The famous two year old contests at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival often unearth future equine greats and the 2018 contests promise much.
At the first entries stage, the Group Two Al Basti Equiworld Gimcrack includes a brace of Royal Ascot winners; as the impressive Calyx hopes to follow up success in the Coventry Stakes so overcoming the Windsor Castle victor, Soldiers Call. Both sets of silks, Juddmonte and Clipper Logistics, will be familiar to regular racegoers as will those carried by Rathbone, whose owner, Mrs Angie Bailey, landed this £225,000 race with Astaire in 2013.
Some sixteen horses from four different Yorkshire yards sit alongside a dozen possible contestants from Ireland, including eight from the powerful Coolmore operation in County Tipperary.
The winning owner on Friday 24th August earns the unusual opportunity of the chance to address the Gimcrack Dinner, being staged at York in December for the 248th time this year.
Amongst the fillies entered in the Group Two Sky Bet Lowther, it could again be a showdown between winners at the Royal Meeting. The Malton yard of John Quinn will be hoping that Signora Cabello can continue her fine form of successive wins in the Listed Marygate on the Knavesmire followed by the Group Two Queen Mary in Berkshire; with Main Edition seeking to continue her improvement after Group Three success for Middleham handler, Mark Johnston. Successful in France in Group company, Little Kim, offers supporters of another Yorkshire yard, that of Karl Burke, hope of taking the £225,000 prize.
Appropriately run as part of Ladies Day at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival, the Sky Bet Lowther is set to be the opening contest of Thursday 23 August.