York Ebor Festival Trends: DAY ONE (Weds 21st Aug 2019)

The horse racing action steps up a few gears again on Wednesday 21st August as the four-day Ebor Festival from York racecourse gets going. Bundles to look forward to with 10 Group races spread over the meeting that include the Juddmonte Stakes, Nunthorpe Stakes and the Yorkshire Oaks, while the meeting is always concluded with the Ebor Handicap on the final day – the most valuable flat handicap in Europe!

The meeting can give many pointers to big races later in the year, including the Melbourne Cup 2019.

We get going on DAY ONE with four LIVE ITV races, including the Group Three Acomb Stakes, where 14 of the last 16 winners won last time out, while we’ve also the Great Voltigeur – a decent St Leger Trial – but the opening day’s feature is the Group One Juddmonte International Stakes – a race that is worth just over £540k to the winner!

As always, we’ll be on-hand throughout the whole meeting to take you through the key trends for each day’s LIVE ITV races.



DAY ONE – Wednesday 21st August 2019


1.55 – Sky Bet Symphony Group Stakes (Handicap) Cl2 5f89y ITV

10/10 – Returned 7/1 or bigger in the betting
10/10 – Carried 8-13 or more
9/10 – Had run 6 or more times that season
8/10 – Had won 5 or more times during their career
7/10 – Unplaced last time out
7/10 – Had run at York before (4 won)
6/10 – Aged 5 or 6 years-old
5/10 – Ran at Goodwood last time out
2/10 – Trained by Kevin Ryan
0/10 – Winning favourites
El Astronaute (12/1) won the race in 2018

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: Not a great race for punters in recent years, with NO winning favourite in the last 10 years. However, that’s hardly surprising as this is always a very competitive affair – this year is no different with 22 runners. It’s a race that ALL 10 recent winners have carried 8-13 or more in, so that’s not good news for the bottom five on the card – Fool For You, Orvar, Duke Of Firenze, Harome and Lord Riddiford. Having had a busy season (6+ runs) is a positive though, while with 7 of the last 10 winners unplaced last time out, then don’t be afraid to have a slightly out of form runner on your side. Saturday’s Great St Wilfrid winner – DAKOTA GOLD – will certainly be popular though. He won that race by an easy 2 ¼ lengths and is only 5lbs higher here. This 5 year-old has clearly come out of that race well to run again so soon and is a past CD winner here too. Any rain would be a plus, but he’s won on good-to-firm in the past too. There is no real draw bias as in recent years we’ve had winners from stalls 3 up to 18, so draw 10 looks fine – it will actually give him options if they want. Of the rest, the consistent FINAL VENTURE (e/w) looks sure to be in the mix too. This 7 year-old has been second in his last four runs and was also runner-up in this race last year. He’s 4lbs higher this time but the in-form Oisin Murphy, who rode last year too, is back in the saddle. Others to consider are Queen Of Desire, Stone Of Destiny, Arecibo and Camacho Chief, who represents the Michael Dods yard that won this in 2009. The consistent Jabbarockie should be in the shake-up too, while back a York, the 10 year-old Duke Of Firenze could easily bounce back to form.

2.25 – Tattersalls Acomb Stakes (Group 3) Cl1 7f ITV

15/16 – Had won at least once before
14/16 – Won their previous race
13/16 – Placed favourites
12/16 – Had won over 7f or further before
7/16 – Ran at either York (3) or Newmarket (4) last time out
6/16 – Winning favourites
3/16 – Had run at York before
2/16 – Trained by Mark Johnston
2/16 – Ridden by James Doyle
2/16 – Trained by William Haggas
2/10 – Trained by Charles Hills
1/16 – Winners from stall 1
6 of the last 10 winners were foaled in March or later
9 of the last 12 winners came from stalls 5-9 (inc)
Phoenix Of Spain (9/2) won the race in 2018

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: Frankie Dettori riding for John Quinn will catch the eye for punters and this 2 year-old won well for the Italian jockey at Goodwood last month. Ropey Guest and the O’Brien-trained Harpocrates are the two most experienced in the race, but on the flipside are also looking a tad exposed. Joseph O’Brien sends over Vitalogy, who won well on debut at Naas – he holds some fancy entries and could be useful. William Haggas has a good record in the race, so his Ethic is another to note. He won well last time out at Salisbury over 6f and looks the sort to improve for the step up in trip. Yorkshire Gold won well on debut too, but that that came on heavy ground, so we’ll see how he goes on a quicker surface – on a plus, the Ryan yard won this in 2016. Kingbrook showed guts to rally to get back up at Ascot last time out and should be in the mix too, but I’ll take the Charles Hills yard to follow-up their win in the race from last year. Their Irish Guineas winner – Phoenix Of Spain – won the spoils for them last year and they will be hoping they’ve got another useful one here with PERSUASION. This colt was a smooth winner at Goodwood last time out over 7f and looks to have a lot more in-hand than the ½ winning margin. He’s another with some top entries later in the season so is held in high regard. James Doyle, who rode last time, remains in the saddle.


