Just The Judge Rules Irish Thousand Guineas
Just The Judge won the Etihad Airways Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) May 26 at the Curragh following her close second in the English equivalent for 3-year-old fillies earlier this month.
The 2-1 favorite with Racing Post, the Lawman filly Just the Judge achieved the classic victory by 1 1/2 lengths. She overtook Just Pretending with less than a furlong to run and held off late-charging 40-1 longshot Rehn's Nest, who bested Just Pretending by a head for second.
Previously unbeaten entering the QIPCO One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) May 5 at Newmarket, Just The Judge led inside the final furlong of that race but could not repel an unrelenting drive by Sky Lantern and finished second by a half-length under Jamie Spencer
With Spencer back aboard at the Curragh, Just The Judge stalked pacesetter Uleavemebreathless from fourth before making her winning move a quarter-mile out. She landed her fourth win in five career starts for trainer Charlie Hills, who enjoyed a breakthrough classic victory.
Co-owner of Just The Judge with the Sangster family is Qatar Racing. Formed in 2011 for Sheikh Hamad, Sheikh Suhaim, and Sheikh Fahad Al Thani from the royal family of Qatar, it also achieved a first classic win. The family's QIPCO Holding private investment company has applied its financial muscle to bolster European racing through numerous sponsorships.
The Sangster family, when led by the late Robert Sangster, won the Irish One Thousand Guineas in 1979 with Godetia.
"We were very confident," Sheikh Fahad told Racing Post after the race. "She has been a lot better in her coat and hopefully she can go on improving.
Making her first start of the year, Khalid Abdullah's Big Break raced from midfield and momentarily threatened on the outside of Just The Judge in the final furlong but could not sustain her bid and finished fourth at 4-1 odds, a neck behind Just Pretending in the 15-horse field.
Bred in Ireland, Just The Judge is one of two winners from as many starters out of the Rainbow Quest mare Faraday Light. She is a half sister to group III winner High Heeled, who finished third in the 2009 Investec Epsom Oaks (Eng-I).
Just the Judge is the first classic winner for Lawman, a 9-year-old son of Invincible Spirit. Europe's leading second crop sire last year, he stands in Ireland at Ballylinch Stud.
In the Tattersalls Gold Cup, Al Kazeem was making his debut at the group I level. The progressive 5-year-old Dubawi horse was last early in the four-horse field just behind Camelot in third while Camelot's stablemate Windsor Palace led the way. With the pacemaker's job done, Camelot took control a quarter-mile out before Al Kazeem rallied to engage him with a furlong to run.
Jockey James Doyle needed only to urge him with his hands as Al Kazeem seized the lead 100 yards out and shook clear to a 1 1/2-length triumph. He finished the about 1 1/4-mile race in 2:14.48 as the 9-4 second favorite.
Winner of two-thirds of the English Triple Crown last year Camelot was the 4-11 favorite with Racing Post. He stayed on for second, 9 1/2 lengths in front of Windsor Palace, with Negotiate another 2 3/4 lengths back to complete the order of finish.
Trained by Roger Charlton for breeder D. J. Deer, Al Kazeem has five wins and four seconds from 10 career starts. He came into the Gold Cup off a length win in the Bet 365 Gordon Richards Stakes (Eng-III) April 27 at Sandown. Last year, he won the 1 1/2-mile Qatar Jockey Club Stakes (Eng-II) from Quest For Peace and eventual 2012 Caulfield Cup (Aus-I) victor Dunaden.
Al Kazeem is out of the Darshaan mare Kazeem, whose dam, group III winner Kanz, is group I-placed in England. He from the second crop of Dubawi and is the fourth group I winner of 2013 for his sire, who has 11 overall at the group or grade I level. Dubawi stands for Darley at Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket.
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