Postponed: missed the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Jon Lees 5:38AM 17 AUG 2016
POSTPONED will aim to show his ascent to the top of the world’s turf rankings was only temporarily delayed by sickness by proving himself at another distance in the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes on the opening day of York’s Ebor festival.
The five-year-old who missed the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes because of a respiratory infection is unbeaten in his last five starts to become the world’s top rated mile-and-a-half horse.
On Wednesday at the so-called ‘graveyard of champions’ Postponed puts his 100 per cent record for trainer Roger Varian on the line as he drops back to a mile and two and a half furlongs seeking his first win at an intermediate distance.
Postponed last tried a similar trip in May last year when he finished a neck and a short head behind Al Kazeem and Fascinating Rock in the Tattersalls Gold Cup.
Golden Horn lost his unbeaten record in this race a year ago but Varian, who runs King Bolete as a pacemaker, believes the trip and fast ground will suit Postponed.
“We’re looking forward to dropping back to ten furlongs and this race has been an objective of ours since the start of the season,” he said.
“He has a terrific turn of foot and a high cruising speed. These attributes and the manner in which he has been winning over a mile and a half suggest the drop back in trip shouldn’t be a problem and the track should play to his strengths.
“With five other Group 1 winners in the race, this looks a strong renewal but he seems fully recovered from the setback which ruled him out of the King George. He looks well and his work has been very pleasing.”
Postponed is heading the market as a 6-4 chance however in Hawkbill and Highland Reel he will face a pair of progressive challengers. Hawkbill is bidding for a seventh win on the bounce whilst King George winner Highland Reel is aiming for a fourth Group 1 win.
Thirteen will take to post to contest a prize-pot worth just shy of £1 million.