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2019 Ebor Festival Preview: The Big Races Day By Day

"York Races, August 2013" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by alljengi

Tens of thousands of racegoers descend upon York every August for the four-day Ebor Festival, and this year's editions promises plenty.

All the Flat horse racing action runs on the Knavesmire from Wednesday, 21 August to Saturday, 24 August. This is our day by day guide of the big races.

Wednesday: Juddmonte International and Great Voltigeur

There's Group 1 racing right from the start of the Ebor Festival with the Juddmonte International Stakes over about 1m 2f on the opening day of the meeting.

This race has already been nominated as the next target for John Gosden wonder mare Enable after she bids to regain her King George crown at Ascot.

Having won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe over in France in each of the last two seasons, she proved just as effective when down in distance for the Eclipse at Sandown on her return to action.

Old rivals Crystal Ocean and Magical represent the main challengers to Enable, who is already a hot favourite and bound to be among horse racing tips from Betfair for the Ebor Festival.

One of the key trials for the St Leger, the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes over almost 1m 4f, also takes place on the opening day. This gives three-year-olds the chance lay markers down en route to the Classic at Doncaster.

Thursday: Yorkshire Oaks

Supported by plenty of juvenile action, the feature race on day two of the Ebor Festival is the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks for fillies and mares. Like the Juddmonte International, this is open to three-year-olds and above.

Gosden has a big hand to play here with Epsom Derby heroine Anapurna a possible contender alongside older mare Coronet. Among others from his yard that could run are four-year-old Lah Ti Dar, who was so impressive in a Listed race over course and distance last year.

As they all represent different owners, Gosden's Newmarket stable could be the key to the Yorkshire Oaks. The sad retirement of 2018 winner Sea Of Class due to colic means she won't be defending her crown.

Friday: Nunthorpe Stakes and Yorkshire Cup

The sprint division is looking for a new superstar after the retirement of Blue Point. While he's now at stud, other speedsters will tackle the flying 5f in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes on day three of the Ebor Festival.

Ten Sovereigns bounced back to form with a decisive victory in the July Cup at Newmarket, but will he be able to replicate that over the minimum distance for trainer Aidan O'Brien?

Battaash is the temperamental pride and joy of Charlie Hills' stable but has been known to boil over during the preliminaries in the York paddock.

Mabs Cross has a fine record on the Knavesmire and local trainer Michael Dodds is looking to go one better with the pacey mare in this year's renewal.

Alongside the furious end-to-end gallop of the Nunthorpe, the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup over about 2m takes place on the penultimate day of the Ebor Festival.

All eyes are on Stradivarius to see if he can win the Goodwood Cup for a third time and remain on course to repeat his Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers' Million bonus exploits again.

Saturday: Ebor Handicap

Sticking with stayers, those who aren't quite classy enough to tackle Stradivarius could instead try for the lion's share of the £1 million purse given to the winner of the Ebor Handicap.

The Ebor Festival culminates in this ultra-competitive event over almost 1m 6f, and it's now the most valuable Flat handicap in the British Isles.

There's a wide-open feel to the Ebor as ever and a full field of 22 is expected from 80 or so early closing entries.


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