We’ve got another great weekend of Group action at Newmarket and in France starting on Friday but with the action reaching fever pitch at 3PM on Saturday when this year’s champion two-year-old is crowned.
Our six selections are all well known to us and all look to have been trained to their peak for this weekend so confidence is high with some going off at very juicy odds.
We start at HQ on Friday with a couple of excellent fillies taking their chance in Group races with a view to the Guineas and the Oaks next season:
Friday 12th October 2018Embed from Getty Images
2.25 Newmarket (Oh So Sharp Stakes – Group 3) – HIDDEN MESSAGE
This Hidden Message of William Haggas’ yard looks a proper filly and she can take both the step up in trip and the climb in grade well in her stride.
Aidan O’Brien’s Frosty won well on debut at Dundalk and will undoubtedly improve, however strictly speaking her early form doesn’t match up to our girl or John Gosden’s penalised Angel’s Hideaway who remains capable of more despite a busy season.
2.40 Chantilly (Prix le Fabuleux – Listed Race) – RED MIST
As always with these French races we have no idea of what price to expect until much nearer race time, however it’s hoped that given Charlie Appleby’s well deserved reputation over there that Symbolization will go off favourite leaving our horse at much more appealing odds in this one.
Simon Crisford’s runner has had a couple of Gallic near-misses this season already and didn’t quite run to his best on home soil last time out, though he remains probably the best of these on a look at his profile overall and he is taken to score under Pierre-Charles Boudot.
3.35 Newmarket (Fillies’ Mile – Group 1) – BEYOND REASON (each-way)
We put up this filly for Arc weekend last time and she ended up not running however she has seemingly been underestimated all over again in the Fillies’ Mile and could go off at a very attractive price in what is a very early Oaks trial.
I get her top of my ratings but that is with the expectation over further improvement, something that isn’t 100% guaranteed, so given that we can expect 10/1+ she is backable each-way ahead of Hermosa and Pretty Pollyanna who is going up markedly in trip.
Saturday 13th October 2018Embed from Getty Images
2.50 Maisons-Laffitte (Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte – Group 2) – QUEEN OF BERMUDA
She’s been highly tried this season and had a longish campaign, but William Haggas’ filly who scored for us at Ayr now has softer ground once again and at the weights looks to have a few pounds in hand on the likes of Legends Of War and Sporting Chance.
Stephane Pasquier is just the right man to have on board the daughter of Exceed And Excel who won at Deauville in similar conditions earlier in the year and who can add one more Group win to her CV before perhaps being put away for the season.
3.00 Newmarket (Dewhurst Stakes – Group 1) – SANGARIUS
The idea each year is that the Dewhurst should be seen as the ultimate Group 1 race for juveniles, ideally crowning this season’s champion two-year-old. Despite the injury to Calyx and Quorto having been put away for the season, this year’s renewal is red hot and may indeed show us where these colts rank going into the winter.
As for the four main contenders left in this rank, Advertise is stepping up in trip from his impressive Phoenix Stakes win in Ireland but it’s not certain to suit him, while Aidan O’Brien’s Anthony Van Dyck has already tackled this distance but was put in his place by Charlie Appleby’s Quorto.
Too Darn Hot is the one for money and has been carefully handled by John Gosden, winning nicely at Group 3 and Group 2 level already, remaining unbeaten and at the head of the market for next year’s 2000 Guineas back over this course in May.
The one who could improve most however is Sir Michael Stoute’s impressive Doncaster winner Sangarius who is likely to appreciate the fact that he is getting to race on quicker ground. Kingman is already making a name for himself as a sire and it’s easy to see why, this horse and Calyx looking mightily impressive this term.
He was a couple of seconds slower at Doncaster than Too Darn Hot, but that was his second ever start, on slightly slower ground, in an easier grade and in an easier fashion and he is value to beat the favourite when it truly counts.
5.25 Newmarket (Darley Stakes – Group 3) – GABR
Although one of our old favourite’s Beshaayir runs here and definitely has a chance stepping up in trip to 1m1f at a course we know she likes, I can’t get away from the improving Sir Michael Stoute three-year-old at these weights.
The son of Intello went up against Without Parole at the start of the season and was still entrusted by his top yard to represent them at Group 1 level at Royal Ascot where he ran admirably in sixth behind the same horse. He’s been dropped to Listed level since then and got back to winning ways last time out at Goodwood and could take another step forward here.
I’d say he’s just about the best horse in this race and may go off at a reasonable price, Hathal perhaps being a danger for the places.