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The Juddmonte International Stakes

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Roaring Lion
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History

The Juddmonte International Stakes, the last middle-distance QIPCO British Champions Series race before the QIPCO Champion Stakes provides the glittering climax to the category on QIPCO British Champions Day, is a race with a short but glorious history.

The event, run at York over 1 miles, 2 furlongs and 88 yards (2,090 metres), first appeared in 1972. But what an appearance! American-bred Roberto, a Derby winner and named after baseball star Roberto Clemente, became the first – and last – horse to beat Brigadier Gerard.

There have been other notable highlights in this Group 1 race for three-year-olds or older – Troy, the 1979 Derby winner, Commanche Run, the 1984 St Leger winner, two-time winner Halling and Giant’s Causeway, rated Europe’s top horse in 2000.

And then, of course, there was Sea The Stars, who took the race in 2009 – the same year he won an incredible six Group 1 races within six months, including the 2000 Guineas, Investec Derby and Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe.

Frankel captured the race in 2012 as he recorded his 13th success from as many starts with a seven-length demolition of his rivals. Derby winner Australia, won it two years later.

If you’re looking for the best quiz question concerning the Juddmonte International Stakes, then try this one – what is the family name of the jockey who has entered the winner’s enclosure six times? Answer – Dettori, with six wins (although only the last five of those went to Frankie. The first went to his father Gianfranco in 1976. That would have been a tad early for Frankie, who was five years old at the time).

Current leading jockey: Frankie Dettori, 5 wins (1996-7, 2001, 2004, 2007)
Current leading trainer: Sir Michael Stoute, 6 wins (1986, 1993-4, 1997, 2006, 2017)

Previous winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Prize money

Entries

Going/Track

Weather

No/Draw Horse/Jockey Age Form/Type BHA Rating Weight Trainer Odds

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Roaring Lion proves impossible to tame in International

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.”

Results

Position Horse Jockey Trainer Owner
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The Course

The city of York and its racecourse have a long and colourful history, involving – among others - the Vikings, the Romans, Pope John Paul II, highwayman Dick Turpin, and the Princess Royal.

There’s no official record of the Vikings racing horses at York – they apparently preferred sacking and pillaging – but the Romans certainly did, during the reign of Emperor Severus 2,000 years ago. Severus, indeed, breathed his final breath in ‘Eboracum’ – that’s Roman for York. So did Turpin. He was hanged at the Knavesmire racecourse site in 1739. Pope John Paul II enjoyed a friendlier reception, lauded by 200,000 pilgrims at an open-air mass in 1982, while Princess Anne also enjoyed huge support when winning the Queen Mother’s Cup on Insular in 1988.

The North Yorkshire track, voted Racecourse of the Year in 2003, continues to attract the crowds today, with around 350,000 flocking through the gates each year. York comes into its own during the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival in August, the meeting boasting such races as the Juddmonte International Stakes, part of the QIPCO British Champions Series, and the totesport Ebor Handicap. Lester Piggott won the Ebor Handicap a record five times – the first in 1958 and the last 25 years later, in 1983.

Getting there

Tadcaster Rd York,
York
YO23 1EX

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