The history of York race course
York and its surrounding area has a rich heritage of equine competition. Some archaeologists believe horse racing in the Vale of York even predates the Romans! In the late Tudor period, a famous race took place in the Forest of Galtres which lay just outside the City Walls for much of the medieval age. Horse racing on the Knavesmire itself dates back to the early 1730s with other venues in and around York used before that. Another 20 years later, York horse racing had formed a structured programme following the example set by Newmarket.
By the early Nineteenth Century, meetings in May and August were established at York race course, and those events at such points in the year have since developed into the Dante and Ebor Festivals. The Ebor Handicap was first run in 1843 over two miles before being cut in distance by two furlongs. That historic staying race has Heritage Handicap status, but is no longer open to three-year-olds. Many other races taking place during the Ebor Festival at York have developed and been added to the programme since.
Creating those two key meetings at different points in the Flat season means the history of York horse racing today gets added to every year. The Group 2 Dante Stakes itself is a recognised Classic trial for The Derby on Epsom Downs. Horses who win that race often return to the Knavesmire and contest the Juddmonte International during the Ebor Festival. The first ever running of that Group 1 stakes race saw equine legend Brigadier Gerard defeated for the only time in his career by Derby winner Roberto in 1972. When horses step out onto the Knavesmire, they could make history.
With such prestigious and historic horse races taking place at York race course, you can rest assured that our team of experts know the importance of them. That is particularly prevalent for our tipsters who know all the form and have years of experience. Our experts are not afraid to put their money where their mouths are. The York betting tips you will find on this site are genuine wagers placed by the people writing them. We are sure you will agree you cannot get more authentic than that.
Certain York horse racing events, think the Ebor and Group 1 prizes for starters, are worth looking at in detail. That is why our tipsters really put such races under the microscope and come up with a shortlist of three. We recognise just how competitive some of these contests are and that, besides a main selection, there are many dangers and alternatives to consider. With some of the big betting handicaps held on the Knavesmire, each-way value is what you want to be looking out for as a punter, so we have got that angle covered in our tips too!
Away from the main action, you will find selections for other races put together in the same articles. These tips are structured slightly differently with the NAP being our best chance of a winner on York horse racing today ahead of the next best (NB) from another race. Again, we are always looking out for each-way bets to be had on meetings, so you will find these included too. All in all, that makes for comprehensive tipping coverage from the Knavesmire with the emphasis on value. Everything is explained in detail, so you can see why our tipsters fancy certain horses.
The best York betting sites and bonuses
Top tips for York horse racing today are all well and good, but where should you go to get the best value bets and offers? Again, you are in luck as our experts can help you here. We have reviewed all of the leading online bookmakers and sportsbooks available to British bettors on the site. These are conducted in the same detailed manner as our horse racing betting tips, so you know that a full and thorough assessment has taken place. Each operator is given a rating and they are ranked in order from best to worst based on their scores.
We are concerned with more than just York horse racing here, but betting on the sport as a whole. That is what Horsebetting.com is all about, viewing the world through the prism of where it is best to place your wagers on racehorses. A bookie can offer all the promotions in the world on other sports but, if they cannot be used for horse racing, they aren’t of any use to our readers. Make sure you check out our recommended sportsbooks.
It’s a similar story with bonuses. Sign up offers that can be used on horse racing and best odds guaranteed on all UK and Irish horse racing, including events at York race course come as an industry standard. That is why when judging welcome bonuses, our experts look at what other promotions relating to this sport are available. The best horse racing betting sites offer extra places, additional markets and live streams so you have more choice when it comes to wagering and can see how the horses you back get on. See our top betting bonuses, again ranked and reviewed in detail, on the site.
All of York horse racing today is shaped by the entries owners and trainers make. After all, if horses aren’t entered in races, then they can’t win them without being in them. That is where our news and results coverage comes in. A major story can break at any time. It only takes a racehorse to have a setback in training and they could be out their planned run at York race course. If you don’t know about that, then you could end up placing a bet that has lost before you have even started.
One of the best ways to ensure that you get a run for your money is to follow all the horse racing news as it happens through us. Our team of expert journalists set every story in its proper context. In other words, what does it mean for the betting markets on future horse races? This allows you to identify alternative wagers to place or learn who is made favourite by the bookies now. That is what drives every news item and feature you will find on our site, the pursuit of profit and beating the bookmakers.
Entries, trainer quotes, injuries and results all have their place in this section. Once a horse has won a race, the key question is where next for it? Again, our experts know the sport’s annual and seasonal calendar well enough to suggest possible future targets if the owners and trainers don’t already have such things in mind. Absorbing all that information can only help you to place the right bets moving forward, and that is one of our key aims. Just read our news section to keep clued up on it all.
The Ebor Festival – A summer highlight
As mentioned above, York horse racing doesn’t get any bigger than the Ebor Festival. For four days in the second half of August with Wednesday to Saturday being traditional Ebor dates, this is the premier Flat meeting anywhere in the British Isles. Top thoroughbreds descend on the Knavesmire to compete in three Group 1 races and the big staying handicap from which the festival takes its name. We have already touched on the Juddmonte International’s history above, and this race is all about generations meeting to see who is best. That theme runs right through each of the elite races during Ebor week.
The Yorkshire Oaks on Ladies Day sees the best fillies and mares collide. As in the Juddmonte International, Classic winners past and present meet on the Knavesmire but over a mile-and-a-half rather than a mile-and-a-quarter. It is truly fabulous to put the focus on the fillies. After opening with the Juddmonte International and Great Voltigeur, a key Group 2 trial for the St Leger, and following on from Ladies Day, there are two different tests on the Friday. The Nunthorpe Stakes is an all-age sprint over the flying five furlongs where juveniles can meet older horses.
There is also the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup for Flat stayers over two miles. This comes between two other Cup races in the programme, one at Goodwood and the other at Doncaster. Everything at the Ebor Festival builds towards the Ebor Handicap. Now with more than 175 years of history behind it, efforts have been made by racing authorities to make it the York race course equivalent of the Melbourne Cup in Australia. It is truly worthy of its Heritage Handicap status and one of the most valuable non-Group prizes in Europe.
Other Flat meetings at York
There is more York horse racing today than just the Ebor, though. As mentioned earlier, the Dante Festival in May contains key Classic trials, namely the Dante and Musidora Stakes for fillies; one of the first Group sprints of the Flat season in the Duke Of York Stakes; and the Yorkshire Cup for stayers over a mile-and-three-quarters. There are also a number of other racedays on the Knavesmire with black type available.
Some of the minor York horse racing meetings include Saturdays at the end of May, and during June and July. Races like the Group 3 Bronte Cup for fillies over a mile-and-three-quarters, the Grand Cup (a Listed race run at the same distance) and Group 2 York Stakes over a mile-and-a-quarter are well worth checking out. The John Smith’s Cup is another of the big betting Heritage Handicaps held on the Knavesmire over the summer too.
There are also quieter meetings in the autumn, including the Garrowby Stakes day in September. That is a Listed contest for sprinters over six furlongs. Speed is again the focus in October with the Coral Sprint Trophy another of the races which attracts big betting interest. All in all, there are over 20 class 1 horse races held on the Knavesmire in any given season. That is a lot of black type action to get involved with, so we are sure that you will agree that York horse racing today has so much to offer you as a punter.