Nunthorpe Stakes

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The Nunthorpe Stakes at York is one of the top five-furlong races in the world.

The Nunthorpe Stakes is a Group one race that takes place over a distance of 5 furlongs (1,006 metres) on the third day of the York Ebor Festival 2024.

It was run as the William Hill Sprint Championship between 1976 and 1989 when notable winners include three-time winner Sharpo (1980 – 1982). Other champion sprinters to land this valuable Group 1 prize include Lochsong (1993), Sole Power (2010 and 2014) and Battaash (2019 and 2020).

In our Nunthorpe Stakes 2024 guide, we provide the latest odds, betting tips and betting offers for the group three horse racing event.

Find out more about the Nunthorpe Stakes:

Nunthorpe Stakes

Nunthorpe Stakes Race Overview

The Nunthorpe Stakes takes place on day 3 of York’s Ebor Festival meeting in mid-August.

It is one of the very few races that allow two-year-olds to race against older horses.

It is currently the only Group 1 race that allows two-year-old geldings to enter.

York Racecourse is one of the fairest UK racecourses in the country and there are rarely excuses for beaten horses.

Famous Nunthorpe Stakes Winners & History

The Nunthorpe Stakes was originally run as a selling race but the title was adopted by this high-class sprint in 1922.

Tag End (1928 – 1930) won the race for three successive seasons, a feat that has only been matched by the brilliant Sharpo in modern times. Jeremy Tree trained Sharpo who also won the July Cup and the Prix de l’Abbaye.

There have been numerous dual winners, one of the earliest being Abernant (1949 – 1950). He was trained by Noel Murless and ridden by Gordon Richards and had only been beaten a short-head by Nimbus in the 2000 Guineas.

The roll of honour for the Nunthorpe is littered with champion sprinters and Sharpo’s hat-trick came during a golden age for European sprinting.

Solinus (1978) was a spectacular winner for Vincent O’Brien and Lester Piggott.

The 1980’s saw a host of top-class sprinters take the prize including Habibti (1983), Never So Bold (1985) and Ajdal (1987).

The standard was maintained in the early 1990s with Dayjur (1990), Sheikh Albadou (1991) and Lochsong (1993).

Dayjur went on to win the Haydock Sprint Cup and the Prix de l’Abbaye but is best remembered for his unlucky defeat in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. A shadow across the course spooked him in the final strides, losing out to Safely Kept on the line.

The 1997 renewal produced a dead-heat between Coastal Bluff and Ya Malak. The latter was ridden by Alex Greaves, the first female rider to win a Group 1 race in Great Britain.

The Australian-trained Ortensia won in 2012 while recent dual winners include the popular Borderlescott (2008 and 2009) and Mecca’s Angel (2015 and 2016).

Key Nunthorpe Stakes Trials

The King George Stakes at Goodwood often holds the key to the outcome of the Nunthorpe. Six of the last twelve winners at York had taken part in the Goodwood sprint on their previous outing. Ortensia (2012) and Battaash (2019, 2020) had won the King George while Borderlescott (2009), Marsha (2017) and Jwala (2013) had finished fourth, third and last respectively.

Sole Power (2014) won the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot prior to following up in the Nunthorpe.

Mecca’s Angel finished runner-up in the Sapphire Stakes at the Curragh in 2015 and went one better in 2016 before winning at York.

Victory here invariably leads to a run in the Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp but the last seven winners have all been beaten in France.

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Nunthorpe Stakes Previous Winners

2013Jwala4Steve DrowneRobert Cowell
2014Sole Power7Richard HughesEdward Lynam
2015Mecca’s Angel4Paul MulrennanMichael Dods
2016Mecca’s Angel5Paul MulrennanMichael Dods
2017Marsha4Luke MorrisSir Mark Prescott
2018Alpha Delphini7Graham LeeBryan Smart
2019Battaash5Jim CrowleyCharles Hills
2020Battaash6Jim CrowleyCharles Hills
2021Winter Power3Silvestre De SousaTim Easterby
2022Highfield Princess5Jason HartJohn Quinn
2023Live In The Dream4Sean KirraneAdam West

Nunthorpe Stakes Previous Result

Check out this result from York Racecourse:

There have been a mixed bag of results in the Nunthorpe in recent years.

Only two of the last twelve outright favourites have obliged; Sole Power (2014) and Battaash (2020).

Sole Power had won the race four years earlier at the astonishing odds of 100-1. He had been beaten in his previous four races but would go on to establish himself as one of the most durable sprinters of our time, winning 12 of his 65 races and competing in five different countries.

Punters were also stunned by the 40-1 victories of Jwala (2013) and Alpha Delphini (2018), both considered handicappers before their shock Nunthorpe success.

The back-to-back wins by Battaash (2019 and 2020) at 7-4 second favourite and 1-2 favourite have helped to restore the balance a little.

Nunthorpe Stakes Stats

Previous form at York has been a common factor in all but one of the last twelve winners. Of those, seven had won at least once at the Knavesmire.

This is a difficult race for horses dropping back in distance, often run at a flat-out gallop from the start. It is truly a race for five-furlong specialists with all recent winners having at least two previous victories at the minimum trip.

Two-thirds of recent Nunthorpe winners had been successful at least once in a Group 1 to 3 contest. This stat illustrates that is dangerous to rule out seasoned sprinters taking a step up in class, although it should be noted that most winners were rated 108 or higher.

Top Trainers and Jockeys of the Nunthorpe Stakes

This has been a difficult race for trainers to dominate with Ossie Bell’s five winners (1926 to 1937) still topping the standings.

Trainers have frequently won twice with the same sprinter but not many of them have had another genuine Group 1 five-furlong horse through their hands.

Jeremy Tree managed four victories, three courtesy of Sharpo and the other provided by Swing Easy (1971).

Lester Piggott remains unopposed as the leading jockey in the history of the race with seven victories. He won twice on Right Boy (1958, 1959) while his last victory came aboard Solinus (1978).

Hayley Turner emulated Alex Greaves when riding Margot Did to victory here in 2011, her second Group 1 after Dream Ahead in the July Cup.

Betting on the Nunthorpe Stakes

Ante-post betting on the Nunthorpe Stakes hots up after the King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. The winner of that race is usually chalked up at the head of the market, although it is worth remembering that York does not have the undulations of the Sussex track. That may help to explain some of the shock results in recent years.

Popular Questions

What distance is the Nunthorpe Stakes?

The Nunthorpe Stakes is 5 furlongs long.

Summary of the Nunthorpe Stakes

The Nunthorpe Stakes is one of the highlights of the Ebor Festival meeting at York and always attracts a top-class field.

It has the added attraction of the prospect of seeing a flying juvenile take on their elders, although only Lyric Fantasy (1992) and Kingsgate Native (2007) have managed to win since 1956.

We hope you have found the guide useful and can pick out this years winner!

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