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York Ebor Festival: Live blog
This live event has finished
That's all she wrote for the first day of action at the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival at York Racecourse.
We'll be back bright and early tomorrow to bring you all the news from Ladies' Day as the Darley Yorkshire Oaks takes centre stage.
Veteran trainer Clive Brittain won the concluding Bet Victor.com Stakes with Bahamian Heights ridden by Ryan Moore, his second winner of the day.
The 12-1 shot made all the running in the ultra competitive two-year-old race, fending off the late challenge of the well fancied Richard Hannon runner, Coultsy, to score by half a length.
Seriously don't know how Party Line lost that!!!! Still another bit of money for a place! #YorkRaces— @Jmacca17 21 August 2013
Can you believe it? The first day of the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival is almost at an end.
The BetVictor.com Stakes, over six furlongs, will bring proceedings to a close at 4.55pm.
Another North Yorkshire winner at York, the second of the day, and it's Broxbourne for Middleham trainer Mark Johnston.
It looked like Party Line had the race in the bag in the final furlong of the two mile contest but the four-year-old, also trained by Johnston, tired severly in front and Broxbourne just headed off Mawaqeet to take the two mile handicap.
@yorkracecourse #ebor2013 Declaration Of War fastest furlong of 11.02 sec 3f-2f and top ave speed of 40.8 mph to win the Juddmonte— @TurfTrax 21 August 2013
Toronado was very poor! #YorkRaces— @Smithlarrr19 21 August 2013
Who saw that coming Declaration of War smashed it. Great stuff #yorkraces— @peterrydzkowski 21 August 2013
After all the excitement of the Juddmonte International, the pace drops a little bit in the Lanstone Building Conservation Stakes that kicks off at 4.20pm.
The £30,000 contest is a two-mile stamina test.
Aidan O'Brien, trainer of Declaration Of War, said that he had been thinking of dropping his colt back in trips from a mile to sprinting distances after Royal Ascot.
But the Ballydoyle handler said there wasn't the races for him in that sphere and, keeping him in the big contests, said he had just improved race on race.
Roger Charlton, trainer of Al Kazeem, reported the horse never stretched out at any stage and said that three Group 1 races on firm ground had made the horse wary of the conditions. He said Al Kazeem was looking after himself.
Joseph O'Brien, winning rider on Declaration Of War, said: "He's a tough horse and he's got a huge heart. We went a nice even gallop all the way. It was a very fair race and there were no excuses.
"He can go whatever distance you want - a mile, a mile and a quarter - he has got all those big races."
Well that was a bit of a turn up for the books. Declaration of War, at 7-1, has won the Juddmonte International.
Al Kazeem, the pre-race favourite, could only finish third while Toronado didn't even look like he remotely stayed.
Trading Leather was runner-up.
You couldn't really see that result in the form book.
The runners are arriving at the start.
Favourite Al Kazeem looked well going to post, as did big rival Toronado who took a slight hold of the bit in the hands of champion jockey Richard Hughes.
Trading Leather has come in for some late support for Irish trainer Jim Bolger.
The Juddmonte must be soon. Dramatic music is playing and a computer graphic is racing round the York course on the big screen showing us all the route the runners will have to take.
It's all very movie-like.
Following Telescope's victory in the Great Voltigeur Stakes Harry Herbert, managing director of Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, who own the horse, said: "I'm really thrilled to see him do it and do it well. Ryan was very impressed with him today, he felt he was a different horse from Haydock. He isn't entered in the St Leger but we could supplement him, it's a nice problem to have."
The big one is just a few minutes away. The Juddmonte International, the richest race ever staged on Knavesmire at £750,000, has got the crowds all out in the paddock and in the stands.
Al Kazeem is the 11-8 favourite as he bids to become the first horse ever to win the trio of the Prince of Wales's Stakes, Eclipse and Juddmonte in one season.
They are parading in front of the stands now and he looks very well.
Good performance there from Telescope to win the Great Voltigeur Stakes.
He kicked on about three furlongs from home under Ryan Moore and, at one stage, the 5-4 favourite looked like he would win it by any margin he wanted.
