Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 September 2020

Godolphin’s Ghaiyyath aims to maintain winning form at York

Charlie Appleby-trained five-year-old runs in Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes

Jockey William Buick rides Ghaiyyath to victory in The Eclipse Stakes at Sandown. AFP
Jockey William Buick rides Ghaiyyath to victory in The Eclipse Stakes at Sandown. AFP

Godolphin’s Ghaiyyath goes into Wednesday's Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes at York on the back of superb form with hopes high of extending his winning run to four from as many races.

The Charlie Appleby-trained five-year-old has won all three races this year and is expected to stretch that record in a field that includes Aidan O’Brien’s multiple Group 1 winner Magical, the 2000 Guineas hero Kameko and the Group 1 Prince Of Wales Stakes victor Lord North.

The feature race of the four-day Ebor Festival has drawn only five runners but it’s a quality field and Appleby is excited to be part of it.

“This could be one of the best races of the season, and it is exciting to be part of it,” Appleby told the Godolphin website.

“It is the first time the top three-year-olds will be taking on the older horses at this [over 10 furlong] trip.

“The Juddmonte was always the plan for Ghaiyyath. He has proven himself at the highest level, most recently in the Eclipse, where he was coming back in distance.”

Ghaiyyath began the year with an emphatic victory over stable companion Spotify in the Group 3 Dubai Millennium Stakes in the Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan on February 20.

Since then, he has won the Group 1 Coronation Cup Stakes in a new track-record time at Newmarket in June and the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse over the champion mare Enable at Sandown Park in July.

“I’ve been asked whether I was surprised the way he won the Coronation Cup, and the honest answer is ‘no,” Appleby said.

“You don’t win a Group 1 by 14 lengths like he did in Germany [2019 Grosser Preis Von Baden] by being just an OK horse. You’ve got to be pretty special ... and he is special.

“That day at Baden Baden, the ground rode on the fast side of good. Before that, we thought he was more comfortable on a slower surface, but what he has shown us since on quicker ground knocks that theory out of the park.

“He’s the finished article now, and that has a lot to do with it. He’s shown that he has grown up mentally and physically, and he taken his races so well this season.

“He was digging deep over the final furlong in the Eclipse, yet he came back fine. It was no harder race for him than the Coronation Cup, which he won going an end-to-end gallop over a mile and a half in record time.

“He showed maturity at Sandown. He showed he was manageable in a race, which is the result of growing up.”

William Buick who has been on board in all three wins this year is in the saddle again.

Magical spearheads the challenge and she’s coming off two impressive Group 1 victories at the Curragh.

Kameko finished fourth in his last two starts in the Epsom Derby and the Group 1 Sussex Stakes while Lord North carries the hopes of Sheikh Zayed bin Mohammed. Completing the line-up is the Group 3 Musidora Stakes winner Rose Of Kildare.

Updated: August 19, 2020 08:22 AM

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