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15th June 2021

York Ebor Festival Trends: DAY ONE (Weds 19th Aug 2020)

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!

We get going on DAY ONE with four LIVE ITV races, including the Group Three Acomb Stakes, where 15 of the last 17 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 19th August 2020


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

11/11 – Carried 8-13 or more
10/11 – Returned 7/1 or bigger in the betting
9/11 – Had run 6 or more times that season
9/11 – Had won 5 or more times during their career
8/11 – Had run at York before (5 won)
7/11 – Unplaced last time out
7/11 – Aged 5 or 6 years-old
5/11 – Ran at Goodwood last time out
2/11 – Trained by Kevin Ryan
1/11 – Winning favourites
3 of the last 10 winners came from stall 15
6 of the last 10 winners came from a double-figure stall
Dakota Gold (4/1 fav) won the race in 2019
El Astronaute (12/1) won the race in 2018

TQ VERDICT: A super tough handicap to get the LIVE ITV action off and running, so it might pay to have two or three runners on side. Trainer Kevin Ryan has won the race twice since 2013 so his runner – Justanotherbottle – who was a fair third at Ayr last time out can go well. But he was only 9th in the race 12 months ago and is actually running off a 2lb higher mark. Lahore, Copper Knight, Jonah Jones, Muscika, Lahore and Soldier’s Minute are all proven course winners at the track so have to be respected too, especially COPPER KNIGHT (e/w), who has been handed the 15 draw – the stall responsible for three of the last 10 winners. He wasn’t beaten far here last time out but after 10 runs without a win has dropped to a mark of 100 and that is starting to look dangerous. The other horse of interest is the David O’Meara runner – ARECIBO (e/w) – who was third in this race 12 months ago. He’s 4lbs lower this time and draw 16 looks decent. He’s not won this year yet, but hasn’t been beaten far in his races to suggest a return to form could be close. Of the rest, Aplomb can go well, while Ryan Moore riding the Ed Walker-trained Came From The Dark catches the eye too. Jawwaal is also sure to be popular after nice wins at Doncaster and Ascot recently, but he’s up another 8lbs here so needs to take another step forward – he does, however, represent last year’s winning stable of Michael Dods.


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

16/17 – Had won at least once before
15/17 – Won their previous race
13/17 – Placed favourites
13/17 – Had won over 7f or further before
7/17 – Ran at either York (3) or Newmarket (4) last time out
6/17 – Winning favourites
3/17 - Had run at York before
2/17 – Trained by Mark Johnston
2/17 - Ridden by James Doyle
2/17 – Trained by William Haggas
2/17 – Trained by Charles Hills
2/17 – Winners from stall 1
7 of the last 11 winners were foaled in March or later
9 of the last 13 winners came from stalls 5-9 (inc)

TQ VERDICT: A good race for the Mark Johnston yard in recent years and they look to have another good chance here with their proven course and distance winner – Gear Up. This 2 year-old was a good winner over this 7f trip that day and should have more to offer but this is obviously a big step up in grade. Darvel, Titan Rock, Royal Scimitar, Praise Of Shadows and Broxi were all nice winners in their last races too, but the one that stands out for me is the Godolphin entry – CLOUDBRIDGE. This juvenile was an easy 3 ¼ length winner on debut at Leicester and based on that win is clearly an above average sort. Like most in the race, the horse will need to step up again now into a Group Three, but the Charlie Appleby yard also boast an impressive 40% record (4 from 10) with their 2 year-olds at the track. I think Gear Up and Darvel are the ones that can give the selection most to think about.


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

16/18 – Had 2 or more previous runs that season
15/18 – Had won at least twice already in their career
15/18 - Placed favourites
14/18 – Had won over at least 1m2f before
14/18 – Returned 7/1 or shorter in the betting
11/18 – Trained by Sir Michael Stoute (3), Godolphin (3) or John Gosden (5)
8/18 – Winning favourites
6/18 – Went onto be placed in the St Leger
3/18 – Went onto win the St Leger (Logician, Lucarno, Rule of Law)
4/18 -  Ridden by Frankie Dettori
0/18 – Winners from stall 1
Logician (5/5 fav) won the race in 2019
Trainer Aidan O’Brien has won the race 3 times before (2001, 2003 & 2016)
Trainer John Gosden has won the race 5 times before (2007, 2008, 2012, 2017 & 2019)
Trainer Sir Michael Stoute has won this race 7 times before (1982, 1994, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2011 & 2013)
14 horses have won this before going onto win the St Leger (Sept 12th)

