Day two of the Dubai Future Champions Festival at Newmarket on Saturday and it is another cracking card at HQ. I fancy four and the details follow.
Day one was tough with a strong wind appearing to blow the formbook out of the window with a couple of double-digit priced winners in the big races. Sergei Prokofiev was my one winner from four bets but at 5-1 it was at least a winning day to level stakes.
The Listed Godolphin Flying Start Zetland Stakes gets the card underway at 1.50. Waldstern was turned over when odds-on at Haydock over a mile on his second start, having won here at HQ over eight furlongs on debut back in August. The third and fifth have both come out and won since though giving the form a solid look but he is short enough and both runs have been on softer going. The winner Kadar is due to run in the next, the Autumn Stakes, so there is a very important line of form there for today. Sydney Opera House looked to me to be crying out for a step-up in trip on his last two starts, most recently when second in the G.2 Royal Lodge Stakes when second. At 11-4 I am on the Ballydoyle colt.
It’s the one-mile Group Three Masar Godolphin Autumn Stakes next and as mentioned above debut winner Kadar goes. It is hoped Waldstern puts in a fair effort in defeat as I fancy the Karl Burke inmate. I really liked to way he went about his business when beating Waldstern, all the more impressive as it was his first outing. A 700,000 Euro yearling some big targets were mentioned after that win so he needs to be winning races such as this. William Buick was booked nice and early to ride and I took 3-1 happily.
At 3.00 it’s the dish of the day over seven furlongs. The Group One Darley Dewhurst Stakes has been won by some of the best in the recent years Frankel, Dawn Approach, Churchill and US Navy Flag all taking the prize. This year unbeaten colts Too Darn Hot and Sangarius will be putting their perfect records on the line. Ten Sovereigns doesn’t run O’Brien saying on Wednesday "We thought about running him but he had three runs in a relatively short space of time and, in fairness to the horse, we've decided to leave him alone until next season.". My feeling is that Too Darn Hot will prove just that for this field, which is why he is Evens at best, and I have taken that as I think he might prove a bit of a star.
The big handicap the 2m2f Dubai £500,000 Cesarewitch Stakes is at 3.40. Willie Mullins has had a stranglehold on the ante-post market with Stratum, Limini, Low Sun and Uradel to name but four. It is not a race I often bet in and I will be sitting it out again this year. The 4.15 is the Nursery and that is best watched with the future in mind.
The Nursery at 4.15 is best watched. At 4.50 they go over six for the Listed Dubai Life British EBF Boadicea Stakes and that’s a race I am leaving alone.
The lucky last is the Group Three Darley Stakes over 1m1f. Forest Ranger races a lot closer to home today having been in South Korea for the Grade One 3rd Keeneland Korea Cup last time he was sighted. That proved a worth while exercise as he finished fifth pocketing £27,720 for connections. The 1m2f’s of the G.1 Coral-Eclipse and G.2 York Stakes prior to that looked a furlong too far and this drop in class and nine furlongs trip should suit perfectly. He has to give the opposition weight all round but, if over the jetlag, I think he can do it and have taken the 7-1.