Ebor Handicap

Spotlight on The Ebor Handicap

The Ebor Handicap is currently the most valuable flat handicap in Europe and always takes place on the final day of the four-day Ebor Festival at York.

The race is run over a distance of one mile and six furlongs and has been run at York since 1843.

The word “Ebor” is actually an abbreviation of the Roman word, Eboracum, which was the Roman name for York.

A number of horses engaged in The Ebor in recent seasons have then headed out to Melbourne for the Spring Carnival.

Here is a look at the trends and statistics for The Ebor based on the last ten years.  Just remember the race was cancelled in 2008 because of flooding at the track.

 

Age (win-place-runs)

3-y-o: 0-2-4

4-y-o: 2-12-74

5-y-o: 5-8-55

6-y-o: 2-5-32

7-y-o+: 1-2-15

Five-year-olds have won five of the last ten runnings. That signals a positive for: Star Storm, Maleficent Queen and Magic Circle.

There have only been four winners aged older than five-years-old taking this race in the last thirty years. That signals a negative for: Elidor, Clever Cookie, Battersea, Ivan Grozny, Top Tug, Arch Villain, Nakeeta and Seamour.

 

Weights

Soldier In Action heads the weights on 9st 12lbs.

The four-year-old has a 4lb penalty for a win at Gooodwood three weeks ago.

Jedd O'Keeffe's Lord Yeats, Godolphin owned Winning Story, Eve Johnson Houghton's Scarlet Dragon and Mick Channon's Elidor are all up there at the top of the handicap.

Willie Mullins runs the well fancied Ivan Grozny, Yorkshire favourite Clever Cookie takes his chance for Peter Niven with Star Storm, Natural Scenery and Nakeeta others of note.

Ante-post favourite Flymetothestars runs off 9st 4lbs, while Dubka for Sir Michael Stoute, Seamour and Wild Hacked are carrying the same weight and have been well supported in the betting.

Magic Circle, a winner at York on Wednesday, was the last of the 20 runners to make the handicap proper and scrapes in with 9st 3lb on his back.

Horses carrying 8st 10lbs to 9st 4lb have won or placed 25 times in the past five years.

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Ratings

The last ten winners have been rated between 88 and 106 with seven of them between 90 and 103.

 

Draw

Eight winners have been drawn between 14 and 22, the two exceptions being stall 10 and 12.

The following horses have a supposedly “favourable” draw: Winning Story, Clever Cookie, Battersea, Star Storm, Nakeeta, Dubka, Flymetothestars, Wild Hacked and Seamour- a total of nine horses.

 

Price

Winners of the last ten runnings have been priced between 7/2 and 33/1 with six of them going off at 20/1 or under.

 

Horses to consider

Ebor favourite Flymetothestars will only line up at York on Saturday if the ground is soft enough.

Given that York had heavy rain on Wednesday morning and there has been the odd interment shower in the area since then, the likelihood of him taking his place looks considerably better than it did earlier in the week.

Flymetothestars, the market leader for the £285,000 handicap, was beaten less than a length when third in the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle last month, having won three of his four starts before that outing.

All his starts have been on the all-weather and he is yet to run on the turf.

Sir Michael Stoute’s Dubka is interestingly ridden by Josephine Gordon who is usually the regular partner of Natural Scenery who also runs in the race.

The filly is lightly raced and ran a creditable second at Goodwood on her last run. She also boasts a 100% win record in handicaps (won three out of three).

Ivan Grozny, who was favourite for the Ebor a year ago before being withdrawn lame on the day before the race has been the subject of continued support in the last week.

The Willie Mullins-trained seven year-old has not been seen on the Flat for over a year, but that appearance was a winning one in Ireland.

He has been plying his trade over timber of late getting mixed results, most recently when brought down at the first flight in the Galway Hurdle.

He certainly stays but whether his front running tactics can pay off remain to be seen.

Magic Circle makes a quick reappearance after only winning at the same meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

A 4lb penalty for Wednesday's victory secured the Ralph Beckett-trained five-year-old a place in the richest Flat Handicap in Europe.

Speaking after Magic Circle's victory on Wednesday, Beckett said: "It was always the intention to leave him in if he won. He loves it here and it would mean a lot to the owners (Mr and Mrs Aykroyd) as they’re from Yorkshire."

Eve Johnson Houghton is heading towards have her best winners tally yet and she runs Scarlet Dragon.

The four-year-old gelding ran a decent enough third in a Stakes race at Goodwood last time out and he should be a leading player here if his stamina holds out.

The talented Hollie Doyle is charged with the task on Saturday afternoon.

Phil Martin’s Azamour gelding Seamour ran a blinder to finish second in the Northumberland Plate last month with his run in a Listed event at York earlier this month best forgotten.

Brian Ellison said: "He was unlucky in the Northumberland Plate and the race he ran in at York last time turned into a sprint, so I'm writing that off. We're aiming to get him right for the Ebor."

Ellison won the Ebor with Moyenne Corniche in 2011.

 

Conclusion

He might be considered as somewhat of a rogue but if Seamour can employ his racing brain on Saturday afternoon he looks to have all the conditions in his favour to run a big race.

With the Stoute team having a successful York Ebor Festival it is also hard to ignore the chances of Dubka and what a story it would be if Josephine Gordon could lift the top prize.

888sport suggests: Seamour & Dubka (each-way singles).

 

*All odds correct at the time of writing - latest prices available here...*