Ghaiyyath shows his class in the International Stakes

Ghaiyyath has now won each of the Eclipse Stakes, the Coronation Cup and the International Stakes this season.
Ghaiyyath has now won each of the Eclipse Stakes, the Coronation Cup and the International Stakes this season.

Ghaiyyath produced a dominant performance to win the International Stakes at York, and collect his third straight Group 1 success in the process. 

The five-strong field for Wednesday’s feature was about quality over quantity, with four top level winners lining up for the mile and a quarter contest.

Ghaiyyath was a commanding 5/4 favourite in the betting, and he controlled matters from the front throughout under William Buick, getting six-time Group 1 winner Magical off the bridle with over half a mile still left to run. 

Aidan O’Brien’s mare, along with the classic winner Kameko and the Prince of Wales’s hero Lord North all tried to respond, but Ghaiyyath relentlessly kept finding all the way to the line, and recorded an impressive three-length success.

Ghaiyyath was cut into 5/1 for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe as a consequence, a race he disappointed in 12 months ago, though rather than discuss future plans, his trainer Charlie Appleby was instead quick to heap praise on jockey William Buick - who he described as producing the 'perfect ride' on the five-year-old. 

He said: “I’m delighted with that performance today, most importantly for his highness Sheikh Mohammed, and the team at Godolphin. To have a horse like the one we have on our hands is an honour, and William gave him a fantastic ride. 

“It was a nice race to watch with the sort of horse we’ve got; he got into a lovely rhythm and I know even coming up the straight wanted to make their moves on him, but when I saw William just gather him up and change his hands on him, I was confident he’d keep galloping to the line."

Meanwhile, Pyledriver was a clear cut winner of the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes earlier on the card, defeating Highland Chief and the well-supported Mogul into second and third respectively. 

The mile and a half contest is seen as a key pointer for next month’s St Leger at Doncaster, and Pyledriver’s trainer William Muir suggested that Doncaster could be next for the three-year-old - who was cut into 6/1 for the final classic of the season. 

He said: “I knew that this is a good horse, I said yesterday that wherever Mogul finished we’d be in-front of him! He’s a good horse and he’s getting stronger. 

“We talked with the boys a lot over the last weekend about whether to come here or to go to Germany, and I just said that it would be better to come here if we’re serious about the St Leger. 

“This is what we do the job for. I’m up at 5am every morning and drove the horse box up here, moments like this is what I do it for. 

“This horse was bred by the boys, they couldn’t get a bid for him, so they kept him and they deserve it.”

York Ebor Festival

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