Judge completes clean sweep for Britain
Report: Canada, Sunday
Woodbine: EP Taylor Stakes (Grade 1) 1m2f, turf, 3yo+ f/m
ON a fabulous night for British-trained horses in Toronto, Just The Judge (Charlie Hills/Jamie Spencer) held off Odeliz to complete a one-two for the visitors in the EP Taylor Stakes.
Following the victories of Hillstar and Caspar Netscher earlier on in the Canadian International and Nearctic Stakes, the hard-fought triumph in the $500,000 contest capped a memorable Graded-stakes treble for Britain on Canada's most prestigious racecard.
Just The Judge, who did not race on Lasix, was scoring for the first time since becoming Qatar Racing's first Classic winner in last year's Irish Guineas as she became Britain's third EP Taylor winner in the last seven runnings after Folk Opera (2008) and Lahaleeb (2009).
Made 8-5 favourite, Just The Judge was settled in the second half of the eight-runner field by Jamie Spencer before making easy headway on the turn.
However, Spencer then had to barge his way out between horses - it was a surprise there was no stewards' inquiry - as Just The Judge powered home down the straight, where Ryan Moore sent the Karl Burke-trained Odeliz in pursuit.
After having raced right at the back of the pack, Odeliz had more than enough time to get past Just The Judge but she could not prevail as the winner dug in to score by a half-length. Two lengths away in third was Canadian-trained Deceptive Vision, a neck in front of Wall Of Sound, representing Tom Dascombe and Richard Kingscote.
Just The Judge is now set to run in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf. "Obviously the race was very unsatisfactory because I had to go to Plan B from the start because she kind of jumped awkwardly from the gate," said Spencer.
"You can't panic then, you have to take a different route. I was in amongst horses from probably five out to about the three-pole and it was very, very tight where I was. Then she had to make a little bit of room for herself early in the stretch.
"I was trying to not give her too hard of a race because obviously this is basically a stepping stone to the Breeders' Cup so the plan was just to win here and ship on down. She's won but I'd prefer if it had gone a little bit smoother."