York Racecourse will be the centre of attention from Wednesday 19th August through until Saturday 22nd August as the Knavesmire venue stages the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.
There are four days of high-class Flat racing, including the Juddmonte International, the Darley Yorkshire Oaks, the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes and Sky Bet Ebor itself.
Here’s an early look at some of the stars that may grace the York turf at the Ebor Festival.
Kameko – Juddmonte International – Wednesday 19th August
A blockbuster clash between the 2,000 Guineas winner Kameko and Ghaiyyath should be the feature on day one at York. The latter is 2-2 this season, winning the Coronation Cup at Newmarket and the Eclipse at Sandown in impressive.
He’s a bold front-running sort and will surely test the stamina of Andrew Balding’s Kameko; beaten in the Derby at Epsom and the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood since his Classic win in June. He was all dressed up with nowhere to go in that most recent start, with champion jockey Oisin Murphy shouldering the blame himself. Redemption will be on his mind!
Love – Yorkshire Oaks – Thursday 20th August
Sadly it has been confirmed two-time winner Enable won’t be bidding for a third win in the Yorkshire Oaks, ruling out the possibility of a duel with Love; Aidan O’Brien’s ultra-impressive Qipco 1,000 Guineas and Epsom Oaks scorer.
She blitzed the opposition at Epsom by some nine lengths and looks a star in the making; she might even face Enable later in the season come the Arc but, for now, Yorkshire Oaks glory surely beckons.
Battaash – Nunthorpe Stakes – Friday 21st August
The fastest horse in Europe, Battaash shattered the course record in winning this race last year. He has looked imperious this summer with wins at Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood, breaking the track record at the latter recently and; as commentator Mark Johnston suggested in that race; the biggest rival Battaash has now is the clock! His bid for a second Nunthorpe is must-see stuff.
Art Power – Nunthorpe Stakes – Friday 21st August
If there’s going to be something to halt Battaash’s brilliance it might be Art Power for trainer Tim Easterby and King Power Racing. He looked a handicap blot at Royal Ascot and so it proved and he has since won a Group 3 in Ireland in very impressive style; dispatching smart filly Millisle without any fuss.
The Dark Angel colt is a rising star with only five races under his belt and this will be his first attempt in a Group 1 contest. Can he keep up with the Bat-mobile?
Caravan Of Hope – Ebor – Saturday 22nd August
Hamish, the long-time ante-post favourite for the Ebor itself, has been ruled out of the race by an injury sustained at home, trainer William Haggas has confirmed. That leaves Royal Ascot winner Fujaira Prince, who is trained by Roger Varian, as the market leader.
One to take him on at a bigger price may be Hugo Palmer’s Northumberland Plate winner Caravan Of Hope; who looks set to get his place in the field off a handy mark of 98 following that impressive Gosforth Park win.
He’ll want some dig in the ground, ensuring Palmer will be hoping the hot spell of weather in Britain abates soon, but he would be a massive player if he gets his conditions on a track as fair as York.