Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 12:55 17/08/2015
8 horses have been declared for Wednesday's Group 1 Juddmonte International, the highlight of York's Ebor Festival, for which it is all systems go regarding the mouth-watering clash between the unbeaten Investec Derby and Coral-Eclipse winner Golden Horn and dual Guineas hero Gleneagles, described by trainer Aidan O'Brien as "the best miler I have trained."
With both horses set to carry 8st 12lb against their elders it had been expected that the trainer's son - Joseph - would probably be aboard stablemate Cougar Mountain who is to shoulder 9st 6lb, as the jockey is finding it increasing difficult to get down to anything around the nine stone mark, never mind the 2lb less the English and Irish Guineas winner will carry on the Knavesmire this Wednesday, but following Monday's final declarations it was announced that he had been booked to ride Gleneagles with the mount on Cougar Mountain going to Seamie Heffernan, fresh from his Grade 1 victory aboard Highland Reel at Arlington Park at the weekend.
The only two horses to be withdrawn at the final forfeit stage were The Corsican and Mahsoob, meaning the biggest challenge to the 'big two' is likely to come from the improving Roger Charlton-trained Time Test who is unbeaten this season and produced one of the most impressive performances at Royal Ascot when winning the Group 3 Tercentenary Stakes and last year's runner-up to Australia - The Grey Gatsby - who seems to reserve his best for York and will enjoy a 3lb weight-for-age pull with Golden Horn following their epic dual at Sandown last month.
The field is completed by Criterion, the three-year-old filly Arabian Queen and Dick Doughtywylie who was supplemented last week to act as pacemaker for the 8-11 favourite ( best price Paddy Power ). Gleneagles is currently a top price 7-2 with Coral and William Hill while Time Test is a standout 11-2 with the Irish bookmaker. Kevin Ryan's French Derby winner can be backed at 12-1 with another Irish firm in Boylesports, with the remaing runners available at odds of 33-1 or bigger.