The Foxes faces a difficult task in the Juddmonte International but I reckon he can run a big race at York
YORK week is one of the most exciting of the entire year.
The racing is fiercely competitive and the atmosphere is very special.
If you were to bring someone over from another country to showcase the best of British racing, you would bring them to this meeting.
It’s a beautiful track and the crowd at York have a genuine love and interest in the horses, it really is a unique place.
We’ve had quite a bit of success at the course over the years, including with our Classic hero Chaldean in last year’s Acomb, while we’ve won the Lonsdale and Yorkshire Cups as well as plenty of big handicaps.
I’ll be staying up there for a few nights and hopefully we will have a winner or two to make the long journey home later in the week fly by.
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Mind you, THE FOXES (3.35) won’t even need to win to bank a huge amount of money in the Juddmonte International.
There are only four runners, which on the face of it might be a little disappointing, but as we saw in the Coral-Eclipse earlier in the year you don’t need a massive field to have a fascinating race.
It’s historically the best race of the season, given where it falls in the calendar and the prize-money on offer.
Even when I was a kid it was one of the most anticipated races of the summer, and you just have to look through the past winners to realise it’s a big race with a big history.
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We are under no illusions that we have ground to make up on the likes of Paddington and Mostahdaf.
The favourite has been ultra-impressive this season but, like Nashwa, he had a tough race on soft ground at Goodwood a couple of weeks ago.
No doubt Mostahdaf was one of the easiest winners at Royal Ascot when he bolted up in the Prince Of Wales’s, but he hasn’t won back-to-back races since 2021.
Our horse is going there fresh and in great form, while we know he loves the track having won the Dante over C&D back in May.
He has plenty of speed and he was desperately unlucky not to win a big pot in the US on his most recent run.
I think he will run a big race at a price – but even if he finished fourth he would earn £53,600 so it’s a no-brainer to have a crack.
We only have one other runner on day one, with the drying ground having ruled a few of our potential participants out.
There could be some rain around this week but it’s all a bit uncertain as regards what conditions are going to be like as the meeting progresses.
But AZTEC EMPIRE (4.10) should be perfectly fine on a decent surface and he ran a good race behind the Ebor favourite Sweet William last time out.
He travelled beautifully into the race that day but didn’t have quite the same turn of foot as the winner.
He was still keeping on nicely in third at the finish and we know he stays this two-mile trip strongly.
It’s hard to say if the handicapper has caught up with him yet, but he seems in good shape at home and I reckon he will be bang there at the finish.
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