Since the Juddmonte, I haven’t heard anyone of good judgment question Golden Horn’s ability. His connections don’t need to worry about manipulating our regard: don’t worry, we get it. He wasn’t quite right at York and the winner got a brilliant ride from Silvestre De Sousa.
Viewing entries in
Juddmonte International Stakes
As if the withdrawal of Gleneagles did not provide enough of a twist to the plot ahead of Wednesday's Gr.1 Juddmonte International Stakes, the real drama was still to play out on York's Knavesmire as the unheralded 50-1 shot Arabian Queen (by Dubawi) mastered Golden Horn to the smell of burning formbooks.
Rated the best race in the world by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities for the past three years, this afternoon's International Stakes has drawn one of the strongest fields in its distinguished history. For the first time since Golan lined up in the 2001 Irish Derby (Gr.1) against Galileo, the 2000 Guineas (Gr.1) and Derby (Gr.1) winners are set to meet following their respective victories, with Gleneagles (Galileo) due to take on Golden Horn (Cape Horn) for the first time.
The regally-bred Australia (Galileo) won his third consecutive Group 1 with a smooth success in the Juddmonte International at York. Beautifully settled at the back, the dual Derby winner came with a well-timed run towards the stands’ side to head his rivals with ease and was pushed out by Joseph O’Brien to score by two lengths. The Grey Gatsby (Mastercraftsman) proved the form of his last start in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris to be all wrong with a fine second, with four-year-old Telescope (Galileo) just over two lengths back in third.
Is it conceivable that the world is witnessing the emergence of another elite thoroughbred in the class of Frankel, universally considered the best racehorse in living memory? Australia (GB) (Galileo) tops the Timeform Ratings at 137p ahead of his start in the G1 Juddmonte International Stakes at York August 20.
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.
Sir Henry Cecil and Frankel
(Photo : Daily Mail)
JUDDMONTE INTERNATIONAL STAKES (Gr1)
York, Turf, 2090m
22 August 2012
St Nicholas Abbey is a good horse, his three Group One victories are testimony to that. And that puts Frankel’s annihilation of yesterday’s Juddmonte International (Gr.1) field into perspective. We said it would be a tactical race, and the only thing that remained to be tested of Frankel’s spectacular powers, was his stamina. Team Coolmore brought along two others besides “St Nic” to subject the champion’s stamina to its most severe test to date, and that was evident when Robin Hood stormed to the front, spotting Frankel’s own half brother and pacemaker Bullet Train, a few lengths in the process. Meanwhile, trailing near the back of the field, Frankel tracked Joseph O’Brien aboard St Nicholas Abbey, whose connections obviously felt that a couple of lengths start turning for home up York’s punishing straight, would be a useful advantage.
There are those that would argue that St Nicholas Abbey has never quite lived up to his Coolmore billing, and that this was evident in the fact that he was unable to put away the Godolphin colour bearer, Farhh, but that doesn’t get away from the fact that St Nic is a multiple Group One winner, and he’s earned that status at the expense of some cracking horses. Yes, he’s no Camelot, and this race might’ve been two furlongs shorter than this optimum, but that’s not the point. Throughout the race, Frankel’s jockey Tom Queally was playing the predator. Everyone knew what he was going to do to St Nicholas Abbey. St Nic is pretty, Frankel is a killer. Ears pricked, Frankel broke his adversary’s heart in the straight. Quickly, clinically.
The real point is that in an instant, Frankel had paralysed a Group One field in a matter of strides, and if ever anyone harboured any doubts about his stamina, they were put away over the next two furlongs, as the greatest horse we’ve seen in our lifetimes, strode to an imperious seven length victory, ridden with no greater urging from his rider than his hands and heels and the odd tap down the neck. That he was easing down at the end with three Group One winners in his wake, was the most emphatic and convincing evidence that he is the greatest ever, and it might be another lifetime or two before his equal comes along, if ever. For the record, in compiling a perfect thirteen-for-thirteen, Frankel has put a phenomenal 76 lengths between himself and those that have chased him home, an average winning distance of six lengths per outing.
