where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2017-08-23 09:42:32  

One of the world’s greatest horse-races, the Gr1 Juddmonte International, will be run at York racecourse on Wednesday. This 2092m contest, won previously by such legendary horses as Frankel, Sea The Stars, and Giant’s Causeway (as well as current South African stallions Duke Of Marmalade and Twice Over), is the richest race run at York.


Set to jump at 4:35 (SAF time), the Juddmonte International sees an intriguing class of the generations with older Gr1 winners Decorated Knight (Galileo), My Dream Boat (Lord Shanakill) and Ulysses (Galileo) taking on the top class 3yos Barney Roy (Excelebration), Churchill (Galileo) and Cliffs Of Moher (Galileo).

Trainer Aidan O’Brien, who has won this race five times previously, saddles both Churchill and Cliffs Of Moher, with riding arrangements suggesting Churchill is the stable elect. Winner of both the Gr1 Qipco 2000 Guineas and Gr1 Irish 2000 Guineas, Churchill (a late scratching from the Gr1 Sussex Stakes last time) was disappointing when a well beaten fourth, to Barney Roy, in the Gr1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. He does try the trip for a first time but, despite hailing from a very fast female line, connections are confident the 2092 trip will present no problems to the colt.

Barney Roy, a close second to Ulysses, in the Gr1 Coral-Eclipse recently could well turn the tables on his Eclipse conqueror, with connections believing the colt will enjoy the Knavesmire course, while Churchill’s stable mate Cliffs Of Moher (whose owners include prominent South African owner Markus Jooste) was desperately unlucky when nearly falling in the Eclipse and he too should give a good account of himself. Prior to his Eclipse outing, Cliffs Of Moher had finished a bang-up second in the Gr1 Investec Derby, behind only the now retired Wings Of Eagles (Pour Moi).

Older horses could have it all too do here, with the 3yos appearing hard to oppose. Eclipse Stakes winner Ulysses, whose trainer Sir Michael Stoute has won this race five times previously, was a well beaten second in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes recently (by 3yo filly Enable who was receiving a hefty weight for age allowance on that occasion) but his form before that was rock solid and he appears best of the older generation.

Dual Gr1 winner Decorated Knight represents the in-form pair of Andrea Atzeni and Roger Charlton but beat only three home when sixth in the Eclipse last time out and clearly has ground to find with the likes of Ulysses and Barney Roy.

My Dream Boat, a 16-1 surprise winner of last year’s Gr1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, has not won in seven outings since his maiden Gr1 victory and finished more than 17 lengths back in the King George last time out.

Three-year-old Shutter Speed (Dansili), the only female in the race, appears to have a tough task on her hands but does represent the lethal combination of John Gosden and Frankie Dettori. She makes her first start since finishing fourth in the Gr1 French Oaks (Prix de Diane) back in June and will be receiving plenty of weight from her older male rivals.



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