Juddmonte International Stakes
| Group 1, York 15:15
1m 2f 56y, Class 1
|Wednesday 19th August 2020|
1 Ghaiyyath 11/8F
2 Magical 9/4
3 Lord North 4/1
5 ran NR: Aspetar Distances: 3l, 1¼l, ¾l
Time: 2m 7.38s (slow by 0.68s)
Charlie Appleby’s front-runner led throughout once again as he saw off a top-class five-strong field to win his third Group One of the season by three lengths as the 11-8 favourite, under William Buick.
Ghaiyyath predictably had to contend with the close attendance of outsider Rose Of Kildare in the early stages – and once that hazard was out of the way, he was harried into the final two furlongs by 2000 Guineas winner Kameko and multiple Group One heroine Magical.
Magical took second spot, with Lord North eventually staying on past Kameko into third.
Appleby said: “I’m delighted with that. It was straightforward, a great performance and a great front-running ride by William.
“Most importantly, it’s important for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and the team to have a horse like this on our hands.
“He’s not let us down this year and as I said right at the start of the year, he’s more the finished article now. I’m just delighted for the whole team.
“We were coming into today and his prep had been faultless. We knew he was the finished article.
“We had our plan – the Coronation, miss Ascot and go for the Eclipse before coming here. As we all know plans don’t always work out, but he’s been exceptional every start this year.
“I’ve said before that last year he took time to get over races as he put so much in, but right from the get-go we weren’t seeing those dips this year.
“It’s a great credit to the team at home and talking to His Highness, horses like him are what Godolphin is all about. To have him deliver on each occasion is fantastic for everybody.”
Appleby continued: “He didn’t go a scorching pace, just an honest one. William said turning into the straight that it was unusual as normally on him you can’t here the whips cracking, but he could hear them coming.
“So, he gave him a squeeze and he just took off again. Once he hits that second gear a furlong and a half out, he’s just relentless – he might not quicken after that but he’s an exceptional galloper.
“He doesn’t have to lead, we just let him come into the race as he sees fit.
“In the Arc (last year) it was soft ground, off the back of a big performance in Germany and because of his draw we made him go forward, this year we’re letting him do it himself.”
As for another crack at the Arc, Appleby added: “The option is there, but we’ve seen in his last two races how good he is over 10 furlongs.
“The option is there and we’ll all have a chat, it’s great to talk about options for a horse of this calibre. There’s the Irish Champion, the Arc, the Breeders’ Cup and Japan as well, so there are plenty of options.”
Juddmonte International Stakes
(Group 1) (British Champions Series)
£275,000 added, 3yo plus, 1m 2f 56y, Class 1
Going: Good, Good to Soft (in places)
1 (2) Ghaiyyath 5 9-6 Charlie Appleby William Buick 11/8F
2 (1) 3 Magical 5 9-3 A P O'Brien Ryan Moore 9/4
3 (4) 1¼ Lord North 4 9-6 John Gosden James Doyle 4/1
4 (5) ¾ Kameko 3 8-13 Andrew Balding Oisin Murphy 11/2
5 (6) 2¾ Rose Of Kildare 3 8-10 Mark Johnston 80/1
NR 1 (3) Aspetar 5 9-6 Roger Charlton NON RUNNER