Nayef can floor Golan in rematch

YORK’S Ebor meeting always provides a treat for racegoers and today’s opening day looks certain to continue the tradition with the clash between Golan and Nayef in the Juddmonte International the mouth-watering highlight.

The latter gets the tentative vote to wreak revenge on his rival, who defeated him by a head when the pair fought out a thrilling no-holds barred finish to the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at the end of last month.

However, there are several reasons to side with Marcus Tregoning’s charge for this potentially outstanding rematch.

There was nothing wrong with the fighting spirit shown by Golan as he battled through on the rails to pass Nayef who himself showed a never-say-die attitude.

But past events have shown that Golan is a horse at his best when fresh and it may be that the Herculean effort he showed at Ascot has taken the edge off him.

Nayef, meanwhile, is a tough cookie who takes time to find his form and this was his best performance since landing the Dubai Sheema Classic back in March.

His shrewd trainer has declared himself totally satisfied that his charge goes to York fully prepared for another titanic Group One contest.

It is also worth remembering that once Nayef - possibly better at 10 furlongs than 12 - hit form at around this time last year he quickly ran up a four-timer which culminated in success in the Champion Stakes over the lesser trip.

The International is just one of a tremendous menu of seven races on a magnificent York card and the Great Voltigeur Stakes is another race set to thrill racegoers.

As a St Leger trial it should throw up plenty of pointers to the final Classic and Bandari can advertise his claims.

Mark Johnston could offer no explanation for the Vodafone Derby performance of the Alhaarth colt who never looked like recovering any of the huge fee it cost to supplement him for the Epsom showpiece.

However, he proved at Goodwood at the end of last month that whatever ailed him in early June was not still around to stop him winning the Peugeot Gordon Stakes in facile fashion.

Staying on from the quarter-mile post Bandari stretched out to beat First Charter by seven lengths. He should have no problem repeating the feat today.

Connections of Jardines Lookout have the Melbourne Cup in their sights and the five-year-old Goodwood Cup winner can book his trip down under by landing the Weatherbys Insurance Lonsdale Stakes.

There was plenty of stable confidence behind the Fourstars Allstar gelding when contesting the Ascot Gold Cup and both jockey Michael Kinane and trainer Alan Jarvis could not believe it when the five-year-old produced the worst show of his life.

However, it was later found that the handler tightening his girths at the start had been over zealous and the horse had been suffering discomfort throughout the two and a quarter mile event.

That performance was well and truly left behind at Glorious Goodwood when Jardines Lookout simply galloped his rivals into the Sussex turf with the strongest display of his career to deny Give Notice - who reopposes today - by a comfortable three lengths.

The ultra-consistent Budelli can get back to winning ways following his close second to Deceitful in Ripon’s Great St Wilfrid Handicap on Saturday.

Mick Channon’s charge had previously run up a hat-trick sequence and victory in the Links Of London Stakes can get him on the winning trail again.

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