Wednesday 19th August 2020
Author: Jordan Yates
A big welcome to my preview for this year’s Juddmonte International which is set to take place on the opening day of the Ebor Festival at York this Wednesday at 3.15. The race is contested over a distance of just over a mile and two furlongs, it’s seen as one of the most prestigious Group 1 contests of the flat racing calendar and has been won in recent years by the likes of Frankel, Sea The Stars and Roaring Lion.
This year’s renewal of the race is headed by the Sandown Eclipse winner that’s Ghaiyyath for Charlie Appleby and Godolphin. Winner of all three of his starts this season, which also included the Group 1 Coronation Cup, he’s got the better of both Enable and Stradivarius so far this term and is the worthy favourite here. William Buick will be on board once more. This really is a top renewal of the race as we also have Guineas winner Kameko set to take his place. Arguably unlucky last time in the Sussex Stakes when not getting a run, he also finished fourth in the Derby the time prior to that and represents connections that won this race in 2018 with Roaring Lion.
Aidan O’Brien sends his star mare Magical to take her place here, set to be ridden by Ryan Moore she has looked as good as ever since returned to training this season having won back to back Group 1’s at the Curragh in comfortable fashion. She was second to Enable in the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks here last season. John Gosden is also represented in the race and this is by the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes winner Lord North. A bit of a surprise package this season with how he’s progressed so rapidly, winner of both starts this season which came in Group 2 and Group 1 company. He’ll be ridden by James Doyle with Frankie Dettori out of action for 2 weeks due to riding in France.
Concluding the field are the two recent York winners and the first of these is the Roger Charlton trained Aspetar who’ll be ridden by Jason Watson. He was last seen when winning the Group 2 Sky Bet York Stakes here last seen in impressive style, and despite being a five-year-old is still pretty unexposed. Making up the six is Mark Johnston’s Rose Of Kildare, who’s the mount of Franny Norton. Like many of the yards runners she’s a tough, admirable performer who’s battle hardened, she showed she does have class as well though when winning the Group 3 Musidora Stakes here at York last time out by over two lengths.
This is an incredibly hard race to predict with there being so much talent on show, quite similar to the Sussex Stakes. Ghaiyyath will have his optimum conditions at this track as such a galloping course should very much play to his strengths, resulting in him being tough to beat. I’m going to try and take him on, and I’m going to do that with MAGICAL for Aidan O’Brien. She, herself is a prove top-level Group 1 horse and has looked magnificient in her two outings this season, when winning the Tattersalls Gold Cup and Pretty Polly Stakes with minimal fuss. If turning up in her best form I think she’s a match for all of these and at the prices I’ll chance her claiming yet another Group 1 success.