Day One is enthralling, we take a look back at the opening day’s action before looking ahead to Day Two.
The 2023 York Ebor Festival is finally in full swing, and the opening day delivered in terms of action and excitement. Fans had travelled from far and wide to witness the action, and they were not disappointed, gripped by the enthralling action unfolding in front of their very eyes.
Across the seven races, there were some surprise winners, and here we look back and review all of the races that took place on Wednesday before we preview the action ahead of the start of proceedings on Day Two. Our review of the opening day’s action starts with the Sky Bet Symphony Group Handicap.
13:50 – Sky Bet Symphony Group Handicap
Equilateral, ridden by Jamie Spencer and trained by Charles Hills, took home the victory in the opening race on day one, but it was not a straight forward win in a very competitive race.
Despite being on the latter end of his career, the eight-year-old Equilateral showed that fuel is still left in the tank. Copper Knight had made a claim for the lead, but with the race entering its final stages, the leader was overtaken by Equilateral, who was able to hold off competition from Alligator Alley to win the race by just a neck.
This was the first handicap to take place in the United Kingdom that Equilateral had participated in.
14:25 – Tattersalls Acomb Stakes
The Tattersalls Acomb Stakes was the race that followed, it was Indian Run, ridden by Daniel Tudhope, who came away victorious. In comparison with Equilateral, this horse is on the opposite end of his career and showed here that he is a rising star in the sport.
Indian Run was able to run well on the outside before taking the lead with relative ease before heading up the Knavesmire straight. Jockey Tudhope could hold off the challenge of Ballymount Boy near the end, who had to settle for second place. It was Loose Cannon who rounded off the top three in third place.
15:00 – Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes
Gregory and Continuous were the co-favourites for this race. Gregory had to settle for third, and it was Continuous who, ridden by Ryan Moore, who won what was an exciting race.
It was an incredible spectacle for all those watching, as Continuous was at the back of the field for some time in the race before everything changed. Jockey Moore had been waiting for his moment to strike, and when he found it, he took full advantage, guiding Continuous to the front of the field in what was a spectacular feat that Moore made look easy.
Ultimately, victory was secured by a margin of three and a quarter lengths, with Castle Way coming in second place.
15:35 – Juddmonte International Stakes (British Champions Series)
It was Mostahdaf, ridden by legendary jockey Frankie Dettori, who had the honour of winning the 2023 Juddmonte International Stakes at this year’s York Ebor Festival. It was one of the more surprising results of the day, with favourite Paddington finishing third. Paddington had also won six straight races before coming to York.
Dettori showed why he has earned his legendary status, guiding Mostahdaf to victory after holding off a late challenge from Nashwa. The plan had been to take an early lead and dictate the tempo from there, the plan was challenged, but it did come to fruition in the end.
16:10 – Sky Bet Stayers Handicap
Aztec Empire, the pre-race favourite, was well in the running to win the Sky Bet Stayers Handicap but just came up short, with Forza Orta managing to emerge as the winner of the race.
This was arguably the tightest race of the day in the end. There had been a strong pace to start with, and Forza Orta eventually overtook Aztec Empire on the inside with only a quarter of a mile remaining in the race. Only a neck separated Forza Orta and Aztec Empire at the finish, and after a review, the race result was confirmed.
16:45 – IRE Incentive, It Pays To Buy Irish Fillies’ Handicap
It was jockey and trainer John Butler who were celebrating at the conclusion of this race when it was Designer who took home the victory ahead of Rage Of Bamby and Marine Wave, who had to settle for second and third place, respectively, in the end.
Designer had also won the same race in 2022 to make it an impressive two wins in a row. After a difficult start, Buick was able to lead a recovery and set about reeling in Rage Of Bamby. After successfully doing just that, Designer managed to win the race.
