Fresh from his success aboard Mondialiste in Chicago’s Arlington Million on Saturday night, Tudhope received the first-time call-up for the Kevin Ryan-trained five-year-old due to his link with owner Frank Gillespie, who has horses with the rider’s boss, David O’Meara.
The Grey Gatsby finished third and second in the respective last two renewals of the Juddmonte International, but has not won since landing the Irish Champion Stakes nearly two years ago.
Hambleton-based Ryan took the decision to replace jockey Jamie Spencer in the saddle because he believes a fresh pair of hands will benefit The Grey Gatsby, who is bidding to become the first locally-trained winner of the Juddmonte.
“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a bit of a surprise to get the call but, obviously, I’m really looking forward to it,” said Tudhope. “He’s finally got his ground and the big field will help – he’s done little wrong this season. He deserves another win and as he’s trained in Yorkshire it would raise the roof if he does it.”
The Grey Gatsby faces no easy task against Postponed, though, with Roger Varian’s charge on a six-timer. King George hero Highland Reel is one of two Aidan O’Brien runners, the other being Sir Isaac Newton, while Eclipse winner Hawkbill – the mount of William Buick – represents Godolphin and Charlie Appleby.
With going good to firm in yesterday afternoon’s sun, the racecourse was being watered so conditions don’t become too quick.
However, Jon Ivan-Duke, spokesman for Leeds-based bookmaker William Hill, believes the Tudhope booking could be significant.
“Jamie Spencer has put in some great rides this season, particularly on Deauville in the Belmont Derby Invitational,” he said. “But punters have been piling on to The Grey Gatsby after hearing Tudhope will ride instead,” he said. “Postponed has been weak since the final declarations, but he is still the worst ante-post result across the Ebor meeting.”
Read Danny Tudhope every Friday in The Yorkshire Post.