Justineo could be readied to take on some of the world's best sprinters in Paris next month after he ploughed through rain-softened ground to claim the Crown Hotel Bawtry Scarbrough Stakes at Doncaster.
Roger Varian's four-year-old ended a near two-year losing streak in a Newmarket conditions event this summer and a subsequent third-placed finish in the King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood was further evidence of his rapid progress.
Partnered by William Buick over the straight five furlongs on Town Moor, the 4-1 joint-favourite blasted out of the stalls and it was soon clear a number of his opponents were struggling to keep up. Judge 'N Jury tried to maintain contact with the pacesetter from his rail draw, but Justineo was not for catching and took the Listed prize by a length and a half from fellow market leader Masamah. Judge 'N Jury was another head back in third.
Varian, whose horses are in outstanding form, is now considering a tilt at the Prix de l'Abbaye at Longchamp on 6 October with Justineo. "It took the trainer far too long to work the trip out, but we've got there eventually," he said. "He'd run some good races in soft ground over six furlongs before and he's handled conditions well.
"He handles faster ground as well, so it's nice to have a horse that's versatile that way. He is in the Prix de l'Abbaye and he could run in that. We know now he's a very fast horse and that he should cope with whatever conditions prevail in France in early October. I wouldn't have thought he'd have another run before that as he's been on the go since running in Dubai last winter."
Buick, who later won the concluding Berendsen Workwear Handicap with 7-1 chance Sir Pedro, added: "He's going to be a sprinter to be reckoned with."
Godolphin runner Out Of Bounds (11-4) made an excellent start to life in Britain with a fine galloping display in the Park Hill Hospital Conditions Stakes under Silvestre de Sousa.
Making his first appearance since being placed in a Meydan handicap in early March, the imposing chestnut handled conditions with aplomb and was good value for his half-length victory over even-money favourite Gatewood.
Lightning Thunder (5-2) emerged triumphant after a pulsating three-way finish to the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Conditions Stakes. The Olly Stevens-trained Newbury maiden winner was strongly challenged by Justice Day and Expert but clung on under Harry Bentley.Reuse content