Juddmonte International Preview 2019

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By Samantha (@sam_angelina22) and Luke (@Lukekeena1)

The Juddmonte International Stakes is the centre piece of day one of the ‘Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival’ from York Races. This one mile two group one race has been won in the past by Australia, Frankel, Sea The Stars, Authorized and Giants Causeway.

Nine top-class racehorses are declared to run for the £602,544 first prize. It looks a really exciting race! Crystal Ocean sets the standard. He will go down in history as being part of the epic duel with Enable in the King George. They were neck and neck, nose to nose from the furlong pole, bound in a thrilling ding-dong battle. Enable prevailed – but only narrowly. Previously to that, he won the Prince Of Wales at Royal Ascot over this kind of trip. He’s rated 127, which is 7lbs higher than any rival. This will be the first time that he’s raced at York and James Doyle keeps the ride.

His stablemate is Regal Reality. He’s the second highest rated and has the aid of Richard Kingscote. He ran in the Sky Bet York Stakes last time but finished fourth to Elarqam, beaten five and a quarter lengths. He’s a dual group three winner and performs to his best on good ground, which he didn’t get at York when 11/4 second favourite. He was stepping up to a mile two that day and was found to be one-paced when push came to shove. He’s drifted in the market.

Since then, Elarqam has been supplemented into this race. He handled the trip well last time and being a course and distance winner is a plus for him. He isn’t ground dependant because he’s won on good to firm and soft. He’s a smart four year old and is definitely on-the-up.

Elarqam was beaten by Thundering Blue when the former was trying out this trip for the first time in last year’s Sky Bet York Stakes. David Menuisier’s loveable grey won that day and since then he’s com third in this race last season, finishing fast; won the Stockholm Cup in Sweden; second in the group one Canadian International and tenth in the Japan Cup. Things haven’t gone as well this season- he was last of seven in April in a group three, third in a listed behind Elarqam and last in a group one at Saint Cloud last time. He’s way better than the 2019 form suggests and his yard tasted group one victory with Danceteria recently. He was behind the Japanese raider, Cheval Grand, who came fourth, in the Japan Cup. The latter finished sixth behind second placed Crystal Ocean at Ascot. He won the Japan Cup in 2017 and has since placed in four group ones in Japan since. His jockey Oisin Murphy won with Japanese horse Deidre at Goodwood so Japan will be hoping to keep the ball rolling with this guy.

King Of Comedy runs for top pair John Gosden and Frankie Dettori. This five times raced Kingman colt was finishing extremely quickly under the typically effective Adam Kirby drive when he was only a neck behind Circus Maximus in the St James Palace. That was over seven furlongs but he’s won over a mile before, in the Heron Stakes. This is a new kind of trip but his brother won over one mile two.

Lord Glitters is more known as a miler as he won this year’s Queen Anne at Royal Ascot but David O’Meara’s talented grey has won at this trip before when he was back in France on heavy ground by three lengths. Despite this, it was a low grade race so it’s unknown how effective he is at the top level over one mile two. Last time out he ran in the Sussex Stakes but was fifth, two and a half lengths behind Circus Maximus, who runs in this.

IRISH RUNNER FOCUS WITH LUKE

Japan runs for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore takes the ride. He runs over one mile and two furlongs for the second time. He was last seen over course and distance in the  Dante when needing the run. He has since finished a fast finishing third in the Derby. Recently, he has won twice over one mile and a half at Royal Ascot and at Longchamp. He looks to be one of the best three years olds in training and, if the trip isn’t a inconvenience, he can run well. It will be hard for any horse in the field to beat Crystal Ocean.

Circus Maximus returns to one mile and two furlongs after winning and being place in Group 1’s over one mile. He has won over the distance at Chester. He was last seen finishing second behind Too Darn Hot at Goodwood when he battled on well after being passed by the winner to be beaten half a length. Prior to that, he won the St James Palace at Royal Ascot beating King Of Comedy. He showed great determination to win that day when looking like being passed, he dug deep and won. I think he can run another good race without challenging Crystal Ocean and Japan.

SELECTIONS

I don’t think CRYSTAL OCEAN can be beaten in this. He’s <controversially> the highest rated horse in the world and I don’t think these three year olds are up to the calibre of beating him. Elarqam is the interesting runner and I hope Thundering Blue runs as well as last year.

