Historic York Racecourse offers some of the best racing on the British calendar this week when the four-day Yorkshire Ebor Festival opens on Wednesday.
The Sir Henry Cecil-trained pair of Midday and Twice Over feature in a field of six for the $1.1 million Juddmonte International over 1¼ miles. This Group 1 contest is part of the QIPCO British Champions Series and is due off at 10:40 a.m. (4th race at York).
Both runners will carry the colors of Juddmonte Farms’ owner Prince Khalid Abdullah, who is bidding to win the race his stable has sponsored for the first time.
Cecil's stable jockey Tom Queally will partner six-time Group 1-winning mare Midday, who is fresh from securing a third successive victory in the Group 1 Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. She attempts to secure her first victory at the highest level against the boys.
Twice Over has won the last two renewals of the Group 1 Champion Stakes at Newmarket and was narrowly beaten in this contest at York 12 months ago.
Aidan O'Brien saddles half the field, with hugely impressive Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes scorer Await The Dawn, the mount of son Joseph O'Brien, aiming for his first Group 1 success. O'Brien's Ballydoyle training center is also represented by Roderic O'Connor and Windsor Palace .
O'Brien considers Await The Dawn as being of Breeders' Cup Classic potential, and gets to showcase his unquestionable gifts on the opening day of the Ebor meeting.
Five victories from six starts tells its own story as O'Brien has slowly stepped up Await The Dawn from seven furlongs to 1 ½ miles. Although dropping down two furlongs for the York race, the son of Giant’s Causeway is undefeated over the trip.
The Ebor Festival continues through Saturday, with Thursday's feature the Group 1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks.
On Friday the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes features the fastest sprinters in Europe and Saturday concludes with the $300,000 Ebor Heritage Handicap over 1¾ miles, the richest long distance handicap in Europe
The Best of British Racing is simulcast every Wednesday through Saturday morning during the Saratoga meet. Watch and wager at “The Post” near the Saratoga Paddock. First post 9:00 a.m.