Frankel’s victory was a triumph of several things. Firstly, it gives hope to those who believe the world will get better. It also fuels the fire of those who like to see order. If racing were first of all an industry, it would be more rational. The corporate world likes good order and forecasts that come true; it thrives on yields and cost effectiveness. Racing is not rational and is seldom cost effective, but Frankel reminded us yesterday, that very occasionally a rare athlete can bring order, vindication and pots of money to those who invest in it. Even the business report on Sky News seemed impressed.
Secondly, it was a triumph of a man over adversity. Frankel’s trainer, Sir Henry Cecil and his twin brother David, are widely believed to be the illegitimate sons of what racing calls the “first” Aga Khan. Cecil was, in his “first” life as a trainer, an extraordinary talent who married the daughter of another equestrian genius, Sir Noel Murless. He had as his patrons the rich and the famous, the landed and the titled. Simultaneously almost, his marriage collapsed, his patrons deserted and he dissolved into an alcoholic haze. Suddenly, he went from champion trainer to “also-ran”. That he stood where he did in York’s Winner’s Circle yesterday, is a tribute to the man, and especially to the adage that where there’s hope, there’s a chance. Racing is a game which is never short of hope, and if there’s one thing its fans enjoy more than a fairytale ending, it’s a great comeback.
Just as flawed people are most times more interesting than saints, so that the outrageous Randolph Churchill always seemed a richer character than his canonised father, so the turf and its people fascinate, quirky and fickle, high-browed and low-browed, it combines the romantic and the tawdry, the glory of a Frankel with the sadness of the passing of a Big City Life.
And finally, this was a timely reminder that, unlike other businesses, no matter your resources, racing is a game which has room for us all. Admittedly Frankel’s owner is man of considerable means, but he is his own man, a competitor, a perfectionist, and a bloody good breeder. Despite the presence in the field of the properties of the leviathans of the game, Frankel has stood his ground manfully. Nay, not manfully; masterfully, and in the process, he has conferred on his owner immortality.
Inevitably, the question is asked about his value, and what his opening stud fee will be when he finally retires. Despite the recession, notwithstanding the gloom-and-doom the Northern Hemisphere wakes to every day, here is something to cheer the hearts of anyone with an appreciation of greatness: he will go to stud the most valuable racehorse the world has known. Of course, it’s highly unlikely he will ever be sold; he is the property of a very rich man, and while that same man was tempted to dispose of the bulk of his interests in Danehill, we doubt he will repeat that mistake twice. For what it’s worth, we would think he would command a fee for openers very close to that of his own illustrious father, Galileo, who stands at €300,000, no questions asked. On that basis, he must be worth somewhere between €250 and €300 million. He has the pedigree, he has the godly good looks, and there’s never been his equal on a racecourse. It would take at least that to tempt Prince Khalid Abdullah into even entertain anything of the sort.
Click above to watch Frankel winning the Juddmonte International Stakes (Gr1)
(Image : British Bloodstock/York Lake - Footage : The Derby)
JUDDMONTE INTERNATIONAL STAKES (Gr1)
York, Turf, 2090m
22 August 2012
The perfect mix of Poetry and Destruction.
The glory of Rhythm, Power and Majesty.
The Undisputed Champion of the World.
13 from 13.
Sea The Stars wins the 2009 Juddmonte International Stakes (Gr1)
(Photo : The Guardian)
JUDDMONTE INTERNATIONAL STAKES (Gr1)
York Racecourse, United Kingdom
1 mile, 2 furlongs and 88 yards
The Juddmonte International Stakes, the last middle-distance QIPCO British Champions Series race before the QIPCO Champion Stakes provides the glittering climax to the category on QIPCO British Champions Day, and is a race with a short but glorious history.
The event, run at York over 1 miles, 2 furlongs and 88 yards (2,090 metres), first appeared in 1972. But what an appearance! American-bred Roberto, a Derby winner and named after baseball star Roberto Clemente, became the first - and last - horse to beat Brigadier Gerard.
There have been other notable highlights in this Group 1 race for three-year-olds or older - Troy, the 1979 Derby winner, Commanche Run, the 1984 St Leger winner, two-time winner Halling and Giant’s Causeway, rated Europe’s top horse in 2000.
And then, of course, there was Sea The Stars, who took the race in 2009 - the same year he won an incredible six Group 1 races within six months, including the 2000 Guineas, Investec Derby and Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe.
