Dark horse Time Test ready to take on Classic heroes in ‘best race of the season’
17 Aug 2015
A wonderful field of eight runners, including both Golden Horn and Gleneagles, has been declared for the Juddmonte International at York on Wednesday with trainer Roger Charlton hopeful that his Royal Ascot winner Time Test can prove a worthy opponent.
Time Test is to take on the best in York’s Juddmonte International Stakes. Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.
Trainer Roger Charlton is brimful of enthusiasm about his emerging star, Time Test, ahead of an awesome renewal of Wednesday’s Juddmonte International at York in which the top three-year-olds Golden Horn and Gleneagles will take each other on for the first time.
Unbeaten Golden Horn has yet to put a foot wrong, winning both the Investec Derby and Coral-Eclipse in dominant style. He proved himself over this course and distance when landing the Dante Stakes in May and connections have insured against the race developing into a slowly-run, tactical affair by supplementing a pacemaker, Dick Doughtywylie, at a cost of £75,000.
Gleneagles is probably the fastest horse in the field but will he stay this extra two furlongs having done all his racing this season over a mile? He has been first past the post on each of his last eight starts (though unfortunate to be demoted by the stewards once last year) including in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, Irish 2000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes.
Time Test, meanwhile, is taking a big step up in class having not raced since landing the Group 3 Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot two months ago. But he won that event in imperious fashion, suggesting that he was capable of much better.
His trainer, Roger Charlton, said: "I believe that he has the potential to be a very smart colt and his Tercentenary Stakes win was not only visually very impressive, it was backed up by a very good time.
“He needs to step up from Group 3 company and we are under no illusions that the Juddmonte International probably represents the best race of the season but I am going into it in an optimistic frame of mind.
“It is very good news that there is a guaranteed strong pace as it would have been tough for Golden Horn to make the running again and we need to try and stretch Gleneagles’s stamina. Whatever wins will clearly be the best three-year-old in Europe.
“My yard has suffered a big loss with the retirement of Al Kazeem so it’s exciting to think that Time Test may be capable of stepping into his shoes.
“We are taking on the best and Time Test is just a Group 3 winner who is very much unproven but we want to give it a go."
The full list of runners (with jockeys) is as follows:
Arabian Queen (Sylvester de Sousa), Cougar Mountain (Seamie Heffernan), Criterion (Will Buick). Dick Doughtywylie (Rab Havlin), Gleneagles (Joseph O’Brien), Golden Horn (Frankie Dettori), The Grey Gatsby (Jamie Spencer), Time Test (Pat Smullen). (8)