Nunthorpe Stakes Date is Friday, 21 August 2021 (3:35)

Racecourse: York


Type: Group 1 Weight For Age Stakes Flat Race

Age Of The Horses: 2 Years Old and Older


Distance: 5 Furlongs

Winner 2019: Battaash

As the last of three Group 1 races held during the Ebor Festival, the Nunthorpe Stakes sees some of the best sprinters descend on York to scorch the turf of the Knavesmire. A number of streets in the city bear the name Nunthorpe, but the race as we know it now was first run in 1922. That means there is a century of history surrounding this famous sprint. To win the Nunthorpe Stakes, Flat thoroughbreds must have lightning speed as the track at York is level on part of the River Ouse’s floodplain.

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General Race Info

Runners & Tips

Stats & Trends

Past Winners

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2020 Nunthorpe Stakes Info

The Nunthorpe allows two-year-olds to take on their elders. Race terms give juveniles on the Flat every incentive as they are allotted just over 8st to carry. Three-year-olds only get 2lb weight for age from older sprinters who are burdened with top weight of 9st 11lb. As with all black type stakes Flat races in Britain, fillies and mares receive a 3lb sex allowance. That has proven very useful in recent years. There was a dead heat in the Nunthorpe Stakes of 1997.

Among the sprinting greats to have won the race are Abernant, Sharpo, Dayjur, Pivotal, Kyllachy, Oasis Dream, Sole Power and Mecca’s Angel. There are plenty of multiple Nunthorpe winners too. It is currently sponsored by Coolmore Stud, one of the biggest thoroughbred racehorse breeding operations in the world. The Nunthorpe Stakes sits between the July Cup at Newmarket and Sprint Cup at Haydock in September, but is a furlong shorter in distance than either of its fellow Group 1 races.

Horses finishing 2020 Nunthorpe Stakes:


2020 Nunthorpe Stakes Runners

There are 10 horses entered in the Nunthorpe Stakes of 2020:

  1. Battaash (Charlie Hills)
  2. Emaraaty Ana (Kevin Ryan)
  3. Kurious (Henry Candy)
  4. Moss Gill (James Bethell)
  5. Ornate (David Griffiths)
  6. Que Amoro (Michael Dods)
  7. Rocket Action (Robert Cowell)
  8. A’Ali (Simon and Ed Crisford)
  9. Art Power (Tim Easterby)
  10. Golden Pal (Wesley Ward, USA)

Ante post betting on the Nunthorpe Stakes is usually available following the July Cup at Newmarket the previous month. As an early closing race like all Group 1s, entries are made well in advance. Please be aware that owners can supplement sprinters for this event at the penultimate declaration stage. If you do place a bet in the ante post market, remember that you are taking the risk of not getting a run for your money. You won’t get your stake back if the horse doesn’t line-up in the Nunthorpe.

As a bettor, you have to balance that risk against the positive of likely better odds. It lies at the heart of all gambling on this particular sport. You won’t know which horses are running for sure until final decs take place some 48 hours or so before the day on which the Nunthorpe Stakes takes place. Therefore, make sure to take advantage of Non Runner No Bet and Best Odds Guaranteed promotions designed specifically for ante post betting.

Ahead of that, then, here are some of the fancied contenders to take the spoils in the race this year:

Battaash (4/7)

Last year’s Nunthorpe winner Battaash has looked as good as ever this season. Trained by Charlie Hills for Hamdan Al Maktoum, the six-year-old gelding looks to have settled down a lot over the last 12 months. Sprinters are usually more highly strung than the average racehorse, but Battaash often boiled over in the preliminaries or blew his chances in the stalls when he was younger. He seemed calmer than ever when making a winning reappearance at Royal Ascot.

 Watch Battaash win the 2020 King’s Stand Stakes (Royal Ascot):

He had run at that prestigious Flat festival three times before without winning, but finally got a deserved victory in the King’s Stand Stakes. That was a third career Group 1 success for Battaash following the 2017 Prix de l’Abbaye and the Nunthorpe Stakes. The way that he quickened clear approaching the final furlong and put the race to bed for a 3¾ lengths victory was impressive. Battaash had run in the race twice before and failed to fire, so it was a massive performance.

Although he didn’t back it up in the Abbaye on his final start of last season, that run came on very soft ground. Battaash clearly retains plenty of ability as he landed the King’s Stand at the third time of asking when racing freely and making all the running for a 2¼ lengths success. He then followed-up when breaking the track record for a historic fourth King George Qatar Stakes success at Glorious Goodwood despite a penalty. Battaash sets a clear and obvious form standard for the Nunthorpe again.

Art Power (5/1)

The progressive Art Power is one of several local entrants targeting the Nunthorpe Stakes. Trained by Tim Easterby for King Power Racing, the three-year-old Dark Angel colt has been hotly progressive this season. Art Power is a course and distance winner at York after a ready five-length success in novice company on his final start as a juvenile. He then made all when stepped up to six furlongs for his return to action on the all-weather at Newcastle.

