Updated on 09/16/2011 8:04AM

This time, Nayef nips Golan


Nayef tasted sweet revenge Tuesday with a hard-fought victory over Golan after a titanic struggle in the Juddmonte International Stakes on opening day of York's Ebor Meeting.

The pair battled through the last two furlongs of the 1 1/4-mile, 85-yard Group 1 Juddmonte. Golan and rider Kieren Fallon laid down their challenge just inside the quarter pole but Nayef under Richard Hills would not let them get by. At the line the 3-2 Nayef had half a length on the 9-4 Golan. Noverre, making his first start beyond 1 1/8 miles, was third, 1 1/2 lengths further behind. The winning time on good ground was 2:08.74.

The result reversed the order of finish of the 1 1/2-mile King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes when Golan had prevailed by a head. Trained by Marcus Tregoning for Hamdan Al Maktoum, Golan, a Kentucky-bred, 4-year-old son of Gulch, could have the Breeders' Cup Turf as his ultimate objective this season.

Tregoning said that the Turf was in the cards, but that he was also considering the 1 1/4-mile Champion Stakes at Newmaket on Oct. 19 for his Dubai Sheema Classic winner.

Tregoning, based in Lambourn, also hoped out loud that Sheikh Hamdan would keep Nayef in training at 5 for a tilt at the Dubai World Cup. Golan may now go directly to the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on Oct. 6.

Mark Johnston, whose Love Regardless finished sixth in the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington on Saturday, scored a Group 2 victory on the York card with the 4-5 favorite Bandari in the 1 1/2-mile Great Voltigeur Stakes.

The Alhaarth colt led virtually throughout but had to dig deep to hold off Highest by a head as rider Richard Hills once again rose to the occasion. The seven-length winner of the Group 3 Gordon Stakes last time, Bandari could challenge Kazzia in the classic St. Leger Stakes at Doncaster on Sept. 14.

Thursday's 5-furlong Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes is a wide open 17-runner affair. Tregoning will send out the speedy Dominica, the 3-year-old filly who beat older colts in the 5-furlong Group 2 King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot. Another sophomre filly, Porlezza, winner of the five-furlong Group 2 Prix du Gros-Chene, invades form France. British Group 1 sprint winners Continent and Malhub are threats along with Group 2 sprint winner Kyllachy.

In the Group 2 Lowther Stakes for juvenile fillies, Russian Rhythm and Romantic Liason will put their unbeaten records on the line.