If you’re looking for the best quiz question concerning the Juddmonte International Stakes, then try this one - what is the family name of the jockey who has entered the winner’s enclosure six times? Answer - Dettori, with six wins (although only the last five of those went to Frankie. The first went to his father Gianfranco in 1976. That would have been a tad early for Frankie, who was five years old at the time).
Current leading jockey : Frankie Dettori, 5 wins (1996-7, 2001, 2004, 2007)
Current leading trainer : Sir Michael Stoute, 5 wins (1986, 1993-4, 1997, 2006)
Extract from QIPCO British Champions Series
Click above to watch
Rip Van Winkle winning the Juddmonte International Stakes (Gr1)
(Photo : Bleacher Report / Footage: Racing UK)
JUDDMONTE INTERNATIONAL STAKES (Gr1)
York, 17 August 2010
The drama came late in yesterday’s Juddmonte International Stakes (Gr1), with Rip Van Winkle (Ire) (Galileo) swooping on the sponsor’s pair of Twice Over (GB) (Observatory) and Byword (GB) (Peintre Celebre) in the shade of the post in a pulsating renewal of the York feature.
Sent off the 7-4 favorite on the back of a second in Goodwood’s Sussex Stakes (Gr1) last time out on 28 July, Susan Magnier’s four-year-old was game in the chase as Twice Over finally got the better of Byword in the final furlong, with Johnny Murtagh delivering the knock-out blow in the final two strides. A half-length separated the first two, with 3/4 of a length back to Byword. “I love this horse,” Murtagh said. “He didn’t show his true worth in last year’s Guineas and Derby, but he showed when he won his two Group 1’s last year what a champion he was. He didn’t run his race in America, but I think he’s a great horse, and he comes through anything and always seems to pull it out when it matters.”
Rip Van Winkle was always held in the highest esteem at Ballydoyle, and the natural speed and ability he displayed from his early days on the gallops helped him garner Leopardstown’s Tyros Stakes (Gr3) and run an eye-catching race just out of the placings in the Dewhurst Stakes (Gr1) during his juvenile campaign.
As Sea the Stars (Ire) was flashing his boundless talent at Newmarket and Epsom, Rip Van Winkle was lurking behind, and it was the Tsui goliath who was again in control in their first major face-off in Sandown’s Eclipse in July. Despite fine efforts in defeat, Rip Van Winkle’s well-documented foot problems cast a lengthy shadow and arose again at the 11th hour prior to his first top-level success in the Sussex last July. He backed up that imperious performance with another Group 1 in Ascot’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes in September, but was notably below-par when trailing behind Zenyatta in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (Gr1) at Santa Anita in November. All reports prior to his comeback in Royal Ascot’s Queen Anne Stakes (Gr1) suggested a lack of fireworks, and that was the case as he faded out of contention to be sixth there on 15 June, but in making Canford Cliffs (Ire) stretch in the latest renewal of the Sussex, he had signaled a return to the big league.
Keen at York early off the steady-building tempo, the bay eventually settled in a wide sixth and was on the heels of Byword as his rider Maxime Guyon tried to steal a march in early stretch. Rip Van Winkle seemed flat-footed as Tom Queally and Twice Over appeared a bigger threat to Byword, he needed time to find his stride, but, when the surge came, it was enough to deny the gallant runner-up a hard-earned victory. “Aidan had a plan to take it a bit slower with him this year and there are a lot of big races coming up at the end of the year, so we want to have him fresh and well,” Murtagh explained. “I probably went too fast on him at Ascot and I was very happy with him last time, but today my one worry was the pace of the race, and he overcame it. He’s such a brilliant mover and covers so much ground that over a mile you can use that to kill horses, but no horse can keep running that hard and fast all season, so it was nice to give him a little chance today. He only had to run for a furlong and a half, so I think he’ll improve again as he was still a bit rusty today. When they kick, he doesn’t have instant acceleration, but when he gets into top gear he hits the line really well and was always going to get there. I was trying to give him as easy a race as possible to win and not punish him, but he stuck his head down and battled really well.” Aidan O’Brien added, “They didn’t go very fast and we were just getting him to relax and switched off today - that was the important thing. He seems in a real good place now and on an upward curve.”
Connections are looking at a return to a mile for a repeat bid in Ascot’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Gr1) on 25 September, followed by a tilt at either the BC Mile or Classic, both at Churchill on 6 November.
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News