17:20 – Sky Bet Nursery Handicap
Action on the opening day of the 2023 York Ebor Festival came to a close with the Sky Bet Nursery Handicap. Jockey Gina Mangan managed to guide her horse, Zoulu Chief, to victory ahead of the likes of favourite Starlust, as well as Room Service and Zabriskie Point, who came third and fourth.
It was a race that saw Zoulu Chief complete a pillar-to-post demolition job, and jockey Mangan repelled all of the competition that challenged them, including Starlust. It was a stunning victory and a very fitting way to conclude the enthralling action of day one.
Day Two Preview
With Thursday’s racing set to get underway, here we preview all seven races to take place on day two of the 2023 York Ebor Festival. The Sky Bet Lowther Stakes opens proceedings at 13:50, and it will be the British EBF 40th Anniversary Fillies’ Handicap that concludes the action for the day at 17:20.
13:50 Sky Bet Lowther Stakes
Relief Rally is the favourite for the race win, and it is easy to see why, with three wins in the last four races. This includes an impressive second-place finish in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot, with only Crimson Advocate finishing ahead of Relief Rally that day.
Dramatised was the 2022 winner of the Lowther Stakes, finishing ahead of Mawj and Desert Illusion, who filled the remaining two spots in the top three for that race.
14:25 Goffs UK Harry Beeby Premier Yearling Stakes
Dapperling is seen as having a good chance of emerging victorious here. After victory in the Download The At The Races App EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes at Lingfield in July, Dapperling went on to finish second in the Weatherbys Super Sprint Stakes at Newbury before settling for a fourth-place finish in the British EBF 40th Anniversary Alice Keppel Fillies’ Conditions Stakes at Goodwood on 2nd August.
Shouldvebeenaring won in 2022, living up to the favourite tag after holding off competition from Washington Heights and Northcliff.
15:00 Clipper Handicap
Blue For You is amongst the leading contenders to win the 2023 Clipper Handicap, and as the winner of the 2022 edition of this race, there is a chance for an impressive second successive victory. One particularly notable win ahead of this year’s York Ebor Festival was in the John Smith’s Racing Handicap, which also took place at York.
15:35 Pertemps Network Yorkshire Oaks
The Yorkshire Oaks is the standout race on day two, and it is Savethelastdance who is seen by many as having a great chance of victory in this prestigious race. Savethelastdance comes into this running of the Yorkshire Oaks in fine form, winning the Juddmonte Irish Oaks at Curragh in July.
Alpinista was the favourite to win in 2022, and very much lived up to the tag, fending off Tuesday and La Petite Coco to take home the win.
16:10 British EBF & Sir Henry Cecil Galtres Stakes
There’s the door is amongst the horses seen as most likely to win the Galtres Stakes. It was a win in the most recent race ahead of York, with There’s the door securing the victory in the British European Breeders Fund EBF Fillies’ Handicap on 2nd August. Before that, it was a 3rd place finish in the Long Harbour Derek Lucie-Smith British EBF Fillies’ Handicap at Ascot.
Haskoy was the 2022 winner, finishing ahead of Time Lock and Judith.
16:45 Or8Wellness EBF Stallions Nursery Handicap
Some see Lincoln Legacy as one of the front runners to take home the win, and confidence should be high after the victory in the Jenningsbet Fillies’ Nursery Handicap on 19th August at Newmarket.
Kyeema was the winner of the most recent running of this race back in 2022. Indian Dream and Courageous Knight in second and third place.
17:20 British EBF 40th Anniversary Fillies’ Handicap.
Action on the second day of the 2023 York Ebor Festival concludes with the British EBF 40th Anniversary Fillies’ Handicap. Farhh To Shy is one of the favourites, and it was a win in the William Hill Enhanced Odds Every Day Racing League Race 4 Handicap at Yarmouth – this was the most recent race for Farhh To Shy, who finished ahead of Able Kane and Ramiro in second and third respectively.
Adaay In Asia was the 2022 winner of this race – on the day, the horse was able to fend off competition from the likes of No Nay Nicki (2nd place) and Sound Of Iona (3rd place).
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