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Cox plans International mission for Ghostwriter

© Photo Healy Racing

Clive Cox’s Ghostwriter is pencilled in for the Juddmonte International after pleasing with a third-placed effort in the Eclipse on Saturday.

The Invincible Spirit colt was unbeaten as a juvenile in a season that culminated in Group Two success in the Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket.

He began his three-year-old campaign in the 2000 Guineas at the same track, where he ran with credit to finish fourth before heading to Chantilly for the Prix du Jockey Club.

There he was fourth again on heavy ground, proving his stamina and lining up a bid for the Eclipse at Sandown last weekend.

Derby hero City Of Troy was the headline act in Esher as the 1-4 favourite, with Ghostwriter a 12-1 shot under Richard Kingscote in a field of six.

City Of Troy came out on top with a workmanlike victory, but he was pressed by both the runner-up, Joseph O’Brien’s Al Riffa, and Ghostwriter, who was beaten two lengths in third.

Cox was heartened by the run and is now looking towards the Juddmonte at York, where he hopes the horse will encounter some quicker ground after Sandown came up soft.

“We were thrilled, for one moment at the furlong pole we thought he was going to go and get it,” the trainer said.

“He ran a super race and it was very pleasing, bearing in mind that we all feel he’ll be better still on better ground.

“In spite of that it was a really honest and solid performance and it confirms our belief that he’s a horse for this level.

“I’m really pleased that he’s come out of the race well, he’s back home safe and sound, he’s very pleased with himself and we’re very pleased with him.

“York would be the logical step from here, hopefully there we’ll find his preferred dry surface.”

On the same day another horse brought prize money back to the yard as James’s Delight landed the Listed Prix Kistena at Deauville.

The three-year-old, who is owned by Paul and Clare Rooney, won a valuable sprint handicap at York in June and backed up that success with another when prevailing by a length and a half on soft ground in France.

“It was a really pleasing performance, he won really nicely in France on Saturday,” Cox said.

“Similarly he has come home really well, it was Clare Rooney’s birthday which made it all the more special on the day.

“We will just feel our way, he’s only been home a couple of days. His progress has been impeccable this season.

“We’ll decide after a few days what to do next, there are plenty of options available for him now he’s performed in Pattern company with such confidence. It’s great to see the progress he’s making.”