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The Darley Yorkshire Oaks

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Enable and Frankie Dettori before winning The Darley Yorkshire
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History

The Darley Yorkshire Oaks is the final QIPCO British Champions Series Fillies & Mares race before the finale on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot in October.

The Group 1 race, for fillies and mares aged three years or older, is run at York over 1 mile 4 furlongs (2,400 metres) and is part of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.The race was established in 1849 for three-year-old fillies, but opened to older fillies and mares in 1991. Today, it often features horses which ran in the Investec Oaks, the third Classic of the season.

The last horse to win both the Darley Yorkshire Oaks and Investec Oaks was Alexandrova, in 2006. She also won the Irish Oaks that year but was never seen again on a racetrack due to injury. Alexandrova was the daughter of Sadler’s Wells and the granddaughter of Northern Dancer, two of the greatest sires in thoroughbred racing history.

Current leading jockey: Kieren Fallon, 4 wins (1998, 2002-3-4)
Current leading trainer: Sir Michael Stoute, 9 wins (1978, 1985-6, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2002-4)

Previous winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Prize money

Entries

Going/Track

Weather

No/Draw Horse/Jockey Age Form/Type BHA Rating Weight Trainer Odds

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Enable routs rivals from the front

Enable confirmed her status as the best middle-distance horse in training with an emphatic all-the-way win the Darley Yorkshire Oaks at York.

There was never an anxious moment in the £300,000 QIPCO British Champions Series contest for supporters of the 1-4 favourite, as she bounced out in front under Frankie Dettori and made every yard. It was her fourth Group One win success of the season – three of them in Champions Series race – and they have been achieved by an aggregate of 20 lengths.

The Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is next on her agenda and then, hopefully,she will be in action at Ascot on Champions Day on October 21, where the QIPCO Champion Stakes is her most likely target.

Winding the tempo up early on down the home straight, the daughter of Nathaniel continued to lengthen in impressive fashion for Dettori, as each of her rivals were taken out of their comfort zones.

Pressing on relentlessly, the odds-on market leader crossed the line five lengths clear of stablemate Coronet. Queen’s Trust and Nezwaah – boith Group 1 winners themselves – were third and fourth.

“She got a little bit lonely in front, but she’s done it beautifully,” Gosden said. “It’s proved she can do it from the front as well.

“She’s somewhat special. I think at a mile and a half she is the best filly I’ve ever trained, she’s exceptional and able to do it both ways, from the front and off the pace.”

He added: “We had a lot to lose coming here – you all remember a horse called Taghrooda – but we let her use her stride and she has gone and won by five lengths and she can’t do any more.

Dettori said: “I must say she got a bit bored in the end. I pushed her out, but I felt I had something left if someone had come to her. If you try and keep with her, they will break their lungs and that’s why she wins by five lengths.

“I had to stretch her out and she likes to have a fight on her hands – unfortunately today there was no fight and we had to do our own thing.

“I don’t like to say until the Arc (whether best horse ridden), so far she is doing everything the right way and would be one of the best.”

Results

Position Horse Jockey Trainer Owner
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The Course

The city of York and its racecourse have a long and colourful history, involving – among others - the Vikings, the Romans, Pope John Paul II, highwayman Dick Turpin, and the Princess Royal.

There’s no official record of the Vikings racing horses at York – they apparently preferred sacking and pillaging – but the Romans certainly did, during the reign of Emperor Severus 2,000 years ago. Severus, indeed, breathed his final breath in ‘Eboracum’ – that’s Roman for York. So did Turpin. He was hanged at the Knavesmire racecourse site in 1739. Pope John Paul II enjoyed a friendlier reception, lauded by 200,000 pilgrims at an open-air mass in 1982, while Princess Anne also enjoyed huge support when winning the Queen Mother’s Cup on Insular in 1988.

The North Yorkshire track, voted Racecourse of the Year in 2003, continues to attract the crowds today, with around 350,000 flocking through the gates each year. York comes into its own during the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival in August, the meeting boasting such races as the Juddmonte International Stakes, part of the QIPCO British Champions Series, and the totesport Ebor Handicap. Lester Piggott won the Ebor Handicap a record five times – the first in 1958 and the last 25 years later, in 1983.

Getting there

Tadcaster Rd York,
York
YO23 1EX

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