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Jura races out of Melbourne Cup contention

3 minute read

Hardwicke winner to remain in England, third placegetter Melbourne-bound

ISLE OF JURA winning the Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2) at Ascot.
ISLE OF JURA winning the Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2) at Ascot.

Australian racing fans are now unlikely to see Cascadian's younger brother Isle Of Jura in Melbourne this spring, thanks to his brilliant win in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot in the early hours of Sunday morning, Australian time.

Trainer George Scott had previously said the gelding was prepared for a shot at the Melbourne Cup, but he effectively won the 2414-metre Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes too impressively.

The four-year-old romped home 3-3/4 lengths clear of Goliath, which prompted Scott to suggest the Sheikh Nasser-owned galloper would now be kept to a Northern Hemisphere campaign with the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2406m) on July 28 the immediate aim.

"Just over a year ago he was well beaten in a Thirsk maiden," Scott said of Isle Of Jura's progression.

"To do this for Sheikh Nasser (Victorious Racing), such a big supporter of mine, is very special.

"We are just blessed to have him. He's repaid us time and time again and the journey from hereon in is going to be very, very special.

"All roads lead to the King George, 100 percent."

Isle Of Jura is a product of New Approach and the Street Cry mare Falls Of Lora, which makes him a brother to Godolphin's recently-retired dual Australian Cup winner and $10 million-earner Cascadian.

The Hardwicke Stakes took Isle Of Jura's record to eight wins from 13 starts and was his fifth success in a row.

While Melbourne is no longer on the horizon for him, it remains the target for Hardwicke Stakes third placegetter Middle Earth, who counts leading Australian trainer Ciaron Maher as a part-owner.

The four-year-old son of Roaring Lion was ridden by Oisin Murphy, who is not convinced he can turn the tables on Isle Of Jura this season but suggested he could win a race in Europe before joining the Maher stable in Victoria later in the year.

"He ran home the last three furlongs in, I'd imagine, the quickest time of the race, so you have to be grateful for that," Murphy said.

"He's probably run up to his rating. It wouldn't surprise me if he went to the King George, but it would be lovely to win a Group Two on the way to more difficult races."

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