In-Depth 2018 Yorkshire Ebor Festival Betting Preview

22 – 25 August

Nicknamed the Ascot of the North, York is one of the finest racecourses in the UK. In fact, it has won the coveted Racecourse Association’s Best Racecourse award in the last two years. It is a track that carries a rich history and every August; it is the scene of the internationally acclaimed Ebor Festival.

This year, the four-day festival runs from Wednesday 22 August to Saturday 25 August. There are several Class 1 races to look forward to, but the three Group 1 races, the Juddmonte International Stakes, the Darley Yorkshire Oaks, and the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes are the unquestioned highlights of the festival. As you’ve probably guessed, those are the three races featured in today’s Ebor Festival preview.

For each of the three key races, we’ll provide a general overview of the race, a look at previous winners, useful betting trends and a comparison of the odds across the best racing betting sites.

The Juddmonte International Stakes

Wednesday, 22 August @ 3:35 pm

The Juddmonte International Stakes became the richest ever race run at York with a £1 million prize fund in 2017. It is the highest rated Flat race in Britain and takes place over 1m 2f 56 yards. It is open to all 3yo+ horses, but while 3yos carry 8-13, 4yo+ horses must carry 9-6.

The first running of the Juddmonte took place in 1972 and was won by Roberto who had also won the Derby. It was the only time that Brigadier Gerard ever lost a race. It is a real treat of a race on the opening day and as always, this year’s renewal features some of the world’s finest horses.

Previous Winners

YearWinnerOdds (SP)
2013Declaration of War7/1
2014Australia8/13
2015Arabian Queen50/1
2016Postponed15/8
2017Ulysses4/1

Betting Trends and Information

Poet’s Word is the 7/4 favourite in a race with eight confirmed runners at the time of writing. Roaring Lion is next at 5/2 while 2,000 Guineas winner Saxon Warrior is the third favourite at 4/1. The rest of the field is 12/1+.

  • 18/21 winners finished in the top three in their previous race.
  • 11/21 favourites have won the race; 17/21 winners were in the top three in the betting market.
  • 13/21 winners had an OR of 121+.
  • 19/21 winners last ran 18-60 days before the race.

Top rated Poet’s Word boasts an OR of 130 and has won the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and the King George V & Queen Elizabeth Stakes so far in 2018. Roaring Lion is fresh from beating Saxon Warrior twice this year and should go close.

Saxon Warrior has fallen short when upped in distance and probably won’t have enough to handle either of the top two although he can’t be ruled out completely. Of the rest of the field, perhaps Without Parole can shake off a disappointing Sussex Stakes performance but one wonders how he will cope with a step up in distance.

Ante Post Betting Odds

Racebets.comComeOn.comWilliam Hill
Poet’s Word7/47/47/4
Roaring Lion5/25/29/4
Saxon Warrior4/19/25/1
Benbatl12/111/112/1
Without Parole10/112/112/1
Thunder Snow14/114/116/1
Latrobe14/116/116/1
Thundering Blue33/128/125/1
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The Darley Yorkshire Oaks

Thursday, 23 August @ 3:35 pm

This is a race for 3yo+ fillies and mares only and takes place over a distance of 1m 3f and 188 yards. It is the biggest race on Day 2 and is now regarded as one of the best middle-distance races for female horses in the UK.

The Yorkshire Oaks was first run in 1849, and it has been a Group 1 race since the system of grading was introduced in British racing in 1971. It is normal for horses in this race to have already competed in the Oaks earlier in the season. Enable, in 2017, is the most recent horse to have won both races.

Previous Winners

YearWinnerOdds (SP)
2013The Fugue2/1
2014Tapestry8/1
2015Pleascash8/1
2016Seventh Heaven100/30
2017Enable1/4

Betting Trends and Information

Sea of Class is the 6/4 favourite in this 11-runner race with Forever Together and Laurens joint second favourites at 7/2. The rest of the field is 5/1+.

