Big things were expected of Godolphin’s Ghaiyyath in the Group 1 Juddmonte International at York on Wednesday and the son of Dubawi duly delivered an awesome performance on the Knavesmire.

Taking up his customary front-running role under William Buick, Ghaiyyath had Rose Of Kildare for company in the first couple of furlongs until that rival soon felt the heat.

Kameko, trying the extended ten-furlong trip for the first time having failed to stay in the Derby, Prince of Wales’s Stakes hero Lord North and top mare Magical all tried to close on the leader inside the final two furlongs, but in truth the race was all about one horse.

Ghaiyyath’s exhibition of galloping power simply proved too much for his rivals to handle and the five-year-old ran on strongly to record an easy three-length victory over Magical.

Ghaiyyath and William Buick return to the winner’s enclosure at York after their brilliant win in the Juddmonte International | Photo George Selwyn

Trainer Charlie Appleby said: “I’m delighted with that. It is an honour to have a horse like this on our hands and what a fantastic ride by William. It was a lovely race to watch, he got into a lovely rhythm and coming up the straight the others came to challenge, but I was always confident.

“Most importantly, it’s important for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and the team to have a horse like this on our hands. He’s not let us down this year and as I said right at the start of the year, he’s more the finished article now. I’m just delighted for the whole team.”

Future targets for Ghaiyyath could include the Champion Stakes or perhaps the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, a race in which he underperformed last year when the ground was very soft.

Traditionally a trial for the Derby, the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes also saw a clear-cut winner in the shape of the William Muir-trained Pyledriver.

The son of Harbour Watch had looked a horse to follow when recording a decisive victory in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot before failing to figure in the Derby at Epsom behind Serpentine.

Pyledriver and Martin Dwyer capture the Great Voltigeur Stakes | Photo
George Selwyn

Settled at the rear of the field by Martin Dwyer, Pyledriver made stealthy headway in the straight to challenge on the inside and come home a comfortable three and a half length winner over Highland Chief and favourite Mogul.

Thursday action

The fillies take centre stage at York on Thursday with the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks (1m4f) the highlight on the card.

Dual Classic heroine Love, having produced brilliant performances in the 1,000 Guineas and Oaks, will be fancied to bag another top-level prize for Aidan O’Brien and the Coolmore partners.

Five opponents stand in Love’s way including the John Gosden-trained duo Franconia and Frankly Darling, while One Voice makes the journey from Jessica Harrington’s Kildare stable.

The opening event is the Group 2 Lowther Stakes (5f), which has attracted a field of 14. Naas Listed winner Miss Amulet, representing trainer Ken Condon, has plenty of experience and looks sure to go well under top jockey James Doyle.