York Ebor Festival – Antepost Preview
The York Ebor Festival is one of the key flagship festival’s of the flat racing season, typically seen as one of the major weeks alongside the likes of Royal Ascot, Newmarket’s Guineas Meeting and the St Leger meeting at Doncaster. With just a couple of weeks to go, we take a look at the main races across the four days of top quality racing and see if there is any antepost value to be had.
The Juddmonte International
Kicking us off on the Wednesday is one of the key races of the whole year; the Juddmonte International. The role of honour here is incredible; Hailing, Giant’s Causeway, Authorized, Sea The Stars, Frankel, and last years’ winner Postponed have won this race over the years.
Will we see another superstar claim victory this year?
It is certainly shaping up to be a fascinating contest. Topping the market is Richard Hannon’s 3 year old Barney Roy. Winner of the St James Palace Stakes, and 2nd in the Eclipse last time out, this horse is improving with each run and is a deserved favourite. Although very keen in his races, he relished the trip at Sandown last time out and surely there is improvement to come. If there is, then that would mean Ulysses, 2nd favourite, has some work to do to uphold the form. He carried on his great season with a very good run in the King George, and is absolutely rock solid at this trip. Churchill adds another dimension to this race. Currently a sea of blue on Oddschecker, most probably due to Ryan Moore’s recent comments, he has to come back from a very disappointing run at Ascot behind Barney Roy but if the real Churchill turns up, then it is going to be one serious race.
The Yorkshire Oaks
On the Thursday, the fillies take centre stage, with the Yorkshire Oaks being the centrepiece on day 2. Not as open as the Juddmonte, the betting is headed by superstar filly Enable, who demolished a very good King George field at Ascot. She clearly coped with the ground better than most, but it was still an incredible performance. She heads the market for the Arc, so if she does turn up here, the others are playing for place money.
Friday brings what could be one of the clashes of the season in the Nunthorpe, as Kings Stand winner Lady Aurelia takes on Goodwood winner and the fast improving Battaash. Lady Aurelia is shading favouritism here but I have question marks over her away from Ascot, with clearly her best runs being at the Royal meeting and on fast ground, which is not guaranteed here. Battaash overcame ground conditions that were against him to absolutely hack up in a great time at Goodwood. 2/1 is available but surely that will still be around on the day. The other sprinters seem to have it all to do against these potential superstars and it is quite possibly a 2 horse race.
The Saturday and final day of the festival is always tricky to find winners and the richest handicap in Europe, the Ebor, is the hardest of them all. A staying handicap won last year by the late Heartbreak City, there are loads entered in here that have loads of scope within their handicap marks. Flymetothestars is current favourite, whom was a little unlucky in the Northumberland Plate but more in here look better handicapped.
The likes of Wild Hacked, Goodwood runner Desert Skyline and William Haggas’s Dal Harraild look like huge players and are all available at 20/1 plus.
We will be building up to the festival over the coming weeks – do not miss out!