The Ebor Festival is a four-day race meeting held at York, each August. The 2015 Ebor Festival is due to take place from Wednesday 19th to Saturday 22nd August. Each of the four days has big races:
Wednesday feature race the Group 1 Juddmonte International over 1m 2f, and is considered by some the best race in the world and in 2012 was won by the mighty Frankel. Last year the race was won by the Derby winner Australia. The other big race on the card is the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes over 1m 4f and is seen as a notable trial for the last Classic of the season the St Léger at Doncaster. It’s a race that has already produced thirteen winners of the St. Leger and it will be race to watch for pointers once again,
Thursday is Ladies’ Day and the ladies feature both on and off the course. The day’s best races are the Group 1Yorkshire Oaks over 1m 4f and the Group 2 Lowther Stakes for two year old fillies over 6f.
Friday is Nunthorpe Day and features the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes over 5f. The race could see the return to the track of recent the two year old Royal Ascot winner Acapulco trained by Wesley Ward in the USA. The historic Gimcrack Stakes over 6f for two year old colts and geldings is another highlight of the third day of the Festival.
Saturday is Ebor Day and feature race is the Betfred Ebor Handicap over 1m 6f and is currently the most valuable flat handicap in Europe. Not only that but it’s also my favourite handicap of the flat racing season. Last year the race was won by the Irish trained Mutual Regard trained by Johnny Murtagh. It will be interesting to see if the winner’s prize goes over the Irish Sea again with top Irish trainer Aiden O’Brien having a number of interesting entries in the race.
Unlike Newmarket’s recent July Festival, where two trainers Mark Johnston and Richard Fahey both had really strong profitable statistics with their handicappers at the meeting, York’s Ebor festival is more competitive but there some interesting trainer and indeed jockey angles to have a look at.
Firstly, I start by looking at couple of trainers whose runners are worth avoiding at the meeting, before looking at a select trio of trainers whose horses should be kept on the right side. I will end by looking at a couple of jockey/trainer combinations that a worth a second look and a jockey who has one of the best records at the track in the past five years.
Avoid Mark Johnston and Richard Fahey Runners!
I mentioned earlier that both Mark Johnston & Richard Fahey had profitable records with their handicappers at Newmarket’s July meeting well the same can’t be said at the Ebor Festival.
Below is their combined record with all runners at the meeting. I have combined them for the purposes of this article as they are equally as bad and they share the same number of winners.
Their record with handicappers isn’t any better:
Give the fairly large sample size the A/E’s are particularly noteworthy. Come Sunday I might well have “egg on my face” but it would take a very good case for me to back these trainers’ runners at the meeting!
Profitable Trainer Angles
The sample sizes are relatively small but there are three trainers whose horses I will be keeping a close eye on. For the purpose of this section I have looked trainers whose horses have been well found in the betting at 12/1 and under!
If someone was to ask me who would be the trainer to follow at the meeting I would instantly suggest local trainer Kevin Ryan who loves to have winners at the festival and clearly prepares them for it.
Here is record with well fancied handicappers since 2010:
Two handicappers I will be particularly watching out for this year are sprinters Bogart and Blaine.
He also likes to run his best two year olds at the meeting and this is his record with well fancied juveniles 12/1 and under in the betting.
- In 2014 he was 0 wins /1 bet
- In 2010 he was 0 wins /1 bet
By concentrating on his handicappers and juveniles you should be looking at a decent profitable trainer angle.
William Haggas, born in Yorkshire, also likes to have winners here. Until last year he had been my main go to trainer at the Festival. This is his record with runners, 12/1 and under since 2010. I haven’t split his record in to handicappers and non handicappers as all this runners need respecting here.
2014 wasn’t as good as the previous four seasons in terms of strike rate but he was sill profitable to follow:
Despite last years slightly poorer show I want the William Haggis runners on my side this year!
Up and Coming Trainer – Hugo Palmer
One trainer who I think can enhance his record here is trainer Hugo Palmer. Since he started training he is 2 wins/ 9 bets +9 with 2 places at the meeting. He could be a little bit under the radar so I will be paying close attention to any horses he saddles this year.
Interesting Trainer/ Jockey Combinations
There are not too many notable trainer/jockey stats at the meeting in the past five seasons but these are interesting ones, albeit from very small sample sizes, and may be worth a second look this year.
David O’Meara/ Danny Tudhope – Any David O’Meara runners 12/1 and under in the betting have to be respected, particularly those ridden by stable jockey Danny Tudhope. Since 2011 they are 3 wins/12 bets + 10 when combining.
Charlie Hills/ William Buick – Teamed up at the meeting for the first time last year with wins/ 3 bets + 27 (winners at 12/1 & 16/1). It will be interesting if Charlie Hills books William Buick this year for any of his runners.
King Frankie of the Knavesmire
Whatever his faults and failings there was no better jockey at the Ebor Festival then Kieran Fallon but its highly unlikely we will see him this year. The other jockey you want on your side on a well fancied horse is the irrepressible Frankie Dettori who since 2010 is: 10 wins/ 41 bets +19.75 (0 – 4 last year) and a 24% win strike rate is definitely worth noting. Given the way Frankie is riding this year he looks sure to ride get some good rides and unlike last year we will hopefully see the flying Frankie dismount in the winners enclosure at least once this year.
I hope you find these statistics interesting and they will hopefully identity some nice priced winners for you.