York Ebor Festival Tips: What To Bet On At This Week's Meeting

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York Ebor Festival Tips: What To Bet On At This Week's Meeting
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The York Ebor Festival is one of the highlights of the British Flat racing calendar and some of the biggest names in the sport will light up the famous Knavesmire track across four days of top-class sport.

The 2023 edition of this prestigious festival promises to be right up there with the very best and, of course, bookmakers have plenty of free bets available.

The showpiece event of the meeting is the £500,000 Sky Bet Ebor Handicap on Saturday. It’s the most valuable handicap of the entire season and arguably the most competitive, making it a difficult punting puzzle to solve.

There is Group 1 action on each of the first three days, kicking off with the Juddmonte International Stakes on Wednesday afternoon. Disappointingly, only four horses will go to post for a race won in stunning fashion by the legendary Frankel in 2012. 

All eyes will be on the new ‘Iron Horse’ Paddington, who is out to win his eighth successive race and a fifth Group 1 contest in what is already a remarkable campaign.

Aidan O’Brien’s star three-year-old looks set to go off odds-on but brilliant Prince Of Wales’s Stakes winner Mostahdaf will surely serve it up to the favourite under Frankie Dettori, who would love to make his final Juddmonte International ride a winning one.

Irish Oaks heroine Savethelastdance looks the one to beat in Thursday’s G1 Yorkshire Oaks now that English Oaks winner Soul Sister is out but more on that race below!

Friday’s Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes promises to be a crackerjack renewal with last year’s winner Highfield Princess back to defend her crown. 

She renews rivalry with her King’s Stand Stakes conqueror Bradsell but look out also for the supplemented two-year-old Big Evs, who is getting 21lb off last year’s winner as he bids to become just the second juvenile winner of the famous five-furlong contest this century.

We’ve picked out five horses that could light up the Knavesmire this week. 

Wednesday - Sky Bet Stayers Handicap (4.10pm)

ROBERT JOHNSON has already run nine times in 2023 but he is showing no signs of flagging, indeed he powered home from off the pace to post a career-best effort in defeat at Goodwood last time and is 6/1 with betting sites to go one better at York.

Things didn’t go according to plan at Goodwood, where a slow start meant he needed to come from well off the pace. 

However, he powered up the straight to close on winner Temporize, drawing five lengths clear of the rest and shaping like he is by no means handicapped out of adding to his five wins this campaign.

The return to quicker ground won’t faze him and he won a competitive handicap over this course and distance only last month, so although he’s been edged up 4lb from Goodwood, another bold bid looks very much on the cards. 

And, for good measure, Connor Beasley, who is 4-4 on the selection, returns to the saddle having missed the Goodwood ride.

Thursday - Sky Bet Lowther Stakes (1.50pm)

Last weekend’s impressive Curragh winner Cherry Blossom will be popular, as will Super Sprint winner Relief Rally, but it might just be worth taking a chance on BEAUTIFUL DIAMOND, who created such a fine impression at Nottingham on debut.

That wide-margin debut success meant she was sent off favourite with horse racing betting sites for the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot and although the overriding impression was that she was slightly underwhelming that day, she was only two lengths behind Relief Rally in third.

Furthermore, trainer Karl Burke, who has won this race twice in the last four years, said afterwards that she’s still a weak filly that needs more time. 

Off the track since Ascot, she’s been given that time to come to herself and mature physically so we might just see a very different filly on the Knavesmire.

At double-figure odds, she looks worth chancing in what looks an open heat.

Thursday - Pertemps Network Yorkshire Oaks (3.35pm)

Five-year-old’s have won two of the last four editions of the Yorkshire Oaks and ROSSCARBERY can enhance that record further for the in-form Paddy Twomey and Billy Lee combination.

Rosscarbery has yet to score at Group 1 level but she was only outpointed by Emily Dickinson in the G2 Curragh Cup last time, where the combination of 1m6f on soft ground just stretched her stamina and played into the hands of the winner.

The return to this trip on a flat, galloping track will really suit this strong-travelling daughter of Sea The Stars, as will getting back on some nice ground.

She might just prove better suited to the drying conditions than the betting apps favourite Savethelastdance, who has a clear preference for soft ground.

Friday - Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes (3.00pm)

Two of the last three winners of this had not previously raced at Group level and KING’S GAMBLE might just have the class to improve past more experienced rivals.

The expensive son of Kingman created quite an impression at Newmarket on debut where, despite seeing plenty of daylight out wide, he travelled all over more experienced rivals before quickening away to score comfortably without his rider ever having to ask for maximum effort.

This represents a sharp rise in class for King’s Gamble but Group 1 entries suggest connections think they’ve got a smart one on their hands and this doesn’t look the deepest of Gimcrack’s.

Saturday - Sky Bet City Of York Stakes (3.00pm)

KINROSS won this race 12 months ago and, with rain forecast later in the week, conditions might just come right for him to follow up.

Unlike last year, Kinross comes into this Group 2 contest on the back of big-race success, having seen off Isaac Shelby in the G2 Lennox Stakes despite not having the smooth trip the runner-up benefitted from.

Kinross is a very hard horse to beat over seven furlongs on slow ground so providing they get some rain at York this week.

He should have too much for the likes of Al Suhail and Sacred, who would both be dangers on the pick of their form, but both disappointed in this last year and neither have managed to get their head in front at this track.

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