Facing males for the first time, Arabian Queen secured her first group I win in stunning fashion Aug. 19, edging previously undefeated Investec Derby (Eng-I) winner Golden Horn by a neck in the Juddmonte International Stakes (Eng-I) at York.
Listed at 50-1 in local pools, J.C. Smith's Arabian Queen dueled with Golden Horn—the 4-9 favorite—through the final furlong and prevailed, handing the two-time group I-winning son of Cape Cross his first loss in six career starts.
The lone filly in the field, Arabian Queen won last year's QIPCO Duchess of Cambridge Stakes (Eng-II) but going into Wednesday's race at about 1 5/16 miles the 3-year-old daughter of Dubawi had lost three straight starts dating back to a June 5 score in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes (Eng-III) at Epsom. The Irish-bred filly entered off a third in the Aug. 1 QATAR Nassau Stakes (Eng-I) at Goodwood.
Trained by David Elsworth, Arabian Queen was guided to victory by Silvestre De Sousa, completing the race in 2:09.92. Golden Horn was followed by French classic winner The Grey Gatsby 3 1/4 lengths back in third.
The race had been billed as a showdown between Golden Horn and English-Irish classic winner Gleneagles, but the latter was scratched because of the soft course.
The Juddmonte International is a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" race, granting Arabian Queen an automatic berth in the starting gate for the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).
In other group stakes on Wedensday's York card, Sheikh Juma Dalmook Al Maktoum's Storm the Stars secured his first group stakes win when the 3-year-old son of Sea the Stars delivered a clear victory in the Betway Great Voltigeur Stakes (gr. II).
Bred in Kentucky by Summer Wind Farm, Storm the Stars is out of the Sadler's Wells mare Love Me Only. Storm the Stars is trained by William Haggas and jockey Pat Cosgrave picked up the win Wednesday.
Haggas also sent out the winner in the Tattersalls Acomb Stakes (Eng-III), where the Queen's Recorder picked up his first stakes win with a clear victory over Bing Bang Bong in the seven-furlong test for 2-year-olds. A son of Galileo, Recorder has won two of his first three starts.