- October 17, 2014
17th October 2014
Dubai Future Champions Day on the Rowley Mile
A fabulous day beckons at Newmarket for Dubai Future Champions Day. Here are some of the horses I think you should look out for.
The Dubai Cornwallis Stakes is a Group 3 over 5 furlongs and the market is headed by Strath Burn for Charlie Hills. He looked a useful sort when winning first time out at Newbury and was second to Kool Kompany in the Prix Robert Papin at Maisons-laffitte. Ground was soft in France so should not pose a problem and his last run at Newbury would indicate this drop back in trip should suit.
I always like to see a jockey reunited with a horse and that is the exactly the situation we have with Ryan Moore and Squats. All the colt's victories have come with quite short margins and the ground is an unknown for him but he is Moore's choice.
Mick Channon's Moonraker, previously ridden by Ryan Moore, pairs up with Richard Hughes. A good winner on debut at Ascot, he was only beaten by 3 lengths in the Flying Childers at Doncaster and that is race that has turned out to have some form.
Marcus Tregonning's Air of Mystery was a winner on debut on quick ground at Bath. He won by four lengths of more experienced rivals on that occasion and has William Buick on board today.
Jessica Long's Volatile intrigues me in that he is a Swedish-trained horse making the trip to Newmarket. He won by 16 lengths on debut, but that was on the dirt in Sweden and there is not much to go on.
The Dubai Middle Park Stakes looks to be Ivawood's for the taking. He has had three impressive runs for Richard Hannon who thinks the world of this horse. By the speedy Zebedee, he has form on softer ground as his win in the July Stakes came on good to soft ground.
So who can give him a race? The Gimcrack winner Muhaarar is proven on soft ground. Jungle Cat is a model of consistency but is nought from two clashes with Ivawood and it is hard to see him reversing the form.
Kool Kompany, won three on the bounce at the start of the year. He likes to bowl along in front and is a very good yardstick, having won the Prix Robert Papin at Maisons-laffitte. He was also just touched off by Dick Whittington in the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh.
The Dubai Fillies' Mile has a great history and has consistently produce potential Oaks runners. Lucida for Jim Bolger is the one to beat after her victory in the Shadwell Rockfel Stakes and the step up in distance should suit.
Marsh Hawk has been supplemented by connections after a impressive win in a conditions race at Newbury last time out. She has proven soft ground form from Newmarket's July course and finished like a train at Salisbury, so I think the extra furlong will pose no problem.
Of the Irish raiders, Aidan O'Brien's Together Forever was unlucky to bump into one of his Group 1 stars in Found, but has since found her feet. Her last three runs have been over a mile and so she is proven over the trip. Edward Lynam has a impressive strike rate of seven winners from his last 12 English runners and that includes Agnes Stewart who was very eye-catching when winning the Mayhill Stakes at Doncaster.
The Dubai Dewhurst Stakes is the best two year old race in this country and this year has an impressive cast of runners. Richard Hannon's Estikhaad is the winner of his last three runs and he was very impressive at Doncaster. Could this be his minimum distance? I think he will be even better over longer distances next year.
The thing that nags away at me, however, is that Irish trainers have won seven of the last eight runnings. The only one to send them home winless was the mighty Frankel. The only Irish contender is the intriguing Smuggler's Cove from Ballydoyle. He has taken a very unusual route for an Aidan O'Brien two year old not contesting any of the races we would his expect but his seven length victory in a listed race at Dundalk.
Maftool is Group 3 winner over course and distance. Kodi Bear stayed on well to finish fourth in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot after finding things developing a little quickly for him. The step up to seven furlongs proved no barrier when he ran out an impressive winner of the Winkfield Stakes at Ascot's King George Meeting.
I will also be keeping an eye on Secret Brief for Mark Johnston - two victories on the Rowley Mile already, he could be anything!