Offering world-class horse racing from May until October, York Racecourse stages 17 race days across the year, including some notable group ones such as the Juddmonte International Stakes, the Nunthorpe Stakes, the Gimcrack Stakes, and the Yorkshire Oaks. In fact, the reigning “Northern Racecourse of the Year” stages three of the UK’s 36 annual Group 1 races while also attracting around 360,000 racegoers a year.
York is located in North Yorkshire, and its racetrack is actually the third biggest in Britain in terms of total prize money offered and second only to Ascot. The course’s biggest event is the Yorkshire Ebor Festival which takes place in August each year and runs for four days. York also recently came out top in The Times newspaper’s survey of all British racecourses and was even chosen to host Royal Ascot in 2005 when Ascot was in the process of undergoing a $240 million stand redevelopment.
York Track History
The city of York can be traced back to Viking and Roman Britain. What have the Romans ever done for us? Well, they were actually the first people known to have raced horses at York during the days of the Emperor Severus over 2,000 years ago. Also, local records suggest the city first supported racing in 1530 before races were held on the frozen river Ouse, between Micklegate Tower and Skeldergate Postern, as far back as 1607.
York’s first known race meet took place in 1709 at Clifton Ings, an area which was prone to flooding. Because of this, the location of the course was later moved to Knavesmire, where it remains today. Holding its first meeting in 1731, Knavesmire is today run by The York Racecourse Committee which was formed in 1842 and looks after all of the top quality racing that takes place here.
York Track Configuration and Bias
Left Handed and flat. Wide, with no ridges. Fair to every style of horse. Avoid high drawn runners.
The track was made into a circuit in 2005 and offers a perfectly flat straight course on which all 5f and 6f races are run, while 7f races start on the chute. Because horses begin racing from quite a long way out at York, those drawn either high or low have been known to struggle in big-field sprints here, especially in races over a mile where high runners face immense difficulty. To that end, focus on the bottom seven stalls.
Myths that front runners fare better here have been disproved and, although there is no real bias here, York is generally considered to an ideal track for a long-striding galloper, particularly if conditions are testing when the ground gets soft. For the most part, winners stick to the center of the track and navigate the sweeping turns of the lengthy run-in to the finish.
York Racing Season
York’s richest race, the Group One Juddmonte International was ranked as the best race in Great Britain by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities last season making it a great way to open the four-day Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival that is held annually each August. The following day of the festival is considered to be Ladies Day and is when the Yorkshire Oaks is run. On Friday, the Coolmore Nunthorpe goes before Europe’s richest flat handicap, the Ebor Stakes, takes place on Saturday, the final day of the meeting.
Other notable races at York include the Gimcrack Stakes, which dates back to 1846, and Duke of York Stakes, Yorkshire Cup, and the Summer Stakes. In May, this course also hosts the three-day Dante Stakes meeting, which serves as a trial run-out for the Epsom Derby. York has even stood in for both Ascot and Doncaster previously when it hosted Royal Ascot in 2005 and the St Leger a year later in 2006.
York Racecourse, Knavesmire Road,
York, Yorkshire, YO23 1EX, United Kingdom
York Leading Jockeys and Trainers
York has seen first-hand some of the finest horses of all time over the years. For instance, the 2012 Juddmonte International was won by the wonder horse Frankel, son of the Derby-winning Galileo, and trained by the legend that was Henry Cecil.
Nowadays, other notable trainers bring their horses to York to test them against the very best. Some of these trainers fare better than others so it helps to know who you should be following when making your picks for York races.
While York isn’t a particularly complicated track to navigate, it can still take time for some jockeys to properly familiarize themselves with all the little quirks and sweeping turns of the course. Given that experienced riders often win the day, it helps to arm yourself with as much crucial information as possible when betting at York, such as which jockeys have performed better here than others.
To that end, we have provided you with the top five win rates for jockeys at York over the past three seasons.