Yorkshire Cup Betting Tips & Predictions – York, Friday 17th May 2019

It is best to enjoy these spring/summer festivals while you can, as they certainly seem to be over in a blink of an eye. Friday sees the culmination of York’s Dante meeting, with the day being crowned by this stellar staying event, the Yorkshire Cup.

This race marked the starting off point of one of the finest single-season achievements in the staying division for many a year last season, with the winner going on to become the first horse to land the million pound stayers’ bonus. Returning this year in a bid to become only the second runner to win this race twice, we fancy he will prove up to the task.

Top Tips

Stradivarius to win @ 8/15

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Race Info

One mile, six furlongs is the trip for this Group 2 contest set to be run on good to firm going and offering a total of £165,000 in prize money.

GoingDistanceGradePrize MoneyRunnersEW Terms
Good To Firm 1m6f Group 2 £165,000 16 Runners 1/5 1-3

Recent Winners

Sir Michael Stoute has proved to be tough to stop here in recent years, winning three of the past five editions. That trend isn’t much good to us this year however as Stoute doesn’t have a runner in 2019. The man to have ridden all three of Stoute’s winners does have a ride though, with Ryan Moore getting the leg-up on the Aidan O’Brien runner, Southern France.

2018 Stradivarius 4/6 John Gosden Frankie Dettori
2017 Dartmouth 11/4 Sir Michael Stoute Ryan Moore
2016 Clever Cookie 5/2 Peter Niven P J McDonald
2015 Snow Sky 5/2 Sir Michael Stoute Ryan Moore
2014 Gospel Choir 7/2 Sir Michael Stoute Ryan Moore

Analysis: Gold For Gosden Star Again

This race has been with us since 1927, but in all those years we have had just the one dual winner of the race. If the betting is to believed, we may have a second member joining that exclusive club in 2019, as it is last year’s hero who is the re-hot favourite to come home in front once again.

All Dancing To Stradivarius’s Tune?

Not only did Stadivarius win this race last season, the John Gosden-trained son of Sea The Stars also claimed top spot in the Ascot Gold Cup, Goodwood Cup, Lonsdale Cup and the Long Distance Cup on Champion’s Day at Ascot. Odds-on for each of those five wins – barring the Long Distance Cup for which he was as big as evens! – he is the undoubted king of the hill in the staying division.

Still only five years old, his powers are unlikely to be on the wane just yet, and something is going to need to improve past him if they are to stand a chance here. Four pounds clear of the field on official ratings, and with the most visually impressive of those five wins last term coming in this event, he looks well worth his place at the head of the market.

Back To Blue?

The royal blue silks of Godolphin enjoyed something of a golden spell in this race at the beginning of the century, with three wins between 2000 and 2003. They haven’t won the race since, but Charlie Appleby will be hoping he has the horse to change all that in his Dubawi gelding, Ispolini.

Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter was thought to be the Godolphin runner most likely to challenge Stradivarius’s dominance in these events – and that may yet happen down the line – but for now it is left to this four year old who has enjoyed a fruitful time of things over in Meydan.

A winner of a handicap over this trip off a mark of 109, he then followed up by a yawning 10½l in Group 3 company. Stepped up to 2m for the Dubai Gold Cup last time out, he found only the aforementioned Cross Counter too good on the day. Back down in distance, he has race fitness on his side and seems sure to go well.

Prize Goes To France?

Whilst it has been a while since Godolphin claimed top spot here, what is even more surprising is the fact that training giant Aidan O’Brien has never landed this prize. Bidding to break the Ballydoyle maestro’s duck this time around is last year’s St. Leger third, Southern France. With Stradivarius also having finished third in the Doncaster Classic in his three year old campaign, connections will no doubt be delighted if this son of Galileo can follow a similar career path. After a decent third on his comeback in a Group 3 at Navan, he should be cherry ripe for this and does look to have the class to make his presence felt in these Cup events.

Final Verdict: Stradivarius to win

Southern France has to be respected given his connections and pedigree, but he does need to step up markedly to land this. Having looked a little slow even in the 2m2f Cesarewitch, it may be that he will be seen to better effect in the events over further later in the season. Ispolini is feared more as an improving staying four year old, who is at his best at this trip, and with his 3lb weight allowance bringing him to within 1lb of the market leader on ratings.

