October 2, 2023

Ghaiyyath bags third straight Group 1 in Juddmonte International

Ghaiyyath after his victory in the Juddmonte International (York Racecourse)

The summer of Ghaiyyath continued unabated Wednesday when the Godolphin standard bearer won his third Group 1 in succession, the Juddmonte International at York, by three lengths.

Favored at 11-10 in the pari-mutuel pool and 11-8 overseas on the strength of earlier wins in the Coronation Cup (G1) at Newmarket and the Eclipse (G1) at Sandown over Enable, Ghaiyyath dominated throughout.

Taking his customary position on the front end and only briefly challenged in the opening furlongs by outsider Rose of Kildare, Ghaiyyath bowled along under William Buick and, when asked for run in the final quarter-mile, responded readily to repel only a minor challenge from the mare Magical.

“This horse can do all the things most horses can’t,” Buick said. “His high cruising speed, the way he keeps going and at the business end he has another gear just to finish the race off completely.”

Trained by Charlie Appleby, Ghaiyyath covered about 1 1/4 miles on ground listed as good, good-to-soft in places, in 2:07.38. Third choice Lord North finished third and was followed by 2000 Guineas (G1) winner Kameko and Rose of Kildare.

The Juddmonte International victory also earned Ghaiyyath an automatic entry into the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Keeneland in November, a race the son of Dubawi is uncertain to point to having not raced on dirt previously. However, the Breeders’ Cup would also pay all entry fees toward a start in the 1 1/2-mile Turf (G1) should Ghaiyyath be pointed there instead.

The next leading 1 1/4-mile race in Europe is the Irish Champion (G1) at Leopardstown next month, which figures to attract both Magical, the 2019 winner, and Lord North. Ghaiyyath could instead set his eyes on a second tilt in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) at Longchamp in October, in which he finished an uncharacteristic 10th over testing ground last year after a 14-length score in the Grosser Preis von Baden (G1).

Ghaiyyath has now won nine of 12, eight at group level. The Irish-bred 5-year-old was produced by the Irish 1000 Guineas (G1) heroine Nightime, a daughter of Galileo that’s also produced Man o’ War (G1) winner Zhukova.