The three-year-old was kept to his task by Foundry and Secret Number and that makes the victory a little less impressive than it might otherwise have looked had it finished at the furlong marker.
A length and a quarter was the winning margin.
James Doyle "People have been fooled into thinking Al Kazeem hasn't a turn of foot. He took 3-4 lengths out of DOW in the Eclipse" #Ebor2013— @Racing_UK 21 August 2013
Telescope looked very well in the paddock and he's the 11/8 fav for the Great Voltigeur. Foundry backed into 6/1. #York #Ebor2013— @roryjiwani 21 August 2013
The Great Voltigeur Stakes runners are on their way down to the start. Telescope is grabbing the bit a little but looks very relaxed.
Willie The Whipper, trained by Leyburn's Ann Duffield, is the only North Yorkshire horse among the seven runners.
The Great Voltigeur Stakes, the first of the feature contests on day one of the Ebor Festival, is next and Telescope is a heavy favourite for the mile and a half race.
The three-year-old, who will be ridden by Ryan Moore, is 11-8 to win the £150,000 Group 2 contest with Godolphin's Secret Number a 9-2 chance in the betting.
We saw Aidan O'Brien walking the track earlier on this afternoon and Foundry is 15-2 with bookies William Hill to claim the prize.
Kevin Ryan has only narrowly failed to land a double after Treaty of Paris made all to win the Acomb Stakes under James Doyle.
The Grey Gatsby made up huge amounts of ground inside the final furlong but the 11-1 shot Treaty Of Paris made all to hold off the late challenge.
A neck was the winning distance with The Grey Gatsby shaping as if a step up in trip would suit.
Kevin Ryan will be hoping to complete a quick double on the opening day of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival after victory in the first. His runner The Grey Gatsby is a warm 5-4 favourite in the Group Three Pinsent Mason LLP Acomb Stakes over seven furlongs.
A delighted Kevin Ryan said after the victory of Bogart in the first race: "It's great to see the horse come back to himself. We were confident going into his last race (when saddle slipped). We're really happy with him and happy he's shown he's still the same horse that he was."
Bogart takes the congratulations in the winner's enclosure.
Great start for North Yorkshire in the opener! Bogart, trained in Hambleton by Kevin Ryan, has won the Symphony Group Stakes.
Goldream got the better of Face The Problem in a photo-finish for the runners-up spot.
It was a great piece of riding from Neil Callan on the 7-1 shot Bogart on the stands' side rail and he was three quarters of a length clear at the line.
They are going behind the stalls...
The favourite, though, is sweating up already and jockey Graham Gibbons has dismounted.
Bit of money coming for Ladyship, from 11s into 8s, and Barnet Fair, from 12-1 into 9s. Above Standard, the favourite, has also shortened slightly in the market from 11-2 into 5-1.
Face The Problem was trying to pull jockey James Doyle's arms off as the pair went down to the start, while Jack Keene has noticed that the favourite Above Standard was on his toes.
The old veteran Tax Free is going down serenly, and Jack's pick, Barnet Fair, looked looked good down at the start.
Demora, ridden by Andrew Mullen, and trained at Newark by Michael Appleby, has gone down to post early.
The opener here at York, the Symphony Group Stakes at 1.55pm, is over five furlongs and kicks the Festival off with a £50,000 prize fund.
Judge 'n Jury, Long Awaited and Dick Boss, saddled by Nawton's David O'Meara, are all non runners. A field of 17 lines up.
It's a pretty open race. The favourite, Above Standard, trained by Mick Easterby at Sheriff Hutton, is currently a 6-1 shot.
The master of Ballydoyle, Aidan O'Brien, is currently having a wander on the track. He has big hopes this afternoon for Declaration Of War, in the Juddmonte International, and Foundry in the Great Voltigeur Stakes.
It's a long walk, or trot, from the racing stables over to the pre-parade ring - and the runners for the opening Symphony Group Stakes at 1.55pm are making their away across the Knavesmire. Not long now.
RT @racingkate: Busy, busy in the offices this morning! Big movers include Barnet Fair in the opener (11 from 14) & The Grey Gatsby. AND th…— @Channel4Racing 21 August 2013
Not sure why Cap 'O rushes is such a high price based on form he should be much shorter Telescope undeservedly favourite I think #Yorkraces— @1FurlongToGo 21 August 2013
Even though The Press sportsdesk is forever mocking the 'countdown ticker' on some well-known websites and TV stations, I think we can get away with this one.
