Newmarket is very much centre stage for the next couple of days with the Dubai Future Champions Festival. It is top class action on the Rowley Mile across the two days of the meeting with nine Group races and a Listed heat plus some quality handicaps.
For day one I am going up nice and early with the bets as I am on all five fancies overnight.
Best bets for day one of the Dubai Future Champions Festival at Newmarket
They get underway a 1.15 with the Godolphin Under Starters Orders Maiden Fillies' Stakes but with just three having any race course experience it is a dangerous race to be getting involved in.
The speedsters are out at 1.50 for the Group Three Newmarket Academy Godolphin Beacon Project Cornwallis Stakes over five furlongs. Papa Don't Preach does not hang about and is likely to take these along at pace from the off; the son of Kodiac has a habit of setting it up for others though, as he did in the G.2 Flying Childers Stakes last time, and in fact is still a maiden. There are a couple in here dropping back to the minimum trip and an early strong pace will suit them. Twilight Jet is one of those. He has been in with some good ones this season and arrives here off the back of a good effort in the 6f G.1 Middle Park 13 days ago fading out of it late on into fifth. You would expect to see him slip in behind the early leaders and his ability to stay a little further should see him pick them off late on. Get on at 4-1. Hierarchy is feared having finished second in the 6f G.2 Mill Reef on his latest start
At 2.25 we have the Group Three 7f Godolphin Lifetime Care Oh So Sharp Stakes. It’s hard to know what Good American beat on her debut run at Salisbury last month, the second won next time out, but she did destroy that field making every yard and never looking troubled. She is by US Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup Classic Winner American Pharaoh out of Parvaneh who was a Group winning mare in Germany. I would expect to see Dettori pop her out and lead every yard and I have the 100-30. Pearl Glory looks the one likely to follow her home.
The 3.00 is the 7f Group Two Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards Challenge Stakes and sees two of my old favourites Al Suhail and D’bai face-off again. D'bai (second) just got the better of Al Suhail (third) in Listed company at Newbury last month. There is very little between the pair but I actually fancy on to beat them both. Chindit gets a couple pounds for the Godolphin duo and this slight drop in class and distance might see him return to winning ways having proved not quite up to Group One level over a mile. 4-1 is about as I write, cash coming, and I have that.
Race of the day is at 3.35 the Group One Bet365 Fillies' Mile. It is difficult to oppose the jolly Inspiral who has been odds-on pretty much since the chalked-up for the race. She arrives three from three having won the G.2 May Hill Stakes at Doncaster in the style of a very good filly. Wild Beauty has been steadily progressing all season, was beaten into second by Inspiral in a 7f Listed heat at Sandon in July. She was impressive in Canada winning the G.1 Natalma Stakes ovre a mile at Woodbine last time though (tipped on here); blew the start but came home very strongly to win easing down under Dettori. At 11-1 she is worth a tentative punt. Her trainer Charlie Appleby said on the Godolphin website “We were delighted to see Wild Beauty win a G1 in Canada, when she improved for the step up to a mile. She has taken that race well and goes into this with plenty of experience at a high level.”
The lucky last at 4.40 is the Group Three Newmarket Pony Academy Pride Stakes over 1m2f for fillies and mares. Soft Whisper was looking a prospect at the start of the year wining her first two starts at the Carnival in Meydan in January before running in the Saudi Derby at Riyadh where she was fifth; she finished lame when last in the 1m 1½f UAE Derby. After six months off she came back to win a mile Listed event here a fortnight ago. You would expect improvement again and the trip should suit nicely. She is the tentative pick at 5-1. Saeed bin Suroor said on the Godolphin website “Soft Whisper ran a big race on her latest start, when she won nicely. Her last piece of work went well and she is ready to go again.” Sayyida is a fair performer at this sort of level but the drop back in trip seems unlikely to suit to my eyes. Another of the thee-year-olds La Joconde could be thereabouts at the finish after a couple of big runs, at big prices - third in both the Yorkshire Oaks and Prix Vermeille - whilst on pacemaker duties. Pacemaker is a roll she has played a few times this season and it will be interesting to see how she goes when allowed to run her race.