Roaring Lion trounced a top-class field to win the Group 1 Juddmonte International over 2000m at York yesterday.
In what was dubbed “the race of the season” in the UK, due to the high quality of the eight runners, the John Gosden-trained colt crossed the line 3.25 lengths clear of 8-5 favourite Poet’s Word.
Roaring Lion, ridden by Oisin Murphy, started at 3-1.
Thundering Blue, who was supplemented in at a cost of £75,000, ran a mighty race at 50-1, running on late to snatch third under Fran Berry and double his connections’ outlay.
Remarkably, it was master trainer Gosden’s first win in this particular Group 1, his Golden Horn having been denied by 50-1 shot Arabian Queen in 2015.
Hard-luck stories were aplenty, with Christophe Soumillon taking the field to the stands’ side aboard pace-setter Thunder Snow, with Sir Michael Stoutetrained Poet’s Word the one worst affected by the jostling.
It might not made much difference, though, as Roaring Lion’s finishing burst was irresistible. Paddy Power made Roaring Lion the 15-8 favourite (from 5-1) for the Champion Stakes at Ascot in October.
One race earlier on York’s Knavesmire, owners Godolphin and trainer Charlie Appleby scored a one-two in the Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes, a Group 2 for colts and geldings over 2000m.
Old Persian, starting at 7-1, took the honours by a head from stable mate Cross Counter, who went off as the 6-4 favourite.
Third was the 7-2 shot Kew Gardens, for Coolmore trainer Aidan O’Brien, galloping on from well back in the field.