Things to Consider Before Placing Your Ebor Festival bets

York opens its doors on Wednesday for one of the most celebrated and excited events in the calendar as the Ebor Festival gets underway. Highlights of the four-day event include the Group 1 Juddmonte International, the Nunthorpe Stakes, the Great Voltigeur, the Yorkshire Oaks and of course the Ebor Handicap. A total prize pot of £4.4 million has been stumped up for the festival and it has attracted some of the leading horses from across the UK and beyond. It will be one of the biggest betting events of the year and there are certain stats and trends that punters might like to keep in mind before placing wagers, so we have rounded up some key points to take into consideration:

Calibre is crucial in the Juddmonte

The Juddmonte is the standout race of the festival, with a £540,000 prize purse and leading runners Barney Roy, Churchill, Ulysses and Shutter Speed on the card. Thirteen of the last 15 winners of this race had already won at Group 1 level, and 12 of 15 went off at odds of 9/2 or shorter. That suggests that experience is imperative here and the favourites typically perform strongly. Four of the last 15 winners were from the Aiden O’Brien and stable and he trains the second favourite, Churchill, who is 11/4 in the racing odds and looks a great shout after winning two Group 1 races already this year.

 

Going should be good

Showers are expected in York on Wednesday, which will soften the track, but for the majority of the festival dry, sunny conditions are anticipated. Horses that respond well to good or good to firm going are likely to thrive at the Ebor this week.

No American-trained horse has ever won the Nunthorpe

That spells bad news for favourite Lady Aurelia, who is 13/8 with Sun Bets. She will be travelling over the Atlantic for the second time this year and that could take its toll on her. The last time a non-European horse won this race was in 2012 when Australian runner Ortensia seized glory, so history is against Lady Aurelia. Battaash, the 7/4 second favourite, has a great chance, coming into the Nunthorpe on the back of a three-race winning streak. A third of the previous 15 Nunthorpe winners had won their previous race, while two-thirds were previous Group race winners. The classy Battaash ticks all the boxes, and Marsha (10/1) looks a good each-way shot after habitually placing throughout the season.

Sir Michael Stoute rules the Great Voltigeur

The legendary trainer has won this race no fewer than seven times, most recently in 2013. This year he is responsible for the second favourite, Mirage Dancer, a promising three-year-old bay colt who recently placed in the Hampton Court Stakes at Ascot. At odds of 6/1 Mirage Dancer looks a great each way option as he has always been there or thereabouts in his fledgling career and Stoute knows how to get the job done in this race. Thirteen previous winners of the Great Voltigeur have gone on to win the St Leger, so it is an extremely prestigious race and one worth keeping a close eye on.

Haggas loves York

William Haggas is easily the most successful trainer at this track, with a record of 42 wins and 79 places from 178 rides. That is a win rate of 23.6% and a place record of 44.4%, putting him well ahead of the second most successful trainer, Richard Fahey. It is worth following Haggas’ runners closely at the Ebor Festival as he knows the course inside out and relishes a battle on it.

Ebor Handicap suits five-year-olds

Fourteen of the last 15 winners were aged six or less. Last year six-year-old Heartbreak City claimed victory, but younger horses have been the dominant force over the past decade. Eleven of the last 15 winners have been aged four or five, so that could be something to consider, while 12 of the last 15 have come from a double-figure stall. There is a huge number of runners in this race, so that could help you rule out a large chunk. Eight of the last 15 favourites have finished out of the places, and there has been just one winning favourite since 1999, so backing a longer shot could pay dividends. The four-year-old Wild Hacked fits the bill at 20/1 as he has enjoyed a strong career and is in great shape.

Author bio

Martin Green is an experienced tipster and horse racing correspondent.

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