Test takes time to make his class tell in Group 1 warm-up

Centre is TIME TEST with P Smullen 1st from right MONDIALISTE 2nd in Sky Bet York stakes at York 23-7-16.

Time Test (all pink cap) masters Mondialiste in the York Stakes

  PICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)  

Report: York, Saturday

Sky Bet York Stakes (Group 2) 1m2½f, 3yo+

TIME TEST, the highest-rated horse running anywhere in Britain on Saturday, was made to work to land the odds in the Sky Bet York Stakes.

Khalid Abdullah’s Coral-Eclipse third had better BHA and Racing Post ratings than any runner in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot and went off 1-2 favourite for his drop to Group 2 company.

That price looked generous as he cruised into contention halfway up the straight under Pat Smullen and led around two furlongs out.

But Mondialiste, the only Group or Grade 1 winner in the field, was also going well in the hands of Danny Tudhope.

There was little in it as the pair fought it out in the last furlong and a half and it was only close home that Time Test asserted, passing the post three-quarters of a length clear.

But Smullen stressed: “I was happy with Time Test today. I think he’s the type of horse who’ll be better in a better race. He travelled really well but I could have done with a lead for longer.

“Really I was in front too long and he was just getting a bit idle and in the end he’s fought well and seen off a Group 1 winner who had his ideal conditions.

“That should put him right for back here in three weeks.”

International next

Time Test’s price for the Juddmonte International over the same course and distance next month remains unchanged at 7-2 with Paddy Power.

That race could be also be a target for Mondialiste, whose trainer David O’Meara said: “He’s had two runs this season and needed his first in France and Ascot doesn’t bring out the best in him but he’s bounced back to his best.

“This performance is up there with his Woodbine form and probably a bit better. Time Test is very well regarded and there are good horses in behind.”

When asked about supplementing for the International, he said: “I’ll speak to his owner Geoff Turnbull about that.”


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