The Highlight of Newbury’s card on Friday 18 September is the Dubai Duty Free Cup Stakes. This Listed race takes place over the straight 7-furlongs and has attracted a field of nine-runners.
Richard Hannon has won two of the last three editions of the race with Tabarrak, but the reigning champions was a late defector. That means Hannon relies on Watan, but he’s the lowest-rated horse on a mark of 101. He was placed in a Group 3 as a 2-year-old but has been beaten in two handicaps and a Listed race this season.
Trainer Saeed Bin Suroor trained five winners of this race between 2002 and 2013. His runner this year is the filly Final Song who is rated 105. But his rating was earned in Meydan and he’s not run up to that figure in four starts on turf since.
The 102-rated Jovial is the other filly in the field and she hails from the in-form stable of Sir Michael Stoute. She ran a cracker to be second in a Listed race on her second start this season over 7-furlongs but disappointed over 6-furlongs last time.
The 104-rated Symbolize has kept good company since winning on his debut but he’s yet to put in a performance that suggests he’ll beat some of today’s rivals if they bring their A-games. The career of Royal Commando has followed a similar pattern since winning his second start.
Kinross travelled like a dream over a mile on soft ground last time before finding little when asked to come off the bridle. 7-furlongs on soft ground could be his optimum conditions but the ground is set to ride possible faster than ideal. But he’s still preferred out of the five 3-year-olds.
Jash was a disappointment when I tipped him at York last time. He still has the potential to be a good horse, but I can’t go in again as he just didn’t go with enough enthusiasm there. Glorious Journey is another to disappoint of late, and he’s not looked anywhere near his best since returning from Saudi Arabia.
That means D’bai is our Dubai Duty Free Cup Stakes tip. He looks a standout bet on his early season form, when he ran second to the progressive Space Blues in France before winning at Haydock. I can forgive him his last two runs at Goodwood, where he’s never run well before, with most of his wins coming on flat left-handed galloping tracks.
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