Postponed to face 12 runners in Juddmonte International Stakes at York
David Metcalf | August 15, 2016
Postponed 6/4 to triumph in Juddmonte International mission
Postponed will face 12 rivals in the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes at York on Wednesday, and is 6/4 with Coral to land the 1m 2f feature contest on the opening day of the Ebor Festival.
The son of Dubawi won his last five starts and is unbeaten in three since joining trainer Roger Varian.
In the last of those at Epsom, the five-year-old put in a scintillating display when landing the Group 1 Coronation Cup over a mile-and-a-half by 4 1/2 lengths from Found and arguably putting in the best performance of his career so far.
Postponed subsequently missed defending his crown in King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot after suffering a respiratory infection, but will be bidding for a first Group 1 victory over 1m 2f on the Knavesmire.
Highland Reel the number on hope for O’Brien
Aidan O’Brien and Sir Michael Stoute have trained a joint-record five previous winners of the contest apiece.
The former struck with Giant’s Causeway (2000), Duke of Marmalade (2008), Rip Van Winkle (2010), Declaration of War (2013) and Australia (2014).
O’Brien will be represented by Highland Reel (11/2) and Sir Isaac Newton (33/1) after Investec Derby runner-up US Army Ranger was pulled out of the race in Mondays 48-hour declaration stage.
The globe-trotting Highland Reel looks the stable’s number one hope, having shown a tremendous attitude to make all and land last month’s King George at Ascot by 1 1/4 lengths.
That was his fourth win at the highest level having previously scored in Ireland, America, and Hong Kong.
Arab Spring and Exosphere will relish the forecast ground
Stoute’s last Juddmonte International winner was Notnowcato in 2006. In this year’s renewal he saddles Arab Spring (20/1) and Exosphere (33/1), who will both relish the forecast fast ground.
Arab Spring has always been held in high regard, running very well on his belated return to action when third to Royal Artillery in the Group 3 Rose Of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock earlier in the month.
The six-year-old is entitled to strip much fitter for that outing, but will need to improve dramatically to get competitive in such a hot contest.
Exosphere took his form to a new level on seasonal reappearance when romping to a four-length success in the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket, yet has failed to progress as expected in two subsequent outings.
However, the four-year-old found the soft ground against him in the first of those at Royal Ascot, and then wasn’t totally disgraced when third to the enterprisingly ridden Big Orange in the Group 2 Princess Of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket.
Hawkbill a huge player
Coral-Eclipse winner Hawkbill is 4/1 second-favourite, and thus a major contender for Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby.
He is one of just two three-year-old entrants in the field, along with John Gosden’s King George runner-up and Dante winner Wings Of Desire (12/1).
Hawkbill dug deep to beat The Gurkha by 1/2 a length in the Sandown showpiece. That form has been franked with the French 2,000 Guineas winner. having since come out and landed the Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood in impressive fashion.
The son of Kitten’s Joy is now unbeaten in his last six starts and is clearly on a serious upward curve.
The Grey Gatsby bids to make it third time lucky
The Grey Gatsby has been placed in the last two renewals of the Juddmonte International, and the popular grey is 12/1 with Coral to make it third time lucky.
Trained by Kevin Ryan, the five-year-old has not been at his best in two starts this season, but is a class act when on-song as he showed when beating Australia in the 2014 running of the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes at the Curragh.
The Grey Gatsby also has course and distance winning form to his name, but the big question is whether he still retains the level of ability to get involved against up and coming and in-form rivals?
French challenger Dariyan, Summer Mile winner Mutakayyef, Prince of Wales’s Stakes hero My Dream Boat and Almodovar complete the 2016 line-up.