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York Racecourse Announces Record Breaking Prize Fund

York Racecourse

12:39pm 25th June 2014

York Racecourse has increased the prize money for all three Group One contests at The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival and has welcomed the very strong list of entries for these prestigious contests.

The richest race ever staged at York will be the Group One Juddmonte International, the showpiece of the opening day on Wednesday 20 August; at the first entry stage thirty –eight of the top middle distance horses in the world have signalled their focus on the record £800,000 pot (up by £50,000) and the chance to join a roll of honour that includes the mighty Frankel. An eye catching entry is Noble Mission, brother of the 2012 champion and already a Group One winner in the same green and pink colours of long time race sponsor, Prince Khalid Abullah. Trained by Lady Cecil, the colt may face stiff opposition from the other leading racing operations as Aidan O’Brien has entered Investec Derby winner, Australia for Coolmore and True Story carries the blue silks of Godolphin for Saeed bin Suroor. The prospective field already has an impressive haul of 23 wins at the highest level between them, with previous York winner, The Fugue having four to her name. Classic winners aplenty have indicated their interest in the Knavesmire feature but there would be a local’s cheer if French Derby hero, The Grey Gatsby, were to return to win over the same course and distance as his Betfred Dante success in May, the colt is trained thirty miles from the track by Kevin Ryan.

On every day of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival the feature contest will receive a boost, with the Darley Yorkshire Oaks attracting the best middle distance fillies in competition for £330,000. Thursday’s feature race may see a return to York for Ambivalent; the Roger Varian trained winner of the Betfred Middleton, who will need to step up in class again to defeat the clutch of Classic and Group One winners that may form her final opposition from the thirty-four contestants at this stage. The last two Investec Oaks champions, Taghrooda and Talent are joined by last two winners of Royal Ascot’s Ribblesdale Stakes in Bracelet and Riposte.

The fastest race of the York season, the Coolmore Nunthorpe, is often the decisive leg in the search to crown the champion sprinter and a case could be made for many of the fifty-two entrants. Amongst them are five winners from Royal Ascot (Sole Power, Slade Power, Hootenanny, Anthem Alexander and Baitha Alga); as well as two further horses that join Sole Power in already having the York sprint feature on their CV, Borderlescott and Kingsgate Native. The latter won back in 2007 when aged just two, a feat that some ten entrants this year are seeking to repeat.  Local trainers share fourteen of the entries hoping to keep the lion’s share of £265,000 in the home county as the race flashes in front of Friday’s crowd.

All three races are part of the British Champions Series and form part of a fascinating twenty-five race programme that sees the Betfred Ebor form the highlight of the final day on Saturday 23 August.

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