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Review Of The Three Group 1’s At York’s Ebor Meeting: Roaring Lion And Sea Of Class Rule Supreme At York

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Juddmonte International Stakes

This year’s Juddmonte International looked just about the best middle-distance race of the season so far with the high-class field of eight including winners of the Dubai World Cup, Irish Derby, St James’s Palace Stakes, King George, 2000 Guineas and Eclipse. After taking the scalps of Cracksman and Crystal Ocean, both in Group 1’s at Ascot, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Poet’s Word was sent off the 8-5 favourite. But the mount of James Doyle, despite not enjoying the clearest of runs, could finish no closer than a three and a quarter length second to the hugely impressive Roaring Lion and jockey Oisin Murphy.

The son of Kitten’s Joy has improved with each of his six runs this season, an Epsom Derby third almost certainly the result of the grey’s stamina limitations, but over Wednesday’s trip of one mile two and a half furlongs John Gosden’s colt has no peer in Europe as things currently stand. The Irish Champion Stakes looks the next logical step for Roaring Lion with the 7-4 offered by William Hill the best price available.

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Darley Yorkshire Oaks

A hard-fought neck victory in the Irish Oaks by the William Haggas-trained Sea Of Class appeared a sound reason for those who chose to oppose the 7-4 market leader in York’s Group 1 for Fillies and Mares on Thursday. But after watching the daughter of Sea The Stars swoop past her rivals inside the final furlong there can be little doubt now that the three-year-old filly is out of the top drawer.

A worthy challenger to follow in the footsteps of Solemia, Treve, Found and Enable as recent female winners of the Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe Sea Of Class, despite needing to be supplemented, heads the ante-post market for Europe’s most valuable race at a top price 5-1 with Betfair Sportsbook alongside last year’s heroine Enable.

Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes

This Group 1 sprint looked at the mercy of Battaash – officially the fastest horse in the world – but, as was the case in the race 12 months ago, the son of Dark Angel failed to show his true form on the Knavesmire. Jim Crowley’s mount looked to have things under control when taking the lead inside the last two furlongs but only ran on at one pace as the unconsidered 40-1 chance Alpha Delphini just edged out Mabs Cross by a nose, the judge taking over five minutes to split the pair. The disappointing Battaash is now likely to head straight to France for the Prix de L’Abbaye, a race he won last season, for which he is 6-4 chance with Paddy Power and Sky Bet.

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