The Juvenile Turf is a race that European raiders typically excel in and they look to have sent a strong squad both in terms of form and numbers this year.
European runners dominate the market this year and Masar and James Garfield look to be solid contenders. It is somewhat disconcerting that Masar has twice been beaten by fillies – although admittedly good ones – but his Jean-Luc Lagadere run represented another step forward and Pounced used that race as a springboard to success in 2009. It is worth noting that the fillies Group 1 on the same card was run in faster time.
James Garfield is another progressive sort, improving with every run this year. He was placed at Royal Ascot over the minimum trip and while he has yet to fully convince as a horse that wants a mile, his race at York two back gives hope he can stretch his speed.
Gordon Elliott is an adept overseas raider, but his wins typically come in the shape of a well-treated handicap hurdler winning at Perth. This represents a different test entirely, but Beckford gives him a chance for an international upset. This son of Bated Breath hasn't really been seen to best effect on his last two runs, but there are some serious doubts that the mile will prove too far.
Having produced two of the last five winners, the Dewhurst remains amongst the best trials for the race, with Lancaster Bomber running a late-closing second last year to fill the same spot he had at Newmarket. The race again looks significant this season, the runner-up Mendelssohn is declared.
Last year's Juvenile Turf winner, Oscar Performance, took the Pilgrim prior to Breeders' Cup glory, the first winner from that race despite it looking like a key prep on the calendar. But the Pilgrim could once again prove a key trial again, as the runner-up, Voting Control, looks a likely sort. Twice-raced and a maiden winner on debut, he looks really unlucky not to be unbeaten, having lost his position after trouble at the start. He still nearly mowed down Seabhac in the lane and should step up again.
The home contingent also includes Untamed Domain, Encumbered and Catholic Boy. Of the trio, it is the last named that looks the most likely, having won both starts and seen the form of his Grade 3 win in the With Anticipation Stakes last time franked by Seabhac and Untamed Domain. Catholic Boy will be looking to emulate Nownownow, who also landed that contest before taking the Juvenile Turf.
Untamed Domain won the Summer Stakes at Woodbine last out. Given all the success the Natalma has had as a prep for the Juvenile Fillies Turf, one might the colt's equivalent is similarly relevant as a trial but that hasn’t really been the case, though Pluck did win the Summer before tasting BC glory back in 2010. Untamed Domain is a talented, developing horse who looks to be figuring things out as his two-year-old season progresses. He’s the other from the home team worth a look at double-digit odds.
Verdict: James Garfield might be interesting around 5-1. Of the locals, Voting Control can be given a look around 10-1.