Dawn rises for Juddmonte
Await The Dawn, the Aidan O'Brien-trained colt that is a clear 5/1 favourite for the Breeders' Cup Classic in November, is likely to make the step up to Group One company for a first time in next Wednesday's Juddmonte International at York.
The four-year-old was one of 10 horses left in the 10-furlong showpiece at yesterday's forfeit stage. O'Brien's Irish Guineas heroes Roderic O'Connor and Misty For Me also stood their ground for a race that Await The Dawn's sire, Giant's Causeway, provided a first of three triumphs for the Ballydoyle handler back in 2000.
Unbeaten in his last four starts, most recently in the Group Two Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot, Await The Dawn is as short as 11/10 to deny the likes of Snow Fairy, Midday and Twice Over, which have amassed no less than 13 Group Ones between them. The latter duo are both intended runners on Wednesday for Henry Cecil who, as expected, withdrew the three-year-old sensation Frankel from the York contest.
In all, O'Brien has 16 horses engaged on the opening day of the Ebor Festival, with the Irish Derby runner-up Seville among the entries for the Great Voltigeur Stakes.
The 7/2 market leader for next month's St Leger, Seville started this season by finishing second to Carlton House in the Dante at York in May.
Meanwhile, John Oxx has confirmed that Born To Sea, an Invincible Spirit half-brother to Sea The Stars, such a brilliant winner of the International two years ago, could make his debut next month.
"He was quiet precocious," Oxx said of the two-year-old yesterday, "but we didn't want to start him off too early, and then he got sore shins.
"He's working nicely and is a horse we like, but no one should be expecting him to be his half-brother."
Yesterday also saw HRI release an amended version of the 2011/12 jumps pattern programme. The most notable modification is the promotion of the Grade Two three-mile novice hurdle at the Punchestown Festival, won this year by the Colin Bowe-trained mare Askanna, to a Grade One.