POSTPONED, the 15-8 favourite, won a dramatic renewal of the Juddmonte International Stakes at York on Wednesday.

What appeared set to be a routine victory when Postponed raced into the lead two furlongs out proved to be anything but as he began to drift to his right under jockey Andrea Atzeni’s drive.

The rider had his whip in the correct hand but it meant that Paul Hanagan and Mutakayef, who had emerged as seemingly the main challengers, ran out of room as they looked to make their run against the stands’ rail inside the final furlong.

That left Highland Reel (6/1) to claim second place, battling on well having been done for speed as he tried to challenge at the same time as the eventual winner when pacemaker King Bolete began to beat a retreat.

The winning distance was a length-and-a-quarter with Mutakayef a further length away in third.

Atzeni said: “He’s great, isn’t he? “A lot of people had doubts about him – I never had.

“He’s got too much class. I think people underrate him. I think he’s one of the best in the business we’ve seen for a while.”

Winning trainer Roger Varian added: “He’s an incredible horse. The team at home have done a fantastic job. We didn’t have long to get him ready. He wasn’t right three and a half weeks ago for the King George.

“He turned the corner two weeks ago. In the last seven days he looks to have blossomed. A week ago I wouldn’t have known if I was running him here. We’re not having loads of winner at the moment, so you’re never quite sure. I trusted in the horse’s condition and he delivered.

-extracts from Sporting Life.

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