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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

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

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Love leaves Oaks field reeling in prep for Enable Arc showdown

Love, is indeed, all you need – except perhaps if your name is Enable?

The Aidan O’Brien-trained Ballydoyle filly added another Group 1 to what has already been a glamorous three-year-old campaign by winning the Darley Yorkshire Oaks in a canter.

The chestnut was rightly well fancied before the race due to her two commanding Classic victories earlier in the summer, and those short odds seemed about right in a convincing success. Whilst we may not have seen the clash-of-the-ages with Enable on British soil, it’s added an extra layer of spice to what will be a thrilling match up on October 4th.

In the race itself, Love broke cleanly with the whole field before Manuela de Vega and Rob Hornby took up the early running. Love and Ryan Moore remained prominent throughout, keen to not give too much rope to a horse proven from the front.

The steady pace meant the field remained largely unchanged for the first three quarters of the race – Manuela de Vega happy to roll along out front, Love in her rear view mirror and One Voice, Franconia and Frankly Darling all in touch.

Turning in to the straight the chasing pack began to turn the screw and Manuela de Vega soon made her way back to the pack with the charge being lead by the dual-Classic winner.

Four furlongs out and push had come to shove on most of the field – expect Love.

Breezing past the long-time leader barely moving a muscle, the only race taking place was for the placings as Oisin Murphy was quick to point out in his commentary.

From there on it was a one horse race with Love continuing to stretch her advantage all the way to the line, winning by five lengths from outsider Alpinista who ran a big race for Ryan Tate – his first ride in a Group 1.

Whilst the result may not have been in any doubt, it was the manner in which Love put the field to bed that will leave punters itching to see the showdown with racing’s Queen in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

4th October 2020. Mark the date in the diary as it could see one of racing’s greatest clashes unfold.

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.

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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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