Racing: Gleneagles adds ‘classic’ element to Juddmonte

Top Juddmonte International fancy, Gleneagles.
Top Juddmonte International fancy, Gleneagles.
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NEXT week’s Juddmonte International at York will be every inch a ‘classic’ with Gleneagles heading for a fascinating clash with Derby hero Golden Horn in Wednesday’s Juddmonte International.

The Galileo colt has enjoyed a tremendous campaign for Aidan O’Brien, winning the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Irish equivalent before a brilliant display in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Connections have been keen to stick to a mile.

And, after missing the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood due to unsuitable ground, he looked set to cross the Channel for Sunday’s Group One Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville.

However, O’Brien feels conditions at Deauville will be against his star three-year-old.

And, as a result, he is set to step up to a mile and a quarter for the first time on the Knavesmire next Wednesday.

“The chances of him running in the Prix Jacques le Marois on Sunday are unfortunately fading with the forecast,” said O’Brien.

“I’ve always considered Gleneagles a true miler but he needs good fast ground to be seen at his best therefore York will probably be his next race as we are running out of options with him.

“It’s a very sporting gesture by his owners.”

Golden Horn is currently a best priced 4-6 favourite for the Juddmonte ahead of Gleneagles at 10-3.

The improving Time Test is next in the betting at 5-1 for Roger Charlton ahead of Kevin Ryan’s Hambleton hopeful The Grey Gatsby at 10-1.

The Ryan yard suffered a blow this week with the news that Group One-winning sprinter Astaire has been put down after suffering a bout of colic.

The son of Intense Focus enjoyed a tremendous juvenile campaign in 2013, clinching top-level honours in the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.

His three-year-old campaign was more of a struggle, but he got back on the winning trail earlier this year in the Abernant Stakes at Newmarket and ran a tremendous race in defeat when third in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.

Astaire was last seen finishing down the field in the July Cup.

Confirming the news on Twitter, Ryan said: “Sadly Astaire passed away on Sunday due to colic.

“He was tough and classy and will be sorely missed. Thank you to all who helped him.”