  • 12/21 winners won their last race.
  • 20/21 winners did so at SP odds of 8/1 or less.
  • 17/21 winners were in the top two in the betting market; 20/21 were in the top four.
  • 18/21 winners last ran 18-62 days before the race; the other three winners had their first run.

After a narrow debut defeat, Sea of Class has won three Class 1 events in a row but only defeated Forever Together by a neck at the Curragh in her last race although the latter has a case of seconditis with three runners-up spots in her last four races. Laurens is another classy operator and should be on the premises.

Coronet is a consistent performer but has fallen short on several occasions in the last couple of years. Of the rest, Night Music is intriguing at 20/1 having won her last five starts, but it is unlikely that she is capable of making such a huge step up. Her races were all overseas and were not at the same level as the Yorkshire Oaks.

Ante Post Betting Odds

Racebets.comComeOn.comWilliam Hill
Sea of Class6/411/811/8
Laurens7/27/210/3
Forever Together7/27/27/2
Coronet5/16/111/2
Magic Wand7/113/27/1
Eziyra10/19/110/1
Horseplay11/112/112/1
Night Music20/118/116/1
Bye Bye Baby25/122/120/1
Crimson Rosette25/128/125/1
Flattering40/140/140/1
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The Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes

Friday, 24 August @ 3:35 pm

This Group 1 race is a pure test of speed and takes place over 5 furlongs. It is open to all 2yo+ horses although there is a significant weight gap depending on age. 2yos carry 8-1, 3yos carry 9-9 while 4yo+ horses carry 9-11.

The race is named after the area of Nunthorpe, and the current version was first run in 1922. It is one of the few races where 2yos can compete against older horses and is the only Group 1 event in Britain that features 2yo-geldings. As you would expect, juveniles struggle despite the weight advantage and are seldom entered. In fact, there have only been 14 2yos in the race in the last two decades, and Kingsgate Native in 2007 is the only winner during that time.

Previous Winners

YearWinnerOdds (SP)
2013Jwala40/1
2014Sole Power11/4
2015Meccas Angel15/2
2016Meccas Angel9/2
2017Marsha8/1

Betting Trends and Information

It is unlikely that the current 18-runner field will be the final list, but at the time of writing, Battaash is the red-hot 8/11 favourite followed by Blue Point at 4/1. The rest of the field is 10/1+.

  • 14/21 winners finished in the top three in their last race.
  • 21/21 winners last ran 14-66 days before the race.
  • 14/21 winners were in the top three in the betting market.
  • 7/21 winners did so at SP odds of 11/1+.

On paper, it seems as if the Nunthorpe Stakes is Battaash’s to lose. If we listen to the bookies, only Blue Point has a chance of causing an upset as the rest of the field are 10/1 or longer. However, this is a race that springs the occasional surprise with one-in-three double-digit SP odds winners. There have only been three odds-on favourites in the last 20 years, and one of them lost. The other two winners were 4/9.

Therefore, it could be a race where it pays to choose value and Judicial is one of the most promising outsiders at 14/1. The 6yo won his first Group race last time out, and while this is a higher standard, he could go close.

Blue Point had a poor Darley July Stakes run but defeated Battaash by almost two lengths at Ascot in June so there is no reason why he can’t take the favourite’s scalp once again. If you believe the July Stakes run was an anomaly, 4/1 represents value.

Ante Post Betting Odds

Racebets.comComeOn.comWilliam Hill
Battaash4/64/64/6
Blue Point5/19/25/1
Mabs Cross14/114/112/1
Finsbury Square12/112/114/1
Caspian Prince16/118/116/1
Judicial16/116/116/1
Havana Grey16/118/120/1
Mr Lupton25/125/120/1
Muthmir22/122/120/1
Sioux Nation16/116/120/1
Take Cover20/120/120/1
Washington DC16/118/120/1
Battle of Jericho40/140/133/1
Heartache28/128/133/1
Alpha Delphini40/140/140/1
Declarationofpeace66/166/166/1
Abel Handy100/1100/1100/1
Just Glamorous100/1100/1100/1
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