Nunthorpe Stakes

The Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes is a top-class five-furlong sprint that takes place on the third day of the Ebor meeting. It is named after an area of York and started its life in 1903 as a low-grade sellers’ race. Its identity is the polar opposite now however, as it is one of the premier sprints of the season. It is also an interesting affair as it is one of the few races in which two-year-olds can compete with older horses.

Length of the race – Five furlongs.
Where to watch – RTV and ITV.
When to watch – Friday, August 23 at 3:35pm.
Prize-money – The race is worth £400,000, with £226,840 going to the winner.
Course – The race is run at York racecourse.
Race type – Group 1.
Weights –Three-year-olds carry 9st 9lb, horses aged four and older carry 9st 11lb, two-year-olds carry 8st 1lb. There is a 1lb allowance for fillies and mares.
Ages – The race is open to horses aged two and older.
Sponsor – Coolmore have sponsored the race since 2007.

Previous Winners

wdt_ID Year Horse Form Age Price Trainer Jockey
2 2018 Alpha Delphini 11-2322 7 40-1 Bryan Smart Graham Lee
3 2017 Marsha 21-1323 4 8-1 Sir Mark Prescott Luke Morris
4 2016 Mecca’s Angel 121-201 5 9-2 Michael Dods Paul Mulrennan
5 2015 Mecca’s Angel 1511-12 4 15-2 Michael Dods Paul Mulrennan
6 2014 Sole Power 62-4711 7 11-4f Eddie Lynam Richard Hughes
7 2013 Jwala 572210 4 40-1 Robert Cowell Steve Drowne
8 2012 Ortensia 11-1941 7 7-2j Paul Messara William Buick
9 2011 Margot Did 5-34114 3 20-1 Michael Bell Hayley Turner
10 2010 Sole Power 4-14565 3 100-1 Eddie Lynam Wayne Lordan
11 2009 Borderlescott 1-32514 7 9-1 Robert Bastiman Neil Callan

Key stats

  • Distance winner, 10 winners in the last 9 runnings
  • Won that season, 9/10 (exception finished in top three all previous starts that season)
  • Top-five finish last time, 9/10
  • Group or Listed winner over 5f, 9/10 (six Group)  
  • Adjusted RPR of at least 118, 7/10

Other factors

  • Six winners had run in the King’s Stand (059103) and five in the King George at Goodwood (41033).
  • Winners of the King’s Stand finished 03315623; King George 6681086344.
  • Six winners were between 11lb and 3lb off top-rated.

Key trials

Expect to see horses who contested the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot. The Group 2 King George V Stakes at Goodwood is a good marker, similarly the Group 3 Palace House Stakes and the Sapphire Stakes, which is run in Ireland. Any of these 5f Pattern 5f races can throw up a Nunthorpe winner.  

What happened last year?

The 2018 Nunthorpe will be remembered for some time as we witnessed one of the closest finishes in the history of the race. Prior to the contest, Blue Point and Battaash were stealing all the headlines, with the two seemingly oozing quality in comparison to the rest of the field. But it was two big-priced fancies who hit the line together, two and a quarter lengths clear of the two market rivals. Mabs Cross, a 14-1 chance, looked to have got there from 40-1 Alpha Delphini but a five-minute study of the photo-finish concluded that the Bryan Smart-trained Alpha Delphini had managed to get a whisker in front. Both went on to contest the Abbaye at Longchamp, with Mabs Cross a clear winner on that occasion.

Where can I get Ebor Festival tickets? 

Ebor Festival tickets can be purchased from the York website here.

Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes tip

There is a lot of quality in the Nunthorpe field this year, making it a tricky betting puzzle to solve. Battaash heads the market in what will be his third Nunthorpe but I’m happy to take him on. He’s finished fourth on both starts in this race and has only ever won once in a season after winning the King George at Goodwood, which he did this year and the two years prior. The second favourite Ten Sovereigns was originally trained for the 2,000 Guineas over a mile and, despite impressing when winning the six-furlong July Cup, a fast five furlongs could be too sharp for him. That leaves Mabs Cross, who rarely runs a bad race, enters the race fresh and was as close as you could get to winning last year’s renewal without actually lifting the trophy. Trainer Michael Dods has his mare in perfect condition so I expect her to gain compensation for last year. (Joe Tuffin)


  1. Mabs Cross
  2. Ten Sovereigns 
  3. Battaash