Luke- Crystal Ocean

Lois- Regal Reality

Niamh- Elarqam

Race 1- Sky Bet And Symphony Group Handicap

Dakota Gold won the Great St Wilfrid at Ripon but has to carry joint top weight despite his current 99 rating for his efforts. He’s the probable favourite and you can’t say whether his good run will continue. However, I quite fancy FINAL VENTURE. He’s came second on all four starts this year and the most he’s been beaten was a length and a half. He hasn’t won since the Achilles Stakes at Haydock in 2017 but is 6lbs lower. Jabbarockie won incredibly well at Musselburgh last time under his 5lbs claimer Harrison Shaw. He’s on a career high mark but 16/1 could be value. Justanotherbottle returned to form last time when he wasn’t beaten far at in the Stewards Cup. Fool For You and Orvar could go well.

Selection- Final Venture/Jabbarockie EW

Race 2- Tattersalls Acomb Stakes

A lot of exciting youngsters take their chances here in a race previously won by Phoenix Of Spain, Dutch Connection and Rule Of Law. The former are both trained by Charlie Hills who has the once-raced Persuasion. He made his debut at a Glorious Goodwood, winning by half a length. I can’t really see what the fuss is about with him but like a lot of these, particularly the once-raced-once-ran Vitalogy and Yorkshire Gold, could be anything. The top two in the field COBRA EYE and Ethic could be smart. The former is owned by Phoenix Thoroughbreds and was second on debut before battling to victory at Glorious Goodwood. The second and fourth have since won. I really like Ethic as I was very taken with his debut effort. He was all over the place for the whole race but stuck to the task well to be second to an odds on shot. Since then, he won nicely beating a horse called Stoweman, who has subsequently been second to a horse called Impressor who was fourth to Cobra Eye on debut. Kingbrook and Morisco won last time and Ropey Guest is highest rated of the two rated runners. Valdermoro won well at Doncaster but the form hasn’t worked out well.

IRISH RUNNER FOCUS BY LUKE

Vitalogy comes into the race with an unbeaten record after winning on debut. This son of No Nay Never won at Naas back in July. He settled at the back of the field and made up late ground to to get on top close home. He enjoyed the stiff finish over six furlongs at Naas and will have no problem stepping up in trip to seven furlongs. He is trained by Jospeh O’Brien and Donnacha O’Brien takes the ride. With the improvement for the run and the experience he should run well for the connections.

Aidan O’Brien is represented by Harpocrates and Ryan Moore takes the ride. This son of Invincible Spirit has six runs under his belt. He has been been in the first three home on all but one occasion when finishing fifth behind Pinatubo at Royal Ascot. On his fourth start he finished third behind Vitalogy at Naas. Harpocrates gave the winner five  pounds and was beaten by just over half a length. Harpocrates has since enjoyed stepping back up in trip and finished second behind Justifier in a Listed race at Tipperary. He had to be pushed along three furlongs out when not traveling well, possibly because of the bad ground or he was racing lazily. He now runs with blinkers which should help him. I think he is the pick of the two and can go close at 10/1.

Selection- Cobra Eye / Ethic EW

Race 3- Sky Bet Great Voltiger

A small but select field runs in this race. LOGICIANs form figures of ‘111’ instantly attracts attention and he’s won his three races by a combined eight lengths. In time, hell definitely stay further with the St Leger a possible target for this son of Frankel. Nayef Road won the Qatar Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood with Constantinople a neck behind. He earned his space in this field that day and is tough as old boots. The Johnston in mate had Jalmoud behind that day. The Godolphin colt won a listed race in France in May but has a lot to find with this field.

IRISH RUNNER FOCUS WITH LUKE

Two Irish raiders are declared to run making it a field of five heading to post. Both runner coming from Ballydoyle and Ryan Moore takes the ride on Constantinople. This son of Galileo is the highest rated horse in the race and was last seen finishing second at Goodwood in the Gordon Stakes over one mile and a half. He seemed to lose his concentration when hanging left and is still learning his trade. He has improved this year starting off a mark of 97 and is currently rated 110. He is a Group 3 winner, he won the Gallimnule over one mile and two beating the subsequent Royal Whip Stakes winner, Buckhurst. I think he could be the one to beat at 9/4.

Norway also runs for the same connections and Donnacha O’Brien takes the ride. He has been seen this season setting the pace for other stablemates. He ran at Royal Ascot on soft ground which he didn’t enjoy, he was the stables leading contender for the race and never got into the race. Last year I thought he was going to turn into a St Ledger horse but I know have my doubts. I imagine he will be taking up the pacemaking duty.

Selection- Logician

Race 5- Sky Bet Handicap

DUBAWI FIFTY is a horse that I adore. He very nearly won at Royal Ascot last year but got injured afterwards and we didn’t see him until he was a good second in the Northumberland Place. Last time at Goodwood, he ran terribly but hopefully he can put that behind him and win this with Frankie on board.

Sky Bet Nursery

Very open race but OTI MA BOATI has won each of her three starts, doing just enough, for Richard Fahey and is now in the capable hands of William Haggas. Place claims for definite!

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