Ante-Post Professional Racing Tips : The Juddmonte International
With York’s eagerly awaited Ebor Festival just around the corner (19th – 22nd August), it’s a good time to take an ante-post look at some of the highlights – starting with the first day’s headline race the Juddmonte International, which could be the race of the season.
In the last decade, this 10-furlong group-1 race has been won by three 3-year-olds, six 4-year-olds, and one 6-year-old, and it’s noticeable that the three 3-year-olds had all won the Derby.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien has won 4 of the last 7 renewals, whilst his son Joseph has ridden the last 2 winners (both for his father), and Frankie Dettori rode 2007 Derby and Juddmonte winner Authorized.
With all that in mind, let’s take a look at this year’s likely leading protagonists.
Golden Horn 4/7
This year’s Derby winner looks out of the top draw and, if he turns up, he will be very hard to beat having already proved himself over course and distance in the Dante. Will be ridden by Frankie Dettori, though negatives are the possibility of soft ground and the fact that his trainer John Gosden has yet to win this race. However, if he’s 4/7 on the day on fast ground, the big punters will probably steam in.
Time Test 4/1
Had clockwatchers drooling in his last 2 performances, though the bare form of those races has yet to stand up to the closest scrutiny. Could yet prove top-notch though.
The dual 2,000 Guineas winner would be a fascinating contender, but connections may not risk his reputation over 10-furlongs with the breeding rights to being Europe’s best miler at stake.
The Grey Gatsby 9/1
Runner-up last year to Australia, but will surely struggle to give weight-for-age to a classy bunch of 3-year-olds.
Free Eagle 10/1
Put up a fantastic performance to win the Prince of Wales Stakes at Royal Ascot this year on his seasonal debut over 10-furlongs, and his trainer Dermot Weld maintains that this is the best horse he’s ever had.
New Bay 10/1
This year’s impressive French Derby winner would add an extra dimension to this fascinating contest, though his absence from some betting lists suggests connections may have another target in mind for him.
Eagle Top 14/1
This year’s King George runner-up is also trained by John Gosden, but doesn’t look up to beating the higher-rated horse on most of his form.
David Wachman’s 1,000 Guineas winner looked very impressive in the Nassau at Glorious Goodwood, and could run a huge race getting both weight-for-age and the fillies allowance, if allowed to take her chance.
This year’s King George winner looks better over 12-furlongs, and may have other targets.
As a purist, I hope all these great horses turn up as it would definitely be one of the races of the decade. Golden Horn will be very hard to beat, though fellow 3-year-old Legatissimo and Time Test could bustle him up. However, at the prices, the ante-post bet has to be Free Eagle who certainly has a burst of speed that could win him any race.
Free Eagle @ 10/1 (Paddy Power)