Tomorrow marks the start of the 2019 Ebor Festival at York, a high quality four day’s racing with features including the Juddmonte International, the Yorkshire Oaks, the Nunthorpe and the Ebor, the £1,000,000 prize on Saturday the most valuable flat handicap in Europe.
With the very best competing against each other, we take a look at five jockeys whom it is wise to keep on side when punting at York.
No prizes for originality with the first jockey on the list, although given his current form in 2019, particularly in Group One company where he has landed thirteen races, and his record at York, there’s every reason why he’s at the head.
He has ridden the most winners of any jockey over the past five seasons on the Knavesmire, with twenty-five winners from 104 rides, and has already partnered four horses to victory from just nine runners there in 2019.
It is on the closing day of the Festival that comes one of the most intriguing runners of the week, in the form of First In Line. Second on debut, he has won both starts since, including when a ready winner at Doncaster earlier this month. He makes his handicap debut in the Melrose Handicap.
The Irish twenty-three year old enjoyed a productive 2018 Ebor Festival, winning four races including the Juddmonte International onboard Roaring Lion, and second in five of his eight other rides.
He will be attempting to land the Juddmonte once more onboard Japanese raider Cheval Grand. He achieved glory at Glorious Goodwood onboard another raider in the form of Deirdre, although the claims of Crystal Ocean are hard to escape.
A more likely winner for him comes in the form of Threat, who runs in the Gimcrack on Friday. A highly impressively winner on debut, he has been denied narrowly in two Group Twos since. He has a great chance of going one better this week.
Not the most prolific at the Yorkshire venue, operating at 12% with 18 winners over the past five years, although he does have a remarkably high Profit/Loss. If backing his mounts at level stakes over that time period, one would be over £64 in profit.
As a result, don’t be afraid to back a big-priced runner under the Yorkshire based McDonald, with notable rides coming in the form of Baghdad for Mark Johnston in the Ebor and the unbeaten Under The Stars in the Lowther.
His best chance of a winner at this year’s meeting is provided by Laurens, with whom he’s developed such a fantastic relationship over the past couple of seasons.
Onboard for six of her eight career wins, four coming at the highest level including in the Prix Rothschild last time out, she should take some beating in the Group Two City Of York.
A less high-profile rider, but prolific all the same, Ryan has ridden winners on two of his six rides at York over the past 365 days, including landing the opener at the 2018 meeting onboard El Astronaute, and placed on two others.
Having ridden thirty eight winners already this season, he takes the ride on Malvern for boss Richard Hannon in the Nursery Handicap on Tuesday.
Unbeaten in two starts over six furlongs on quick ground, he appears to have a cracking each-way shout on his nursery debut.
For punters seeking jockeys operating at high levels of profit, another alternative is Beasley, whose three winners from seven rides at York over the past year returned over £30 in the black.
He takes the ride onboard Dakota Gold whom he has partnered to victory in his last two starts. A winner over six furlongs here in July, he followed up with a facile win in the Great St. Wilfrid on Saturday.
Three pounds well-in under a penalty for that success, Michael Dods’ five-year-old looks more than capable of completing a hat trick in the opening race at 1.55 on Wednesday.