Running from the 17th to the 20th August, the four days of racing comprise of elite Group One races and competitive handicaps, with many top quality horses likely to be on show. The opening day of the meeting is Wednesday 17 th August, with the highlight of the card being the Group One Juddmonte International Stakes. This Group One event is run over one mile and two furlongs, and currently features high class horses such as Postponed, US Army Ranger and Time Test at the head of the ante-post markets. With all-time greats such as Frankel and Sea the Stars featured in the roll of honour, this race is one of the highlights of the middle distance calendar.
Ladies’ Day is held on the Thursday, and fittingly the fairer sex are the stars of the show all day, with the big race being the Yorkshire Oaks for fillies and mares. This currently has recent Irish Oaks winner Seventh Heaven at the head of the ante-post market, but also holding entries are St Leger winner Simple Verse and Royal Ascot winner Even Song.
The third day of the Ebor Festival is all about the speedsters, with the highlight in racing terms being the five furlong Nunthorpe Stakes. Royal Ascot winner Profitable is the ante-post favourite here, but there is strength in depth in the opposition, with Wesley Ward-trained Acapulco also strong in the market having been withdrawn at Ascot because of the soft ground conditions. The two Dark Angel fillies, Mecca’s Angel and Easton Angel have been in great form so far this season, and will also bid for Group One glory in this race. As one of the main events of the sprinting season, the race is shaping up to be extremely competitive.
The final day of the meeting will see the running of the Betfred Ebor, the handicap that gave the festival its name. Named after the ancient Roman name for the town of York, the race was famously won by subsequent Champion Hurdler Sea Pigeon in the past, and is also one of the biggest betting heats of the year. However, with five of the last eight winners starting at odds of 20/1 or bigger, there is plenty of scope for getting creative when looking for a likely winner! With a whopping initial entry of 129 horses, this year’s renewal should be every bit as tricky.