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Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Million-pound mission: Stradivarius and other York Ebor treats over four days

York racecourse: hosting the four-day Ebor meeting this week
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Another busy week with a festival taking centre stage as York's Ebor meeting lasts from Wednesday to Saturday running into a Bank Holiday weekend. Here are the highlights to look forward to over the next seven days.


The fields for the four-day York Ebor Festival on Wednesday are out, including the Group 1 Juddmonte International and the St Leger trial that is the Sky Bet Great Voltigeur, in which Aidan O’Brien has half of the 16 entries.

Saturday’s initial entries are also revealed with top-class races at York, Goodwood, where there is a supplementary entry opening for the Group 2 Ladbrokes Celebration Mile, Newmarket and Windsor.

Thirsk and Leicester, where the City’s Premier League side’s owner has six runners, provide the afternoon entertainment before Bangor, over jumps, Roscommon and Windsor take over in the evening.

There's also the little matter of Mark Johnston making history by becoming the winningmost trainer in British racing after Sunday's mishap at Pontefract as he sends three to Leicester.

Windsor hosts the finale of its Sky Bet Sprint series that has been running through the season and has been rewarded with a full field of 16 with the winner gettting £46,688.


York’s Thursday card is revealed with final declarations for the likes of the Group 1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks and Sky Bet Lowther.

Brighton has a two-day meeting after picking up the cancelled Bath fixture on Wednesday to go with its Tuesday card

It’s a busy day’s racing, starting at Brighton, which has a two-day meeting having picked up the Bath fixture on Wednesday, with Hamilton and Kempton in the afternoon before Yarmouth and two jumps meetings at Newton Abbot and Sligo in the evening.


Time to find out who stands in the way of Stradivarius and the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers £1m bonus in their Lonsdale Cup at York on Friday as well as the final field for the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe and Al Basti Equiworld Gimcrack.

Then it’s under orders for the first day of the York festival, featuring the Juddmonte International, backed up by racing at Carlisle and Brighton in Britain and Killarnay in Ireland.

Worcester, over jumps, and Kempton, on the all-weather, provide the evening action.


Declarations for Saturday start the day mid-morning before York’s ladies day takes centre stage in the afternoon with the Yorkshire Oaks and Lowther features for fillies and mares.

The Ebor Lawn is the place to be seen for the fashionistas with a short break to Dubai the prize for the best dressed lady on the day with gentlemen and children also chasing lesser prizes.

Chepstow and Stratford give a choice of codes with the other afternoon meetings before Killarney, Fontwell and Wolverhampton end the day.


York has it all from the 5f burn-up that is the Coolmore Nunthorpe with Battaash looking for redemption for last year’s spluttering performance to the 2m56yd Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup and the £1m bid by Stradivarius.

Watch Stradivarius win the Ascot Gold Cup

Ffos Las and Newmarket also race in the afternoon before Chelmsford hosts another rich evening card on the all-weather while Goodwood and Salisbury, which hosts the Longines Irish Champions Weekend EBF Stonehenge Stakes (Listed Race).


No Group 1 climax to the week but seven Group races around Britain and Ireland and a day for the punters looking for big prices, headed by York’s £500,000 Sky Bet Ebor.

Watch Ebor favourite Stratum's win at Newbury last month

John Dunlop, who Goodwood is honouring and remembering on Saturday

Goodwood pays tribute to John Dunlop with the Group 3 March Stakes run in the late Arundel trainer’s memory alongside the day's feature Group 2 Ladbrokes Celebration Mile, which has Sussex Stakes winner Lightning Spear among the initial entries for the race he has won for the last two years. 

Watch Lightning Spear's win in last year's Celebration Mile

There’s the Group 3 Comer Group International Irish St Leger Trial Stakes at The Curragh and in the evening another race at that level in the Bet & Watch At Winter Hill Stakes at Windsor.

Chelmsford and Newmarket also race in the afternoon with Redcar joining Windsor in the evening.


It is Bank Holiday weekend and Goodwood keep the pot boiling with the day’s feature Group 3 Supreme Stakes.

Beverley and Yarmouth keep the holidaymakers happy while in Ireland it is Rose Race day featuring the Galileo Irish EBF Futurity Stakes and Debutante Stakes as well as the Tipperary Crystal Ladies Invitational race.

Cracksman (left) is the one to beat in the Arc at 7-1 as the market looks to have overlooked him

Deauville finishes its summer season with the Group 2 Grand Prix de Deauville-Lucien Barriere, which is set to see Sylvester Kirk continue his search for a big win with Salouen, who has not won in two years but went close to Group 1 glory when caught close home by Cracksman in the Coronation Cup at Epsom this year.

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The Ebor Lawn is the place to be seen for the fashionistas with a short break to Dubai the prize for the best dressed lady
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