Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Newmarket Future Champions Day

The racing calendar is much changed in the closing weeks of the season to accommodate the inaugural QIPCO Champions Day at Ascot, and for that reason we have what is now called Future Champions Day at Newmarket where some of the big two-year-old races of the season are now being held.

Therefore on Saturday we will across the Rowley Mile have four of the season's best two-year-old races headed by two Group 1s in the Middle Park Stakes for colts over 6F and the Dewhurst Stakes for colts and fillies over 7F.

The Middle Park Stakes generally tends to attract well-regarded maiden winners but invariably it falls to a colt with more exposed form in Group races, as highlighted by the following statistic, that nine of the last ten winners of this event had won a Group race and nearly all of them had won that race last time out. Winners have come from top-class two-year old races like the Coventry, Mill Reef, Gimcrack and Prix Mornay, although it must also be said that we would be wary of form from the July or Richmond Stakes which in the past have not provided such a good guide. Anyone looking at the racing betting should remember this.

Caspar Netscher is the one that is likely to set the standard in form terms and he has proven form at the trip which is another positive in his favour and he looks sure to have a good shot at becoming the fifth Gimcrack winner and sixth Mill Reef victor to come on and take this since 1970.Over a further furlong the Dewhurst is a tough examination for two-year-olds and it is the more experienced horses that have come to the fore in this event and Sharmadal is the only winner in the past decade that has not run at least three times. Fans of horse racing betting tips should bear this in mind.

Last year's winner Frankel needs no introduction and he came to this race via the Royal Lodge Stakes but winners of that race tend to head for the Racing Post Trophy and if you want a guide to where the Dewhurst winner is going to come from then the Champagne Stakes is the best Dewhurst guide. It's also worth remembering that no horse has won this on the back of a maiden success in the last 20 years and only three of the last ten winners had not won a Group race. Proven stamina is also important and eight of the last ten winners had already scored over 7F and it's very unusual to find a winner that has not raced beyond 7F, we have to back to 1998 (Mujahid) to find a horse who completed that feat.

This year's renewal looks wide-open and despite the fact that market leaders have done well in Dewhurst history, there has been the odd long-priced winner and Red Duke could be the one to spring a shock if there was to be one. The Quinn juvenile has enough experience (five runs) and that all-important Group win on his CV courtesy of his win in the Superlative Stakes. His outings after that have not quite gone to plan but he did turn in a very pleasing performance in the influential Champagne Stakes at Doncaster and he is capable of pushing the principals close here.Future Champions Day at Newmarket is a new innovation and the fields on the two-year-old front look sure to hold plenty of interest for this new venture in the racing calendar.

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