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Monday, 17 December, 2018

Plenty were left smiling while others had reason to frown

David Carr on a York meeting with mixed weather and mixed fortunes

Racegoers get a soaking arriving at the Ebor Festival
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Marsha Holliman
She won the Elite Racing Club competition to name a filly by Acclamation out of Marlinka and was on hand in a joyous winner's enclosure to welcome the equine Marsha back after her memorable Nunthorpe triumph.

Marsha and some of her many owners celebrate Nunthorpe triumph

Richard Hoiles
The ITV commentator did his usual top-drawer job behind the mic and his brilliant "He's sure! I'm not!" response to Frankie Dettori's premature Nunthorpe celebration was inspired.

Ulysses and Enable
Proven top-notch Group 1 performers who lent class to the proceedings and ensured the flagship Juddmonte International and Yorkshire Oaks were well up to scratch.

Sir Michael Stoute
Winning the Juddmonte International for a record sixth time would be enough for many, but Stoute added further victories with Fidaawy and Mustashry to finish top trainer at the meeting.

Jim Crowley
An ultra-cool success on Ulysses took the champion jockey's 2017 prize-money tally past £3 million – having never reached £2m previously – and three other victories made him comfortably the meeting's top jockey.

Something is stirring: Europe's richest jumps and Flat handicaps have both headed north of the border in the last four months. First One For Arthur landed the Grand National for Fife-based Lucinda Russell and now Iain Jardine's Carrutherstown yard houses an Ebor winner in Nakeeta.

Callum Rodruigez
The apprentice rode only on the Saturday at York but he certainly made an impact. Two wins from three mounts is pretty special for a 5lb claimer – and landing the Ebor on Nakeeta made it his day of days.  

Mark Johnston
His Dee Ex Bee may have disappointed but Johnston's Threading and Dream Today won in the style of highly promising two-year-olds. Both look Guineas prospects for next season.

PJ McDonald
Not the most famous name in the weighing room but no less talented for that and grabbed his chance in fine style as he landed the Lonsdale Cup on the tricky Montaly.

Michael Dods
What's better than having two runners in the same race and seeing them finish first and second? How about having them dead-heat for first? That was the remarkable result as Dod's Holmeswood and Intense Romance could not be split in Saturday's closing apprentice handicap. For the record, the most notable dead-heat between stablemates occurred in the 1949 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, in which Coronation and Galgala could not be separated – they were trained by Charles Semblat and owned by Marcel Boussac.

There was no splitting stable-companions Holmeswood (left) and Intense Romance in the finale at York

Local trainers Tim Easterby, David O'Meara, Paul Midgley, Kevin Ryan, Richard Fahey, Michael Dods and Mark Johnston (twice) were all among the winners at Yorkshire's biggest meeting of the year and the whole four days was a showcase for the best the county has to offer, whether it be food, fashion or fun.


Aidan O'Brien
Second places with Churchill and Venice Beach were as good as it got for the usually all-conquering trainer, who was 0-9 at the meeting.

It was a decidedly post-Brexit Ebor meeting. Every winner was trained in Britain, with Irish stables drawing a blank and not a single runner from continental Europe.

Hey Jonesy
The way the heavily-backed favourite trotted up among the stands' side group in the Goffs Premier Yearling Stakes suggested he might well have landed the £184,000 first prize – rather than the £27,500 for third place – had he been drawn on the other side of the track.

Chantilly racecourse
Those hoping to attract a big field for the Arc may not have enjoyed Enable scaring a few potential rivals away with yet another romp to victory in the Yorkshire Oaks. Nor would they have liked hearing that Great Voltigeur-winning stablemate Cracksman is far from certain to head to Chantilly.

Backers of James Garfield, Dartmouth and Lady Aurelia
There is nothing more agonising than losing when you think you have won and there was exquisite torture for those who backed the runner-up in the Acomb, Lonsdale Cup or Nunthorpe as each had looked the winner to the naked eye, only for appearances to prove deceptive.


Frankie Dettori
It was a decidedly mixed week for the world's most famous jockey, although two good days out of three ain't bad in this game. Great Voltigeur winner Cracksman and Enable's sublime Yorkshire Oaks romp lit up Wednesday and Thursday. But the less said about Friday's celebrations after crossing the line on Lady Aurelia in the Nunthorpe the better!

ITV Racing viewers saw this shot of Frankie Dettori wrongly celebrating after thinking his mount Lady Aurelia had won the Nunthorpe. The photo finished revealed Marsha just pipped him to the post

If you like this you may also want to read . . .

More viewers, fewer racegoers – an up and down week at York

Ebor eyecatchers: six horses from York who must be followed

Three jockeys who saluted a narrow 'victory' too soon


Something is stirring: Europe's richest jumps and Flat handicaps have both headed north of the border in the last four months
E.W. Terms
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