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The York Ebor Festival is a very popular four day race meeting and some of the best horses on the flat will be in attendance this week.
There are all manner of exciting match ups to enjoy but the pick of the action comes with the Group 1 races, with one taking part in each of the first three days. So, we’ve got previews of those three top quality contests including our best bets of the York Ebor meeting.
Barney Roy 11/4 (Betfred)
Churchill 11/4 (Ladbrokes)
Ulysses 7/2 (Betfair)
Cliffs Of Moher 8/1 (Sportingbet)
Shutter Speed 10/1 (Coral)
Decorated Knight 14/1 (Bet365)
You don’t have to wait long for a Group 1 race at the Ebor Festival with the Juddmonte International Stakes the feature of the first day.
Run over one mile, two furlongs, the International Stakes offers another chance in this second half of the flat season for the most talented three-year-olds to race against their elders. With previous winners such as Sea The Stars and Authorized, this race is held in very high esteem and there is over half a million pounds awarded to the winner.
As you’d expect, many of the stars of the season are in the field including 2000 Guineas winner, Churchill, and his main rival this year, Barney Roy.
Barney Roy won the last time these two met in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Ascot but he was bested by the horse trading as the third favourite, Ulysses, when they raced over nine furlongs in July. Connections of Ulysses will believe he’s got enough about him to beat Barney Roy one more time but the room for improvement that the three-year-olds have makes them the ones to beat.
Were it not for Churchill’s fourth place finish at Ascot he would surely be the clear favourite for Wednesday’s race. That race came on ground which was too firm for him and stands out as the only real poor performance of his career. A horse of his undoubted quality can be forgiven one bad race and Churchill should prove his calibre once again by winning at York at odds of 11/4 with Ladbrokes.
Enable 1/3 (Betfred)
Nezwaah 7/1 (Sky Bet)
Queen’s Trust 8/1 (Bet365)
Journey 14/1 (William Hill)
Coronet 16/1 (William Hill)
Abingdon 20/1 (Paddy Power)
The Yorkshire Oaks provides Group 1 racing for fillies and mares on Thursday of the Ebor Festival. Unlike the Epsom Oaks, York’s race is open to horses aged older than three as well as the Classic generation and winning both races is thought of as one of the racing’s most impressive feats in a single season.
It tells you all you need to know about Enable, then, that she is a best price of 1/3 with Betfred to win on Thursday having already won the Investec and the Irish Oaks. After opening her season with a third place finish, Enable has kicked on to win each of her last four starts. Both her trainer, John Gosden, and jockey, Frankie Dettori, have won the Yorkshire Oaks twice and she’s a racing certainty to win again.
With such a firm favourite, it makes sense to back a longer odds option each-way as well as Enable. In that regard, we like the chance of Queen’s Trust at 8/1 with Bet365. She was disappointing last time out but if she can get near the form she showed in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes or when winning the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, she’ll have enough for a place just like in this race last season.
Lady Aurelia 5/4 (Ladbrokes)
Battaash 7/4 (Bet365)
Marsha 10/1 (Coral)
Profitable 16/1 (Betfred)
Take Cover 25/1 (Bet365)
Wednesday and Thursday’s Group 1s will be tactical battles in which jockeys try to strategically position their horses for the finish. By contrast, the Nunthorpe Stakes is a five furlong dash that will be over in a flash.
Back to back wins over five furlongs have made Wesley Ward’s Lady Aurelia the bookies’ favourite but the value looks to be with Battaash at 7/4 with Bet365. The three-year-old also arrives in tip top form with wins in all three of his starts this year during which he’s shown ground versatility. This would be his first Group 1 triumph but Battaash has the class and potential to rise to the challenge.
Profitable’s connections have become all too used to narrow disappointment this year. The five-year-old has come second in each of his three starts in 2017 and while his backers will be wondering about what could have been, it does mean Profitable looks good each-way value at a generous 16/1 with Betfred.
Churchill to win the International Stakes at 11/4 with Ladbrokes
Enable to win the Yorkshire Oaks at 1/3 with Betfred
Queen’s Trust each-way in the Yorkshire Oaks at 8/1 with Bet365
Battaash to win the Nunthorpe Stakes at 7/4 with Bet365
Profitable each-way in the Nunthorpe Stakes at 16/1 with Betfred