The York Ebor Festival is one of the undoubted highlights of the sporting summer. Four days of top-class racing on the Knavesmire with brilliant prize money and big crowds sees the cream rise to the top and a string of stars are set to run this week.
With the likes of Baaeed, Mishriff, Alpinista and Stradivarius all headlining the action, we have previewed five races that you cannot afford to miss. A reminder, too, that you can watch every race live on Racing TV.
JUDDMONTE INTERNATIONAL STAKES
When: 3.35 on Wednesday
One of the foremost Group One events in the calendar. This is a race that has been won by a number of superstars. The two greatest Flat horses of the the 21st Century, Frankel and Sea The Stars, are both on the roll of honour and the sport’s latest superstar will bid to etch his name onto that list on Wednesday.
The William Haggas-trained Baaeed is an exemplary nine from nine and he now looks to make it the perfect ten on his first run at York. All of his previous have all been over a mile and he now makes the step up to 10 furlongs for the first time.
Could the step up in trip be a chink in his armour? Possibly, but he hits the line strongly over a mile and his big brother, Hukum, is proven over much further. Despite the presence of defending champion Mishriff, it will be a surprise if he is beaten.
SKY BET LOWTHER STAKES
When: 1.50 on Thursday
The six-furlong event has been won by smart fillies Hooray, Tiggy Wiggy and Fairyland in recent years. Karl Burke enjoyed success in the 2019 renewal with Living In The Past and he looks to have a hugely exciting prospect in Dramatised.
A smooth winner at Newmarket on debut, she produced one of the performances of the Royal Ascot when cruising to a facile win in the Queen Mary Stakes and she is now set to step up to six furlongs for the first time.
Queen’s Logic was the last filly to complete the Queen Mary-Lowther double back in 2001 but Dramatised looks to have the world at her feet.
DARLEY YORKSHIRE OAKS
When: 3.35 on Thursday
A race with a rich heritage. Some of the sport’s greatest heroines including Enable, Midday, Sea Of Class, Love and Snowfall are previous winners and the Queen of Europe Alpinista headlines this year’s renewal.
Trained in Newmarket by Sir Mark Prescott, Alpinista has enjoyed her travels in the last couple of years, winning Group One events at Hoppegarten, Cologne, Munich and Saint-Cloud. Second in the 2020 running, this looks a big opportunity to plunder a first domestic top-level prize.
However, this will be no easy task. Irish Oaks heroine Magical Lagoon is chasing a hat-trick of wins, while the Epsom Oaks form will also be put to the test with the winner and runner-up, Tuesday among the contenders in one of the highlights of the week.
WEATHERBYS HAMILTON LONSDALE CUP
When: 2.25 on Friday
The John and Thady Gosden-trained Stradivarius has lit up the sport over the past few seasons with 20 victories from 35 starts. He’s excelled at Ascot, Goodwood and Doncaster, but the Knavesmire has been a particular favourite for Super Strad and he will arrive unbeaten in six starts at the track.
Already the winning-most horse in the Lonsdale Cup with three victories, he bids to retain his crown on what is certain to be his final run at York.
The big, galloping track seems to suit Bjorn Nielsen’s pride and joy and with reports that Frankie Dettori may be back on board, this promises to be an unmissable chapter of the Stradivarius story.
COOLMORE NUNTHORPE STAKES
When: 3.35 on Friday
James Tate is excited by Royal Aclaim
One for the speedballs on Friday in which Royal Aclaim is a short-priced favourite for the five-furlong sprint. Unbeaten in three starts for James Tate, the three-year-old was awesome when landing the City Walls Stakes over course and distance in July and this has been the plan since for connections.
Newmarket trainer Tate has yet to taste Group One success, but his filly looks to have outstanding claims.
The opposition could include The Platinum Queen, a speedy two-year-old who broke the juvenile course record at Goodwood last time out. She has to be supplemented for the race at a cost of £40,000, but Middleham Park Racing have reportedly already lined up Hollie Doyle for the ride. With just 8st 2lb to carry, The Platinum Queen seems sure to make her presence felt.
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