Trainer John Gosden and Frankie Dettori probably haven’t finished celebrating Enable’s pulsating second victory in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on Sunday, but they could unleash another potential star into Group 1 company this weekend as Too Darn Hot is entered in the Dewhurst Stakes. That race isn’t the only highlight at Newmarket this week though, with the Cornwallis Stakes, Oh So Sharp Stakes, Challenge Stakes, and Bet365 Fillies’ Mile formulating part of Future Champions Day on Friday.
Meanwhile, Saturday’s card also stages the Zetland Stakes and the Autumn Stakes. However, the big betting race of the weekend is sure to be the Cesarewitch Handicap, in which over 30 runners will be trying to win a first prize of £307,250.
Newmarket Friday 12 October
Newmarket Academy Godolphin Beacon Project Cornwallis Stakes
The Cornwallis Stakes kicks-off Newmarket’s Dubai Future Champions Day and is a Group 3 Race for two-year-olds run over five furlongs. The race was established in 1946, and run at Ascot until 2014 before being moved to Newmarket. Quiet Reflection won the 2015 renewal before going on to win at Group 1 level. There are plenty of horse already rated over 100 in this year’s entries including Barbill, Junius Brutus, Pocket Dynamo, Well Done Fox, Gossamer Wings, and Shumookh, but they’ll also have to go some to beat True Mason if Karl Burke sends him after finishing second in the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes last time.
Godolphin Lifetime Care Oh So Sharp Stakes
The Oh So Sharp Stakes is named after the brilliant 1985 winner of the Fillies Triple Crown and is a Group 3 Race for two-year-old fillies over seven furlongs. Established in 1987, its most notable winner was the 2013 winner Miss France. She went on to win the following season’s 1,000 Guineas for French trainer Andre Fabre, who this year could be represented by Suphala after winning her last two races. She could face some interesting opponents though, including Group 2 runner-up Dandhu.
Other notable potential opponents include Aidan O’Brien’s once-raced winner Frosty, whilst Hidden Message went into many notebooks after winning impressively on debut at Yarmouth for in-form trainer William Haggas.
Godolphin Stud And Stable Staff Awards Challenge Stakes
The Challenge Stakes dates all the way back to 1878 whilst, more recently, this seven furlongs Group 2 for horses aged three and older has been won by the likes of Salse, Selkirk, Nayyir, and last year’s winner Limato. After winning a July Cup at Newmarket, Limato has failed to scale those heights since, but has looked more like his old self in winning his last two races against weaker opponents. He could well take this race in once more after being withdrawn on account of soft ground last weekend, but a weather watch is advised. Breton Rock, D’Bai, and Mankib head the list of potential specialists over seven furlongs, whilst Dancing Star seemed to relish the step-up to this trip on her last two starts and could go close now she’s hit form again.
Bet365 Fillies’ Mile
The Fillies’ Mile was established in 1973 and moved to Newmarket in 2011. It is a Group 1 Race open to two-year-old fillies and run over a mile, and it has been a great stepping stone to further Group 1 success for the likes of Cherry Hinton, Height Of Fashion, Oh So Sharp, Diminuendo, Bosra Sham, Reams Of Verse, Soviet Song, Minding, and last year’s winner Laurens.
The bookies have installed the unbeaten Antonia De Vegas as the early favourite after she won a Group 3 at Goodwood last time, whilst the also unbeaten Shambolic could bid to give John Gosden his first winner of this race since Nanina in 2005. Anything that Aidan O’Brien runs also has to be respected as he has won three of the last four renewals and has six fillies entered at the five-day entry stage.
Newmarket Saturday 13 October
Godolphin Flying Start Zetland Stakes
The Zetland Stakes is the first day of Newmarket’s Cesarewitch Card and it is a Listed Race for two-year-olds run over 10 furlongs. It is an unusually long race for two-year-olds, so it is no great surprise that the winners often blossom over staying trips as they get older. Indeed, winners have included the famous stayer Double Trigger, as well as this year’s St Leger winner Kew Gardens.
However, not all high-class winners excel over further, with Twice Over a proven Group 1 performer over 10 furlongs later in his career. Last year’s winner was sired by top-sire Galileo, and Aidan O’Brien has some similarly bred types entered in the form of Circus Maximus, Sovereign, and Norway.
Masar Godolphin Autumn Stakes
The Autumn Stakes has an extended title this year as it incorporates the name of this year’s Derby winner Masar for Godolphin, who have won the last two renewals of this one-mile Group 3 Race for two-year-olds with Best Solution and Ghaiyyath. Godolphin’s sole entry this year is Royal Meeting, and it will be interesting to see if he can live up to what looks a potentially well-chosen name. However, whether he lives up to some of the past winners like Nashwan, Nayef, and Kingston Hill remains to be seen. Kadar, who was well-backed on debut and again before being frustratingly withdrawn last time, is another to watch out for.
Darley Dewhurst Stakes
The Dewhurst is a Group 1 Race for two-year-olds over seven furlongs and this prestigious race dates back to all the way to 1875. It has a role of honour that will have the purist salivating with expectation in the hope that this year’s winner can go some way to emulating some of the greats that have won The Dewhurst such as Hyperion, Nijinsky, Mill Reef, Grundy, Diesis, El Gran Senor, Ajdal, Generous, Dr Devious, Zafonic, Pennekamp, Rock of Gibraltar, Sir Percy, New Approach, Churchill, and US Navy Flag.
It’s possible though, as John Gosden and Aidan O’Brien could pitch their unbeaten three-time winners Too Darn Hot and Ten Sovereigns into what could be the first clash of many between two potentially outstanding colts. O’Brien actually has eight entries, whilst the likes of Advertise, Kuwait Currency, and Sangarius could make this one of the best races of the year.
Dubai 500,000 Cesarewitch Stakes
The Dewhurst may produce the cream of next year’s three-year-old crop, but it’s the Cesarewitch Handicap that the bookies like to milk, as the 2 miles 2 furlongs trip has sapped the stamina reserves of many fancied runners since the race’s inception in 1839. However, the punters have also landed a gamble or two over the years, including last year’s winner Withhold who was gambled in from an early-morning price of 14/1 to 5/1 favourite last year. Withhold won in the hands of Silvestre de Sousa, and the champion jockey has been very much the jockey to follow in this race recently with three wins in the last five years, his other two winners being Sweet Selection and Scatter Dice.
Interestingly, seven of the last eight winners have also been burdened with 8-8 or less. Not all those winners were easy to find though, with winners at 25/1, 50/1 and 66/1 twice in the last seven years. Willie Mullins is yet to saddle a winner of this race but, with jumps trainers having saddled 5 of the last 12 winners, it could be worth taking note of anything he runs. Meanwhile, Suegioo could be interesting off a low-weight as he stays all-day.