The Ebor Festival gets under way in one hour.
Trying my luck at horse racing! #yorkraces #fingerscrossed @ York Racecourse http://t.co/ycI9EX8bS1— @ojmartin93 21 August 2013
Let it not be said that we don't put our money where our mouths are.
Jack Keene likes to think he's knows a bit about form - check out his racing blog at www.stewardsinquiry.com - so he is going to call on all his expertise, knowledge and rabbit's foot-touching to try and find you the winner of every race at the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival over the next four days.
So here are the first of what we hope will come to be known as 'Keene's Crackers'. If he fails, feel free to call it - and him - something else. As long as it's clean.
1.55 Barnet Fair, 2.30 The Grey Gatsby, 3.05 Telescope, 3.40 Al Kazeem, 4.20 Homeric, 4.55 Banaadeer.
The Juddmonte International start this morning.. Will look a lot different at 3.40.. @yorkracecourse #ebor2013 http://t.co/XhOYrD0zIU— @SamHarte 21 August 2013
Looking ahead to later in the week, favourite Shea Shea leads a field of 20 engaged for the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes on Friday.
Mick de Kock's sprinter has been one of the favourites for the five-furlong dash since narrowly losing the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in June but he has got some formidable opposition to get past if he is to land Europe's richest sprint race.
Sole Power, a 100-1 winner of the Nunthorpe three years ago, is among the contingent looking to spoil the South African's party, while North Yorkshire hopes will be most strongly represented by Hambleton trainer Bryan Smart's Moviesta.
Pocklington tyre magnate Reg Bond owns Ladies Are Forever, who was supplemented for the race at a cost of £25,000, while at Sutton Bank, Kevin Ryan saddles both Tiddliwinks and York Glory.
It's going to be quite busy in here - the parade ring - in just a couple of hours time...
The track is looking pristine, sun burning through, two hours until racing starts #YorkEbor— @jkeene124 21 August 2013
North Yorkshire has a great chance of Group race glory when The Grey Gatsby lines up in the Acomb Stakes at 2.30pm.
Hambleton-based Kevin Ryan has had great success at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival over the years and last won this seven furlong Group 3 contest in 2005.
The Grey Gatsby was impressive on debut when winning here at York and he will certainly have learned a great deal from that experience.
Currently trading at around 11-8, he looks an exciting prospect and could signal the beginning of a successful week for the White Rose county.
I'll go with a Kevin Ryan sprint double in the first 2 races at York today. Bogart & The Great Gatsby (20/1 Bet 365) #yorkraces— @RookeryTipping 21 August 2013
If the Juddmonte International is today's big one, it's by no means the be all and end all of the opening day of the Ebor Festival.
The Neptune Investment Management Great Voltigeur Stakes is usually a strong indicator for next month's St Leger at Doncaster and is staged at 3.05pm over a mile and a half.
Jack Keene gives his thoughts on the Group 2 contest:
With the Ladbrokes St Leger less than a month away the runners in the Neptune Investment Management Great Voltiguer will be looking to put their claims for Classic glory forward in a race which has provided 13 St Leger winners since 1950.
The highly touted Telescope will look to repair his damaged reputation in the mile-and-a-half Group 2 contest following defeat in the Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock.
A winner by 24 lengths on his seasonal reappearance, Sir Michael Stoute’s colt could only finish second last time at short odds. He will go off a short priced favourite again today as he bids to get his career back on track.
Cap O’Rushes was successful at Glorious Goodwood when last seen and the Godolphin runner could prove to be the biggest threat to Telescope. Currently 10-1 for the St Leger, Cap O’Rushes will relish the stamina test this race provides.
Secret Number represents the same owner and will be aiming to reverse form with Cap O’Rushes following a two length defeat to him in the Gordon Stakes. He could be up to the task, however, as he was undoubtedly unlucky that day, badly hampered as he was making a challenge with a furlong to go.
