Eighty One horses have been declared for the first ever £1m renewal of the SkyBet Ebor – now the most valuable Flat handicap ever staged in Europe.
Champion trainer John Gosden, who took the historic York prize last summer with Muntahaa, has four possibles for the Knavesmire on August 24 – including the 12-1 joint-favourite Ben Vrackie.
The four-year-old just failed by a short head to peg back Baghdad in the Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap at Royal Ascot, and Mark Johnston’s charge, who lines up at Newmarket today against 2018 Epsom Derby hero Masar, is also in the list to re-oppose at this stage.
Gosden also has First Eleven – who gained an automatic place when landing the second contest in Sky Bet’s “Race to the Ebor” series – Royal Line and last year’s runner-up Weekender.
The other joint-favourite is William Haggas’s Raheen House, and the same trainer has also put in Dramatic Queen, Al Muffrih and Big Kitten.
One of the least exposed names among the entries is Deja, trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam. Formerly with Jeremy Noseda, the Phoenix Thoroughbred-owned colt caught the eye on his 2019 return at the start of this month when decisively landing a 12-furlong Polytrack handicap at Kempton.
There are 16 Irish-trained entries – including seven from Willie Mullins, who landed the Ebor in 2009 with Sesenta. His team is made up of Max Dynamite, Thomas Hobson, Buildmeupbuttercup, Uradel, Stratum, True Self and Exchange Rate.
Among other eyecatching entries are Alan King’s Who Dares Wins and Karen McLintock’s Dubawi Fifty, first and second in the Northumberland Plate. Weights will be revealed on July 24, and the maximum field is 22.