Notnowcato Surprises Foes in Juddmonte International

Notnowcato surprised most observers when heading a 1-2 sweep for trainer Sir Michael Stoute in the Juddmonte International Stakes (Eng-I) at York on Tuesday.

Notnowcato, who was runner-up to David Junior in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I) in July, prevailed by a short head over stablemate Maraahel. Blue Monday was three lengths back in third. Favorite Dylan Thomas finished a disappointing fourth.

Godolphin's Cherry Mix, who was coming off an impressive Group 1 victory in Germany, led the seven horse field along at a steady pace during the early stages of the 1 1/4-mile race. Notnowcato followed along in second, with a headstrong Dylan Thomas fighting jockey Mick Kinane in third.

Turning into the home straight, the tempo increased, as Frankie Dettori fought to maintain his lead aboard Cherry Mix. As the grey horse began to struggle, Notnowcato and jockey Ryan Moore took over the lead. Maraahel and Richard Hills were just getting into gear, and they rolled up to challenge in the final furlong.

Maraahel appeared to head his stablemate at one point, but Notnowcato dug deep and just got back up in the shadow of the wire to get his head in front.

A jubilant Sir Michael Stoute told reporters afterward, "The horses have been running well, but we just haven't been winning as many races as we would have liked. Watching it wasn't too bad, as I knew it was going to be one of them...so it was quite enjoyable for a change!"

Regarding future plans for the 4-year-old son of Inchinor, Stoute stated, "I would think Notnowcato will probably go for the Champion Stakes (Eng-I) at Newmarket next, and then hopefully finish with a race overseas if everything goes to plan."


Big Timer Shows Off in Acomb Stakes

Big Timer remained undefeated with an easy 2½ length win in the seven furlong Symphony Group Acomb Stakes (Eng-III) for 2-year-olds at York.

Big Timer took the lead under jockey Tom Eaves with over a furlong left. Only one smack of the whip was needed as the chestnut gelding drew steadily away from the field. Gweebarra was second, with Ready for Spring (by More Than Ready  ) a head back in third.

Big Timer, who was purchased for $15,000 at the 2005 Keeneland September sale, is from the first crop of Grade 1 winner, Street Cry. In winning the Acomb Stakes, Big Timer became his sire's first stakes winner. He is out of the stakes-placed mare, Moonflute, by The Minstrel. He was bred in Kentucky by Mt. Brilliant Farm.

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