York Ebor Festival 2019: Off to a Galloping Start!

Japan edges past the people’s favourite, Crystal Ocean and Frankie Dettori’s Logician, makes an epic win on the Voltigeur.

The York Ebor Festival got off to a galloping start yesterday! As British Summer draws to a close this iconic four-day event is one of the last in summer sporting calendar and still a firm favourite, attracting thousands far and wide! As expected, its opening day, the Juddmonte International did not disappoint.

In the Sky Bet & Symphony Group Stakes, bookie favourite Dakota Gold completed the hat-trick by winning the opening race at the York Ebor. There were fears he may not have been able to outlast the 5.5 furlongs but he’s headstrong and tough this horse, who went on to win by a clear stretch!

Valdermoro took the punters by surprise in the Acomb Stakes at York. At 9-2 in the odds, he was expected to perform worse than Ryan Moore’s Harpocrates and it was looking that way too until the final furlong. Hamilton’s Valdermoro made up ground and chased clear of the leader who was over one furlong out – it was magic to witness! This horse will definitely be going a step further soon, with trainer Richard Fahey mentioning that “one day, he’ll be a proper horse.”

We saw something very special in the Group 2 Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes. Frankie Dettori’s Logician, at 10-11 blew us all out the stands when he beat Ryan Moore’s 5-2, Constantinople and extended his unbeaten record to four. Logician looked comfortable behind Norway, alongside Constantinople and Nayef road but when Dettori asked him to perform, my did that horse perform. Logician set pace and galloped fiercely away from the group to beat Constantinople by over a length and Norway, an immense seven lengths! He’s become the St. Leger’s favourite, which comes at no surprise, this colt has good form.

At 3.35pm, the long awaited and highly anticipated Juddmonte International Stakes commenced. With a £1million prize pot, the prestigious Group One race is definitely the highlight of the day. Crystal Ocean was the people’s favourite though Japan and Frankie Dettori’s, King of Comedy were also prizeworthy contenders. Crystal Ocean, alongside Circus Maximus started out ahead, though Circus Maximus struggled to keep up with the 5-year-old bay horse. It was looking good for Crystal Ocean but in his final dying strides, Japan put his head down and won by a head, sending the packed Knavesmire stands in a frenzy! The bookies are now forecasting Japan to be the main threat to Enable in Longchamp’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

In the Sky Bet Handicap, James Doyle’s Eddystone Rock, powerfully edged away from the group to lead in the final strides and finished first. To close a fantastic first day, 20-1 Owney Madden outshone favourites Pop Dancer and Monoski to take first place.

Today at Ebor Festival it’s Ladies Day! A day that combines high-fashion and racing excitement, expect to see head-turning garments. Who do you think will be crowned best dressed this year?

We have hospitality for both the York Dante Festival and the York Ebor Festival in 2020! Head over to our York Hospitality page to secure your packages for both of these highly renowned meetings or call us on 0121 233 6500.