It's an eclectic mix this weekend with top-class Flat action with the two-year-old colts, a few old-fashioned big-field handicaps plus the Jumps game really starts to warm-up now as the weather turns colder, if that makes sense, so there is a little bit for everyone. I am concentrated at HQ and the
Dubai Future Champions Day.
Best bets for the horse racing at Newmarket Dubai Future Champions Day
1m2f Group Three Godolphin Flying Start Zetland Stakes gets the afternoon under way at 1.50. Flying Honours was not suited by the slow pace in the G.2 Royal Lodge over a mile here last time when beaten at odds-on; the four of them there all finished in a heap so I am not taking a lot of notice of that last run. Stepping up to ten here he is of interest to me and I was interested to hear Charlie Appleby talk of this colt very much as a middle-distance horse for next year in an interview in the week so this should suit perfectly at this stage of his career. By Sea The Stars out of G.3 winner in France Powder Snow it’s a pedigree that certainly suggests 1m2f-1m4f will be his game next year. Appleby sad this week reflecting on the Royal Lodge “He came out of the race well and we wanted to give him a better experience before finishing for the season.” I got on at 11-10 Friday afternoon and won't be surprised if this one is odds-on Saturday..
At 2.25 it is the Group Three mile Emirates Autumn Stakes. I have tipped Silver Knott on all four starts to date, has seen the back end of Chaldean twice but won the other two, so the colt owes me nothing at this stage. The team at Moulton Paddocks have been open about how disappointed they were with him in the 7f G.2 Champagne Stakes, probably down to the slower ground, and this looks a real opportunity to get back to winning ways. His win in the G.3 7f Solario Stakes is by far the best form on offer. Ge on at 3-1 BPG this morning. A winner on debut here in July the very unexposed Epictetus for the Gosden team heads up the dangers as one that could be anything.
Race of the day is the Group One 7f Darley Dewhurst Stakes due off at 3.00. There were a few in the entries I have talked of and tipped before, Naval Power being one along with Chaldean as well as a few that have caught the eye including recent G.3 Tattersalls Stakes winner Nostrum. Nostrum has been all the rage in the betting this week but he got the run of the race in a small field there and I am not sure it will turn out to be top-drawer form. I noted Charlie Appleby saying in a preview interview that as Naval Power drops back to seven here, having won over a mile at Ascot last time, he is comfortable that he will see the trip out and as they get racing some way out on the Rowley Mile often, when you hit the rising ground you need to be able to see out the seven comfortably and the team know now their charge does. They have waited for this, decided to leave the National Stakes alone because of the soft going, and he talked a lot about how they expect this one to progress again and perhaps more so as a three-year-old next year. What I have liked so far, other than he is unbeaten, is at Haydock last time carrying a penalty he was short of room and in a bit of trouble but able to get out into the clear and still get the job done – he looks a very professional colt. Charlie Appleby knows all about the Juddmonte pair, as mentioned earlier Silver Knott has finished behind Chaldean twice and Victory Dance was third to Nostrum in the G.3 Tattersalls Stakes, and he seems happy enough to take them on. Get on Naval to power passed them late at 4-1 BPG this morning. As Charlie Appleby said earlier this week “This is his time to go and prove himself at this level, as well as putting himself into the Classic picture for next season.”
The 2m2f Club Godolphin Cesarewitch Handicap at 3.40 is the big betting heat of the day and I am involved. Adagio was backed in from 25’s a few weeks ago to 6-1 jolly but sadly suffered a heart attack on the Gallops this week. I am of course on Run For Oscar at 10-1 each-way (five-places), a bet I placed back in August. Run For Oscar has been rated as high as 147 over the sticks and his Flat rating of 90 is what tempted me in, with trainer Charles Byrnes saying at the time "We'll probably go for the Cesarewitch if he gets in as I think the race will suit him. We'll consider Newmarket as the Irish one will be fiercely competitive this year, with the prize-money and everything, and although he'll go up a few pounds, he wasn't anywhere near getting in that before this." A lack of any recent rain has gone in his favour and the going should be perfect, I am very happy with my bet. Ahorsewithnoname has to be considered, Henderson has booked Ryan Moore to ride, but she is nowhere near the class of the selection over the sticks and has gone up 10lb to a rating of 96 on the Flat following her recent York win.
I am a little Charlie Appleby and William Buick heavy again but they love this meeting and you ignore them at your peril; I've tipped three but they could have four or five winners on the day!