By Simon Jackson.
Trainer Roger Charlton says the Juddmonte International Stakes could be the best race of the season as he readies Time Test for his clash with Golden Horn and Gleneagles.
Charlton is in a positive mood ahead of the extended 10 furlong Group 1 at York on Wednesday that has attracted a stellar field of eight runners.
Entries for the £850,000 race that is televised live on Channel 4 on Wednesday (3.40pm) include Epsom Derby winner Golden Horn, dual 2000 Guineas winner Gleneagles, Irish Champion Stakes winner The Grey Gatsby and Australian visitor Criterion.
Time Test at his last start easily justified favouritism to land the Group 3 Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot. He travelled well throughout the 10 furlong journey where he was never in danger of defeat and is reported to be in good order for his biggest test to date.
“Time Test is very well,” Charlton said. “I believe that he has the potential to be a very smart colt and his Tercentenary Stakes win was not only visually very impressive, it was backed up by a very good time.”
“He needs to step up from Group 3 company and we are under no illusions that the Juddmonte International probably represents the best race of the season but I am going into it in an optimistic frame of mind.”
“I have huge respect for Golden Horn, Gleneagles and The Grey Gatsby. They are all very high class Classic winners who have won eight Group 1 races between them.”
“It is very good news that there is a guaranteed strong pace as it would have been tough for Golden Horn to make the running again and we need to try and stretch Gleneagles’s stamina. Whatever wins will clearly be the best three-year-old in Europe.”
“My yard has suffered a big loss with the retirement of Al Kazeem so it’s exciting to think that Time Test may be capable of stepping into his shoes.”
“He is a straightforward horse and he has only been absent since Ascot because of a lack of suitable races. At one stage we had plans to take him to France but we changed our minds owing to the possibility of travel disruption at Calais.”
“We are taking on the best and Time Test is just a Group 3 winner who is very much unproven but we want to give it a go.”
Read ‘Horse Talk with Simon Jackson’ at London24 for the latest horse racing news.