The Group 1 7f Dewhurst Stakes is widely regarded as the best juvenile colts’ race of the year. Godolphin, arguably, own the three best juvenile colts’ in Europe with Middle Park winner Earthlight, last weekend’s Jean-Luc Lagardere winner Victor Ludorum and the brilliant National Stakes winner Pinatubo (3.30) who has won all five starts for Charlie Appleby.
The ground at Newmarket was described as good to soft on Friday and it should be noted that the odds-on favourite has never raced on ground softer than good. He is Even money with BetVictor for next spring’s 2000 Guineas, but he makes no appeal as a betting proposition this afternoon.
In the Gp 3 Zetland Stakes Mythical (2.20) looked potentially very smart when scoring at Gowran on soft ground and he is taken to give Aidan O’Brien a hat-trick in the race following the wins of Kew Gardens and Norway in the last couple of years.
The selection is 4/1 at BetVictor and looks sure to go close. Miss Yoda represents the Gosden/Dettori combination who is the 10/3 joint favourite. I have been waiting for Andrew Balding to run Berkshire Rocco in a nursery off a mark of 84, but his shrewd handler has decided to allow him to take is chance today. He might be overpriced at 16s.
Molatham has done us a couple of favours of late but in the Autumn Stakes I hope to see Al Suhail (2.55) enhance the Solario Stakes form having finished third in that Group 3 contest last time. The winner – Positive – takes his chance in the Dewhurst while the runner up – Kameko – went down by just a neck in the Royal Lodge last time. The selection is 9/2 at BetVictor.
The big betting race of the day is the Cesarewitch and Buildmeupbuttercup has been the best backed horse of the week. Legendary Irish handler Willie Mullins’ has booked Frankie Dettori – who is bidding to ride the autumn double following his Cambridgeshire win on Lord North – for the 9/2 favourite.
My two against the field, however, are Themaxwecan and Great White Shark (4.10) with preference for the grey who is widely regarded as the second string from the Mullins stable. The each way selection won a valuable handicap at Galway at the end of July and you can out a line through her latest hurdles effort when she didn’t jump a twig. Themaxwecan is 20/1 with BetVictor with Great White Shark 12/1 at BetVictor who are betting each way 6 places. William Buick takes over in the saddle.
At Chepstow I think Quoi De Neuf (2.45) looks well treated in the handicap hurdle even though he showed a tendency to jump out to his right at Ffos Las last start. The selection won first time out last season and could be one to follow going forward.
Kim Bailey has his string in good form, and I have backed Imperial Aura (4.30) for the 18-runner Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle. He has been well supported all week and is 4/1 at BetVictor but he has won his last three starts and an opening mark of 133 may not be beyond him.
At York I hope the return to softer ground can bring about a revival in fortunes for Johnny Drama (3.15) who disappointed on fast ground at Newbury last time. The each way selection is 5/1 at BetVictor and may have most to fear from the penalised Dark Vision who ran a cracker in the Cambridgeshire last time.
James Best rides the David Pipe-trained gelding Rathlin Rose (12s at BetVictor) in one of the most famous horseraces in the world the Velka Pardubicka in Pardubice in the Czech Republic this afternoon. The 11-year-old would be the first British-trained winner of this unique test since Charlie Mann’s It’s A Snip back in 1995. The Pipe runner is not the sole British interest in the race with dual Grand National winning jockey Leighton Aspell, Thomas Garner and Andrew Glassonbury also riding in the race that is run over ploughed fields as well as the Pardubice racetrack.
The market is headed by last year’s winner Tzigane Du Berlais (9/2 with BetVictor) with Aspell on the eight-year-old Talent (6s) looking to have the best chance of the British contingent. It really is an extraordinary challenge of horse and jockey and is live on Racing TV at 3.40 this afternoon.