Sir Busker ready to take on International big guns

Sir Busker may be a 33-1 outsider for the Juddmonte International, yet trainer William Knight is still keen to “take a crack” at the Group One prize following his latest success.

Trying a trip beyond nine furlongs for the first time in his 37-race career, the six-year-old looked good value for his nose victory over Champion Stakes runner-up Dubai Honour in the Sky Bet York Stakes last weekend.

The pair drew four lengths clear of the remainder in the Group Two contest and Knight feels that the extended mile and a quarter on the Knavesmire has set Sir Busker up for a return trip to the track on August 17.

“I was so pleased for Sir Busker, who has finally got his head in front after a couple of years. Maybe the trainer has finally worked out the trip now,” exclaimed Knight.

“Obviously, the trip helped. He likes York and you have plenty of time to make your ground up there. They get racing quite far out, and that suits his run-style.

“We are obviously delighted and we are going to have a crack at the Juddmonte now. We put the entry in before his run in the Sky Bet in the hope he would run well in the and get the trip, which he has done. So, why not? Let’s have a crack at it, because it is such good prize-money.”

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Owned by the Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds syndicate, Sir Busker has run well on all three previous trips to York, including when a close-up fourth in a Group Two contest over seven furlongs last August.

“He ran well in the City of York over seven furlongs, and he has won there over a mile and quarter now,” added Knight.

“William Buick and Jim Crowley who rode him out in Dubai in the spring and both said to me, ‘I think you should try him over a mile and a quarter’, so it was always in the back of my mind, even when we got back from Dubai.

“We were always wanting to have a crack at the Queen Anne, but felt after that we would explore the mile and a quarter option. The Sky Bet fell right, timing-wise.

“William felt that the ground was very quick at Ascot – it was rattling on the first day of the Royal meeting. He goes on good to firm, but it was rattling and he didn’t properly let himself down that day.

“So I think it was more that than anything. The Juddmonte is the plan – he deserves a crack at a prize like that.”

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