Authorized primed for International showdown

AUTHORIZED has “never been better” ahead of today’s rematch with Notnowcato in York’s Juddmonte International.

Peter Chapple-Hyam’s Derby winner slammed his Epsom rivals by five lengths but was subsequently upstaged by Sir Michael Stoute’s charge in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.

But Tony Nerses, racing manager to Authorized’s owners Saleh Al Homeizi and Imad Al Sagar, is looking forward to another mouth-watering clash on the Knavesmire.

Nerses enthused: “He’s in absolutely cracking form, he’s never been better.

“It’s all systems go and I’m very hopeful he will do well tomorrow.

“The ground is spot on, we know he acts on the course with its nice long straight, and he has got a turn of foot.”

Chapple-Hyam shares that enthusiasm but admits his stable star will need to be at his best to come out on top in a race that has also attracted Dylan Thomas, Asiatic Boy and Duke Of Marmalade.

He added: “It is what racing is all about. Yes, it is a seriously tough race but it’s great to be involved. Authorized is in very good form and we’ve got to go.

“I’ve been very happy with his preparations and he worked really well with Frankie (Dettori) on board last Thursday,” he told

Ryan Moore earned the plaudits when Notnowcato gained his first Group One triumph in this race 12 months ago.

Having gained the day in the Eclipse, he is relishing the next big test facing his mount.

Moore told At The Races: “He’s one of the most consistent horses in training and he’s very honest.

“He’s not dependent on anything really and you can always ride him as you want, which makes it very easy for you.”

Dylan Thomas proved a major disappointment in last year’s renewal but ran out an impressive winner of the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes last time.

Aidan O’Brien’s inmate is sure to have his supporters, along with Mike De Kock’s Asiatic Boy, whose presence adds further spice to the melting pot.

Jamie Spencer takes over the reins on the latter in the extended 10-furlong thriller and says he has been impressed by the UAE Derby winner at home.

“I’ve ridden him twice now and rode him up Warren Hill one morning, just over three furlongs. For a horse who runs over the distances he does, he has got some pace,” Spencer said.

“I then rode him on the grass with Mullins Bay on the racecourse last week and he seems a really nice, uncomplicated horse.

“He ran really well in the Sussex on his first attempt going right-handed and the undulations were something new to him there, too.”

Trainer De Kock is delighted to have acquired the services of Spencer.

“I’m very confident I’ve got the right man on board,” said De Kock.

“It’s a bit like Formula One in a way. Obviously the car is the most important thing, but when there’s someone like Michael Schumacher or Lewis Hamilton driving, it can take crucial seconds off.

“It’s the same with racing. If you’ve got someone like Jamie, who is an excellent judge of pace, he can make those critical decisions that can win a race.”

Asiatic Boy has yet to race beyond nine furlongs but connections feel the extra distance of the International will not work against him.

“He should get the trip based on his run in the Sussex – he also finished hard on the line in the Derby in Dubai,” De Kock added.

“My gut feeling is he will get it but you’ve got to have reservations in a race like this.

“It’s a super race and it’s lovely to be involved.

“I look at who is running and have wondered to myself why on earth I am putting myself through all this.”

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox