The high-class flat racing action starts on Wednesday this week when Goodwood stages the Foundation Stakes. However, Newmarket takes centre stage after that as it hosts its three-day Cambridgeshire Meeting. Highlights include the Tattersalls Stakes and the Jockey Club Rose Bowl Stakes on Thursday, whilst the Rockfel Stakes and Joel Stakes are Friday’s highlights. Meanwhile, Saturday’s bumper card features the Group 2 Grand Lodge, the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes, the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes, and the Cambridgeshire Handicap.
Goodwood (Wednesday 26 September)
British Stallion Studs EBF Foundation Stakes
The Foundation Stakes is a Listed Race open to horses aged three and older. It is run over 1 mile 1 furlong and 197 yards and was first run in 1988. Recent notable winners include Monarchs Glen, Sky Hunter, and Twice Over. None of the trainers with runners this year have particularly good records in the race with Mark Johnston the only one to have trained a previous winner back in 2008. However, his possible representative Threading must have every chance on ratings if on one of her going days. However, she’s not the most consistent and the likes of Gabr, First Sitting, and Spark Plug all have chances.
Newmarket (Thursday 27 September)
The Tattersalls Stakes is the highlight of the opening day of Newmarket’s three-day Cambridgeshire Meeting. First run in 1977, it is a Group 3 Race for colts and geldings that are two-year-olds. It is run on the Rowley Mile over seven furlongs. The race’s most famous winner is Grand Lodge, who went on to register Group 1 success in the following season’s St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. The Hannon Stable has an envious record in the race, having won four of the last nine renewals, and could have the warm favourite in the shape of the top-rated Boitron.
Jockey Club Rose Bowl Stakes
The Jockey Club Rose Bowl Stakes is a race for horses with plenty of stamina as this Listed Race takes place over two miles. It is open to horses aged three and older and was first run in 1988. Its most high-profile winner is Pallasator, though it is trainer John Gosden that has dominated the race in recent times with four wins in the last six years. He could rely on either Sevenna Star or Ben Vrackie. Aidan O’Brien also has multiple entries to choose from, but the Irish Champion flat trainer has yet to saddle a winner of this race.
Newmarket (Friday 28 September)
Princess Royal Nayef Stakes
The Princess Royal Nayef Stakes has added the name Nayef to its title for 2018 but remains a Group 3 Race for fillies and mares aged three or older. It is run over 12 furlongs and is another race at this meeting which John Gosden has a tremendous record in, having trained three of the last six winners, including training Journey to win the race twice. His sole possible representative this year is Highgarden, though the daughter of Nathaniel has a few pounds to find with the likes of Sun Maiden, Crimson Rosette, Star Rock, Broadway, and Curly.
Shadwell Rockfel Stakes
The Shadwell Rockfel Stakes is open to two-year-old fillies and is a Group 2 Race run over 7 furlongs. It was first run in 1981 and has been won by classic winning fillies such as Speciosa and Finsceal Beo. The top-rated fillies in this year’s entries are Just Wonderful and Main Edition. However, as those two have already tasted defeat, if there’s a filly in the early entries with real classic pretensions it could be Hidden Message. Trained by William Haggas, she absolutely bolted up on her debut at Yarmouth last week and falls into the could be anything category.
Shadwell Joel Stakes
The Shadwell Joel Stakes is a Group 2 Race for horses aged three and older. It is run over a mile and was first established in 1987. Its most famous winners are probably Intikhab and Beat The Bank. The latter won the race in 2017 and looks likely to try and become the first horse to win the race back-to-back. He’s rated to do so but could face an interesting improver in the form of Sir Michael Stoute’s five-year-old Mustashry.
Newmarket (Saturday 30 September)
Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes
The Royal Lodge Stakes is considered to be one of the most prestigious two-year-old races of the year and it has a role of honour to match. It has been won recently by the likes of Frankel and Roaring Lion, whilst other notable past winners include Shirley Heights, Ela-Mana-Mou, Mister Baileys and Benny The Dip. John Gosden has trained two of the last three winners of the race and could rely on the unbeaten Beatboxer. However, one horse that really caught the eye on debut was Kadar. An expensive purchase, he was backed as though defeat was out of the question on debut and promptly delivered despite not getting the clearest of runs. Karl Burke’s horses usually come on a ton for having had a race, so watch this space. Aidan O’Brien looks sure to mount a challenge too though, as he has seven possible entries.
Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes
The Cheveley Park Stakes is a Group 1 Race for two-year-old fillies that takes place over a mile. It was first run way back in 1899, with notable winners including the brilliant sextet of Ma Biche, Ravinella, Dead Certain, Marling, Sayyedati, and Airwave. Aidan O’Brien has won the last two renewals with Brave Anna and Clemmie and has five entries. The top-rated of that quintet is Fairyland, though she has something to find with the likes of Pretty Pollyanna and Signora Cabello.
Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes
The Middle Park Stakes is a Group 1 Race for two-year-old colts that is run over six furlongs. It was first run in 1866, and last year’s renewal was won by this year’s July Cup winner US Navy Flag. Meanwhile, other notable winners have included Brigadier Gerard, Diesis, Rodrigo de Triano, Royal Applause, Oasis Dream, Dark Angel, and Dream Ahead. Aidan O’Brien’s Ten Sovereigns has been installed as the early ante-post favourite, and it’s no surprise to see him quoted at odds-on as he’s looked super impressive in winning both his starts so far. However, he’s not the only unbeaten horse in the line-up and Jash could be an each-way player against the favourite for Simon Crisford. Khaadem is another interesting rival after winning his last two starts for Charlie Hills, as he was sired by the 2007 winner Dark Angel, who was trained by Charlie’s dad Barry Hills.
Bet365 Cambridgeshire Handicap
You know Autumn has arrived when you hear the Cambridgeshire Handicap being mentioned, and it still forms part of the Autumn Double with the Cesarewitch which is run later in the season at Newmarket. The Cambridgeshire was first run in 1839 and it is interesting because it is run on a straight course over the unusual distance of 1 mile and 1 furlong. Recent winners have included Dolphin Vista, Spark Plug, and Third Time Lucky, whilst Bronze Angel won the race in both 2012 and 2014. The knack of picking the winner is trying to find a horse that might excels at this intermediate distance, whilst also potentially having a few pounds in hand of the handicapper. The bookies are struggling to split Kynren and Alfarris at the front of the market, but there have been winners returned at 40/1 and 50/1 in the last seven years.