One of the most anticipated races of the entire season, the Juddmonte International is a Group 1 race that is contested over the 1m 2f trip at York. This is a race for the best of the best, with the role of honour including horses such as Halling, Sea The Stars, Rip Van Winkle, Australia, Postponed and most notably, Frankel. This renewal of the contest promises to be one of the most competitive in recent memory, with four Group 1 winners filling out the first four spots in the market currently. We’ve been busy digging deep into previous renewals of the race to find trends to help you find the winner.
- Four year olds do best – 50% of the winners since 2000 have been 4 Years Old, with Ulysses looking the strongest candidate at that age for Sir Michael Stoute
- Race fitness is crucial – All of the last eleven winners had run at least twice that season prior to the race
- Practice makes perfect – Seven out of the last eleven winners had previously won at the 1m 2f trip
- Class does prevail – Nine out of the last eleven winners had already won a Group 1
- Not a race for shocks – Nine of out of the past sixteen renewals have been won by the SP Favourite
From the trends, the pick would have to be the three year old Barney Roy for Richard Hannon and Godolphin, who fits most of the trends.
Although they have to concede seven pounds to their younger counterparts, four year old horses have enjoyed the most success in the contest since 2000, with eight of the past sixteen all being that age. You do however need to be a very classy horse to win the race conceding the weight, with the role of honour for older horses including Rip Van Winkle, Declaration Of War and Frankel. The market suggests the only real hope the older generation has is Ulysses, who had a tough race when second to Enable in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes only one month ago.
Speaking of tough races, race fitness is crucial as mentioned in the trends and although all the front runners in the field fit that bracket, some will arrive fresher than others. Ulysses arrives here on the back of a tough race at Ascot, whereas Barney Roy, who only lost to that rival by a nose in the Eclipse, hasn’t been seen since and will be ready to roll. Another who will arrive on the back of a break is Churchill, who does have something to prove on the back of his defeat to Barney Roy in the St James’s Palace but at his best has a huge chance if staying the trip. That incidentally leads us on well to our next point.
With seven out of the last eleven winners previously winning at this trip, it does cast a doubt about Churchill, who has not won past the mile trip. Granted, he hasn’t gone beyond it, but this race tends to favour those with proven stamina which has to cast doubt on him. Both Ulysses and Barney Roy have proven stamina, not forgetting that Highland Reel can also throw a spanner in the works if going from the front as he stays further. In terms of Group 1 winners, all four previously mentioned runners who dominate the market have already claimed Group 1 glory, so fit that bill perfectly.
Favourites tend to do very well in this race and that can be no surprise when you look at the roll of honour, as so many horses have used this as a springboard to stardom. The clear favourite at present is Barney Roy, who is a general 3/1 at the price of writing, with Churchill trailing him in at 7/2. Barney Roy is likely to continue to shorten as he’s a progressive three year old on the up and if the market is to be believed, he should strike a devastating blow for the Classic Generation.