Postponed’s shock defection from the King George field opens up the real possiblity of Roger Varian’s Coronation Cup winner turning up on the Knavesmire and BetVictor make the three-time Gp 1 winner a 4/1 chance for Juddmonte International success at York.
He showed a tremendous turn of foot in his recent successes in the highest grade at both Meydan and Epsom and wouldn’t be inconvenienced should the heavens open over Yorkshire. The 5-y-o son of Dubawi appears to be improving with every race under his new handler and clearly acts on the track; having won the Great Voltigeur Stakes as a 3-y-o in 2014.
Another with course form on the Knavesmire is Kevin Ryan’s The Grey Gatsby, who should relish the trip after an unsuccessful effort stepped up to a mile and a half last month at Newmarket. Should he get his preferred sounder surface then he would look a big price at 10/1 with BetVictor but I have long had a soft spot for Roger Charlton’s Time Test (7/2 joint-favourite) who gets the nod to finally score at the highest level.
Juddmonte International prices from BetVictor:
Time Test 7/2
The Gurkha 6/1
US Army Ranger 8/1
The Grey Gatsby 10/1
The colt, another beautifiully-bred son of Dubawi, has always been held in the highest of regard by his Clarehaven handler and looked better than ever when giving weight and a beating to his six rivals in the BetVictor Brigadier Gerard Stakes on his seasonal debut at Sandown in May.
He missed his expected engagement in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes due to soft ground at Royal Ascot but took his chance on less than ideal ground when third behind Hawkbill and The Gurkha in last month’s Eclipse at Sandown. He was staying on, despite conditions going against him, to lose by a narrow three lengths and on York’s likely lightning fast ground would get the nod to score for connections’ in their very own race.
The other Gp 1 contest sees some of the fastest turf horses in the northern hemisphere gather for the Nunthorpe Stakes and defending Champion Mecca’s Angel likely to take all the beating under regular partner Paul Mulrennan. Michel Dods’ star mare gave lumps of weight to Prix Morny winner Acapulco 12 months ago when relishing York’s rain-softened ground.
After disappointing at Royal Ascot, when having conditions to suit, there were concerns about her well-being but she bounced back in tremendous fashion last time out at the Curragh and is 5/1 with BetVictor to land back-to-back renewals.
She looks set to meet old rival Profitable, with Clive Cox’s star colt the 5/2 favourite for the contest having bettered the mare at Haydock and Royal Ascot already this term. He was far from disgraced finishing fourth in the July Cup at Newmarket and boasts obvious claims under regular partner Adam Kirby.