Note: The 2008 renewal was run at Goodwood

TQ VERDICT: Course winner Roberto Escobarr took a big step forward to win over this course last time out by an easy 4 lengths - is a huge step up in grade but connections clearly like the horse and there might be more to come over this longer trip too. Pyledriver was a surprise winner of the King Edward VII Stakes at Ascot two runs back but flopped next time in the Epsom Derby. There is every chance the track didn’t suit last time out though so if you can forgive that run he’s one to consider. Subjectivist was a decent third in the Gordon Stakes last time out and having been placed in the top three in 8 of his 11 runs suggests he’s going to be involved. But the horse that beat him last time – MOGUL – takes him on again and I think this Aidan O’Brien runner is worth sticking with. He’s clearly left his Royal Ascot run behind him, when just under 5 lengths behind the already mentioned Pyledriver, but wasn’t disgraced in a strange Derby (6th) and then bounced back to win last time. With Ryan Moore still in the saddle there could be more to come and the fact he’s one of just two proven winners over this trip (Pyledriver the other) in the field must be a big plus. Highland Chief was a close second to Mogul last time so will have his fans too, while Juan Elcano is a horse that often runs well in and around this level, but with just 1 win from 6 is more often placed. Berkshire Rocco would be interesting too and has run well over further, but the John Gosden runner – DARAIN is the other to note. Yes, this 3 year-old has won two races at lower levels but must be thought up to the task of going well in this grade by the powerful Gosden camp, who have won this race 5 times in the past. He’s got a St Leger entry too and looks the sort to do even better now upped in trip.



3.15 - Juddmonte International Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) Cl1 1m2f88y ITV

16/18 – Previous Group 1 winners
16/18 – Had 3 or more previous runs that season
15/18 – Returned 5/1 or shorter in the betting
15/18 – Had won over 1m2f (or further) before
14/18 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
13/18 – Had not run at York before
12/18 – Aged 4 or older
11/18 – Aged 4 or 5 years-old
11/18 – Had won 5 or more times before
11/18 – Winning distance of 1 length or less
9/18 – Ran at either Ascot (5) or Sandown (4) last time out
8/18 – Winning favourites
5/18 – Trained by Aidan O’Brien
3/18 – Won the Epsom Derby that season
2/18 – Ridden by Frankie Dettori (5 winners in total)
6 of the last 12 winners were Irish-trained
Japan (5/1) won the race in 2019

Note: The 2008 renewal was run at Newmarket

TQ VERDICT: A top renewal of this Group One, despite only six runners. All eyes will be on the Godolphin runner though – GHAIYYATH – who lowered the colours of the mighty Enable last time out in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown. That win was his third in a row, while he’s become a bit of a specialist over this 1m2f trip – he’s currently 4-from-4. He’s the top-rated in the field (127) too and despite having to give weight away to some of the others like Magical, Lord North and Kameko. The last-named landed the 2,000 Guineas earlier this season but hasn’t won since. He clearly didn’t stay the 1m4f trip in the Derby and had excuses (not a clear run) in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood last time out. He’s trying this trip for the first time, but based on his Derby run looks well within range. The Aidan O’Brien runner – Magical – has returned better than ever this season with two G1 wins at the Curragh over this trip and getting 3lbs off the Godolphin horse brings her into the mix too – she can go well, but this looks a much harder race than the ones she’s been winning. Lord North is the one then that I think can give the pick most to think about. This John Gosden runner has been a bit improver this season and it was hard to not be taken by his easy win in the G1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. He’s a horse with a good turn of foot and has been freshened up with a few months off. If able to keep tabs on the Godolphin horse, who often likes to front run, his change of pace could be the answer to winning or losing.



3.45 Sky Bet Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-105) 2m 1/2f ITV

10/10 – Had run in the last 2 months
9/10 – Aged 4 or 5 years-old
9/10 – Didn’t win last time out
8/10 – Won between 1-5 times before
7/10 – Ran in the last 4 weeks
7/10 – Came from stall 7 or higher
7/10 – Rated between 87-96
7/10 – Returned 8/1 or shorter in the betting
7/10 – Carried 9-0 or less in weight
6/10 – Drawn from stalls 8-13 (inc)
6/10 – Had run at the course before
5/10 – Unplaced favourites
4/10 – Ran at Ascot last time out
2/10 – Winning favourites
2/10 – Iris-trained winners
2/10 – Trained by Ralph Beckett
2/10 – Ridden by Harry Bentley
Eddystone Rock (8/1) won the race in 2019

TQ VERDICT: Volcanic Sky and Monsieur Lambrays were both nice winners last time out and can go well, while True Destiny is a proven CD winner that’s got Ryan Moore booked to ride. I think the handicapper has caught up with Solo Saxophone now afer some easy wins, while Just Hubert and Rochester House are closely-matched based on their runs (1st and 2nd) last time out. It’s a race, however, the Ralph Beckett yard like to target – winning it twice in the last three years – they run MAKE MY DAY. This 4 year-old heads here having won his last two races, including one over this course last time out on his first run for the yard. A 6lb rise makes life harder but it’s interesting he’s up from 1m4f to 2m here and that could easily eke out more improvement – the yard have a 21% record with their 4+ year-olds at the track. The Beckett yard also run the 2018 winner - Here and Now - who can't be dismissed either on his best form.The other that might be worth having a small interest on too is last year’s winner – EDDYSTONE ROCK (e/w). This 8 year-old is a pound lower than 12 months ago and should be a lot fitter for a recent run at Ascot. Yes, he got tired quickly the last day, but actually travelled well into the race for a long way and that should have blown away the cobwebs. SUMMER MOON (e/w) is the final one to mention – this Mark Johnston runner should benefit from the drop back to 2m after running out of steam over 2m4f last time at Goodwood, and has also been dropped a few pounds for that. He’s a course winner too and should make a bold bid up with the pace for a yard that won this race in 2013.



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