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Impressive Ghaiyyath could be set for Irish Champion bid


Ghaiyyath and William Buick on the way to winning the Juddmonte International at York yesterday

Ghaiyyath and William Buick on the way to winning the Juddmonte International at York yesterday

Ghaiyyath and William Buick on the way to winning the Juddmonte International at York yesterday

Charlie Appleby hailed Ghaiyyath as "the finished article" after Godolphin's five-year-old turned the Juddmonte International into a procession on the first day of York's Ebor meeting.

Ghaiyyath (11/8 favourite) steamrolled a top-class field with his typical front-running display to land his third successive Group One under William Buick as Aidan O'Brien's brilliant mare Magical (9/4) battled gamely to finish three lengths behind in second.

Appleby will mull over the possibility of a bid for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in October, but the ten-furlong specialist could also be aimed at the Irish Champion Stakes or the Breeders' Cup after his latest success. "We were coming here and his prep had been faultless. We knew he was the finished article. He's been exceptional in every start this year," Appleby said.

"Of course I'd love to go for the Arc, it's the race all of us in Europe want to win. We didn't run him in it last year to make up the numbers and given what he did in Germany, we thought we had an Arc contender - hopefully this year we might be looking towards one.

"There's the Irish Champion, the Arc, the Breeders' Cup and Japan as well so there are plenty of options," added Appleby.

He wasn't the only one to dazzle with William Muir's Pyledriver (10/1) looking bound for the English St Leger - cut to 6/1 - having effortlessly taken the Group Two Great Voltigeur Stakes.

Muir branded him "one of the best horses I've trained" after Martin Dwyer's mount travelled smoothly before easily picking off his rivals with O'Brien's Mogul (85/40 favourite) four lengths back in third.

O'Brien should have better luck today, however, with Love expected to shine as his star filly is gunning for a big-race treble, having already landed the 1,000 Guineas and Oaks on English soil this season.

Group One contests are never a formality but Ryan Moore's mount looks impossible to oppose in the Yorkshire Oaks (3.15) on the back of a sensational display at Epsom. The daughter of Galileo may be the best three-year-old on these shores this season with Jessica Harrington's One Voice the most likely to chase her home.

Harrington also holds claims in the Group Two Lowther Stakes (1.45) with Sussex Garden while Ken Condon's Miss Amulet is another to note after a Listed triumph earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Willie Mullins took the spoils at Killarney yesterday with Zenon (7/1) capturing the €40,000 Kingdom Gold Cup with fellow Kilkenny man Shane Foley in the plate.

Mullins will be expected to land an early brace at the track today with Jon Snow a hot favourite in the opening novice hurdle (4.15) but a minor upset may be caused by stablemate Kaatskill Nap, which impressed at Galway after a long lay-off and can double up under Danny Mullins.

Buildmeupbuttercup has been frustrating to follow for the Closutton maestro but the six-year-old has over a stone in hand on her five rivals in the Listed GMHD Mares Hurdle (4.45) and should oblige under Paul Townend.

The feature of day two is the GMHD Handicap Hurdle (5.15), where the winner for the past decade has carried 11-6 or less, and it may pay to side with the lightly-weighted Born By The Sea for Paul Gilligan and his jockey/son Jack.