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York Ebor Festival 2021: What are the key races?

Today marks the start of four-day York Ebor Festival meeting 2021 – one of the highlights of the flat racing calendar. To make sure you’re all set for the York action, we’ve put together our guide to all the feature races over the four days of top-quality horse racing.


York Ebor Festival 2021: What are the key races?


Great Voltigeur Stakes  (Wednesday)

A Group 2 contest, the Great Voltigeur is seen as a prep race for next month’s St Leger and Logician was the last horse to do the Great Voltigeur – St Leger double back in 2019.

This year’s field is dominated by Coolmore and Godolphin who have five of the eight likely runners, and trainer Aidan O’Brien is looking to land the race for a third time following wins with Powerscourt in 2003 and Idaho in 2016.


Juddmonte International (Wednesday)

The feature race of day one of the York Ebor Festival 2021, the Juddmonte has a glittering list of past winners that includes the mighty Frankel and Sea The Stars.

Run over 1m 2½f, this year’s contest looks set to be another hot renewal with the high-class filly Love aiming to give Aidan O’Brien a record-breaking seventh success in the race.

She faces the Saudi Cup winner Mishriff, and Alcohol Free who landed the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.


Lowther Stakes (Thursday)

The Lowther is run over 6f and sees the best of the two-year-old fillies clashing as they look to put down a marker for next season’s 1000 Guineas.

The unbeaten Sandrine heads the betting for this year’s contest on the back of three consecutive wins which include the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot.


Yorkshire Oaks (Thursday)

The Yorkshire Oaks sees the best of the females clashing over 1m 3f and this year’s race could be the race of the 2021 York Ebor Festival as Snowfall takes on Wonderful Tonight.

Snowfall has looked all class in winning the Epsom Oaks and Irish Oaks but she now faces Wonderful Tonight, herself a dual Group 1 winner.

Enable was the last horse to land the ‘Oaks Treble’ back in 2017 before going on to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, and success for Snowfall this week will no doubt see all roads lead to Paris in October.


Lonsdale Cup (Friday)

This one is all about the stayers and all eyes will be on Stradivarius as he looks to land his third success in the race over the 2-mile trip having tasted success in 2018 and 2019.

He was withdrawn from last month’s Goodwood Cup due to the ground but conditions here should be ideal as he hunts down a historical third win.


Gimcrack Stakes (Friday)

Like the Lowther stakes, this contest is run over 6f but it’s for two-year-old colts and geldings with one eye on next season’s 2000 Guineas.

Richard Hannon won the race in 2019 and he holds a strong hand this year with Lusail and Armor prominent in the ante-post betting for the 2021 York Ebor Festival.


Nunthorpe Stakes (Friday)

Run over the flying 5f, speed is the name of the game in the Nunthorpe.

With the retirement of Battaash, who won the race in 2019 and 2020, this year’s renewal is shaping up to be a duel between the French filly Suesa and the American raider Golden Pal, who trainer Wesley Ward has declared to be the best he has ever trained.


City of York Stakes (Saturday)

The City of York Stakes is the final Group contest of the four-day York Ebor Festival 2021 meeting.

Run over 7f, trainer Andrew Balding has enjoyed plenty of recent success in the race – winning it four times since 2003 – and he looks set to be well represented this year.


Ebor Handicap (Saturday)

With £300k on offer for the winner, the Ebor is one of the most hotly-contested handicaps of the flat season, and the top flat and jumps stables all target it.

A maximum of 22 will head to post on Saturday to take on the 1m 6f trip and last year’s winner Fujaira Prince looks set to defend his crown for trainer Roger Varian.



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