The Ebor Handicap is a race that many trainers target for a long time, as it’s the most valuable handicap of the flat-racing season. Deriving its name from the Roman word for York (Eboracum), it was first run in 1843, and it is now the highlight of York’s prestigious Ebor Meeting in August. It is run over 14-furlongs.
- Winners since 2000 have been aged between 3 and 7, with seven winners aged 5
- Saeed Bin Suroor has trained 2 of the last 9 winners
- Luca Cumani has trained 2 of the last 13 winners
- Jamie Spencer has ridden 2 of the last 10 winners
- Purple Moon was the shortest-priced winner this century, sent-off the 7/2 favourite
- Mudawin was the longest-priced winner this century at 100/1
Sir Mark Prescott won the Ebor Handicap way back in 1994 with Hasten To Add, who like Flymetothestars was a lightly-raced and progressive 4-year-old. However, unlike his previous winner, this horse has only raced on all-weather surfaces so far. Confirmed for the race recently, it will be interesting to see how he adapts to turf, but could be well-handicapped if he takes to it.
Another improving 4-year-old who has enjoyed much success on the all-weather, but he has already won on turf. He also ran well over a shorter trip, looking like he’ll stay this extra distance. Trainer Roger Varian has yet to win an Ebor Handicap, but has enjoyed many other successes at York.
Ran well when third behind Stradivarius and Big Orange in the Goodwood Cup, and could be a well-handicapped horse if lining up here. However, there is a danger that connections may opt to save him for the St Leger, even though trainer won this race in 2004.
His trainer William Haggas loves having winners at York as it is his local course, however he’s yet to win an Ebor. Taken out of the Goodwood Cup, he may be targeted here where he has won a Listed Race over a slightly shorter trip. May well be saddled with top-weight though, which has proved beyond better horses than him in recent renewals.
Was a late absentee when well-fancied for last year’s renewal and, though he’s not been at his best over hurdles this season, he could still have improvement to come back on the flat. Trainer Willie Mullins won the 2009 renewal with Sesenta, but this one will have to carry a much bigger weight,
Who Dares Wins
This 5-year-old has been in splendid form over jumps and on the flat this season, finishing third in the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival, fourth in the Chester Cup, and third in the Ascot Stakes. However, his most eye-catching run came in a hurdle race at Newbury, where the long-straight seemed to give him plenty of time to get into top-gear, and it could be a similar scenario here at York.
The Ebor Handicap is a tricky race to solve on the day, let alone at the ante-post stage, however Who Dares Wins seems to have plenty going for him. Not only do 5-year-olds have the best recent record, but he should also get in the race with a nice low-weight off his mark in the mid 90’s, and should be ideally suited by coming off a strong-pace up the long-straight.
Tip Who Dares Wins