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The Juddmonte International Stakes

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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 became the latest superstar to capture the race in 2012 as he recorded his 13th success from as many starts with a seven-length demolition of his rivals.

The dual Derby winner, Australia, won it in 2014, making Aidan O’Brien joint with Sir Michael Stoute with five victories.

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, 5 wins (1986, 1993-4, 1997, 2006), Aidan O’Brien, 5 wins (2000, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2014)

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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Ulysses proves one in a million for Stoute

Ulysses put his younger rivals in the shade for a second time by landing the Juddmonte International Stakes at York.

The Coral-Eclipse winner was always coasting in the £1million showpiece, which forms part of the QIPCO British Champions Series, and when Jim Crowley invited him to hit the front a furlong out the response was instant.

Ulysses won by two lengths from Churchill, the QIPCO 2000 Guineas winner, with Barney Roy, the St James’s Palace winner, another nbeck away in third. The trio pulled well clear of Derby runner-up Cliffs Of Moher.

Having also finished second in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained winner was again showing what a tough and honest horse he is.

“It all just went so smoothly and there was never a blip,” Stoute, winning his sixth Juddmonte, said. “I think it was his best performance to date. He’s become a very professional athlete now.

“York is a different track to Sandown, it’s so level, and I never had any worries the way he was travelling. I think it’s time to give him a break and work backwards from the Breeders’ Cup Turf. The owners are keen to go for that. We’ll go home and work it out.”

Comparing Ulysses to some of his previous winners of the race, Stoute said: “He is taking his races so well, he’s got everything. I think he is as good at 12 furlongs, don’t forget the King George was run in a swamp, it wasn’t ideal conditions for him. Today’s performance would put him up there, if not in front of them.”

Crowley said: “He seems to like being ridden with confidence. He is improving and today is the best feel I have got off him to be honest and he seems to be getting better and better.

“I always had plenty of horse. Today he relaxed so nicely and he just lobbed round. When I got there he got there quite soon, I just had to nurse him along to make sure he got there.”

Churchill was sent off the 5-2 favourite and Aidan O’Brien, his trainer, said: “He ran very well and we are very happy with him. The ground wasn’t ideal, but he still ran well.

“Goodwood (withdrawn from Sussex Stakes following a downpour) messed us up really as we were ready to run there, but you can’t do anything about the weather. The Irish Champion Stakes is very possible, but he would have to be very well.”

Barney Roy’s trainer Richard Hannon said: “That was another very solid run. They took each other on a long way out and probably set it up for the winner.

“We might run him over 10 furlongs again, but a lot will depend on the ground. If it comes up soft we could go back to a mile with him. But we are certainly not ruling it out.”

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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