Newmarket Saturday preview: Dubai Future Champions Festival

Newmarket Races

It’s Two-Year-Old Champions weekend at Newmarket, starting to ring in the end of the flat season and the transition towards the jumps.

This meeting more than others gives us the best closing insight towards the Classics of 2020 and the big yards will be hoping that their Juveniles can spark hopes of classic successes next season.

Tom Wilson in collaboration with GIVEMESPORT and GIVEMEBET brings you analysis of races through the card.

2:20 Newmarket 1m2f (Row) Godolphin Flying Start Zetland Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1) (2yo)

We’re going to skip the Nursery and jump straight into the Group races, starting with the Zetland Stakes. A Group 3 over 10 furlongs, the Zetland Stakes has seen some decent types winning the race in recent years with St Leger winner Kew Gardens winning the race in 2017 and Ribblesdale winner Coronet winning the race in 2016.

Aidan O’Brien has a strong record in this race historically. He’s 2/5 (1place) when sending horses here since 2015, within it with the aforementioned Kew Gardens in 2017 and Norway in 2018. Aidan sends MYTHICAL here this year, following a mightily impressive performance last time out at Gowran Park where he smashed up a Novice field by 8.5. MYTHICAL is by 2000 Guineas and Epsom Derby winner Camelot and out of a Dam called Inchmina (mother of Johann Strauss).

Ballydoyle will be hoping to take this race here and build towards a Classic campaign next season. MYTHICAL is currently priced 9/4 with GIVEMEBET


2:55 Newmarket 1m (Row) Dubai Autumn Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1) (2yo)

The Autumn Stakes has often been used as a testing ground for potential Derby horses. Godolphin in particular have used this as a trial for potential classy types in recent years, with the last two horses they’ve sent here in 2016 (Best Solution) and Ghaiyyath (2017) winning. They’re 2/6 (1place) with horses running in the race since 2012.

I’m going to follow that angle and side with AL SUHAIL for the Charlie Appleby yard, currently priced at 9/2 with GIVEMEBET. He comes from a third in the Solario last time out, a race which I think will be seen to work out well, as the time figures are impressive for a 2-year-old race at that time of the season.

He’s going to be a horse that needs 1m4f as a 3-year-old being by Dubawi and out of Shirocco Star, the dam of Telecaster. The step up from 7f LTO to 1m here today will definitely suit and he can go close here today before going on to prove to be one of the starring 3-year-olds next season.


3:30 Newmarket 7f (Row) Darley Dewhurst Stakes (Group 1) (Class 1) (2yo)

The Dewhurst brings us the feature race of the day. Shamardal won this in 2004, Frankel in 2010, Churchill in 2016 and the over-hyped Too Darn Hot last year. This year we have the privilege of being treated to the next superstar of the Flat Racing game in Pinatubo. If Too Darn Hot was hailed as the heir apparent to Frankel last season, we’ve finally been graced by the real deal in this son of Shamardal.

I’ve already waxed lyrical about how good I think Pinatubo is in another preview article, but to compare his performance figures against the best 2-year-olds of the last two years, I have him around 5 lengths better than my best Two-Year-Old figure of 2018 recorded by Quorto at The Curragh.

He’s currently priced at 1/3 with GIVEMEBET, so not much of a betting angle to pursue. For those interested in a bet in the race I would side with Clive Cox’s POSITIVE Each Way. I’ve already mentioned that I think the Solario will work out as a decent piece of form and he comes here from an impressive run at Sandown. He has a great Each Way chance at a juicy price of 14/1.


4:10 Newmarket 2m2f (Row) Emirates Cesarewitch Stakes (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (3yo+)

A nice 31 runner big field handicap to wrap up the preview for this week. The Cesarewitch over 2m2f, netting £217,875 for the winner. There are a ton of unexposed horses here and this year's race looks like a really competitive renewal.

I’m going to side with RANCH HAND here for Andrew Balding, with Oisin Murphy taking the ride. He was an easy winner last time out at Haydock over 1m6f and I think he can improve even further when stepping up to 2m2f for this race. His previous race at Newmarket is probably the hottest piece of form of any horse coming into this race. That day he was behind Spanish Mission, who went over to the US to take the valuable $1 million Jockey Club Group 1 prize. He was ahead of Waldstern at Newmarket, (now rated 105) and 7.5L off Nayef Road, who ran a storming race


*Odds subject to change, 18+,

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