The 2019 Ebor Festival draws to a close on Saturday and the three days to date have certainly lived up to the pre-festival hype. On Friday, Stradivarius claimed the £1 million jackpot after edging out Dee Ex Bee in the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup Stakes. However, the day belonged to Battaash who stormed to victory in the day’s feature race, the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes. Battaash ended his York hoodoo at the third time of asking, romping home by nearly four lengths in a new course record time.
On to day four and for one last time, we at Compare Betting Sites will offer a preview, tips and odds on all seven races taking place at The Knavesmire. The day’s feature race is a Sky Bet Ebor Handicap that now offers £1 million in prize money.
1:50 - Sky Bet And Symphony Group Strensall Stakes (Group 3)
Wissahickon is the bookies’ favourite for the day’s opener after some dominant displays on the all-weather earlier this year. Frankie Dettori will take the saddle for John Gosden; a sight we’ve become accustomed to this week and if this four-year old can replicate the form shown when winning the Winter Derby he could take some beating. William Hill and Boylesports are a best-priced 15/8 on the favourite.
The bookies expect Zaaki to be Wissahickon’s nearest challenger at 5/2 however he’s not without his concerns. Sir Michael Stoute’s four-year old was unplaced in this race last year and finished a lowly seventh of nine runners in the Lennox Stakes at Ascot last time out. The Lennox is run over a shorter 7f distance but he finished behind Space Traveller in that and he is currently priced as a 10/1 outsider with Betfair and Paddy Power.
2:25 - Sky Bet Melrose Handicap
Seeing Gosden and Dettori at the head of the betting markets has become commonplace this week and they enter 7/2 shot, First In Line, in this. The lightly-raced three-year old here on the back of just three previous starts, all over 1m 2f.
First In Line won at the second time of asking when claiming victory on the AW at Lingfield before defying a penalty to win at Doncaster earlier this month. With little competition in his three novices to date, First In Line could turn out to be far too good for this field.
Nearest challenger, Eminence, won a high-quality Leopardstown handicap in April and has been placed in all four races since. Those places include two third-placed finishes in handicaps over 1m 4f at Royal Ascot and Goodwood last time out. Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle colt is available at a very back-able 6/1 with BetVictor and William Hill.
3:00 - Sky Bet City Of York Stakes (Group 2)
At 11/4 with most bookmakers, Laurens could prove to be the best-value horse of the entire Festival. Claimed an impressive win over one mile in the Group 1 Prix Rothschild at Deauville last month and neither the drop back in trip or 5lbs penalty should be enough to stop her winning this.
There's very little covering the next five horses in the betting as Cape Byron (11/2), Shine So Bright (13/2), Speak In Colours (13/2), Le Brivido (7/1) and Sir Dancealot (15/2) will all have aspirations of winning this.
3:40 - Sky Bet Ebor Handicap
The day’s feature race is the highly-anticipated Ebor Handicap. With a £1 million prize fund up for grabs there are 24 runners declared for this. If you choose to place an each-way bet it is important to check out the terms offered by your chosen bookmaker. Bookmakers could be paying out on anything from four to eight places.
Withhold is the bookies’ favourite at the moment and is a best-priced 7/1 with Unibet. The six-year old has been lightly raced over the past few seasons but claimed wins in Cesarewitch in 2017 and the Northumberland Plate in 2018. He then burst a blood vessel in a race in Australia before having a wind operation over the winter. After a near-nine-month absence he claimed a Class 2 handicap at Newbury just five weeks ago.
King’s Advice could prove a real bargain at 15/2 with Betfair, Paddy Power and Unibet. Mark Johnston’s five-year old finished a credible sixth from a wide draw in the Northumberland Pate at Newcastle. That run in June remains the only race he’s failed to win. Bounced back from that defeat to win back-to-back handicaps at Newmarket and Goodwood. Now 4lbs higher for that win at Goodwood.
Stablemate, Baghdad, is also not without a chance if he can bounce back from a couple of disappointing Group runs. Now back in handicap company, Baghdad will hope to replicate the form that saw him win a 19-runner handicap at Royal Ascot. Baghdad is 9/1 with most bookmakers.
Ben Vrackie ran on to claim second by a short-head in that Ascot handicap and with the form of Gosden/Dettori, there will be plenty of support for this four-year old. Like Baghdad, Ben Vrackie is currently a 9/1 shot with several bookmakers.
4:10 - Julia Graves Roses Stakes (Listed)
Alligator Alley is 6/4 with Coral to win this and will take some beating on current form. His first run over 5f saw him claim an impressive win in a maiden at Navan. Despite being held up at the rear he then went on to finish second to Liberty Beach in the Molecomb at Goodwood. Liberty Beach went close here earlier in the week, enhancing the reputation of Alligator Alley in the process.
Alligator Alley’s prospects were improved when Mrs Bouquet was declared a non-runner. The lightly-raced Treble Treble will provide a stern test if he can build on a win over 6f at Haydock last time out. Kevin Ryan’s entry is available at 6/1 with BetVictor, Coral and William Hill.
If you’re looking for something at a slightly bigger price then you may want to consider Dylan De Vega. Richard Fahey’s prospect ran on well to finish second in a Class 2 handicap over 6f at Glorious Goodwood. Dylan De Vega has had five previous runs this year with form that reads 21022. At 16/1 with most bookmakers, he could be worth an each-way punt.
4:45 - Sky Bet Handicap
Forest Of Dean can defy a 7lbs penalty for a stable in red-hot form. Won a well-regarded 3yo handicap at Glorious Goodwood last time out and John Gosden’s three-year old is the 5/2 favourite with most bookmakers. The nearest challenge to Frankie Dettori on Forest Of Dean is likely to come from Tudor City.
Tudor City has shown fine form over jumps in Ireland and won the Galway Hurdle over 2m last time out. As he now switches back to the flat and drops back in trip, it will be interesting to see how he handles the pace. Tudor City can be backed with many bookies at 6/1, including Betway who are paying each-way on five places.
5:20 - Sky Bet Apprentice Handicap
The Festival closes with an exciting handicap that’ll see 20 runners run over 5f. Who wins this is anybody’s guess with reasons for and against backing so many of these runners.
Pre-race favourite, Moss Gill, is a 4/1 shot with most bookies but has finished behind a handful of these already this year. Moss Gill came home a close second behind Pass The Vino (9/1) at Newmarket last time out whilst he was also defeated by Wedding Date (18/1) over C&D in May. Roulston Scar (10/1) was third in that race at York.
Whoever you fancy on the final day of a marvellous Ebor Festival, sign up as a new member with any of our betting partners today via Compare Betting Sites and you can earn a generous welcome bonus to get you up and running.