3.00 – Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes (Group 2) (Colts & Geldings) Cl1 1m4f ITV

15/17 – Had 2 or more previous runs that season
14/17 – Had won at least twice already in their career
14/17 – Placed favourites
13/17 – Had won over at least 1m2f before
13/17 – Returned 7/1 or shorter in the betting
10/17 – Trained by Sir Michael Stoute (3), Godolphin (3) or John Gosden (4)
7/17 – Winning favourites
5/17 – Went onto be placed in the St Leger
2/17 – Went onto win the St Leger (Lucarno, Rule of Law)
3/17 – Ridden by Frankie Dettori
0/17 – Winners from stall 1
Old Persian (7/1) won the race in 2018
Trainer Aidan O’Brien has won the race 3 times before (2001, 2003 & 2016)
Trainer Sir Michael Stoute has won this race 7 times before (1982, 1994, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2011 & 2013)
13 horses have won this before going onto win the St Leger (Sept 14th)

Note: The 2008 renewal was run at Goodwood

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: The Aidan O’Brien-trained Constantinople and Nayef Road were separated by just a neck last time out at Goodwood in the Gordon Stakes so there is likely to be little to pick between the two again here. Both will clearly have their supporters, however – the fly in the ointment for them could be the unbeaten LOGICIAN. This John Gosden runner has caught the eye in winning his three races to date and despite not beating much last time (1/5 fav) he could not have been more impressive. Frankie rides and the yard have a fine record in the race – winning it in 2012 and 2017 in recent years. This looks likely to be another decent horse to be rising up the ranks at the Gosden stable and will be all the rage for the St Leger next month if taking this. Norway and Jalmoud make up the five runners and can’t be totally ruled out, especially the latter as this is a race the Godolphin yard have done well in over the years.


3.35 – Juddmonte International Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) Cl1 1m2f88y ITV

15/17 – Previous Group 1 winners
15/17 – Had 3 or more previous runs that season
14/17 – Returned 9/2 or shorter in the betting
14/17 – Had won over 1m2f (or further) before
13/17 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
13/17 – Had not run at York before
12/17 – Aged 4 or older
11/17 – Aged 4 or 5 years-old
11/17 – Had won 5 or more times before
10/17 – Winning distance of 1 length or less
9/17 – Ran at either Ascot (5) or Sandown (4) last time out
8/17 – Winning favourites
4/17 – Trained by Aidan O’Brien
3/17 – Won the Epsom Derby that season
2/17 – Ridden by Frankie Dettori (5 winners in total)
5 of the last 11 winners were Irish-trained
Roaring Lion (3/1) won the race in 2018

Note: The 2008 renewal was run at Newmarket

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: A cracking renewal of the International. Many big names heading to post, but really on the ratings the Sir Michael Stoute-trained CRYSTAL OCEAN will take the beating. He’s an ultra-consistent middle distance performer that never runs a bad race. He’s never been out of the top three from his 16 career starts and ran the classy Enable to a neck in the King George last time out. The drop back to 1m2f is fine as he won the Prince Of Wales’ Stakes at Royal Ascot over this trip in June, plus acts on all ground. James Doyle, who was on his back last time, remains in the saddle. Of the rest, the 3 year-olds – Circus Maximus, Japan and King Of Comedy will be the biggest dangers to the selection as they receive 7lbs from him. All three have shown a top level of form this season and getting the weight certainly brings their rating a lot closer to Crystal Ocean. King Of Comedy is stepping up in trip for the first time so that’s an unknown though and Japan is actually stepping back in trip – so that’s a question mark too. Circus Maximus won well at Chester over this distance so will be fine and probably looks the value of the 3 year-olds, but ELARQAM (e/w) was impressive in winning at York last time out and with the second – Addeybb – franking the form since then he can rate the danger. Yes, he’s rated 9lbs inferior to the pick, but will have no worries regarding the trip and has won on ground ranging from good-to-form to soft.







This article was brought to you by Racing Ahead magazine, UK and Ireland's best-selling horse racing monthly magazine. Previewing the key races for the month ahead, as well as reports from our trusted scouts on the track, Racing Ahead is packed with interviews, big-race tips, horses to follow, systems and much more!
On-sale nationwide or subscribe HERE


FFC Blog Network
[snack_ad id="6539157" type="1by1"]