Guineas credentials and more put to the test at Newmarket
With four Group races on the card and seven chances to get your money back if you have a near miss with Ladbrokes’ Channel 4 offer (all the details here), it is easy to forget that the weekend is not yet here.
But such is the quality of action at Newmarket this Friday that we could even catch a glimpse of next year’s 1,000 Guineas winner in the Dubai Fillies Mile.
Future Champions Weekend is ready to get underway, and we’ve taken a look at three of the big races at HQ.
Who will come under the Cornwallis Stakes curse?
Taking a Group 3 contest might well be the highlight of many trainer’s season, but it is the future implications that winning the Cornwallis Stakes (13:35) seems to have that is a worry.
Of the last five victors, only Hot Streak has tasted a single success since, resulting in a return of just one win in 41 runs between them.
That dismal scenario looks unlikely to continue though, especially if the exciting Quiet Reflection justifies favouritism.
Karl Burke’s daughter of Showcasing found a combination of the trip and being too keen against her when pitched in at the deep end in the Lowther on just her second start.
Back at 5f, a trip she won a Listed contest over last time out, she could be something special.
The fact that runner-up Field of Vision, who was four lengths back that day at Ayr is second favourite for this, suggests a first Group win is on the cards.
O’Meara magic set for a competitive Challenge Stakes
Just two pounds separates nine of the 10 runners in this Group 2 (14:40) contest on official ratings, so finding a winner is not easy.
Group 2 winning German raider Shining Emerald has had a great season on the continent, but with a 4lb penalty for his most recent win has it all to do against a decent field.
The first three home last year all re-emerge to have another crack at the seven furlong race, but with at least two of them preferring cut in the ground, the drying conditions aren’t helping their cause.
Instead it could be wise to turn to the wizard of mastering older horses that is David O’Meara.
From Move In Time, to Penitent, to Custom Cut, the handler has thrived with those slightly longer in the tooth, and So Beloved is no different.
Having never stepped into Group company before joining from Ruth Carr in April, he looked a solid handicapper. But stepping up for some black type glory at Glorious Goodwood saw him deliver when winning the Supreme Stakes.
It was soft that day, but with wins on a firmer surface as well, he looks solid value to upset the principles.
Guineas work-out for exciting fillies
No one has won the Dubai Fillies’ Mile (15:10) on more occasions than Frankie Dettori, who has tasted success in the race six times.
The Arc winning rider reportedly convinced John Gosden to run the unbeaten Nathra here rather than take in the Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp of account a straight mile suiting her better.
The filly’s maiden form looks rock solid with runner-up Light Music winning by 14 lengths next time out, but this will take even more.
Group race form is brought into the fixture by Ballydoyle duo of Minding and Coolmore, but their arch nemesis that is Godolphin might be the better place to look.
Saeed bin Suroor’s Promising Run had a couple of Group winners in behind her when taking the Rockfel here over 7f last time out.
It’s easy to expect that this step up to a mile will work even more wonders as well, with her breeding suggesting 8f will be the bare minimum she needs in time.
Her handler has been operating well in recent weeks, returning a strike-rate of 35 per cent in the past fortnight and will have her bang up for this.
The famous royal blue silks have been carried to victory three times in the past five renewals and William Buick looks the next man set to wear them to victory here.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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