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O'Brien chooses Magical to face Ghaiyyath in Juddmonte International

Tue 18 Aug 2020

Hot favourite Ghaiyyath is one of five high-quality runners in Wednesday's Juddmonte International at York.

The mile-and-a-quarter Group 1 contest, which forms part of the QIPCO British Champions Series, is the highlight on day one of the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival.

Charlie Appleby’s charge is bidding to complete a Group One hat-trick on Wednesday, following tremendous front-running victories in the Coronation Cup at Newmarket and the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.

But he is unlikely to have things all his own way on the Knavesmire, with plenty of quality among the opposition.

The Andrew Balding-trained Kameko claimed Classic glory in the 2000 Guineas in early June, since when he has finished fourth over a mile and a half in the Derby at Epsom and fourth over a mile in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

The son of Kitten’s Joy tackles the intermediate distance of a mile and a quarter for the first time this week in the hands of champion jockey Oisin Murphy, who was critical of himself at Goodwood.

Lord North is a major contender for John Gosden, judged on his brilliant display in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.

John Gosden gives his views on this year's Juddmonte International

Aidan O’Brien, who won the race for a joint-record sixth time with Japan 12 months ago, relies on the top-class mare Magical – a six-time winner in Group One company.

Roger Charlton’s Aspetar was taken out of the race late on Monday with a poor blood test result, leaving the Mark Johnston-trained Rose Of Kildare to complete the field. The fily scored over the course and distance last time out when winning the Musidora Stakes.

Ghaiyyath is bidding to complete a Group One hat-trick, following terrific front-running victories in the Coronation Cup at Newmarket and the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.

"We had a front-runner in Meydan (in the Dubai Millennium Stakes in February) thinking we'd be happy to take a lead, but they just aren't quick enough to be able to lead him," said Appleby.

"As a three-year-old, he also had a pacesetter (Stage Magic) in the Prix du Prince d'Orange and we sat in behind him, but he could only do it for so long.

"If something wants to go a gallop and we can sit in behind, we'd be just as happy. He's got a long stride and it's more a matter of letting him get into his own comfortable rhythm."

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