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Roaring Lion impossible to tame in International

22 Aug 2018

Grey puts rivals to the sword under Oisin Murphy in York feature

Roaring Lion and Murphy power home in the Juddmonte International. Picture: Steven Cargill / Racingfotos.com

Roaring Lion put six other Group 1 winners in their place with a commanding victory in the Juddmonte International at York.

The John Gosden-trained grey, owned by Qatar Racing and ridden by Oisin Murphy, has thrived on his racing this year and put up easily a career best to win the QIPCO British Champions Series contest by three and a quarter lengths at 3-1.

Poet’s Word, winner of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and QIPCO-sponsored King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, was his closest pursuer, with Thundering Blue, who had been supplemented for £75,000, a staying-on third. Saxon Warrior, the QIPCO 2000 Guineas winner, was fourth.

“He’d been training exceptionally well,” Gosden said. “We’ve made no secret of the fact he worked on the July Course the other day with Rab Havlin on board and went very well.

“He’s a proper horse who has got bigger and stronger as the year has gone on.

“He’s a mile and a quarter horse through and through and I’d have been very disappointed if he hadn’t run like that today.”

Considering future targets, the trainer added: “He won’t be going for the Arc. The QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes is an obvious possibility, as is Ascot (QIPCO Champion Stakes).

“I think you should savour a race like this, see how the horse is in the next ten days and then make plans.

“I’ll be disappointed if he’s retired at the end of the season. He’s just getting good.”

Roaring Lion was never far off the pace and quickened up smartly. He would not have won by so far had Poet’s Word not met trouble in running but was still much the best.

Sir Michael Stoute took the defeat of Poet’s Word on the chin.

He said: “James [Doyle] said it was very messy and he had to switch direction. We thought we were in a good position turning in and then we were in the worst position.

“He was very brave to then get balanced and come back and get second so I could only be pleased with him. The winner had gone when we were reorganising.”

Menuisier was rightly proud of his gallant grey Thundering Blue. He said: “I’m extremely pleased. When we looked at the final declarations, we all had a good laugh, but the horse told us he was super well.

“I’m so proud of him. The way he came home, against that calibre of opposition, I’d like to think he can win a Group 1.

“The Canadian International has always been on our minds and I’d love to be invited to the Japan Cup.”