One of the highlights of the Summer gets under orders this afternoon with the four-day Ebor meeting at York.
The feature on Wednesday is the Group One Juddmonte International (3.40pm) that usually serves up a race to savour. This year is no different and crack three-year-old Australia trained by Aidan O’Brien dips his hoof into the all-aged waters for the first time.
The dual Derby winner is odds-on too see off some worthy rivals in Telescope and Eclipse winner Mukhadram – but it’s hard to see him getting turned over.
While his two Derby wins have come over 1m 4f – the speed he showed when third in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket suggests the 1m 2f trip today could be his best.
Regular pilot Joseph O’Brien has starved himself to do the weight and provided he doesn’t get distracted by the food stalls in the home straight – I expect him to win for Team Ballydoyle.
Aidan O’Brien also has a fancied runner in recent Galway Festival winner Jamaica who lines up in the Group 3 Acomb Stakes (2.30pm).
He’s joined at the head of the market by Richard Hannon’s Basateen – another powerhouse stable when it comes to progressive two-year-olds.
But I’m going to look beyond both of them for today’s bet. The Brian Meehan-trained GROWL (2.30pm) was very impressive when winning what will likely prove a decent Ascot maiden at the end of July – and we’ve seen plenty of cash for him since we priced up this race.
He beat William Haggas’s Auspicion by two lengths on his debut and there could still be plenty of improvement to come on just his second start.