Newmarket’s Future Champions Festival is a wonderful opportunity to watch the potential emergence of some of next year’s classic contenders, with the Zetland Stakes providing clues to who might wins next year’s St Leger. Meanwhile, the 2,000 Guineas winner could be lurking in either the Autumn Stakes or the Dewhurst Stakes. The card also provides one of the biggest betting handicaps off the whole season in the shape of the Cesarewitch. We’ve free tips for all four of those races, whilst we’ve also a free tip for the Silver Trophy Handicap at Chepstow.
Zetland Stakes (1.50 Newmarket)
The second day of Newmarket’s Future Champions Festival kicks-off with a cracking renewal of the 1 mile 2 furlongs Zetland Stakes, with the last two winning trainers Aidan O’Brien and John Gosden both having significant entries. Aidan O’Brien saddles both Norway and Sydney Opera House, with the latter looking the stable number one with Donnacha O’Brien set to ride him after he finished second in the Grand Lodge at Newmarket last time. That’s arguably the best piece of form on offer, but John Gosden has been patient with Waldstern and I’d prefer to side with his potential. He won on debut here at Newmarket and, though beaten last time, this half-brother to this year’s Prix de ‘Arc de Triomphe winner Waldgeist looks sure to be suited by this step-up in trip.
Zetland Stakes Free Tip – Waldstern – 1pt Win @ 3.75 Unibet, 3.50 Widely Available
Autumn Stakes (2.25 Newmarket)
Aidan O’Brien is yet to train a winner of the Autumn Stakes, so I’m keen to take on his three representatives and, despite being worried about French-raider Persian King, I’m excited by Kadar. Karl Burke’s Scat Daddy colt was an expensive purchase and, though Burke’s horses often need their first run, this one was well-punted before beating first-race fancy Waldstern at Haydock, despite not getting out of a pocket when his jockey wanted to. It looks like the shrewd Burke really fancies him here too as he has booked William Buick, the jockey that has ridden two of the last three winners of this race.
NAP of the Day – Autumn Stakes Free Tip – Kadar – 1pt Win @ 4.50 Ladbrokes, Betvictor, Coral, BlackType
Dewhurst Stakes (3.00 Newmarket)
This year’s Dewhurst Stakes looks a terrific renewal, with John Gosden’s Too Darn Hot a warm order after a hat-trick of wins so far this season. However, this is a race that Aidan O’Brien targets with some of his top horses and he’s bidding to win his sixth Dewhurst in the last 10 years and his fourth in a row. The last seven winners have all had at least four runs before winning this, so that’s another reason for wanting to take on Too Darn Hot. The horse that I’m taking him on with is Anthony Van Dyck, who has already shown a level of form that would be good enough to win most Dewhursts, and he’s fancied to be suited by the more tender handling of Donnacha O’Brien, who won on him by eight lengths the last time he rode him.
Dewhurst Stakes Free Tip – Anthony Can Dyck – 1pt Win @ 5.50 Ladbrokes, William Hill, Betvictor, Coral
Cesarewitch Handicap (3.40 Newmarket)
34 runners are set to go to post for the Cesarewitch but, whilst that may sound like a nightmare scenario, the last five winners have all fallen into distinct ratings and weight carrying bands, with all five winners rated no higher than 88 and carrying no more than 8-8. That must give Golden Spear every chance of at least hitting the frame, as he’s on the same mark as when fifth in the race two-years ago. His trainer Tony Martin is also a master at laying one out for these lucrative handicaps and Golden Spear should be stronger now he’s a seven-year-old, the age of two of the last four winners.
Cesarewitch Free Tip – Golden Spear – 1pt EW @ 26.00 Bet365, Ladbrokes, Betfair SB, Paddy Power
Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle (4.45 Chepstow)
The last two wins that Court Minstrel registered were in the 2015 and 2017 renewals of this race and, though the 11-year-old could just be in decline, there are a few reasons why he should be backed to make it three wins in the race. The first is he’s now rated just 131, whilst his other two wins in the race have come off 149 and 142. Admittedly, last year’s win came with a useful apprentice taking seven pounds off. However, that is again the scenario, with Isabel Williams now claiming seven pounds. She’s certainly no mug either, with five wins and eight places from 25 rides for trainer Eva Williams, which includes two wins from four rides at Chepstow. Court Minstrel also gave weight to last year’s runner-up Sam Spinner, who has subsequently gone up over 20 pounds in the weights and was sent-off as favourite for last year’s Stayers’ Hurdle.
Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle Free Tip – Court Minstrel – 1pt EW @ 13.00 Coral, 11.00 William Hill
Odds Correct at Time of Publication