START LOOKING FOR THE CHAMPIONS OF 2018: The Classics and King George are behind us, and we’re looking to the Leger, the Ascot champions’ day and the Arc. But what about next year’s Classics? What’s setting the juvenile trials on fire? More importantly, what to believe, where to look for the two-year-old that is next year’s champion. Look back at this year’s stars and see how they won.

50 NON RUNNERS: DAQMAN tries to dodge the non runners, and the rain to find three bets on Wet Wednesday including a NAP at Bath.


September came early this year. She arrived in June with back-to-back wins at Leopardstown and in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot.

But will the months before the Newmarket 1,000 Guineas on 6 May 2018 see her fillies’-Classic star rise or diminish in brightness?

Ascot runner-up Nyaleti franked the form by winning a Group-3 five lengths recently but that’s the ratings gap you’d expect between top of the ladder and the third rung.

Nyaleti had earlier finished second to Clemmie on the Newmarket July Course (Group 2) so we certainly have collateral form suggesting that we are in aristocratic territory. But who is the winter lady?

A lot of nearly horses have won the Chesham but the 2016 winner, Churchill, was a Guineas hero, though not a filly but a colt. Strange if the race gets two Guineas winners in consecutive years but of different sex.

Minding (2015 Guineas) was a June arrival on the racecourse. She went on to win two more-usual stepping-stones to the 1,000, the Moyglare (Sky Lantern 2013) and the Fillies’ Mile, won last year by Rhododendron. Here’s your top 13 two-year-olds ‘Classics’ diary:

Phoenix Stakes, The Curragh, Sunday
Debutante Stakes, The Curragh, August 20
Futurity Stakes, The Curragh, August 20
Prix Morny, Deauville, August 20
Lowther Stakes, York, August 24
Gimcrack Stakes, York, August 26
Moyglare Stud Stakes, The Curragh, September 10
National Stakes, The Curragh, September 10
Fillies Mile, Newmarket, October 3
Dewhurst Stakes, Newmarket, October 3
Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, Deauville, October 4
Prix Marcel Boussac, Deauville, October 4
Racing Post Trophy, Doncaster, October 21

Expert Eye and Gustav Klimt have so far filled the 2,000 Guineas canvas, with Expert Eye (Vintage Stakes at Goodwood) following in the hoofprints of Galileo Gold, winner of the Newmarket Classic in 2016, and Gustav Klimt taking the Superlative Stakes on the July Course.

Zaman, only a length and a half behind Gustav Klimt that day, was four and a half behind Expert Eye at Goodwood. So, again, clear collateral form (or is it?)

It’s usually better to trust the Futurity and National Stakes (both won by Gleneagles on way to his 2015 Guineas), and the Coventry and, more so, the Dewhurst (both won by Dawn Approach, 2013 Classic hero)

Thus far we’ve seen only the Coventry Stakes, which went to Caravaggio last year and Rajasinghe this, though he was beaten by Cardsharp and US Navy Flag afterwards in a July Course sprint. All to play for, then.


It’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring … can only expect the racing to take a down turn after the double G extravaganza of Goodwood and Galway but the racing really has been poor so far this week and it doesn’t get much better today.

Yet again the rain is spoiling things and there 50 non runners at the time of writing across today’s cards. How many more before the pools panel are called into operation?

Pontefract needed to pass a morning inspection with the ground now described as soft, heavy in places.

3.30 Bath A class three handicap at Bath is about as good as it gets today. This one though has cut up badly with four non runners including the original BETDAQ favourite Dowayla which leaves a completely different shape to the race.

On a day when there frankly isn’t anything much to bet on, Anythingtoday may be appropriately named. The Hugo Palmer (3 wins from last 11 runners) trained runner comes into this as the only in-form runner of the remaining five and crucially goes well in the soft – as he proved with a debut third at Salisbury and a win on good to soft ground at Newmarket last time out.

He’s up 4lb for that narrow win which ordinarily would seem a little harsh but against the paucity of opposition today should be able to go back to back.

Storm Rock also gets his ground and is falling in the weights but the Harry Dunlop trained runner faded away in the closing stages at Newmarket last time out and it’s surprising to not see him stepped back in trip.

5.15 Yarmouth The Last Emperor made a winning debut over course and distance but it was a narrow success and penalties are notoriously hard to overcome. The sexy form figure and stable will ensure he props up the market to give us better than otherwise on Bartholomeu Dias who is a big class dropper after good runs at both Goodwood and Ascot.

9.05 Kempton I’m with the Roger Varian trained High Command here who was an excellent third at Newcastle when stepped up in trip for the first time last time out. His previous wins were over shorter trips but judged on the Newcastle evidence he can be just as successful over the marathon distances.

BET 8pts win (nap) ANYTHINGTODAY (3.30 Bath)
BET 7pts win BARTHOLOMEU DIAS (5.15 Yarmouth)
BET 5pts win HIGH COMMAND (9.05 Kempton)

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