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Monday 7th August 2017
   
The Four Highlights of the 2017 Ebor Meeting

The Ebor Festival at York later this month is the next big meeting on the flat calendar in the UK where the feature is the Group One Juddmonte International. The 1m2f contest is not the only big race of the week, though, as the Nunthorpe Stakes, Yorkshire Oaks and Ebor Handicap Cup are some of the other highlights. Here is a look at those races in more detail.

Juddmonte International – Day One

Sea the Stars, Frankel, Australia and Postponed have all prevailed in the Juddmonte International over the last ten years, therefore, the 2017 champion will be joining a talented list of winners on the opening day of the Ebor Meeting. This 10f contest always attracts the best middle distance horses in Europe, while it is not uncommon to see some of the leading milers step up in trip.

Barney Roy - Image Source: Twitter

Barney Roy has been tipped up to become the third three-year-old in the last four years to score in this race later this month. It will be Richard Hannon’s runner’s second attempt at 1m2f as he moved up from a mile for the first time in the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown, where he finished just a nose behind the winner Ulysses. The highlight of the season so far for the 2000 Guineas runner-up was his victory in the St James’s Palace Stakes, where he gained revenge on Churchill for his first Group One win of his career. A win at York would mean he could end the campaign as the leading three-year-cold.

Yorkshire Oaks – Day Two

Enable has been the star middle distance three-year-old filly so far this season with two Classic victories to her name and success in the recent Group One King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes where she not only beat her opposite sex, but she also conquered the older generation. John Gosden’s filly is going to have another opportunity to shine this season in the Yorkshire Oaks at York, which is open to three-year-olds and above. A victory on the Knavesmire would bring her fifth consecutive victory and her fourth Group One win of her career. Challenges to the Oaks winner are likely to come from Queen’s Trust and Rhododendron, however, she will be expected to overcome them to remain unbeaten in 2017.

Nunthorpe Stakes – Day Three

King’s Stand Stakes winner Lady Aurelia goes into the Nunthorpe Stakes at York where she is looking to prevail for the sixth time in her seventh start. The American sprinter’s only defeat came last year in the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket where she stepped up in distance to 6f but could only come home third.

Lady AureliaLady Aurelia - Image Source: Twitter

Since that loss, Lady Aurelia has looked back to her best at the minimum trip as she won on her opening start of the new season at Keeneland and was then unstoppable at Royal Ascot for the second consecutive year. When at top speed in her races, Lady Aurelia is travelling at around 45mph, which as you can see from this infographic on Betway Insider blog, is the top speed that a brown hare can go over a short distance. Just like many of the other animals featured in this list, she is unable to maintain her speed over long distances, so the relatively short 5f trip she will encounter at York is right up her street and she will be the horse they all have to beat.

Ebor Cup Handicap – Day Four

The Ebor Cup is the most valuable handicap held in Europe and it always produces a highly competitive field. Last year, Heartbreak City came out on top in the 1m6f contest for Irish trainer Tony Martin at odds of 15/2. Flymetothestars has been tipped to give trainer Sir Mark Prescott his second success in the feature race on the final day of the Ebor Meeting, 23 years after his first winner Hasten to Add. This four-year-old has been in great form recently, with two wins from his last three stars, while on his latest outing, he was third in the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle. If he reproduces that kind of form at York, he should be in the mix again.
This year’s Ebor Meeting begins on August 23 and all the feature races will be shown on ITV1 as part of ITV’s racing coverage, which is presented by Ed Chamberlain and Francesca Cumani.