Saturday means the Betfred Ebor, the oldest and probably most famous race at York. As Europe’s richest flat handicap the excitement that it generates has been constant since the 1840s.
The buzz about the racecourse on Ebor day is infectious, as groups of friends enjoy, relax and hopefully unravel the puzzle to find the winner. For the first time there will be a public draw for stalls positions in the race, it will be done live in the Winner’s Enclosure on Thursday around noon.
- The Debenhams City Of York Stakes This popular Listed race over seven furlongs is backed by supporters of Fashion on the Field and new race supporters at York.
- The Betfred Melrose Stakes The famous Heritage Handicap – named after a former chairman of York Racecourse – has seen its prize money increase since the inception of a four-day Festival and now stands at £65,000. Sometimes called the ‘three-year-olds’ Ebor’, it’s a contest that should contain plenty of classy contenders.
- The Weatherbys Insurance Lonsdale Cup The joint richest Group 2 ‘Cup’ race for top stayers. Run over two miles, expect to see horses that competed in races such as the Emirates Airline Yorkshire Cup or the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot as they have another opportunity of long-distance glory. Part of the QIPCO British Champions Series, the winner may well reappear in mid-October for British Champions Day itself. Some great stayers have won this race over the years, such as Sergeant Cecil, Millenary, Bollin Eric, Persian Punch and Celeric.
- The Betfred Ebor Heritage Handicap Europe’s richest flat handicap races with a total prize fund of £210,000 – maintaining a record sum. This famous contest over a mile and three-quarters, one of the most coveted prizes in the sport, was first held at York in 1843 and has been sponsored since 1976 by the Tote, which is now part of the Betfred operation. The last two years have seen the trophy travel across the Irish Sea, however Tactician, owned by Her Majesty The Queen, is a strong contender this year. A tilt at another world famous handicap, the Melbourne Cup, is always considered by the winning connections.
- The Julia Graves Roses Stakes A Listed contest for juvenile sprinters over the minimum distance of five furlongs, victory in this race often heralds an impressive career.
- The Betfred the Bonus King Stakes This is a new and so 25th race this year and provides an opportunity for juveniles over the distance of a mile.
- The Raithwaite Hall Hotel Stakes A flying contest over the shortest distance in UK racing, five furlongs, brings the curtain down on a Festival supported by the local tourism agency with a race backed by the region’s newest luxury hotel.
Allison is the Publisher of Eclipse Magazine. She loves going to the Races and is learning to bet (despite being officially the worst bettor in the History of the Universe), there’s a lot more to learn…