|Saturday 28th August 2021
Top Flat Races to Watch as Summer Turns Into Autumn
The pace of the UK flat season doesn't let up as the summer draws to a close with over a dozen Group 1 races between August and October. Here’s the lowdown on the big races to look out for at key meetings during the latter part of the campaign.
York Ebor Festival
The 2021 Ebor has already been and gone, proving once again why it's one of the best-loved meetings of the year.
The typical structure of the festival is as so: among the 28 races held over the four days are three Group 1 races including the Juddmonte International Stakes, Yorkshire Oaks, and Nunthorpe Stakes.
Of the three, the Juddmonte attracts the most horse racing betting interest thanks to its bumper prize fund and an impressive roll call of past winners including Frankel and Sea the Stars. Mishriff justified his position as the 2021 favourite in the horse racing previews, storming home by six lengths ahead of Alenquer from a starting price of 9/4.
Haydock Sprint Cup Celebration
September kicks off with this three-day event at Haydock Park. There are seven races scheduled per day including the Group 1 Sprint Cup race on the final day. The six-furlong race was first established in 1966.
St Leger Festival
This popular September Festival in Doncaster features the oldest of Britain's five classic horse races. St Leger is also the last classic of the year and the longest of the three at 1-metre, 6-feet and 115-yards (2,921 m). The race is also the third leg of the English Triple Crown, following the 2000 Guineas and the Epsom Derby. The last horse to attempt the historic treble was Camelot who fell just short in 2012.
The Cambridgeshire Meeting (Newmarket)
As September draws to a close, racegoers tend to head to the Cambridgeshire Meeting at Newmarket for three days of action including two Group 1 races, the Cheveley Park Stakes and the Middle Park Stakes. The 2020 Cheveley Park Stakes was won by Alcohol Free, one of the brightest bay filly prospects of the season. In 2021, she went on to win two more Group 1 races, the Coronation Stakes at Ascot and the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.
Sun Chariot Day (Newmarket)
A week after the Cambridgeshire meeting, the action returns to Newmarket for Sun Chariot Day. The meeting is so-called because it features the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes. The race for fillies and mares and overused to be part of the Cambridgeshire festival but was moved back a week in 2014. This year, the Falmouth Stakes winner Snow Lantern will look to emulate the achievements of her mother Sky Lantern who won the race back in 2013.
Dubai Future Champions Festival (Newmarket)
Newmarket is the setting again for October's Dubai Future Champions Festival which features the Fillies Mile and Dewhurst Stakes, both rated as Group 1 events. The Dewhurst Stakes is Britain's most prestigious race for juveniles. Last year's winner St Mark's Basilica went on to win three more Group 1 races in 2021 including the Prix du Jockey Club and the Eclipse Stakes.
British Champions Day (Ascot)
This epic end-of-season showdown brings the best horses from around the world together for a day of top-class racing at Ascot including four Group 1 races (British Champions Sprint Stakes, British Champions Fillies' and Mares' Stakes, Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, and Champion Stakes). Frankel’s 14th and final win came here in 2012.
And finally, there is one final Group 1 flat race (Vertem Futurity Trophy) at Doncaster in late October, which has produced five Derby winners over the years. How’s that for a bumper couple of months of racing?