0.5Pts EW Arabian Queen @100/1, Juddmonte International Stakes, York 15:40

0.5Pts EW Arabian Queen @100/1, Juddmonte International Stakes, York 15:40

The ten-furlong, Group One Juddmonte International is upon us. It’s been touted the race of the decade, but I’m not so sure. Despite boasting three classic winners with eight Group One wins between them, it’s not got the depth or international flavour of an Arc field.

They hype surrounds dual-Guineas winner Gleneagles and unbeaten Derby/Eclipse winner Golden Horn. Both swerved respective Group One engagements at Deauville and Ascot due to ground concerns and, with York remaining dry, here they are.

Golden Horn has nothing to prove and has already achieved a lofty rating of 130, equalling Frankel at the same age. He impressively won the Dante over course and distance in May, before making a mockery of stamina concerns by landing the Derby in commanding style. He then beat four-year olds for the first time when returning to his favoured ten-furlong trip in the Coral Eclipse, seeing off a tough challenge from the re-opposing The Grey Gatsby by 3 1/2 lengths. Soft ground appears the only logic that stands when opposing this horse, so can he be beaten with the dry forecast?

Ante-post favourites do have a tendency to drift, but bookies are terrified of horses like Golden Horn and it’s unlikely. If anyone does stick their neck out and go evens or better, we’d advise you take it, but at 8/11 there’s not much point. He’s so good that I don’t particularly think that’s an unfair price, so go ahead and beef up some accumulators and don’t bother with the single.

I’m not convinced Gleneagles will be able to cope with The Grey Gatsby in his own back yard and over his favourite trip, let alone Golden Horn. Other than his excellent Newmarket win, he’s rarely looked unbeatable this season and the extra two furlongs could blunt his potent turn of foot. He also has Joseph O’Brien on board, which I have to say is a negative. With a strong pace guaranteed by the two pacemakers in the field, his stamina will be stretched and there’s every chance he could blow up and come flat last.

Similar logic can be applied to the unexposed Time Test, who bolted up at Royal Ascot under hands and heels. He could be anything, but right now he’s pure hype. I’d like to see a bigger price to roll the dice against a horse rated 130, so while the 11/2 suggests market confidence, it also lacks value to make it worthwhile.

Arabian Queen is no slouch, as evidenced by her good third behind Legatissimo in the Nassau and Group Three win at Epsom in June, yet she’s been quoted at 100/1 by Bet365 and you’ll find more on Betfair. I’m muddled by the entry, but also intrigued. Being a three-year-old filly she receives weight from her male rivals, especially the four-year-olds. Her trainer also points out that this year’s crop of three-year-old fillies is a strong one – I agree – and that the form-lines are yet to cross with the colts. Add that to the fact she’s stepping up in trip and she’s actually very unexposed.

The handicapper certainly takes a dim view of her chances, rating Golden Horn a full 21lbs higher, but, with two of the eight declared runners being pacemakers and Gleneagles not certain to stay, it really isn’t far-fetched that she could run into the places. The place part of the each way bet pays a whopping 25/1 so, whilst speculative, it looks good value.

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