JUDDMONTE INTERNATIONAL STAKES (Group 1)
York, Turf, 2092m
20 August 2014
Six horses will go to post in today’s Group 1 Juddmonte International at York, headed by the dual Derby winner Australia.
The son of Galileo and Ouija Board has been impressive in his two wins at Epsom, in the Group 1 Derby, and at the Curragh, in the Group 1 Irish Derby, both over twelve furlongs. Here he will step back to ten furlongs, over a distance that many believe will prove to be his best.
At Epsom he beat Arod by eight and a quarter lengths, since when the son of Teofilo has sauntered home in a Leicester conditions contest. Trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam said earlier in the week, “He seems to be in very good form, he’s had no problems whatsoever since his win at Leicester. He had a very hard race in the Derby - because he didn’t stay he had a harder race than normal. But he is back at the right trip now, whether he is good enough we will just have to wait and see. I took him to Leicester, as I wanted to give him a bit of confidence and it worked out well. He’s getting stronger all the time and thickening out.”
The older generation are represented by the second and third from the Group 1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot at the end of July. Telescope (Galileo) just got the better of Mukhadram (Shamardal) by a short head on that occasion on his first Group 1 attempt, having previously landed the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot in good style. Mukhadram had previously broken his Group 1 duck when landing the Group 1 Eclipse Stakes.
The Grey Gatsby provided his sire Mastercraftsman with a Classic winner from his first crop when landing the Group 1 Prix du Jockey-Club at Chantilly in June by a comfortable three lengths, having beaten Arod by three quarters of a length in the Group 2 Dante Stakes previously. However, last time out he was bogged down in the Longchamp mud when beaten ten and a half lengths in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris. Trainer Kevin Ryan said earlier in the week that the grey hated the ground in that race and followed up by saying, “He won his maiden at York, he was second in the Acomb at York and he won the Dante at York, so the Knavesmire will be no problem for him. He’s proven at this mile and a quarter, although at some point I envisage stepping him back up to a mile and a half. He’s only a three-year-old and is developing all the time.”
The final member of the field is the last time out Group 1 Irish Derby-second Kingfisher, a stablemate of the favourite. This was a return to form, having not handled the undulations of Epsom when tenth to Australia in the Group 1 Derby. Trainer Aidan O’Brien stated earlier this week that the son of Galileo will be running on his merits and not as a pacemaker.
Extract from European Bloodstock News