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The Knavesmire, once the site of public executions in the ancient city, has been staging racing on its current site since 1731, though they used to race on the frozen-over River Ouse as far back as 1607. The track can now boast the longest continuous course in the UK after the back straight was joined to the end of the home straight in 2005 to accommodate the 2m6f Queen Alexandra Stakes when Ascot racecourse was temporarily closed for rebuilding. However, the longest race in the current calendar is only 2m2f.
A galloping left-handed track, there is a chute adjoining the round course at York to accommodate races over 5f and 6f and it stages one of three Group 1 contests on the North Yorkshire course. The Nunthorpe Stakes taking place in the middle of August over the minimum distance. The Juddmonte International, over 1m2f, also takes place at the same meeting as does the 1m4f Yorkshire Oaks. Racing throughout the season, which runs from May to October, is always of a high quality, however.
The Dante Stakes, Great Voltigeur, Musidora Stakes and Yorkshire Cup are all important races in their own right but most locals look forward to the Ebor Handicap in August. A 1m6f contest, it always attracts a huge field of top handicappers and Listed-class stayers but it is not usually a race for fancied horses. Only two winners since the turn of the century have started at single-figure odds and ignore those that say you need a draw near the rails. Most recent winners have been drawn 10 or higher as runners tend to come down the centre of the track off the final bend nowadays. On the sprint course, the draw appears to have little impact.
Paul Midgley’s older sprinters often start at decent odds at York but they more than hold their own. Mahmood Al Zarooni’s three-year-olds also pop up at fair odds now and again and John Gosden is the trainer to follow in the valuable races for older horses.
Parking is off Bishopthorpe Road which can be reached via the A64. A new A1/M1 link road, which joins the A64, has increased accessibility by car but there is always congestion on racedays. By rail York Station, which is on the main East Coast line with high-speed links to London Kings Cross, Doncaster, Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh, is one mile form the course entrance.
Saturday 8th October Results
Friday 7th October Results
Sunday 4th September Results
Saturday 20th August Results