Eight horses are set to contest tomorrow’s Juddmonte International Stakes, a race won by many champions, who graced the turf at York before finding their way into the history books. And that could be the case this year.
Although marred by the lack of John Gosden’s duo (Cracksman and Enable), this race is still setting up to be a champion making one.
Heading here off the back of a Group 1 success is Poet’s Word, who has won three successive races this season. Having a run of good form, he seems to be the one to beat.
Another interesting runner could be the Group 1 winning son of Frankel, Without Parole, who heads here after a shock defeat in the Sussex Stakes last time out. He was previously undefeated, so there is definitely value in saying he wasn’t quite himself in his most recent race.
Interesting, Thunder Snow heads here at the beginning of hid campaign this year, assumably with his ultimate target being Dubai at the start of next year, much like his campaign last year. His campaign last year ended in him passing the wire first in the Dubai World Cup over a dirt surface, so he’s probably been sent here for a freshen up, as opposed to a real effort put in to win.
Saxon Warrior heads here in an attempt to get his form back intact after a disappointing string of performances, however the ‘bug’ that went around Ballydoyle could be to blame for these performances, so he could also appear as a contender.
Roaring Lion is another interesting horse contesting the Juddmonte tomorrow. He beat Saxon Warrior in the Eclipse last time out, and takes on the older horses for the first time. He receives a weight allowance for being a three-year old, so might that be the push he needs to establish himself as a champion?
Thundering Blue is the outsider of this race, heading here after a Group 2 success. However, he had to be supplemented for this race, which could hint that his connections have faith in him to boost his trophy collection with victory in the Juddmonte.
Latrobe, trained by Joseph O’Brien could also be a contender, but seemed to win the Irish Derby in what could be seen as a fluke performance last time out.
The final horse in the running is Benbatl. He won the Dubai Turf early this year, but that was over a relatively weak field.
This running of the Juddmonte International seems quite open, and it wouldn’t be hard to see any of the eight horses ending up in front. One thing is for certain, however. The horse who finishes in front tomorrow will certainly stamp his authority on the mile and a quarter division of horses.