JUDDMONTE STAKES RACE PREVIEW
1. Cougar Mountain. Rated 119. Group 3 winner. Cougar Mountain is one of three Aidan O’Brien entries here and certainly is by no means a horse that we shouldn’t take note of. He won well over 1m in Ireland last week and on official ratings is just 3lb lower than Gleneagles. However, he doesn’t receive the weight-for-age allowance and should be outclassed. Current best price 50-1.
2. Criterion. Rated 120. Group 3 winner in Australia. This Aussie raider was beaten 3L by Free Eagle (and The Grey Gatsby) in the Price of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot and there shouldn’t be too much progression in him. He also carries 9st6 as he does not receive the weight-for-age allowance. Current best price 33-1.
3. Dick Doughtywylie. Rated 99. Class 1 Listed winner. Anthony Oppenheimer has supplemented this horse to act as Golden Horn’s pacemaker for the race, to ensure it is a truly ran race. This is interesting in itself. Is Mr Gosden concerned about Gleneagles’ pace and thus wants to avoid a sprint finish? It certainly adds another dimension to the race for sure. Current best price 200-1.
4. The Grey Gatsby. Rated 123. Double Group 1 winner & Group 2 winner. The Grey Gatsby has been an extremely consistent horse over the past year or so and must be respected. He beat the class act that is Australia last year in Ireland, has since finished a very unlucky runner up to Free Eagle at Ascot and for a long time in the Eclipse looked like he may beat Golden Horn. He cannot be taken lightly, and current prices looks to be an attractive bet. The one unfortunate negative to this horse is that there is no Ryan Moore on board, but Jamie Spencer gets on well with the horse and has shown the last twice that he can be in the mix. Current best price 11-1.
5. Gleneagles. Rated 122. 5 time Group 1 winner including brilliant winner of the 2000 Guineas. Group 2 and Group 3 winner. The accolades aforementioned show what a class act this horse is. He relaxes, he travels, and he quickens. And yet I am talking about a horse who is not favourite for this race. Why? The Trip. For the past few months Aidan O’Brien has talked about being this horse being “the best miler he has ever had”. Miler. That word sticks out to me. His breeding, and in the fact he travels so well in races, does indicate that a step up to this distance would be no problem. But it is a question mark that needs answering. Is a price of 10-3 worth the risk? Current best price 10-3.
6. Golden Horn. Rated 130. Double Group 1 winner including superb winner of the Derby & Eclipse. Group 2 winner. When this horse won by a neck on debut in 2014, or even when he beat Peacock on his reappearance this season, did we really think we would be talking about him being odds on for the Juddmonte? But this is the situation we find ourselves in and the horse has dealt with everything thrown at him. He dealt with a trip at Epsom that experts said he would struggle at. He dealt with making the running at Sandown. And now his rating speaks for himself. 130! There are simply no question marks for this horse to answer and if the ground had stayed in good condition at Ascot we would be talking about a horse that has won 4 of the biggest prizes a middle distance 3 year old can win. The superstar of the field. Current best price 8-11.
7. Time Test. Rated 116. Group 3 winner. It’s clear that what this horse has achieved doesn’t justify a price of 11-2. But it is the manner in which he won the Group 3 at Ascot, and the belief that his brilliant trainer Roger Charlton has of this horse that leads punters to believe that he has a genuine chance in this race. Ryan Moore was a huge fan of this horse when he won at Newbury. Frankie the same at Ascot. A horse with such a powerful travelling action and a horse that hasn’t really been tested yet. He is another genuine challenger to Golden Horn’s throne at the top of the pecking order and listening to Roger Charlton over the past few days he certainly isn’t putting people off his chances. Current best price 11-2.
8. Arabian Queen. Rated 109.Group 2 and Group 3 winner. A horse that runs exuberantly from the front but should be outclassed by the rest of this field. Current best price 66-1.
How do we see the race panning out? It really could go a number of ways but the addition of the pacemaker will help Golden Horn, and will also help The Grey Gatsby, and you can see these taking over from the 2f pole. Time Test may sit a little further off the pace as he has done the previous two starts. Where does that leave Gleneagles? Most likely he will sit off the pace too, maybe tracking Golden Horn and hope that his speed will carry him through.
How do we bet? The bookies have priced this race up intriguingly. The price about Gleneagles looks appealing, but he does have a question mark over the trip and in my book the price is fair. The same with Time Test; he certainly could win this race, but needs to prove that he can step up into Group 1 company. One that sticks out is The Grey Gatsby. 11-1 for a double Group 1 winner, who is proven over the distance and only finds himself a few lengths off the jolly on current form. But like many racing fans I couldn’t deny Golden Horn another Group 1, and to see him and Frankie flash past the winning post would be another brilliant sight in this lightly raced 3 year olds glittering career to date.
Written By Max Whiting
Blog Writer for JPW Racing Tipster