Whilst the Ebor Festival will go ahead behind closed doors in 2020, some of the horses and jockeys will not be able to ride at York as originally planned due to the Government’s recent decision to remove France from its exempt list.
One of those effected is Frankie Dettori who will be forced to self-quarantine for seven days on his return from riding in the Prix Jacques le Marois at the weekend. Having elected to ride Palace Pier, John Gosden’s colt, at Deauville, he will have to sit out York this week and be forced to self-quarantine for seven days on his return.
However, Gosden has already begun planning for the absence of his star jockey, with James Doyle in line to ride Lord North again after the pair struck at Royal Ascot.
Whilst Dettori will miss plum rides in the Juddmonte International and the Yorkshire Oaks, QIPCO 2000 Guineas winner Kameko will race at York. Andrew Balding decided against travelling to France and Kameko will take on Ghaiyyath on the opening day in the Juddmonte International.
The Ebor Festival is York’s most prestigious meeting of the year and features three Group 1 races and Europe’s most valuable handicap in terms of prize money across four days of quality horse racing.
The Juddmonte International is one of the best English races for middle-distance horses aged three and up. This race was ranked number one of all thoroughbred horse races in the world in 2012 – 14, and was famously won by Frankel, considered by some as the best thoroughbred in history, in 2012. Also featuring on the first day is the Great Voltigeur Stakes which is a recognised trial race for the final Classic of the season, the St Leger.
Thursday 20 August, sees the Group 1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks, a top tier 1m 4f race for fillies and mares. This race regularly sees the highest rated mare and fillies in Europe compete against each other and has twice been won by the “Queen of the Turf” – Enable.
Top sprinters will be competing in The Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes on Friday 21 August. This race was ranked as the highest rated 1,000m sprint in the world last year when a new course record was set of under 57 seconds.
The meeting concludes on Saturday 22 August, with the Sky Bet Ebor Handicap Stakes being the highlight of the final day’s racing at York.