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Then and Now: A Look at the Juddmonte International Stakes

August 18, 2016

- Grant Whittington

Earlier this week, the latest instalment of the iconic, Juddmonte International Stakes took place in its spiritual home of York. One of the world’s richest and most famous races, this year’s International Stakes added yet another chapter to an already illustrious history, as Irish-bred horse Postponed secured victory and the £963,750 prize fund.

The Juddmonte International Stakes represents the last middle-distance QIPCO British Champions Series race before the climatic finale, and while it is a relatively young event it has already created a lifetime of incredible memories for trainers, jockeys and fans alike. Accessible for three-year-olds and older, it has quickly emerged as one of the most popular on the racing calendar.

Then and Now: A Brief History of the International Stakes

This race, which unfolds across one mile, two furlongs and 88 yards, first appeared as recently as 1972 and has packed an incredible amount in its relatively short lifetime. The first race itself was a thriller, as the American-bred horse Roberto became the first, and ultimately last, filly to beat the legendary Brigadier Gerard. This was the beginning of a wonderful narrative, as the race has delivered some stunning highlights during the subsequent 44 years.

The Juddmonte International Stakes has also seen some sensational performances over the years, such as in 2009 when Sea the Stars emerged victorious to complete a set of wins that included the 2000 Guineas, the Investec Derby and the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe. These victories were achieved within a six-month period, with success at York providing a fitting climax for such the horse and his trainer.

Recent History and the Future for Juddmonte

Interestingly, the race has a history of superstar winners and famous thoroughbred successes. Frankel was the latest such winner in 2012, as he recorded an astonishing 13th victory from as many starts while romping home at York with seven lengths to spare over his rivals. Results like this highlight the pedigree and lucrative nature of the race, as the country’s best horses compete for honour, glory and a huge financial prize!

Given this incredible history, the race is likely to remain an iconic feature of the UK racing calendar for many years to come. This leaves plenty of time for records to be broken and new goals to be achieved, with multiple jockeys capable of overhauling Frankie Dettori’s current record of five victories achieved between the years of 1996 and 2007.

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