Art Power looked a cut-above handicap company at Royal Ascot on his penultimate start. That came in the Palace Of Holyroodhouse Handicap which was as age restricted race added to the meeting. Despite taking a keen hold, the grey led on the nearside of the group approaching two out. He was shaken up before the final furlong and ridden clear to score easing down by 3½ lengths. This could not have been more impressive.

Watch Art Power win the the Palace Of Holyroodhouse Handicap in 2020:

A crack at pattern company followed and saw Art Power head over to Ireland for the Group 3 Lacken Stakes at Naas. He completed a hat-trick for the season under a hands and heels ride, leaving Millisle – a subsequent winner in the grade – in his wake by 2½ lengths. The Nunthorpe is set to be the next outing for Art Power who is a 13/2 chance with Betfair in the ante post betting. With further progress assured, he could well prove to be a potential sprinting superstar.

A’Ali (10/1)

Four-time Group 2 winner A’Ali looks well worth another crack at the highest level after landing his last two starts. Trained by Simon Crisford and son Ed, the three-year-old Society Rock colt scored at Royal Ascot in the Norfolk Stakes on his second career start and then followed-up in the Prix Robert Papin at Deauville.

He also won at Doncaster’s St Leger Festival. A’Ali came on for his reappearance run on all-weather at Newcastle by taking a competitive renewal of the Group 3 Coral Charge Sprint Stakes at Sandown Park and then followed-up in the Sapphire Stakes at The Curragh. At a standout 14/1 with William Hill, he could complete a hat-trick in the Nunthorpe Stakes.

Golden Pal (9/1)

American raider Golden Pal is out to make the most of the Nunthorpe Stakes race terms for Keeneland trainer Wesley Ward. As a two-year-old colt, he gets 24lb weight for age from Battaash. Juveniles winning the Nunthorpe is not unheard of either, but rare. Golden Pal remains a maiden, but the son of Uncle Mo was an unlucky loser on his British debut in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot when chinned in the final strides by The Lir Jet and going down fighting by a neck.

Ward obviously holds this horse in very high regard. As the Nunthorpe Stakes is one of the “win and you’re in races” for the Breeders’ Cup, the aim is to try and qualify Golden Pal for that. After two career starts, he could be anything and the stable had Lady Aurelia placed in this race when a nose second to Marsha in 2017. Golden Pal is a best-price 9/1 with Sky Bet to go one better in the Nunthorpe and gets weight all-round from the rest of the field.

Moss Gill (25/1)

With course and distance form figures of 2211, Moss Gill could ruffle a few feathers. Trained locally by James Bethell, this four-year-old No Nay Never gelding got some black type to his name with success in the Listed 5f City Walls Stakes at York last time out. Moss Gill defeated some higher profile horses that day, and his short-head success gives connections confidence to have a crack at the Nunthorpe Stakes.

This will obviously take a career best from him, but he has won two of his three starts this season. At a general 25/1 with bookmakers, Moss Gill brings the highest official rating of any older horse besides Battaash in the Nunthorpe field this year. A repeat of his upset cannot be discounted.

Oxted (7/1) – NOT RUNNING

Another progressive in-form type who could head to the Nunthorpe Stakes is July Cup hero Oxted. Trained by Roger Teal, the four-year-old gelding landed the Portland Handicap at Doncaster’s St Leger Festival on his final start of the campaign. Through a patient approach, he has stepped up on that effort by winning both of his starts this season. The first of those came in the Group 3 Abernant Stakes at Newmarket. Oxted only needed riding out by young jockey Cieren Fallon to score by a length.

On the back of that effort, connections resisted what must have been huge temptation to run at Royal Ascot and saved their horse for the July Cup. The decision paid off as he returned to Newmarket and landed Group 1 glory. Oxted raced prominently on the outside on the July course, but made headway and led approaching two out. He then came under a ride and kept on strongly to see the race out by 1¼ lengths from Irish raider Sceptical. Impressive Commonwealth Cup winner Golden Horde, getting 6lb weight for age, was further neck behind in third.

Watch Oxted win The 2020 July Cup at Newmarket:

Oxted has never raced over the minimum trip which is the Nunthorpe distance. Dropping back is thus an unknown, but he remains prominent in the ante post betting at a top-price 7/1 with Boylesports. He is a shorter price elsewhere, so that suggests market confidence is with Oxted dropping down in trip. Whether the Nunthorpe Stakes or Haydock Sprint Cup is next on a carefully plotted campaign by Teal, Oxted has already won plenty of fans with the great strides he has made in recent runs.

