Dewhurst Stakes Preview with Sam Preen
Capping off Friday’s action with the Dewhurst, dominated by Ballydoyle, who bid for back to back wins, having won this last year. Here’s the line up for the final Group 1 of Friday…
Picked up his maiden in stylish fashion, before running creditably on his Group 2 debut to finish fourth to Ivawood (who probably won by the time this goes off), and followed that up with a comfortable success against 3 rivals in a Newbury Listed event, but was no match for Estidhkaar in the Champagne Stakes on his latest effort. May find things tough on his Group 1 debut.
Showed early promise, but didn’t get off the mark until upped to this trip, before going onto spring an upset in the Group 3 Acomb Stakes, beating Toocoolforschool by a head (would go onto win a Group 2), and was hardly disgraced in defeat on his Group 1 debut, at the Curragh, when third to Gleneagles, despite racing keen early on. Should make a bold bid, but unlikely to feature in the placings.
A nightmare to spell and probably just as bad for commentators. Fair second on his debut at Goodwood, but boasts a 3-3 record under Hamdan number one, Paul Hanagan, having previously scalped Aktabantay on Newmarket’s July course, and War Envoy in the Champagne Stakes. Definitely deserves his place at this level as he bids for the four timer, and should take some beating, whichever way the ground goes.
Eyecatching debut behind Adaay at Newbury, before going onto get within two and a half lengths of The Wow Signal in the Coventry Stakes, despite being given far too much to do by Adam Kirby, and went onto pick up a Listed event at Ascot in July, over this trip, staying on well to win by a length and a half (Future Group 2 winner Muhaarar in third), though he’s not been seen since then. Should run his race, but the opposition looks stronger.
Fair debut back in July, before picking up an average maiden at Pontefract in August, and then finishing runner up to Burnt Sugar in Kempton’s Sirenia Stakes. Routed his rivals over course and distance, his first start over this trip, this time under Richard Hughes. Connections must think highly of him, having supplemented him for this race, before (presumably) going onto run in the RP Trophy. Massive claims back at Newmarket, and interesting Richard Hughes is back on board.
Typical Johnston horse who’s had a busy season. Didn’t get off the mark until the fourth attempt, but went onto land the £100,000 Auction Trophy over shorter, before stepping up in trip to land the big £500k 2YO Trophy, finishing three quarters of a length in front of Outlaw Country. Definitely deserves his place here, but making his seventh start against lightly raced sorts isn’t a positive.
Surprisingly not entered in the Derby like most of Ballydoyle runners. Smuggler’s Cove took a while to get going at Rosscommon, but did well to finish fifth of fifteen, and followed that up with a cozy success at Listowel, before routing his rivals on the all-weather circuit at Dundalk, in a Listed event, though hard to make a case for what he beat. Interesting if he lines up for this, but the RP Trophy, a race he was earmarked for, looks a more realistic option.
Conclusion:Only a small field, and Coolmore only leave in one,Smuggler’s Cove, but it could go to course and distance winner MAFTOOL, who looks capable of giving Saeed bin Suroor his first Group 1 win since African Story picked up the Dubai World Cup.
Very smart over shorter, Richard Hughes left it late but Maftool had plenty left in the tank to land the Somerville Tattersall Stakes last month, routing his rivals by two and a half lengths. Interesting that Richard Hughes’ name is chalked up again, but given the ride last time, he can steer him very close on his Group 1 debut. Estidhkaar looks the main danger.
Maftool @ 7/1 (BetVictor, Boylesports)
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