Trainer John Oxx has given the green light for Sea The Stars to contest Tuesday’s Juddmonte International (G1) at York.
The Curragh-based conditioner said the Cape Cross colt would not start if there was too much give in the ground. “The rain didn’t arrive and, in that respect, everything’s looks favourable,” Oxx said. “The track is fair and looks very suitable.”
Sea The Stars is coming off G1 triumphs in the English 2000 Guineas, Epsom Derby and Eclipse Stakes. The Juddmonte was reduced to just four runners after Tartan Bearer was withdrawn on Monday.
Ballydoyle trainer Aidan O’Brien saddles all three of the champion colt’s rivals. Bookmakers have installed Sea The Stars as a 1-3 favourite with St James’s Palace Stakes winner Mastercraftsman at 2-1. The other two runners, Georgebernardshaw and Set Sail, are 200-1 outsiders.
“I don’t know what Aidan is thinking in terms of how the race will be run, but the presence of pacemakers in the field is what I expected,” Oxx commented. “We shall assess the situation nearer start time, but ultimately the tactics will be down to Mick (Kinane).
“If they make it a fast pace they will hardly be ignored, but then again they might well go a slow pace. In any event, our horse has speed and flexibility.”
The Juddmonte is timed for 12.25am (AEST) tonight. Earlier in the evening (11.15pm), Godolphin’s highly regarded juvenile Poet’s Voice will run in the G3 Acomb Stakes with Frankie Dettori aboard.
The Dubawi colt was a ten length winner at Newarket last month and has been installed a 6-4 favourite for the Acomb. Elusive Pimpernel (Elusive Quality) and Mata Keranjang (More Than Ready) are on the next line at 5-1.