International Stars to Clash at Tattersalls Gold Cup


Photo: Edward Whitaker/Racing Post
Panthalassa (outside) and Lord North (center) dead heat in the Dubai Turf at Meydan with Vin De Garde in third

There have been some slightly underwhelming editions of the Tattersalls Gold Cup (G1) in recent years but the 2022 running looks a cracking race featuring five group 1 winners and a classy Royal Ascot group 2 scorer to boot.

Any thoughts that this could be a straightforward homecoming for globetrotting star State Of Rest  were shelved once triple group 1 winner Lord North  was declared for this €400,000 prize.

The pair of international campaigners have amassed half a dozen wins at the highest level between them and set a pretty lofty standard with official ratings of 120.

State Of Rest, officially Ireland's highest-rated horse in training, probably holds a slight fitness edge over John and Thady Gosden's raider following his gutsy Prix Ganay (G1) strike at ParisLongchamp three weeks ago.

We haven't seen Lord North since he made it back-to-back wins in the Dubai Turf eight weeks ago, but he deserves plenty of credit for that effort—dead-heating with Japan's Panthalassa —considering John Gosden said the 6-year-old was only just ready in time after a nasty throat infection.

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Neither of the top two in the standings would relish much rain, albeit Lord North has won on heavy ground at the listed level.

This will be a very different test to what State Of Rest faced when winning the Saratoga Derby Invitational Stakes (G1T)and Ladbrokes Cox Plate (G1) last season, but there is every chance he could be developing into a better 4-year-old than he was at 3.

Lord North may boast a higher standard of form from winning the Prince of Wales's Stakes (G1) and finishing third in a Juddmonte International Stakes (G1), but he is two years older and State Of Rest has much more scope to improve.

The claims of several other leading players probably depend on how much rain falls over the weekend.

Last year's Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas (G1) hero Mac Swiney  is much better when conditions are testing and the same can be said for Helvic Dream , who won this race last year.

Noel Meade has had to bide his time with Helvic Dream while waiting for ease in the ground and improvement is to be expected from his comeback fifth in the Alleged Stakes last month. This looks a much deeper race than the one he won 12 months ago, however.

Broome  was a short-head runner-up last year but Aidan O'Brien has warned he will come forward from this reappearance, with Royal Ascot his first major target of the year.

Last season's Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud winner and Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (G1T) runner-up hasn't been seen finishing down the field in the Japan Cup in November. He suffered a freak injury after that outing when he was kicked by another horse and fractured his shin.

Alenquer , trained by William Haggas, has been freshened up since being beaten a length and a half into sixth in the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (G1T) in March, having previously beaten a below-par Lord North in the Winter Derby at Lingfield.

It has been 11 months since State Of Rest was last seen on an Irish racecourse but in his time abroad he has developed into one of international racing's toughest up-and-coming talents.

State of Rest at ParisLongchamp

A victory here would be just the second of State Of Rest's career on home soil. His only other domestic success came on his debut in a six-furlong juvenile median sires maiden at Fairyhouse in June 2020.

"Fingers crossed there isn't too much rain," said trainer Joseph O'Brien.