Roaring Lion followed up his win in the Coral Eclipse by running out an emphatic three and a quarter lengths victor of the Juddmonte International on the opening day of York's Ebor Festival. John Gosden's colt is now unbeaten in three starts over ten furlongs having also won the Dante Stakes in May. The Prince of Wales's Stakes and King George winner Poet's Word met trouble in running on the stands rail but didn't have the speed of the winner. The 2000 Guineas winner Saxon Warrior held every chance but wasn't good enough. Perhaps a mile is his optimum trip. Roaring Lion has now beaten Aidan O'Brien's three times from a handful of meetings.
Godolphin won the Great Voltigeur Stakes courtesy of Old Persian who was returning from a 53 days break having finished sixth in the Irish Derby last time. Successful in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, he battled on gamely to deny stablemate Cross Counter by a head. However, I feel the horse to take from the race is the third Kew Gardens. Ballydoyle's Queens Vase and Grand Prix de Paris winner was forced to carry a five pounds penalty and he was staying on well at the death. Only beaten a length and a half, his stamina is proven and he looks the one they all have to beat in the St Leger next month. The big local hope Wells Farrh Go was back in fourth nearly five lengths behind Old Persian. Tim Easterby's charge was tapped for speed when the tempo lifted and found this an insufficent test on fast ground. A mile and six, especially with some ease underfoot, will be more to his liking on Town Moor.
With the exception of Tommy Taylor in the opener, the selections in the York Ebor Update all ran well producing form figures of 201222. Phoenix of Spain looked a smart colt when winning the Group 3 Acomb Stakes by a length and a half. A half-brother to the likes of Central Square and Lucky Beggar, he will have no trouble staying a mile with the Racing Post Trophy touted as a possible end of season target. In the meantime, it would surprise me if he took in the Champagne Stakes at the same venue next month. Final Venture ran a cracker in the five and a half furlongs handicap. Paul Midgley's gelding attempted to make all but was run out of it close home by El Astronaute. With hindsight, Oisin Murphy may have been better off riding his mount with a bit more restraint. He still ran very well though.
Top 40 Prospects entry Extra Elusive (7/4) appreciated the step up to twelve furlongs at Kempton on Wednesday evening. Roger Charlton's Mastercraftsman colt had finished second at Ascot last time over ten furlongs and he ran out a cosy two lengths winner to make it three career wins from only four starts. There is a decent race in him between now and the end of the season.
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