Roger Charlton’s Al Kazeem will clash with Toronado in the Juddmonte International Stakes on the first day of the York Ebor Festival
Unbeaten in the last two seasons Al Kazeem will look to add another Group One prize to his haul when he runs in the Juddmonte International Stakes. Impressive in the Coral Eclipse, the Roger Charlton five-year-old will have to fend off challenges from the two young pretenders Toronado and Trading Leather. Toronado finally showed his true potential when beating Dawn Approach in the Duel on the Downs in the Sussex Stakes last month. The extra furlongs will provide an additional test to the Hannon colt but will be relished by Jim Bolger’s Trading Leather. The Irish Derby winner was outclassed by Novellist at Ascot and will find his rivals too strong again at York. Hillstar and Declaration Of War are both quality performers but should not figure in this classy affair.
The Great Voltigeur will see the reappearance of Telescope after his defeat in the Rose of Lancaster Stakes. Highly regarded by connections the three-year-old will be a strong favourite to get back to winning ways. Telescope will not find it easy and with Foundry the main danger.
CROCKFORD’S DEAD CERT – AL KAZEEM (INTERNATIONAL 3.40)
A revelation this season Al Kazeem has come out as the leading middle distance competitor. With the Arc and the Champion Stakes as his possible end of year targets this will be a winning stepping stone to his final swan song in the autumn. The young pretenders Toronado and Trading Leather will not enough to beat him.
CROCKFORD’S WHISPER – FOUNDRY E/W (GREAT VOLTIGEUR 3.05)
An easy winner of his only start last season, O’Brien will have him ready for this Group Two contest. Telescope has been much touted but now looks exposed by his recent Haydock defeat. Foundry is good for at least a place at attractive odds. It would certainly be worth considering an ante post St Leger gamble with his pre-race price of 25/1.
Crockford’s Ebor Festival Gambles:
Bogart e/w and Zero Money (1.55)
First Flight (Acomb Stakes 2.30)
Foundry e/w (Great Voltigeur 3.05)
Al Kazeem (International 3.40)
(Featured Photograph – Toronado in the Sussex Stakes by Stuart Rice)