The new Flat season in horse racing is underway and fans of the sport in Yorkshire will be looking forward to visiting some of the leading racecourses in the county.
Yorkshire is fortunate to have a number of the premier Flat courses in the UK, with many big festivals staged at the tracks. Here is a look at some highlights of the Flat calendar in the county this year.
Yorkshire Cup (York) – Trueshan v Manobo
The Yorkshire Cup is one of the feature races at York’s Dante Festival in May. It is a Group Two contest and takes place over 1m5f. The winner of this race often goes to Royal Ascot with leading claims for the Ascot Gold Cup.
This year’s renewal could throw up a great match-up between arguably two of the stars of the division. Trueshan and Manobo are both at the top end of the betting for the feature race at the royal meeting. It is going to be fascinating to see them clash in the Yorkshire Cup. Trueshan has already had one run so far this season, prevailing in a Listed race at Nottingham. Manobo, on the other hand, broke the track record at Meydan in the UAE. Both horses should be fit and at their best at York.
Dante Stakes (York) – Derby Trial
The Dante Stakes is considered one of the leading trials for the Derby. 10 horses have won this race at York before going on to prevail in the prestigious British Classic, including Motivator, Authorized and Golden Horn. Expect to see this year’s winner cut in the ante-post betting for the race at Epsom.
One of the leading entries in the Dante Stake this year is Luxembourg. He is the 3/1 favourite for the Derby with bet365, one of the leading bookmakers for horse racing listed at https://www.sbo.net/horse-racing/. If you are looking to back the Derby market leader before he runs at York, you may also be able to pick up a free bet. There are strong contenders this year which will make this competition a close one, so it’s wise to also study expert tips as well as going with your gut this year.
Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien has won the 1m2f contest at York four times, so he often brings across his leading colts for this race. His latest runner is clearly very talented and may be the next superstar from the Ballydoyle operation. Yorkshire racing fans will be very familiar with Luxembourg. The son Camelot won the Group One Vertem Futurity Stakes at Doncaster last October, as you can read at https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/horse-racing. That was a victory that helped him end his two-year-old campaign as one of the leading horses in the UK and Ireland.
Ebor Handicap (York) – Cheltenham Star Juvenile Vauban Set To Appear
As we saw last year with the Yorkshire Community Heroes, as featured at https://theyorkshirepress.co.uk/news, the Ebor Festival is a week where Yorkshire people come together to not only enjoy the best race but also support local communities. One of the leading stars of the 2022 Cheltenham Festival could be set to appear at the meeting this year, which will be a big treat for jump racing fans. Vauban has an entry in the Ebor Handicap and his connections have suggested they will be targeting some of the leading Flat races this season.
Willie Mullins’ runner won the Triumph Hurdle in impressive style back in March. Before arriving in Ireland, Vauban had four appearances on the Flat in France. He was successful over distances of 1m3f and 1m4f, which shows how versatile he is. Vauban has been installed at the 7/1 favourite for the Ebor. The race is one of the most lucrative Flat handicap races in Europe. If Mullins runner can prevail, it would be an impressive double following his success at Cheltenham.
St Leger (Doncaster) – Oldest Classic in the World
The St Leger is the oldest of the British Classics as it dates back to 1776. The Doncaster contest takes place over 1m6f. This race is always one highlight of the Flat calendar in Yorkshire for many racing fans. Some excellent horses have won the St Leger in recent years, which suggests trainers are targeting this race more with their 1m4f horses. Last year, Hurricane Lane came out on top for Charlie Appleby. He was successful in the Irish Derby earlier in the campaign and also won the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp.
New London is the early favourite with the bookmakers for the 2022 renewal of the Doncaster feature. The son of Dubawi is unbeaten in two starts on the track. He is expected to improve as he steps up in distance this season. This year’s St Leger could also be the final leg needed to complete the Triple Crown. If a colt wins the 2000 Guineas and Derby, and then features at Doncaster, they would be looking to become the first Triple Crown winner since Nijinsky in 1970.
With so much great racing to look forward to, hopefully, the weather continues to be glorious, which will make it an even more special summer at Yorkshire’s racecourses.