is no exception, with US raider Lady Aurelia set to line up in this fast-and-furious sprint. Wesley Ward’s filly, regarded to be one of the best three-year-olds in the US, put up a memorable display of speed in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in June. Improving sprinter Battaash is also likely to line up for Charlie Hills, and a clash between the two could result in fireworks.
The Betfred Ebor is the richest race of its kind to be staged in Europe. Run over 1m6f, it is one of the biggest betting races of the Flat season. One of the race’s most famous winner is the legendary Sea Pigeon, who took the race in 1979, and this year a whole host of entries warrant the utmost respect, including fast-ground type Dal Harraild and market leader Flymetothestars.
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