Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Juddmonte International - Al Kazeem needs to overcome Toronado

There are only 2 names to remember for Wednesday's Juddmonte International at York; Al Kazeem and Toronado. I cannot see any of the other contenders preventing one of these 2 landing the main prize.
AK will be aiming for a 4th successive Group 1 win. It is amazing that the 5-year old son of Dubawi was not even a Group 1 winner until this year, although there was little doubt that he was high-class. The vibes from connections are very positive and the fact that he's coming in after 46 days of rest should have him optimally fit. I cannot see him out of the first 2.

Toronado will be the one to play spoilers. Officially the best miler in Europe on ratings, he will be adventuring at the 10 furlong distance for the first time. Being by High Chaparral, there is every chance that he has the distance in him. The way he won the Sussex Stakes leaves room for confidence that the distance is within his cords. But it is also true that trainer Richard Hannon's main successes have mostly been with races up to a mile. So that leaves a big question mark as to how well prepared or trained has Toronado been for a mile and a quarter showdown with a top-class and battle-tested horse like AK. On the positive side, he will be in receipt of 7 pounds from AK, so that could aid his cause in making the difference.

I strongly think those 2 will share the first 2 spots. I have a slight preference for AK for the win but won't be surprised if Toronado just edged the battle in a photo. At current odds, both look good Place values as well.

Win: Al Kazeem
Place: Al Kazeem, Toronado

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