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Horse Racing – Australia heading for International at York

Horse Racing – Australia Heads Potentially Star-Studded International Cast

Dual Derby winner Australia is among 24 entries for the Juddmonte International Stakes at York on August 20, and heads the ante-post market for the prestigious contest at 4/5 with Betfair and Paddy Power.

The son of Galileo, regarded by Aidan O’Brien as the best Flat horse he has ever trained, finished a close third in a stellar renewal of the 2,000 Guineas in May prior to landing the English and Irish derbies.

O’Brien has sent out three of the last six winners of this race, including last year’s renewal with Declaration of War, and Australia’s potential earnings as a stallion – In addition to his already sky-high reputation as a racehorse – will be enhanced if he is able to capture the International.

Indeed, with top-class form at a mile and two Classics over a mile and-a-half already in the satchel, a Group 1 victory over this intermediate trip of 10 furlongs would heighten what will already be a princely sum for his services when he eventually embarks on a new chapter at stud.

However, Australia will be taking on his elders, in addition to tackling a new trip, on the Knavesmire later this month. The likes of Mukhadram, Noble Mission, Remote and Trading Leather have all been handed entries in what could turn out to be a star-studded renewal.

Second favourite at the time of writing is Mukhadram, who produced a career-best when landing the Eclipse at Sandown last month. He finished a fine third upped to 12 furlongs in the King George at Ascot subsequently and will provide Australia with a stern test on August 20.

Sole to show his power again in the Nunthorpe?

Another jewel in the crown of York’s popular Ebor meeting is the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes, which invariably attracts the cream of the five-furlong sprint division.

Sole Power, so impressive when producing a potent turn of foot to land the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot in June, is the clear market leader in bookies’ ante-post lists at a generally available 3/1.

Edward Lynam’s crack sprinter won this race in 2010 and was a close third last year. His most fascinating rival on August 22 could turn out to be two-year-old stablemate Alexander Anthem, who emerged victorious in a red-hot renewal of the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot.

The Starspangledbanner filly, currently a 10/1 chance for the Nunthorpe with BetVictor, also holds an entry in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes at The Curragh on August 10, which looks a more logical short-term target.

However, it will be fascinating to see whether connections do elect to pitch Anthem Alexander against Sole Power. Two juveniles have previously won this valuable sprint – Lyric Fantasy (1992) and Kingsgate Native (2007) – so while it’s a big ask for a two-year-old to bag this prize, it’s far from mission impossible.

The big handicap of the meeting – and the richest handicap run in Europe – is the Betfred Ebor and the Sir Mark Prescott-trained Pallasator is the clear 5/1 ante-post favourite for the race following his impressive reappearance victory at Ascot last month, form which was franked when the runner-up there, Double Bluff, went on to land a big pot at Glorious Goodwood.

The four-day York Ebor festival commences on August 20 and be sure to stay tuned to TV Bet for expert previews and horse racing betting tips for the big meeting.

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