The Ebor Festival is fast approaching and with it comes four days of the best racing you’ll see this season. Group 1 action can be found in the Nunthorpe and the Juddmonte International, which many see as the race of the season, but there is also the Ebor Handicap. The Ebor headlines the meeting and has been run since the meeting was first introduced way back in 1843. It is a hugely competitive affair with many trainers shaping their horses entire season with a view for a tilt at this prize. We’ve been busy digging deep into previous renewals of the race to find trends to help you find the winner, as they tend to be bigger prices than normal.
From the trends, the pick would have to be Flymetothestars for Sir Mark Prescott.
With so many runners and so many of them being targeted specifically at this race, no horses can be discounted with any confidence. Since 1999 there has only been one winning favourite which came in the shape of Purple Moon in 2007, but we’ve had four 25/1 winners and a 100/1 winner. You don’t want to be taking a short price in this race for obvious reasons and if you like the look of a horse at a bigger price, then don’t be put off.
Weight plays a big role in the race, but not perhaps in the way that many would have thought. In the past twelve renewals of the contest, only four horses have carried less than nine stone to victory, with eight horses carrying between 9st and 9st 4lbs. In fact, since 2007, only two horses have carried less than nine stone, which indicates that at present, the sweet spot would have to around the nine stone weight. No horses have carried more than 9st 4lb to victory though since Sea Pigeon in 1979, so avoiding horses at weights higher than that is the best policy. Looking at the ante-post market, the weight stat boosts the chances of strong favourite Flymetothestars who carries 9st 2lb, with others to note being Kidmenever, King Bolete and Wild Hacked.
Another factor that is of huge importance is age as, since 1979, only two horses over the age of six have won the race. Drilling down deeper, the best ages to be are four or five, with thirteen of the last sixteen winners being that age. In this year’s line up that again is another factor in the favour of Flymetothestars, with it only really ruling out the eight year old Renetti, who is currently around the 16/1 mark.
As mentioned in the trends, eight of the past ten winners have been rated between 94 and 101, with the other two horses rated higher. The crucial detail, however, is that both of those horses had five pound claimers onboard, with the latest of those being Adam McNamara on Heartbreak City in last year’s renewal. This trend is an interesting one as nearly all the runners at the top of the market are rated above 101, including favourite Flymetothestars (102). Mount Logan (106), Spanish Steps (104), Dal Harraild (111), Higher Power (110) and Soldier In Action (110) are just a small number of horses that are rated outside these parameters. In fact, you have to go down all the way to 16/1 shot King Bolete to find a horse that is rated appropriately.