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The Darley Yorkshire Oaks

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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.

Enable won the Darley Yorkshire Oaks in 2017 during an epic season when she won five successive Group 1 races and she reclaimed her crown in 2019.

Current leading jockey: Frankie Dettori, 4 wins (19948, 2011, 2017, 2019)
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

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

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Enable secures tenth Group One win with "gorgeous performance"

Enable left Frankie Dettori in tears after continuing her winning streak with another brilliant performance in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks at York.

Quickly out of the stalls on the final start of her career in Britain, the John Gosden-trained mare repeated her victory in this race from 2017 in emphatic fashion.

Frankie Dettori was comfortable at the head of affairs when he asked the Khalid Abdullah-owned five-year-old for her effort in the straight, and saw off old adversary Magical after the very briefest of tussles to win by two and three-quarter lengths.

Enable (1-4 favourite) will now attempt to lift the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe for an unprecedented third successive year at ParisLongchamp in October.

Gosden said: “It was a gorgeous performance from her. She was quick from the gates and there’s no point taking her back, so I said to Frankie if she’s out there let her float away.

“She was drawn one and there was no point complicating it and disappointing her, we should let her go and do her own thing.

“She cruised round there and really quickened the last two (furlongs) – she really turned it on. It’s a long way in front – a mile and a half round the Knavesmire.

“Magical came to her, but she found a lot in the last two furlongs, to that extent she showed her class and it was a good performance.

“She likes her training and she likes her racing, which is why I didn’t want a massive gap to the Arc.

“She’s not a filly that likes to be let all the way down, so between the King George and the Arc was too big a gap – she prefers to be let down a little and then brought back up for a race.

“This was a lovely prep for her, a gorgeous race in its own right and we couldn’t be more pleased with her.”

He added: “This was a nice stepping stone to the Arc, but I’m very aware of the three-year-old colts. We saw a nice one win here (on Wednesday) in Japan and Jean-Claude (Rouget) has a nice horse (Sottsass) who won the Prix du Jockey Club – I thought he looked exceptional.

“She’s got tough competition from the three-year-old boys and there’s always going to be a sneaky three-year-old filly in there, that’s for sure.

“If she runs back to what she did in the Arc as a three-year-old, which she looks like she is showing today, she might by tough to beat, but I do emphasise watch out for the three-year-olds.

“She has this amazing competitive mind. She’s just a great filly with a great constitution.

“I’ve seen some wonderful racemares in my time and she’s one of those. There’s not been many of them. I think it was great to bring her here again.”

Dettori was emotional afterwards, saying: “I’m really tearful, because it’s the last day she’ll be running in England, so it’s special. She got a tremendous turn out and produced a tremendous performance.

“I know how good she is, and when I pressed the button she went.”

Trained by Aidan O’Brien, Magical was finding Enable too good for the fourth time.

O’Brien said: “She ran very well, it was her first run back and we are delighted with her.

“I’m not sure (where next), she has a lot of options and we’ll see how she is when we bring her back.

“She could go to Leopardstown or something like that.”

On the brilliance of Enable, O’Brien said: “Absolutely, she’s unbelievable.”

Results

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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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@ianmsyme Undoubtedly one of our favourite fillies but she didn't manage to record a Series victory this year!