Qatar Racing's Eclipse winner Roaring Lion is set for his next Gr. 1 test in the Juddmonte International at York next Wednesday.
Racegeoers on the July Course at Newmarket last Saturday got a glimpse of Roaring Lion when he pulled clear of his lead horse in a piece of work that brough him one step closer to his next assignment in the upcoming Juddmonte International Stakes.
The charismatic grey was ridden in the gallop by Rab Havlin, who shares work-riding duties on the colt with fellow jockey Kieran O'Neill. After the gallop, John Gosden said the horse left behind by Roaring Lion was "a much better horse than the last time we did it".
Roaring Lion's regular rider is, of course, Oisin Murphy for whom the Eclipse was a first domestic Gr. 1 win. Oisin, whose three other Gr. 1 wins this year include the Sussex Stakes aboard Lightning Spear, was interviewed by the Racing Post on Monday about the prospect of riding Roaring Lion again in the Juddmonte and said:
"He's usually quite a lazy worker, so it was great to see him go clear of his lead horse like he did. It was a nice strong bit of work and he looked fantastic."
David Redvers, Racing Manager for Qatar Racing, added: "Everyone was delighted with Roaring Lion and he's all set for the Juddmonte. He and Lightning Spear have made it a great season for us. We had a good year last year too, but no Gr. 1 winners, so to get two on the board after so many close shaves is fantastic."
In the Juddmonte, Roaring Lion will be returning the same course and distance over which he was a runaway winner of the Gr. 2 Dante Stakes (pictured) in the spring. He's currently around 11/4 second favourite for the £1m Juddmonte behind this year's Prince of Wales's Stake and King George winner Poet's Word.