York racecourse, commonly referred to as the Knavesmire, has been providing horse racing since 1730, and is one of the UK’s finest flat-racing venues.
It attracts horses from all corners of the UK, whilst raiding parties from Ireland and France are often sighted at the plethora of big meetings York offers each year.
The first big meeting is the Dante Meeting, with the Dante being the most recognised trial for the Epsom Derby, producing winners like Golden Horn, Authorised and Motivator this century. The Dante Meeting also includes the Musidora Stakes, a recognised trial for the Epsom Oaks.
The summer fixtures include the Macmillan Charity Sprint in June and the John Smith’s Cup in July, whilst everyone who’s anyone in racing attends August’s prestigious Ebor Festival. The highlights of this 4-day festival include Wednesday’s Juddmonte International, Thursday’s Yorkshire Oaks and Friday’s Nunthorpe Stakes, whilst Europe’s biggest handicap The Betfred Ebor takes place on Saturday. All 4 cards are supported by a host of competitive races, whilst well-dressed and knowledgeable crowds take advantage of some excellent dining and hospitality facilities.
The Knavesmire is a flat left-handed track that is generally conceived to be a very fair track, whilst the long-straight really suits horses with a long-stride who can gallop relentlessly right to the line. 5 and 6 furlong races are run on a straight track, and the draw has tended to suit horses drawn-low in recent seasons, though this can change dramatically if the ground is soft.
Races in excess of a mile are run around a bend. Up until the last few years, a low-draw could be a significant advantage in these races however, as fields often come down the centre of the track nowadays, this draw bias has become less prominent.
Top Trainers And Jockeys
David O’Meara and Richard Fahey have numerically been the best trainers at York in the last 5 seasons, respectively with 24 winners from 262 runners and 23 winners from 361 runners. However, backing all their runners to level-stakes would have resulted in a quite a significant loss. One trainer to definitely keep an eye on though is William Haggas, who has won over twice as much prize-money in the last 5-years as any other trainer, and his 18 winners from 100 runners have returned a small level-stakes profit of £4.77.
The top jockey on the Knavesmire over the last 5 years has been Andrea Atzeni, and the Italian’s 15 winners from 86 rides has returned a tasty level-stakes profit of £27.38. However, that isn’t as good as P. McDonald whose 10 winners from 79 rides has earned a level-stakes profit of £47.25. Phillip Makin also warrants a mention with his 13 winners from 108 rides also showing a level-stakes profit of £6.96.