August 17th, 2020 | Marten's Current Racing Diary
The all-important subject of the weather comes up this week, with random thunderstorms and heavy rain forecast for various parts of the country, with York a possible target on Wednesday.
I see that the ground there is currently given as good to firm, good in places, but with no rain, sunny days and temperatures in the mid-20s for Thursday onwards I imagine watering may come in for consideration.
Such is the expanse of the Knavesmire that the absence of people will be more apparent than at any course since the resumption, but the racing will not lack quality judging by the declared runners for the first day.
Six horses have been declared for the Juddmonte International, headed by Ghaiyyath at 5/4 followed in the betting by Magical on 7/2 and Kameko and Lord North at 4/1.
I’m not sure how the percentages will balance out on the day, but at this stage this looks a most unattractive book.
Tactically we can expect Ghaiyyath to make the running, assuming that Magical does not adopt the front-running tactics that have won her two substandard Group 1s in Ireland since the resumption.
Lord North has the best change of gear in the race, so tactically things could fall his way, but the interesting one is Kameko.
Oisin Murphy believes he has a score to settle after Goodwood, where the colt failed to get a clear run at any stage in the closing stages.
In my view the son of Kitten’s Joy lengthens rather than quickens, so Oisin will be keen to make his move about two furlongs from home. Ryan Moore will be thinking the same thing at that stage, while James Doyle will be tucked in behind on Lord North hoping to pounce inside the final furlong.
This race has historically witnessed some shocks, especially if you go back a few years, and Mark Johnston’s tough Rose Of Kildare could mess things up in front for the favourite, while Aspetor is going the right way.
This is a race that could be won or lost on tactics.
I’ll have more to say about this race and the rest of the opening day in Part One of my Online Preview, which will be available to download tomorrow evening and throughout the week.
Bye for now