Nunthorpe Stakes Stats & Trends

Studying statistics cannot guarantee that you will find the winner of the Nunthorpe, but knowing what the prevailing trends are can help to give you a better idea of which horses you should bet on. There are some notable trends for this prestigious sprint contest you need to know. Read on as we reveal key Nunthorpe Stakes stats to you:

  • Most successful horses – Two have won the Nunthorpe three times. Tag End triumphed in 1928, 1929 and 1930, while Sharpo also hit a hat-trick in 1980, 1981 and 1982.
  • Leading jockey – Lester Piggott rode a record seven Nunthorpe Stakes winners, partnering Right Boy (1958 and 1959), Matatina (1963), Caterina (1966), Tower Walk (1969), Swing Easy (1971) and Solinus (1978)
  • Leading trainer – Ossie Bell trained four different horses to five victories in the interwar period. That record stands to this day and those winners were Highborn II (1926 and 1927), Greenore (1932), Concerto (1933) and Ipsden (1937).
  • Leading owner – Three owners are tied for the most Nunthorpe winners on three apiece. Sir Hugo Cunliffe-Owen had Highborn II and Concerto with Ossie Bell. Jack Joel was the owner of Tag End, while Sharpo belonged to Monica Sheriffe.
  • Age – Despite getting weight for age, younger horses have a poor recent record in the Nunthorpe Stakes. The last three-year-old won in 2011, while only two juveniles have won in modern times. Three of the last seven scorers were aged four, with two five-year-olds and a couple of seven-year-olds also landing the spoils over the same period. It could pay to focus on the older brigade based on that recent trend.

Betting Offers

The Nunthorpe Stakes is a feature during the Ebor Festival, and that means bookies are sure to have promotions relating to it. A large final field will mean extra places, but make sure that you check back nearer to or on the day of the race to see what betting offers are available.

Meanwhile, check out our Horse Racing Betting Offers page.

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Nunthorpe Stakes Past Winners

Did you know that three of the past five winners of the Nunthorpe were fillies or mares? That additional stat is on us, but here are the past 10 victors of the premier York sprint:

What Happened in 2019?

Battaash made it third time lucky in the Nunthorpe Stakes with a decisive victory. Sent off the 7/4 second-favourite, he led at the two-furlong marker and quickened clear under owner Hamdan Al Maktoum’s retained rider Jim Crowley to win in impressive style. This dispelled all doubts about Battaash with naysayers claiming that he couldn’t handle the Knavesmire and occasion.

Archie Watson trained three-year-old Soldier’s Call chased Battaash home at 20/1, but was almost four lengths behind with 25/1 Irish raider So Perfect back in third for Aidan O’Brien. The disappointment of the race was Ballydoyle stable companion Ten Sovereigns. The winner of the July Cup was returned the 13/8 favourite but he could only finish sixth, adrift of locally trained pair Mabs Cross and Copper Knight.

Nunthorpe Stakes 2018 Result

Local trainers fought out a thrilling finish of the Nunthorpe with 40/1 outsider Alpha Delphini springing a huge shock to prevail over 14/1 chance Mabs Cross in a photo by a nose. This monumental upset came courtesy of Hambleton Hills handler Bryan Smart, whose veteran sprinter raced close up with the pace in the centre of the Kanvesmire straight.

Alpha Delphini was driven to lead in the final 100 yards and held on in really game fashion under Graham Lee, but it took the judge to separate him from Michael Dods’ filly Mabs Cross. The front two pulled 2¼ lengths clear of King’s Stand Stakes scorer Blue Point in third. Godolphin’s 13/2 chance still confirmed that previous form with odds-on favourite Battaash who was a further neck behind in fourth.

Nunthorpe Stakes 2018 Result

Local trainers fought out a thrilling finish of the Nunthorpe with 40/1 outsider Alpha Delphini springing a huge shock to prevail over 14/1 chance Mabs Cross in a photo by a nose. This monumental upset came courtesy of Hambleton Hills handler Bryan Smart, whose veteran sprinter raced close up with the pace in the centre of the Kanvesmire straight.

Alpha Delphini was driven to lead in the final 100 yards and held on in really game fashion under Graham Lee, but it took the judge to separate him from Michael Dods’ filly Mabs Cross. The front two pulled 2¼ lengths clear of King’s Stand Stakes scorer Blue Point in third. Godolphin’s 13/2 chance still confirmed that previous form with odds-on favourite Battaash who was a further neck behind in fourth.

Key Nunthorpe Stakes Trials

As with any Group 1 race, there are trials en route to the Nunthorpe. Discover who has won some of the key sprints over five and six furlongs over the summer before the Ebor Festival:

  • King’s Stand Stakes (Royal Ascot) – Battaash
  • Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Royal Ascot) – Hello Youmzain
  • Coral Charge Sprint Stakes (Sandown Park) – A’Ali
  • July Cup (Newmarket) – Oxted
  • City Walls Stakes (York) – Moss Gill
  • King George Qatar Stakes (Glorious Goodwood) – Battaash