York Ebor Festival 2015: Juddmonte International Stakes preview (15.40)
Classic winners Gleneagles and Golden Horn go ahead-to-head in a cracking renewal of the Juddmonte Stakes at York (15.40), and the former is taken to come out on and bag another Group 1 success.
The Aidan O’Brien trained colt is a five-time Group 1 winner, albeit disqualified in one of those when landing the Prix Jean-Luc Lagadare at Longchamp as a juvenile, and put in a stunning display on seasonal reappearance when landing the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.
After racing in touch on the stands side, Gleneagles made smooth headway two from home to take up the running at the furlong marker and quicken clear to beat Territories by 2 1/4 lengths.
That turn of pace shown by Gleneagles marked him out as something very special, and the beautifully bred son of Galileo followed up with success in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh.
The three-year-old didn’t get the clearest of passages, but again showed a smart turn of foot to mow down the leaders and get up and score by 3/4 of a length.
Gleneagles then had little difficulty landing the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot when last seen in action, travelling powerfully throughout an scooting clear in impressive fashion a furlong from home to win easily by 2 1/2 lengths.
Connections have now decided to gamble and step Gleneagles up to 1m 2f for the first time, but he is bred to get the trip and I can’t see it being a problem.
Golden Horn is unbeaten in five starts and put in a scintillating performance when landing the Investec Derby at Epsom by 3 1/2 lengths.
The John Gosden trained colt made smooth headway two from home under Frankie Dettori, and after taking up the running a furlong from home sprinted clear to win going away.
It was a performance which oozed class, and Golden Horn has since gone on to land the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse at Sandown in impressive fashion when taking on older horses for the first time.
That win earned Golden Horn an official rating of 130, the same as what Frankel had at the same stage of his career, and the son of Cape Cross is rated 8lb superior to Gleneagles.
As brilliant as Golden Horn undoubtedly is, I am not convinced that he has done enough to earn such a lofty rating and be compared in some quarters to Frankel and also don’t believe that there is much between him and Gleneagles.
Coral’s betting tip – I can see Gleneagles getting a lovely tow into the race, and his potent turn of pace can prove the telling factor in what is a mouthwatering clash.