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, while Roaring Lion won in 2018 en route to being named Cartier Horse of the Year.
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), Aidan O’Brien 6 wins (2000, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2019)