Tuesday, August 14, 2001
THE BEST HEAD FOR YORK
With record prize money approaching £2 million, the 2001 Tote Ebor Festival at York (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 21, 22 & 23 August) is sure to attract all that is best in British and European racing vying for some of the most valuable and prestigious prizes in the sport.
Tuesday's star-studded programme consists of:-
The Paradime Acomb Stakes The Festival gets underway with this 'Listed' race for talented two-year-olds supported by the successful equine breeding operation, the race was won last year on his racecourse debut by the Aidan O'Brian trained Hemingway.
The Weatherbys Insurance Lonsdale Stakes York's longest race of the season, this Group 3 contest is gaining a deserved reputation for attracting top-quality stayers, with last year's winner, Royal Rebel going on to win this season's Ascot Gold Cup. The Total Prize Fund for this year's renewal is £100,000 , a 33% increase on last year.
The Juddmonte International Stakes With a Total Prize Fund of £450,000, this famous Group 1 race is the most valuable of the season on the Knavesmire. The very best middle-distance horses will line up for this race, which produced one of the most memorable races of last year, when Giant's Causeway - the 'Iron Horse' just defeated Kalanisi by a head.
The Great Voltigeur Stakes Looking to the future this Group 2 race should provide important clues concerning the final Classic of the season - next month's Rothmans Royals St. Leger Stakes at Doncaster; looking to the past it commemorates the 150th anniversary of the "Great Match" between Voltigeur and the Flying Dutchman. Once again, this race has benefited from a generous contribution made by Mr & Mrs John Magnier and Mr & Mrs Michael Tabor, who have enjoyed a great deal of success as owners at this Festival over the years.
The Ladbroke Knavesmire Stakes The Showcase Handicap on the opening day of the Festival is sure to attract a big field to produce a very competitive race.
The Gerrard Eglinton Nursery Handicap Stakes Contested by two-year-olds, this race marks the sponsorship debut at York of Gerrard, one of the U.K.'s leading private client investment management companies. The race is part of this season's Gerrard Bonus Series for two-year-olds which culminates in a Final in October.
The Links Of London Handicap Stakes A competitive handicap race for sprinters, which marks the second year of sponsoring at this Festival by Links of London, who supply many of the trophies and mementoes presented to the winning connections at this and the other meetings at York.
The quality continues on Wednesday:-
The Motability And RAC Rated Stakes The extended one mile and a quarter is the distance in this valuable handicap race supported once again by the national charity, Motability in conjunction with the RAC.
The Aston Upthorpe Yorkshire Oaks Petrushka was the high-class heroine of this Group 1 race for leading fillies last season, with the entries for this year's renewal once again containing leading contenders from both English & Irish Oaks races.
The Tote Ebor Europe's richest handicap race now has a Total Prize Fund of £185,000. Contested over one mile and threequarters, The Tote Ebor was won last year by Give The Slip, under an inspired ride by Pat Eddery.
The Scottish Equitable Gimcrack Stakes This famous Group 2 race features two-year-old colts with Classic aspirations for 2002. Very much a race for future stars.
The Costcutter Roses Stakes A 'Listed' race for juvenile sprinters, won last year by Bouncing Bowdler, partnered by the champion jockey, Kevin Darley.
The Moorestyle Convivial Maiden Stakes Precocious two-year-olds line-up for this contest over six furlongs, which usually signals the arrival of a potential star of the future.
The Falmouth Handicap Stakes A fast and furious finale to the day, as three-year-old sprinters are catered for in this race over the minimum distance of five furlongs.
It's 'Ladies Day' on Thursday, beginning appropriately with a race for fillies and mares:-
The European Breeders Fund Galtres Stakes A 'Listed' race, which once again enjoys the support of the EBF - one of six races supported at York this season by them.
The Peugeot Lowther Stakes A Group 2 race for juvenile fillies sponsored for the fourth year by Peugeot; the company also promotes the horse and road safety charter printed on York's car parking labels. Also, The Peugeot Charity Trophy, produced by Links of London, will be presented to the leading jockey of the Festival (won last year by Michael Kinane), who will also receive a charitable donation of £5,000 divided between the Injured Jockeys' Fund and B.E.N. - The Motor & Allied Trades Benevolent Fund.
The Bradford & Bingley Rated Stakes This valuable Showcase Handicap over one mile is always a well-contested event, won last year by Peartree House, trained near Thirsk by David Nicholls.
The Victor Chandler Nunthorpe Stakes A prestigious Group 1 race for Europe's top sprinters, won in the recent past by speedsters of the calibre of Nuclear Debate (last year), Stravinsky, Lochangel, Piccolo, Lochsong, Sheikh Albadou and Dayjur. The successful owner will receive the highly-personal prize of a painting commissioned from the acclaimed equine artist, Christopher Dennis.
The Melrose Rated Stakes A handicap race for stayers named after James Melrose, a former chairman of The York Race Committee from 1875 until 1925 - and who lived to be a centurion in this Roman city.
The McArthurGlen Designer Outlet City Of York Stakes This 'Listed' race once again enjoys the support of the York-based sponsors, who also sponsor the 'Best-Dressed Lady Racegoers' competition on 'Ladies Day'.
The Hamlet Miniatures Stakes The final race of the 2001 Tote Ebor Festival is a Nursery Handicap for two-year-olds, which marks the sponsorship debut at York of Gallagher Ltd.
After the July Meeting, the awards for the leading trainer and jockey of the season at York are led by local racing personalities, Mark Johnston and Kevin Darley. With five winners so far this term, Johnston heads the table in The Minster Jaguar Trophy, while Darley is in pole position in The Studford Inns Jockey's Championship with eight winners.
Following the record crowd which flocked to York on John Smith's Cup Day last month, the advanced bookings for the Tote Ebor Festival are about 20% up over last year. Racegoers purchasing a three-day Festival badge will be admitted free into the equivalent enclosure at York's meeting on Wednesday, 5 September.
Racing on all three days begins at 2.00 p.m. (gates open 11.30 a.m.). The giant ToteVision screen will enable racegoers to see all of the action, while the free creche facility, 'Colts & Fillies' is available.
The scene is set for three days of outstanding racing.
For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink