Juddmonte International: Lion roars on the Knavesmire

By Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter
Wed 22 Aug 2018

Watch a full replay Juddmonte International won by Roaring Lion at York on Wednesday and Lydia Hislop's interview with John Gosden and read our live report from the Knavesmire.

Roaring Lion stormed to an emphatic victory in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York on Wednesday.

The Coral-Eclipse Stakes hero who was sent off 3-1, had impressed in the Dante Stakes on his previous visit to the Knavesmire in May and improved on that with an authoritative display.

The Qatar Racing roan colt could now well remain in training as a four-year-old, but more imminently is likely to head to Leopardstown for next month's Irish Champion Stakes, for which he is 7-4 favourite with William Hill.

Trainer John Gosden said of the race: "He's run a lovely race. They went an honest pace. You'd got Dubai World Cup winners in there, Poet's Word came at him and ran a blinder. There were no hiding places out there.

"We were delighted with him - I was expecting a big performance from him.

"This horse ran a great race in the Derby. He won his Eclipse well and he's got better through the season. He's got bigger and stronger.

"He had a difficult spring, but he's done nothing but improve since."

He went on: "He's a mile-and-a-quarter horse through and through and I'd have been very disappointed if he hadn't run like that today.

"He won't be going for the Arc. The Irish Champion is an obvious possibility, as is Ascot (Champion Stakes).

"I would run him on good to soft ground, but I wouldn't want to run him on soft - that is the only proviso I have. He has a beautiful action.

"A good mile-and-a-quarter horse gets a mile and a half in America, but the Breeders' Cup Turf is a long way off.

"I think you should savour a race like this, see how the horse is in the next 10 days and then make plans.

"I'll be disappointed if he's retired at the end of the season. He's just getting good."

Powering past Benbatl, who had hit the front two furlongs from home, Roaring Lion (3-1) quickly went clear under Oisin Murphy to give the jockey and trainer John Gosden their first triumph in the mile-and-a-quarter showpiece.

King George victor Poet's Word, the 8-5 favourite, stuck on well for second place, after being short of room at a crucial stage in the straight, but was still three and a quarter lengths behind the convincing winner.

Thundering Blue came home strongly to claim third and vindicate the decision of owner Clive Washbourn and trainer David Menuisier to supplement the 50-1 chance at a cost of £75,000, earning £114,000 for their enterprise.

Saxon Warrior was fourth for Aidan O'Brien.

Murphy said: "They have really nailed getting him 100% and how good is he? He is unbelievable. He was outstanding today and it is a pleasure to ride him."

"I knew how good some of the other horses were around me, but I had to get a good tow and have a little bit of confidence."

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