Horse racing fans are counting down the days excitedly as we draw upon the eve of The Ebor Festival. One of the biggest meetings of the summer racing schedule, it provides fans with an opportunity to watch the best horses duke it out. For the horses and their jockeys, it is a prestigious meeting with a sheen of its own as well as solid preparation for big Autumn races. The pride of York, Ebor presents a wonderful match-up between three-year-olds and their senior peers. Taking place from August 19th to August 22nd, York has been the stage of legendary moments in recent years, such as Frankel’s incredible Juddmonte International in 2012. That was one of the defining performances of a horse that many deem to be one of the greatest to have ever galloped.
This time around, there are a number of contenders who could also wow crowds, the strongest of which appears to be Ghaiyyath; the in-form five-year-old was last seen winning the Eclipse after beating the great mare Enable. Trainer Charlie Appleby is confident that Ghaiyyath will prove worthy of his favourite tag. “We’re in good shape. This year has been a great year for him, winning the Coronation and the Coral-Eclipse, and it was always our plan to head for the Juddmonte International thereafter,” he said on the Nick Luck Daily Podcast. “His preparation has gone well to date. He looks great and is giving us all the right signs.”
Enable, a previous winner of the Yorkshire Oaks, will not be in attendance at this year’s Ebor Festival. The reason for her absence is to give her the best chance of winning a momentous third Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. There will, however, be plenty of other high-profile horses ready to take her spotlight. The Nunthorpe Stakes, open to horses aged two or older, is set over five furlongs and ideally suited to speedsters. With recent wins at Royal Ascot and Goodwood under his belt, Battaash is a hot favourite to win this race. With favourites this strong, we don’t expect many surprises in these races but have faith in Europe’s richest handicap, The Ebor, to deliver plenty of drama, as it is inherently made to do. Always a very open race, over £560k awaits the winner and we think a wise selection would be Sharjah, who can be backed at around 16/1 with most bookmakers.
Prize money does not have to exclusively go to winning teams. You too can get in on the act with a wise wager. Keeping an eye on the form of the competitors at The Ebor Festival will be an essential part of the research that goes into making a bet. We would suggest keeping an eye on horse PMU racing results at the french website Turfoo, an extremely useful tool for staying informed. Whatever happens, make sure to enjoy the drama and adrenaline surge that comes with watching the Ebor Festival. Tune in to ITV or Racing TV to follow the action if the bookmaker you back with doesn’t offer live streaming services.