It is safe to say that the undoubted star of the show at the York Ebor meeting getting under way on Wednesday is the mighty Frankel, who puts his unbeaten record on the line in the Group 1 £725,000 Juddmonte International Stakes (see bottom of page for racing odds). His record now stretches to 12 victories from as many runs, and with each outing it would appear that he is just getting better and better.
The Sir Henry Cecil-trained colt has brushed aside quality opposition with ease time and time again, including an 11 length demolition of his rivals in the Queene Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, and was last seen toying with the useful Godolphin colt Farhh when landing the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood for a second successive year.
Now for the first time, the nation’s favourite racehorse gets a chance to show that he is no one-trick pony by attempting to stay the 10 furlongs of the feature race on day one. Despite never having raced beyond a mile, he has still managed to scare away most of the opposition as he bids to recoup owner Prince Khalid Abdulla’s outlay in sponsoring the Juddmonte for a 22nd year.
Frankel will be joined in the line-up by stablemates Twice Over, the defending champion, and Bullet Train, who as usual will be employed as a pacemaker. One trainer not afraid to take Frankel on is Aidan O’Brien, whose representative St Nicholas Abbey has won no fewer than four Group 1 races. The five-year-old was last seen in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes when third to Danedream, and unlike the favourite, is most definitely proven over further than eight furlongs.
Also on the first day, just to make it even more of a family affair, Frankel’s full-brother Noble Mission is set to line up in the Neptune Investment Management Great Voltigeur, a time-honoured trial for the final Classic of the Turf Flat season, the St Leger. Winner of the Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, the Cecil inmate will once again be taken on by the rival that he beat narrowly at the Sussex track, Enke, whose connections are more than hopeful of the Godolphin entry turning the tables.
Highlight on day two is the Darley Yorkshire Oaks, while on Friday the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes pitches some of the best speedsters around against each other. One of those is the Australian mare Ortensia, who found the rain-softened ground against her when beaten at Royal Ascot and Newmarket, but who bounced back in style in the King George at Goodwood. Like Frankel, she too will bid for a 13th career victory, and may have most to fear from another Khalid Abdulla-owned individual in Roger Charlton’s Bated Breath, who very much needs a Group 1 success to enhance his future stallion prospects.
A fantastic meeting comes to a climax on Saturday when some of the best stayers around line up in the Betfred Ebor, including Sir Mark Prescott’s Motivado who has been the subject of much support in the ante-post market.
York Ebor Meeting Frankel Odds
you can expect shorts odds on Frankel as firm favourite, however, with Frankel having not raced over this distance before it is no sure thing! St Nicholas Abbey is definitely worth a punt at 11/2 and is already proven on this distance. Godolphin’s horse Farhh is also in with a shot and at 12/1 the return is well worth the outlay! In other races during the York Ebor Meeting Paddy Power are offering a great Free Bet in the 2.00 on the opening day, a great way to increase the excitement of York’s great racing week.