King of Stats: We just can’t see past Australia in the International

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With the debate surrounding whether Joseph O’Brien will be able to make the allocated weight, as well as the fitness of the horse, it is easy to get carried away with trying to get Australia beat in the Juddmonte International.

The current 1/2 favourite, is by no means a price that is going to make you rich quick, but can the stats points us in another direction for the big race on day one of the Ebor Festival?

We have trawled through the last 20 runnings of the race, seeking to find that all elusive winner…

Price

The first thing we discovered won’t please those seeking a big priced winner:

Ezzoud was the last winner to go off at odds bigger than 8/1, way back in 1993.

Through this surefire way to narrow down the already slim field, we can concentrate on the three primaries in the market, Australia (1/2), Telescope (5/1) and Mukhadram (6/1).

Age

Three year-olds have accounted for just three winners in the past two decades, despite providing a third of runners.

And with four-year-olds taking 12 of those 20 races, a glance towards Telescope could be in order.

But the redeeming feature for the current jolly is the calibre of those Classic generation winners.

Authorized and the great Sea the Stars both took the Ebor meeting’s opening day showpiece after claiming that year’s Derby at Epsom, while Giants Causeway won the race in 2000 after finishing second in the 2000 Guineas. Australia has previously done both.

The only Derby winner in the sample to line up and not complete the Derby/International double was New Approach, and with that year’s running taking place at Newmarket, eyebrows can be raised there.

Group 1 form

The old adage about class being permanent is never truer than in the Juddmonte International.

It takes a true top-level performer to claim the race, with 16 of the last 20 winners already having a Group 1 victory to their name before arriving at York.

A worrying stat for followers of Telescope.

A perennial nearly horse, Sir Michael Stoute’s charge has finished second in the Gordon Richards Stakes, the Rose of Lancaster Stakes and most recently the King George VI Stakes.

He did bag the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot, but is yet to taste success with the very best.

Our verdict

To be frank, the stats do muddy the waters somewhat, with three-year-olds historically not delivering, apart from the very best of them, which is arguably what Australia is.

Aidan O’Brien’s colt is hard to get away from, with rock solid form in the book, and a drop back to a trip that could well be his optimum.

Telescope is going some way to live up to last year’s hype, but his lack of top level win puts us off him.

Mukhadram doesn’t explicitly fall foul to any of the criteria, but he doesn’t strike us as having the class to turn the tables on Telescope, let alone Australia.

A conceded nod to the odds-on jolly from us.

All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing

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