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Flat Racing: Big Races to Look Forward To In August

Flat Racing

It’s hard to believe that August is just around the corner, and of course, that means that the flat racing season is starting to reach its climax. We’ve already been treated to the vast majority of the 2021 season’s major meetings, including the Guineas Festival, the Derby Festival and Royal Ascot.

However, between now and the season’s conclusion on British Champions Day at Ascot in mid-October, there is still plenty to look forward to. So, as you scour the best horse racing tips on Betdaq for ‘Glorious Goodwood’ or the Galway Summer Festival, let’s take a quick look at August’s biggest races.

8 August – The Curragh – Phoenix Stakes

The Curragh in County Kildare is home to most of Ireland’s biggest flat races, including the Irish Derby, the Irish Oaks, the Irish 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas and the Irish St. Leger, and whilst the Phoenix Stakes doesn’t carry as much prestige as those five classics, it’s still a Group 1 outing. Raced over six furlongs, the top-group race boasts a prize purse of €300,000 and is only open to two-year-old colts and fillies, which is why it is considered one of the biggest races for juveniles. Aidan O’Brien has saddled a huge 16 winners in this race, and there’s no doubt he’ll be hoping that one of his entries can land him a 17th victory on August 8th.

18 August – York – International Stakes

Open to horses three years old and up, the International Stakes is the feature race on Day One of the Yorkshire Ebor Festival. Raced just over one mile and two furlongs, the Group 1 race is the final middle-distance British Champions Series race in the build-up to the Champion Stake on Ascot’s British Champions Day. Having only been introduced in 1972, it’s a fairly new addition to the flat racing calendar, but it still attracts the big hitters. This year’s favourite is the O’Brien-trained St Mark’s Basilica. However, he will face stiff competition from his stablemate Love and John Gosden’s Lord North.

19 August – York – Yorkshire Oaks

Also a part of the Yorkshire Ebor Festival, the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks is the final leg of the British Champions Series Fillies & Mares before the grand finale on Champions Day. Open to fillies & mares three and over, the top-group race is run over one mile and four furlongs. Often contended by those who raced in the Oaks earlier in the season, this year’s favourite is O’Brien’s Snowfall, who won the prestigious race at Epsom Downs by some 16 lengths last month. If the three-year-old is to scoop the Yorkshire Oaks, it would mean a fifth victory in the race for her likely rider Frankie Dettori, whilst it would be back-to-back victories for O’Brien, whose Love won the Oaks double last year.

20 August – York – Nunthorpe Stakes

The highlight on Day Three of the Ebor Festival, the Nunthorpe Stakes, named after an area of York, is one of the most thrilling races of the meeting. A five-furlong sprint with £350,000 up for grabs, this is one of the very few races in the calendar that pits two-year-olds with their older counterparts. The Charles Hills-trained Battaash will be aiming for a third successive victory in the prestigious sprint race this year. However, after coming a disappointing fourth in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, Wesley Ward’s Golden Pal is currently considered to be the favourite.

21 August – York – Ebor Handicap

The Ebor Handicap, the showpiece race of the Yorkshire-based festival, is the most valuable handicap in European flat racing. The prize purse for the Heritage Handicap was reduced to £ 245,945 last year due to the pandemic but was at its largest in 2019 when it reached £1,000,000. Raced just over one mile and five furlongs, this year’s favourites are the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Live Your Dream and the Anthony Mullins-trained Princess Zoe, who are neck-and-neck at 5/1.