As the showpiece event of the York Ebor Festival, the Juddmonte International Stakes gets plenty of coverage each year as one of the standout races on the flat racing calendar. The 2021 edition will be no different, with punters already examining the York races odds in the hopes of predicting the winner.
When a race likes this comes round each year, it’s always worth looking back through the archives to examine the previous winners. Sometimes the events that transpired in the past can help determine which horses might triumph that year, and every trainer will be looking for any little clue that might give them an edge on August 18th. Let’s go through the five most recent winners of the Juddmonte International.
2016 – Postponed
Five years ago, it was Postponed who lived up to his billing as the pre-race favourite to triumph in the Juddmonte International. Then one of the most prolific winners in Europe, it was no real surprise that Postponed reigned supreme at York, creating a memorable moment for trainer Roger Varian. In a close race, the favourite’s quality proved the difference in the end, beating Highland Reel by a length and a quarter to earn the adulation for Varian and jockey Andrea Atzeni.
2017 – Ulysses
A year later, it was the aptly-named Ulysses who was the hero in the Juddmonte International. Trained by the venerable Sir Michael Stoute, the 4/1 chance battled hard throughout the race and eventually pulled clear to win by two lengths. It was Stoute’s sixth triumph in the race, a record he shares with Aidan O’Brien, and it was no surprise that Jim Crowley was the man in the saddle having been Champion Jockey at the time.
2018 – Roaring Lion
The 2018 edition of the Juddmonte International was all about the sensational performance of Oisin Murphy, who produced a stunning display, guiding Roaring Lion to victory. John Gosden was the winning trainer, as Murphy expertly guided the 3/1 shot to victory over 8/5 favourite Poet’s Word, pulling well clear of the pack in the end to win by almost four lengths.
2019 – Japan
Having trained the winner in both 2013 and 2014, O’Brien had to wait five years for another victory, but Japan’s 2019 success drew the famous trainer level with Stoute on six Juddmonte wins. O’Brien’s trusty right-hand man Ryan Moore was the jockey who delivered the victory by a head, after a sensational neck-and-neck battle with pre-race favourite Crystal Ocean. Japan had been in excellent form heading into the race, but many expected that Crystal Ocean would triumph. That is the O’Brien factor — the ability to draw wins from unlikely scenarios and make them look like there was never any doubt.
2020 – Ghaiyyath
The 2020 race was nowhere near as close as the year before. In a rip-roaring display, Ghaiyyath was simply too good for the rest of the field, capping off a run of four consecutive victories with a three-length victory over second-placed Magical. It was a maiden Juddmonte triumph for Charlie Appleby, a trainer who has since gone from strength to strength in flat racing. The same can be said of jockey William Buick, who is also establishing himself as one of the best in the business.