Ebor Festival 2023 | Majestic Paddington sets sights on Juddmonte

Horse Racing, Paddington, Ebor

As flat season approaches September, just two major festivals remain on the calendar, beginning with the Ebor Festival on Wednesday.

The Knavesmire hosts three elite Group 1 contests this week and BestofBets are putting each one under the spotlight.

Beginning with the Juddmonte International Stakes, can the majestic Paddington extend his unbeaten streak to eight?


Big draw

Arguably the biggest race of the Ebor meeting before being skittled down to just four runners, the British Champions Series battle takes place over 1m2½f.

This year’s Juddmonte is the smallest field since 2009, after Desert Crown was forced to drop out following yet another injury issue

Paddington remains the marquee marvel.

Now one of the most popular horses around, 2023, for the 3yo of Aidan O’Brien, has been nothing short of a sensation.

Still some six months off turning four, Paddington already has four Group 1 victories to his name.

Indeed, his last four wins have all been in elite company.

Capped by Royal Ascot glory in the St. James’s Palace Stakes, Coolmore victory at the Curragh back in May almost seems a footnote.

Ryan Moore would be entitled to feel more than a little smug, but might the extra half mile throw a spanner in the works?


Crowley on the charge?

Not since his debut run at Ascot some 11 months ago has Paddington been beaten. Many have come; many have trailed in the dust.

So the question remains: Just when will Paddington’s monopolistic run come to end?

The Juddmonte sees three more contenders take a shot at the king; Mostahdaf seems most likely to challenge.

A 10/1 surprise winner of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes in his last outing, Shadwell will be eyeing another huge scalp.

The son of Frankel has 2/3 wins this term, and the mount of Jim Crowley was fourth in the Dubai Classic back in March.

However, taking down the favourite at Royal Ascot, Luxembourg, was one thing, toppling Paddington is quite another.


Gosden grit

With just two other names in the frame, what of Hollie Doyle’s chances on Nashwa?

Only one win has come the way of John and Thady Gosden’s 4yo, but if the weather plays ball and the ground remains good, Nashwa could put up.

Storming back to the winner’s circle in the Falmouth Stakes at the July Festival, York could provide favourable turf.

The sole remaining contender of the Juddmonte is The Foxes, who whilst on outsider, won the Dante earlier this term.

He also was runner-up in both the Craven and a previous outing at Belmont Park last time out.

Oisin Murphy will have his work cut out, but don’t draw a line through this plucky Foxes’ Ebor chances.


The Juddmonte International Stakes takes place on Wednesday 23 August, 15:35

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