The 4 Day York Festival Meeting gets underway tomorrow Tuesday 17th August. The highlight tomorrow and of the whole meeting is the Juddmonte International Stakes, a Group 1 for 3 year olds and above run over 10 furlongs. The race is worth £650,000.00 and is sponsored by Juddmonte Farms whose owner, Khalid Abdullah, will be trying to win the race with one of his own horses. His Byword and Twice Over renew rivalry having finished 1-2 in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. The only three year old in the race is Dick Turpin who tackles 10 furlongs for the first time. Rip Van Winkle does stay 12 furlongs and looked to be coming back to top form when narrowly beaten by Canford Cliffs over one mile at Goodwood. If he is now at his peak he should win this race.
One of the supporting races on Tuesday is the Sportingbet.com Great Voltigeur Stakes, a St.Leger trial for 3 year olds only, run over 12 furlongs. Midas Touch was only just beaten by Cape Blanco in the Irish Derby and might be too good for Rewilding.
Wednesday has the Totesport Ebor Handicap run over 14 furlongs as the centre piece. The race is worth £210,000.00 and is for 3 year olds and above. Overturn and Darley Sun look interesting runners. Darley Sun surprisingly did not stay the distance of the Ascot Gold Cup but this would appear to be a drop in class and he might be worth an each way bet. A more likely winner on Wednesday is Ask in the Weatherbys Insurance Lonsdale Cup, a Group 2 run over 2 miles. He went off favourite for the Ascot Gold Cup and clearly did not stay the 20 furlongs. This should be easier.
Thursday has the Darley Yorkshire Oaks as the centre piece. This is a Group 1 worth £310,000.00 for 3 year old and above fillies and mares run over 12 furlongs. This has been Sariska’s target for a long time. She will probably have most to fear from Midday and the 3 year old Snow Fairy. Snow Fairy has won the Epsom Oaks and the Irish Oaks and will receive 10 lbs weight for age allowance from the older horses. This promises to be a cracking race.
Friday sees a re-run of the Newmarket July Cup where Starspangledbanner and Equiano (pictured) fought out a terrific finish with Kingsgate Native and Fleeting Spirit just behind. The Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes is a Group 1 for 2 year olds plus and run over 5 furlongs. The July Cup was over 6 furlongs on firmish ground. On easier ground this might just suit Fleeting Spirit to pounce late. She could be the eachway value.