Popular sprinter Judicial (Julie Camacho) is aiming for back-to-back victories in the Betway Golden Rose Stakes (21 entries), which provides the winner with a guaranteed start in the Betway All-Weather Sprint Championship on Good Friday.
Judicial has looked as good as ever since his last to first victory in this race 12 months ago, notching up wins in the G3 Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle in June and a Listed race at Chester in August.
Now an eight-year-old, Judicial has had a break since finishing fourth in the Listed Garrowby Stakes at York on September 6.
Steve Brown, husband and assistant to Julie Camacho, said: “Judicial has had a nice preparation for this. The ground at the backend of the turf season is generally against him, which is why we planned to wait for the Golden Rose.
“I think it looks a stronger race compared to last year and obviously he will have a penalty to carry for his G3 win at Newcastle. It will be a tougher test for him but at the same time we are looking forward to it.
“In winning this race last year he really proved himself over six furlongs, and I think that extra furlong over the last 12 months has really suited him. He has looked a better horse over six furlongs, as he has been able to travel more within himself.
“For all he is eight going on nine, he has not had a hard time of things. He has run 40 times in his life, which is not a lot for a sprinter of his age, and touch wood he is a very sound horse with no aches and pains. It all contributes to him being in such good form at this stage of his life.”
Good Effort (Ismail Mohammed) appears to be the main danger to Judicial after winning his last four starts on the All-Weather. The progressive five-year-old captured the Listed Betway Cleves Stakes over the course and distance in February and made a successful comeback in a five-furlong handicap class two handicap on November 4, scoring comfortably under Ray Dawson.
Godolphin runner On The Warpath (Charlie Appleby) has a rating of 108, though has been restricted to just two stars since running away with a six-furlong handicap at Newmarket in May 2019, in which he defeated Summerghand, winner of this year’s Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood, by three lengths.
Last year’s Betway Golden Rose Stakes runner-up Tinto (Amanda Perrett) is another entry to note, as is Khalid Abdullah’s regally bred filly Jovial (Sir Michael Stoute), who landed a course and distance handicap in June.
Betway PR Manager Chad Yeomans said: “There are a superb 21 entries for the Golden Rose with a range of runners that include antepost favourite Judicial; Good Effort, who is seeking a five-timer and the lightly raced three year old Lampang.”
Betway Golden Rose - Betway prices:
7/2 Good Effort, Judicial
5/1 On The Warpath
10/1 Sunday Star
12/1 Soldiers Minute, Tinto
14/1 Shimmering Dawn
16/1 Burmese Waltz, Fizzy Feet, Highland Dress