Juddmonte International Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) (Class 1) (3YO plus)
Winner £453,680 – 6 run
Advice: 1 pt win, 2 pts place Mukhadram (6/1 general, 5/4 Ladbrokes)
Mukhadram: Revealed himself as a Group 1 performer last season with fine efforts in Prince of Wales’s and Eclipse Stakes and after change of tactics didn’t work at Royal Ascot this year, was superb from the front (with great ride) to land the Eclipse in fine style; Front running proved profitable that day but very solid King George effort upped in trip at Ascot (when just behind Telescope) entitles him to respect dropped back in distance here.
Telescope: Long been highly rated but taken time to come to the boil this season, although always wanted faster ground and when he’s gotten it, has posted two top efforts, trashing Hardwicke rivals and then coming a well beaten but creditable second to Taghrooda in King George (just ahead of Mukhadram); Can make a bold bid but dropping back in trip may not suit (laboured most efforts at this trip) and could struggle to confirm form with Hggas charge.
Arod: Quickly developed into a very smart colt and Derby fourth comes with extra credit given that he was bumped back midrace and may have appreciated an easier track; Only just behind The Grey Gatsby the time before and further improvement may be forthcoming so unwise to discount.
Australia: Huge amount of hype surrounding him from juvenile days but went a long way to proving it with comprehensive Epsom Derby win after promise of Guineas third (Irish Derby walkover proved nothing); Form of Epsom success could’ve worked out better (runner up Kingston Hill ran with credit in Eclipse) but from way he travelled and finished his race, this trip should prove to be his optimum and the right move for his first appearance against older horses and will be hard to beat.
Kingfisher: More than a useful horse in own right as Dee Stakes win shows but best of a bad bunch when chasing second in the Irish Derby and pacemaker again today.
The Grey Gatsby: Dante win here came as a shock to many but proved it to be no fluke at all with an empathic Prix Du Jockey Club win that saw him trash best French 3yo colts; Nowhere near as good in the Grand Prix De Paris but the dire ground put paid to his chances there and best to be seen of him today.
VERDICT: The first time we see Australia taking on his elders at a trip that should prove to be his optimum, and he’s expected to take the beating today. But this is no walkover in terms of the opposition coming from his elders or his peers at the likely prices he can be taken on with MUKHADRAM. William Haggas’s 5 year old has had a stellar season and back to his best trip after a creditable third just behind Telescope in the King George, he should take some catching and can serve it up to the odds on shot.