Aiden O’Brien launches a raid with the interesting and unexposed three-year-old Foundry. He will be having his first run of the season today and has only raced once in his career, albeit that sole run was a handsome success at Leopardstown.
The field is completed by Willie The Whipper, who'd ideally prefer soft going, and Nichols Canyon, who looks exposed, and both appear to have a hard task ahead of them in a race where the focus will be on Telescope and his highfalutin status.
There's £750,000 up for grabs in the Juddmonte International, the feature contest of this afternoon's first day at the Ebor Festival.
Frankel, of course, is not with us this year but we've got the prospect of an interesting 'match race' between Al Kazeem and Toronado, with rivals like Trading Leather straining to get in on the action.
Jack Keene has had a look at the ten furlong contest for you, and these are his thoughts:
The Juddmonte International is a Group 1 contest steeped in history and prestige and today an elite field has assembled to do battle for the £425,000 first prize.
Al Kazeem has proved himself one of the horses of the season showing immense improvement to secure three top-level victories in a row at a mile-and-a-quarter. Today he will aim for victory in York’s premier ten furlong race, and in doing so become the first horse in history to achieve glory in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Coral Eclipse at Sandown and the Juddmonte International.
Today he faces an entirely new threat in the form of the highest rated horse in training in Britain in Toronado, and the current Irish Derby champion and Group One regular, Trading Leather.
Question marks will undoubtedly orbit Toronado as he steps up in distance from a mile for the first time following a classy success at Goodwood.
Trading Leather appears best at a mile-and-a-half but is guaranteed to be fighting on doggedly at the finish.
Of the rest of the opposition, the master of Ballydoyle Aiden O’Brien sends over Queen Anne Stakes winner Declaration of War. The four-year-old has already been handed defeats by Al Kazeem and Toronado this season and appears to have plenty on his plate to reverse form with the main market protagonists.
Hillstar for Sir Michael Stoute, who has won this race five times, looks up against it while rank outsider Rewarded completes the sextet but is hopelessly out of his depth in what is an intriguing renewal.
#ebor today #yorkraces I've decided to follow a strategy of backing any horse on each race that is 14/1 to win— @Andy_Cheetham 21 August 2013
RT @BetVictor: Want to know what champion jockey Richard Hughes has to say about his mounts on day 1 of #Ebor http://t.co/FF0fmQM2LE— @VictorChandler 21 August 2013
RT @AntheaLMorshead: Dry overnight @yorkracecourse & the going is Good to Firm 4 day 1 of #ebor2013 Met 4cast; 2day - Largely dry but cloud…— @martingkilkenny 21 August 2013
If you haven't picked up your copy of The Press today yet, don't miss out. Get to a newsagent.
A special four-page wrap round has all the tips, runners and riders from today's and tomorrow's York cards, a two-page centre spread profiles all the contestants in the Juddmonte International and all the news and views from the Ebor Festival are covered in a busy sport section.
A fleet of ice cream vans have just turned up at the track but, at the moment, they are being a little optimistic.
It's currently cool and overcast at York, as you can see from the picture, and there may even be a couple of small showers this morning.
But fear not racegoers, the forecast is for it to brighten up a bit by the time racing gets under way with temperatures of about 70 degrees when the runners for the Juddmonte International go into the starting stalls.
Racing gets under way today at 1.55pm with the £50,000 Symphony Group Handicap and ends at 4.55pm withh the Betvictor.com Nursery Handicap over six furlongs.
The key races today are the Neptune Investment Management Great Voltigeur Stakes over a mile and a half at 3.05pm followed by the jewel in the crown, the £750,000 Juddmonte International, 35 minutes later at 3.40pm.
FOUR days, some of the best horses, jockeys and trainers in the world and a Yorkshire crowd to make everyone feel at home - it can only be the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival and it gets under way in just a few hours time!
Welcome to our live blog covering all the ups and downs from York Racecourse over the next four days.
Stick with us as we bring you news and previews from Knavesmire and then all the action and reaction from the track as the big races are won and lost.
Get in touch with us using the comments facility below, or by twitter using the hashtag #yorkraces, and both Jack Keene and myself, Steve Carroll, will make sure you don't miss a second from the best week of racing in the county.
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