Grey Gatsby To Woo Juddmonte Stakes Field
Juddmonte International Stakes
One of the highlights during this week’s four-day York Ebor spectacular is Wednesday’s Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes where the mighty, Australia, will seek to enhance his reputation into the history books even further.
Trainer, Aidan O’Brien, has won the International three times during the last decade, and the odds suggest he could notch another, as the dual Derby winner will line-up around the 8/13 mark.
Well-fancied favourites have also performed well in this race down the years, including the yard’s, Rip Van Winkle and Duke Of Marmalade.
It’s also worth noting that both Sea The Stars and Authorized managed to win this having triumphed in the Epsom Derby and the speed Australia has shown (third in the 2,000 Guineas) to date suggests this step back to 1m2f will not be a problem.
O’Brien’s, Kingfisher (40/1), who was beaten over 2l when second in the Irish Derby (1m4f, good to firm) is set do battle once more. Epsom clearly never suited the time before, but a repeat of his Curragh second would make him a big each-way player, especially as he handles all types of ground.
With Australia set to go off at odds-on, however, there will plenty of each-way value around
, including Sir Michael Stoute’s, Telescope (9/2), who looks for compensation having been beaten 3l in the King George at Ascot (1m4f, good).
Yet to finish out the top two in nine outings, he will again be thereabouts, though his best chance would come if the ground dries out.
Just a short head behind Telescope in the King George was Willie Haggas’, Mukhadram (7/2), who just ran out of petrol that day and is more effective back at this 1m2f trip, as proven when winning the Group 1 Eclipse at Sandown (1m2f, good to firm).
That Group 1 victory will put him in good stead for this challenge as 7 of the last 10 Juddmonte winners were proven winners at this level (7-21, 33%), compared to the three who had yet to win a Group 1 at 3-51 (6%).
The Grey Gatsby (12/1) would have to be given an each-way chance having won the French Derby back in June (1m3f, good) and could well be the forgotten horse.
Although beaten 10l back in France last time, he hated the bog-like ground that day, and returns to the same C&D he won the Group 2 Dante over back in May.
Peter Chapple-Hyam’s, Arod (16/1), was just under 1l behind The Great Gatsby at York, before being beaten 8l by Australia in the Epsom Derby. Given a confidence-booster in a minor event last month, he is another that could make the frame at big odds.
Of the last 10 Juddmonte International Stakes winners…
10 returned 8/1 or shorter
9 had 2-3 runs during last 90 days
9 had 2 or more Group 1 outings
9 made the top 3 last time – 9 were beaten no more than 4l last time
9 ran during last 45 days
8 officially rated 118 or higher (other two had no rating)
8 ran over in a Group 1 last time
8 won during last three outings
7 were Group 1 winners (7-21, 33%) – others were 3-51 (6%)
6 ran at Goodwood or Sandown last time (6-21, 29%) – rest were 3-45 (7%)
4yo’s best at 6-28 (21%); 5yo’s only 1-19 (5%)
Distance winners had a better record than non-distance winners
Aidan O’Brien won it three times
Previous Group 1 winners have held the edge in this race, and while the English and Irish Derby winner, Australia, is respected, his price in such a tight race means there could be a better each-way option in French Derby winner, The Grey Gatsby (12/1), who is also still open to more improvement.