Juddmonte International Stakes (British Champions Series) 2016 Preview

It’s not often we get 12 runners in this race and it’s not often they are of such a high calibre. It was a massive shock to most of us, David Elsworth excepted, when Arabian Queen at 50-1 held off Golden Horn but favourite backers had won 6 of the last 10 runnings so we were due an upset. Given that favourites statistic we need to look at who is actually capable of winning this race and perhaps by a process of elimination we can end up with a winner.

We can put a line through King Bolette because despite being blinkered for the first time he is over a stone below what’s required to win this race for all that he is definitely an improver. Similar statements apply to Almodvar and Arab Spring,although the latter will find a good race this year as he is clearly talented. At big prices the only one we can’t put a line through is Sir Isaac Newton who ran a good race at the top level last time and could easily run in to a place at around 33/1 but again he isn’t good enough to win.

Kevin Ryan says The Grey Gatsby doesn’t get the credit he deserves, after winning the Irish Champion Stakes last year and he finally has his ground for this event. If he wins this race he will get all the applause. It could be that 14/1 looks a big price with the very in form Danny Tudhope on board for the first time but somehow we think he will come up short. On the improver side comes Mutakayyef for William Haggas and Paul Hanagan and he is well entitled to have a crack at this grade. He trounced Dutch Connection over a mile who then won easily himself next time out and this 10 furlongs looks ideal, he only has to improve about another 4-5lbs to win this and he has had only 12 starts.

Sir Michael Stoute’s Exosphere probably needs softer ground to see the best of him and he hasn’t looked the same horse lately so we will swerve him for that reason alone. The French Raider Dariyan has ability and has been laid out for this race by Alain De-Royer Dupre and is worthy of consideration particularly on the back of his group 1 win at Saint Cloud earlier this year over this trip but he might just come up short on the stamina side in a truly run race.

That brings us to the Highland Reel argument and we are not in his camp. He was given an absolute peach of a ride having everything his own way to win the King George and despite that Wings of Desire was only a couple of lengths behind him. We think that is Group 2 winning form not Group 1 in what was a sub standard King George.

That leaves us with just two and they are the top two in the betting. Postponed who simply looked in a different league when winning on re-appearance for his new trainer at Epsom to win the Coronation Cup and for whom Royal Ascot was missed due to a “niggle”. No such excuse this time and he is apparently ready to do battle and that he will have to do to win this race. He will have to get past our fancy in the race Hawkbill. He has won his last 6 including lowering the colours of The Ghurka, His numbers look only a pound or two below that of Postponed and he gets the all-important 3 yo allowance which we think is the deal maker. So at each way prices he simply has to be backed given that we expect him to improve for this better surface, something he hasn’t raced on yet this year and his American breeding suggests he is crying out for it.

Selection:

2 units e/w Hawkbill  Bet Now On RaceBets.com

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