Johnny Murtagh celebrates victory aboard Duke of Marmalade
Duke of Marmalade (Danehill) made it Group 1 win number five yesterday as he ground out a 3/4 length victory in the G1 Juddmonte International Stakes at Newmarket for trainer Aidan O’Brien and owners Susan Magnier and Michael Tabor.
The Thoroughbred Daily News reports that following a gruelling fight in the G1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on 26 July and two flights from Ireland due to York’s abandonment Tuesday, Ballydoyle’s juggernaut, Duke of Marmalade (Danehill), would have been excused for not wanting to roll up his sleeves again here, but that was not the case. Jockey Johnny Murtagh asked him to stretch when he hit the front three furlongs out, and the “Duke” had too many guns for the Henry Cecil-trained Phoenix Tower (Chester House) in the finish.
“Aidan O’Brien told me that when you apply the pressure with him, you have to really go for him and today, as soon as I asked him, he really picked up,” Johnny Murtagh said. “I was going a bit easily in front, and as soon as the other horse came to him, he had plenty left in the tank. He’s very durable, very consistent and has great size, balance and will to win. Whether it’s soft ground or fast ground or whatever you throw at him, he is able to take it. He eats up every day and loves racing.”
Jim Bolger-trained New Approach (Galileo) failed to provide the much anticipated match, and was a further 2 1/2 lengths back as he stayed on for third after racing keenly in rear early.