Watching last year’s renewal of this back though Stradivarius won it so easily that we just don’t see any of the others bridging the gap. Frankie was looking back through is legs fully two furlongs from home that day and, once he said go, the race was over in a matter of strides. Fully effective over further, he seems most unlikely to be outstayed and the class act in the field can retain his title.


Approach to York Racecourse

The advent and growth of all-weather racing has shaken things up when it comes to flat racing. The number of big races and healthy prizes available on the all-weather allows connections to keep even some of their top string of horses running all year round but for many there is an important distinction to be made between flat racing on all-weather surfaces and on turf.

For those that consider themselves racing purists, the flat racing season has a clear schedule beginning with the Lincoln Handicap in April. As one of the big races from the Dante Festival at York, the Yorkshire Cup plays an important part in the earlier stages of the flat racing season. This Group 2 race takes place the day after the Dante Stakes at York Racecourse and always attracts some of the very best stayers on the flat to compete over its 1 mile 6 furlong trip.

A Platform for Younger Horses

The Yorkshire Cup is open to horses aged four and older. Recent years have brought a few older winners such as Clever Cookie in 2016 and Sergeant Cecil in 2007, both of whom were eight, but the general trend suggests that it is a race in which impressive younger stayers have a great chance to show just how good they really are.

Chart Showing the Ages of Recent Yorkshire Cup Winners

2018 winner, Stradivarius, is an excellent case in point. He finished third in the previous season’s St Leger but really announced himself by winning the Yorkshire Cup on his seasonal reappearance as a four-year-old.

Stradivarius went on to win four more times that season including the Gold Cup and the Long Distance Cup (both at Ascot), the Goodwood Cup and on his return to Ascot in the Lonsdale Cup. That sort of success so soon after the Yorkshire Cup is far from the norm but Stradivarius is not the only younger horse to kick on and have success at a Group 1 level leading to the race’s reputation as a hotbed for up and coming staying talent.

The Trends to Consider

Stradivarius became the fifth straight winner of the Yorkshire Cup to be sent off as either the favourite or second favourite. Although the odd surprise winner has gone in, in recent years this is generally a race that the market has a strong handle on and is therefore often a good one for punters.

The timing of the Yorkshire Cup, the demands of the staying division and the number of big prizes coming later in the summer mean that many competitors are making their first appearance of the season. Still, previous form is something to bear in mind as most winners had at least one run over this trip before whilst an official rating of 110 is around the minimum required.

A Race for Specialists

The staying division of flat racing is a specialist one. That extends beyond the horses. In fact, only one horse has ever won the Yorkshire Cup twice. That’s a record that’s unlikely to change given the weight penalty given to winners of Group 1 and 2 races.

In terms of jockeys, experience certainly helps. The legendary Lester Piggott knew just what it took to guide a horse around this 1 mile 6 furlong trip and used all of his experience to ride a record eight winners of the Yorkshire Cup between 1961 and 1982.

Most Successful Yorkshire Cup Jockeys

Wins Jockey First Winners Last Winner
8 Lester Piggott Pandofell (1961) Ardross (1982)
5 Frankie Dettori Arzanni (1991) Stradivarius (2018)
Pat Eddery Eastern Mystic (1986) Celeric (1997)
4 Ryan Moore Ask (2009) Dartmouth (2017)
Harry Carr Premonition (1954) Raise You Ten (1964)
Bill Rickaby Suzerain (1938) Romany Air (1956)

In recent years Ryan Moore has an especially strong record thanks largely to his partnership with Sir Michael Stoute who has his own excellent record even if he is someway short of Cecil Boyd-Rochfort’s impressive mark of saddling seven Yorkshire Cup winners.

Most Successful Yorkshire Cup Trainers

Wins Trainer First Winners Last Winner
7 Cecil Boyd-Rochfort The Scout II (1931) Apprentice (1965)
5 Sir Michael Stoute Rock Hopper (1992) Dartmouth (2017)
Saeed bin Suroor Moonax (1995) Mamool (2003)
4 Henry Cecil Ardross (1981) Manifest (2010)
Dick Hern Buoy (1974) Band (1984)

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