Sky Bet York Stakes
| Group 2, York 15:35
1m 2f 88y, Class 1
|Saturday 23rd July 2016|
1 Time Test 1/2F
2 Mondialiste 10/1
3 Countermeasure 20/1
5 ran Distances: ¾l, 3¼l, 1l
TIME 2m 6.93s (fast by 0.07s)
Time Test wins Sky Bet York Stakes from Mondialiste
Roger Charlton's four-year-old was hugely impressive when landing the Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot last summer and looked every inch a top-class colt when successful on his reappearance in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown back in May.
He came up a little short on his third start at Group One level in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown three weeks ago, but was far from disgraced in finishing third on ground softer than ideal.
Encountering a more favourable surface on the Knavesmire, he was the 1/2 favourite in the hands of Pat Smullen.
With stable companion Countermeasure playing a pacesetting role, just as he had done in the Eclipse, Time Test was ridden with patience before making his move in the straight.
Charlton's charge looked poised to secure a comfortable victory when he cruised to the front inside the last two furlongs, but 10/1 shot Mondialiste would not go down without a fight.
The pair fought all the way to the line, with Time Test eventually prevailing by three-quarters of a length. It was a resurgent performance from Woodbine Mile winner Mondialiste in second. David O'Meara's six-year-old had failed to get competitive in two previous starts this year, but clearly relished the return to faster ground.
Smullen said: "He's still an immature horse. He travelled extremely well throughout the race. In fact, they couldn't lead me any longer going by the two-furlong marker.
"I was in front plenty long enough on him and he got a little bit lonely, but, at the end of the day, he's battled off a Group One winner who had his ideal conditions as well.
"I loved the way how in the last half-furlong he really put it together and got to the line well. Overall, I'd be pleased and I think the better the race the better he'll be. I'd take a lot of positives from it and that should put him right for back here in three weeks."
Smullen was referring to the Juddmonte International on August 17 and Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, confirmed that Group One event as Time Test's next objective.
He said: "It's a relief when they win when they are odds-on. There's no such thing as a penalty kick in a Group Two.
"He travelled well which was pleasing to see and while he was made to work, he was well on top at the finish.
"I think we'll have to come back here in three weeks and have another go in a Group One."
Sky Bet cut the winner to 4/1 for the International immediately after the race and representative Michael Shinners said: "People might not have been blown away by that performance but they didn't go particularly quickly and Time Test was keen enough.
"He looks more than ready for a swift return to Group One company providing the conditions remain in his favour and we've moved him into the market alongside The Gurkha at 4s, with Postponed currently our 11/4 favourite."
Sky Bet York Stakes (Group 2)
£100,000 added, 3yo plus, 1m 2f 88y, Class 1
Going: Good to Firm
|Pos||Dr||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||(5)||Time Test 1/2f||P J Smullen
|2nd||(1)||¾||Mondialiste (IRE) 10/1||D Tudhope
|3rd||(4)||3¼||Countermeasure 20/1||William Twiston-Davies
|4th||(3)||1||Air Pilot 6/1||G Lee
|R M Beckett||7|
|5th||(2)||22||Mahsoob 9/2||P Hanagan
|J H M Gosden||5|