York is home to the York Racecourse, which is one of Britain’s most celebrated and oldest racecourses. Therefore, it’s only natural that the city has such a rich history of horseracing that goes back by 300-years into modern history and even further back if we were to consider prehistoric times. Of course, you do not necessarily need to know everything about the history of horseracing in York because we have most of everything you do need to know about the biggest upcoming races in York covered next.

Horseracing Season in York

Between May and mid-September, there are 23 major horse races held at York Racecourse. Usually, the season starts with the soon to be renamed Duke of York Stakes in May and ends with the Garrowby Stakes in September. It should be noted that none of the National Hunt jump races are held in York, as all 24 of them are flat races. Next, let’s move on to the Group 1 horse races that are held every year at York Racecourse.

Group 1 Races

There are three Group 1 races held at the York Racecourse and they are all part of the prestigious Yorkshire Ebor Festival, which is scheduled to be held from August 17th to 20th this year. In terms of popularity or prize money, the Ebor festival is not as big as the Cheltenham Festival, of course, but it is still one of the most celebrated equine events in England.

  1. International Stakes (2,063 Metres) – The opening race of the Yorkshire Ebor Festival is also York’s first Group 1 race of the year. The 50th International Stakes is scheduled to be held on 17th of August in 2022.
  2. Yorkshire Oaks (2,385 metres) – On 18th August 2022, the Yorkshire Oaks will kick off this year. As always, it will be the main event of Ladies Day, as well as the second Group 1 race scheduled to be held in York.
  3. Nunthorpe Stakes (1,006 metres) – One of the shortest Group 1 races in UK, the 5-furlong race is scheduled to be the main event on the 3rd Day (19th August) of the Yorkshire Ebor Festival 2022.

Group 2 Races

From May to August, there are nine Group 2 races scheduled at York Racecourse every year. Find out about them below.

  • Duke of York Stakes (1,207 metres) – An uncertain race in 2022, the short 6f sprint was a main event at the Yorkshire Spring Festival until 2021.
  • Middleton Stakes (2,063 metres) – The Middleton Stakes should be held on 12th May with a prize total of £100,000+ this year.
  • Dante Stakes (2,063 metres) – The Group 2 race is the main event at the Dante Festival, scheduled to be held on 12th
  • Yorkshire Cup (2,787 metres) – One of the longest York flat races of the year, the Yorkshire Cup race will be big on 13th
  • York Stakes (2,063 m) – The York Stakes is probably the newest Group 2 thoroughbred race, being only inaugurated in 2006.
  • Great Voltigeur Stakes (2,385 metres) – Also known simply as the Ebor stakes, 3yo thoroughbreds (exclusively) will be racing for a prize pool of £150,000+ on 20th August at the Ebor Festival.
  • Lowther Stakes (1,207 metres) – Scheduled on Ladies Day at the Ebor Festival, the Group 2 race is a high-stake sprint (6f).
  • Lonsdale Cup (3,270 metres) – Lonsdale Cup is the longest flat race ever held at the York Racecourse and it’s scheduled for the 19th of August in 2022.
  • Gimcrack Stakes (1,207 metres) – Held on the same day as the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes Sprint, it’s the second sprint of the day.

Group 3 Races

First of the five Group 3 races at York will start with the Musidora Stakes on 11th May this year. Get a good look to know the full schedule next.

  • Musidora Stakes (2,063 metres) – 11th May, Wednesday
  • Brontë Cup (2,787m) – 21st May, Saturday
  • Summer Stakes (1,207 metres) – 8th July, Friday
  • Acomb Stakes (1,408 metres) – 17th August, Wednesday
  • Strensall Stakes ((1,771 metres) – 20th August, Saturday

Other Listed Races

There should be five Listed Races in York this year, each of which are quite popular but have not yet received their group race status.

  • Galtres Stakes (2,385 metres) – 18th August, Thursday
  • City of York Stakes (1,408 metres) – 20th August, Saturday
  • Roses Stakes (1,006 metres) – 20th August, Saturday
  • Grand Cup (2,787 metres) – 10th June, Friday/11th June, Saturday
  • Garrowby Stakes (1,207 metres) – 4th September, Sunday

For those wondering about the John Smiths Meeting Cup 2022, the commercially sponsored but extremely popular handicap race will be held on the 2nd Day of the July Meeting (Saturday, 9th July) at York.

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