The Group 2 York Stakes (Saturday 27 July, 3.15PM) is a run over 1 mile 2 furlongs and 56 yards and it is a potential stepping-stone to the Group 1 Juddmonte International in August. Established in 2006, the race is open to horses aged three and older. Its most famous winner is Twice Over who won the race in 2011 before going on to Group 1 success the following month.
Check out our 10-year-trends, runner-by-runner guide, and free tip for the York Stakes 2019.
York Stakes 10-Year-Trends
The York Stakes doesn’t tend to attract many three-year-old runners, and none have won in the last decade. Despite that, four-year-olds have only won two of the last 10 editions. 5-year-olds have won four, 6-year-olds three, and one 7-year-old has been successful.
The winners were rated between 102 and 125 but only two carried any form of penalty. Four were favourites returned at odds ranging from 1/2 to 3/1, whilst the biggest priced winner was returned at 12/1.
William Haggas and Andrew Balding are winning trainers in the last decade who have a runner this year, whilst Sir Michael Stoute trained the inaugural winner.
York Stakes Runner-By-Runner Guide 2019
112-rated 5-year-old that must carry a 3lb penalty for his win in this season’s Group 2 Huxley Stakes at Chester. That means he’s the worst horse on official ratings at the weights of this year’s sextet. He also flopped in this race last year, when having to concede the penalty, and he’s yet to win in three visits to York. Likeable honest type but he looks to have a tough job on his hands.
William Haggas trains this 5-year-old who has won a Group 2 in the past, but he escapes a penalty due to that success being over a year ago. He was given a terrible ride when seemingly having his perfect soft-ground conditions behind Forest Ranger at Chester but bounced back to form on similarly soft ground when winning a high-class Listed race at Royal Ascot. However, he’s not as good under fast conditions and he probably needs the rain that’s forecast on Friday and Saturday to turn conditions in his favour to have a chance of winning, and he might still not be good enough.
Mark Johnston-trained 4-year-old that was a big fancy for the 2,000 Guineas in 2018 but, after finishing fourth in the first classic of the season, he proved a flop afterwards. However, he ran one of his better races here at York when third in the 2018 York Stakes. He finished in front of Forest Ranger that day and, having won two Listed race wins this season, he could go well at a course where he also won as a two-year-old. He needs to find a bit of improvement to turn around the form with Addeyb from Royal Ascot but a 3lb pull and faster ground should be in his favour.
Knight To Behold
Hit and miss performer who won a Group 2 in France last year and put in a notable effort when chasing home Crystal Ocean at Sandown on his seasonal debut. He finished over three lengths in front of a horse called Extra Elusive that day, who was only beaten a neck by Elarqam last time, though he was beaten much further by that horse at Goodwood earlier this season. He’s not without a chance on that form but you need to go back to May to find his stable’s last winner.
Won his only race as a 2-year-old before winning one of his four races as a 3-year-old. However, he was always a typical Sir Michael Stoute-trained work in progress and the form of his two runs over 10-furlongs this season suggest he will take all the beating here. He beat Matterhorn by further than Forest Ranger did at Chester in the first of those, whilst only Enable and Magical beat him in the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse. He meets nothing of that class here and the only negative is his lack of a run at York.
Won his first two races of the season over a similar trip to today’s but he couldn’t handle the pressure cooker environment of the Derby. However, he ran well at Royal Ascot when second behind Japan, who has since won a Group 1. Three-year-olds don’t have a great record in the race, but he could appreciate the drop back to 10-furlongs.
York Stakes Verdict 2019
Five-year-olds have a great record in the York Stakes, but Forest Ranger doesn’t look good enough to concede a penalty to superior horses and he looks likely to finish nearer last than first judged on his performance in last year’s edition. Addeyb is also five but he probably needs the ground to be soft to have a chance of winning and he may still find one or two too good.
Three-year-olds don’t have a great record in the race and, though Bangkok’s best form entitles him to respect, running in the Derby and at Royal Ascot may have taken the edge off him.
That means this could be between the four-year-olds, but it’s difficult to recommend a bet on Knight To Behold with his stable struggling for winners. Meanwhile, Elarqam lacks a touch of class but does seem to like York.
However, they should all have to give at least second best to Regal Reality who has improved with every run this season and seems best at 10-furlongs. His defeat of Matterhorn gives him a great chance and, after bettering that effort when third behind Enable and Magical last time, he’s expected to be a popular favourite.