CESAREWITCH WEEK COUNTDOWN CONTINUED: Which is the best race to follow, the Fillies’ Mile or the Dewhurst? Where can you expect the winners to end up and at what level? Daqman runs his slide rule over past results and checks out the four weekend two-year-old tests at Newmarket in Cesarewitch week.
DEWHURST WINNER WARNING
Ballyhoo, Ballydoyle! Aidan O’Brien has won four of the last five runnings of Saturday’s top two-year-old trial, the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket. But don’t get carried away.
DEWHURST STAKES (Saturday): Among the Ballydoyle quartet, following in the hoofprints of other recent Classic stars, Frankel (2010 Henry Cecil) and Dawn Approach (2012 Jim Bolger), was Churchill (2016), subsequent dual 2,000 Guineas winner in England and Ireland.
But three of the O’Brien Dewhurst scorers – War Command (2013), Air Force Blue (2015) and US Navy Flag (2017) – won a grand total (that’s all told) of only ONE more race.
And in among the Ballydoyle flops was Roger Varian’s Belardo (2014), who subsequently suffered TEN consecutive Group defeats before landing some consolation in the Lockinge of 2016.
Dewhurst winners can be expected to reach a 117 OR (official rating) but the exceptions, like Churchill, go on to around 123.
In fact, a good way to assess whether, and in what kind of race, you might follow a two-year-old ‘classic’ winner is to project his or her expected future rating from each trial.
CORNWALLIS STAKES (Friday): Usually career peak at 105 but Quiet Reflection was a recent exception, winning the 2015 Cornwallis off 109 and reaching 117 when winning the following season’s Commonwealth Cup.
OH SO SHARP STAKES (Friday): Winners generally reach around 102 long term. The higher assessments of two recent winners were distorted by Meydan success. Lofty ratings from there generally don’t work out on turf in England.
Miss France (115) is an exception to the heights scaled by the Oh So Sharp winners but, though she followed up her 2013 success in the 1,000 Guineas the following May, she never won again in six Pattern tries.
FILLIES MILE (Friday): By far the best of Friday’s juvenile trials to follow, and arguably best of the lot this weekend, is the Fillies’ Mile.
Recently, Minding (reached 122 OR), Rhododendron (117) and, fresh in the mind, Laurens (116) have all won it en route to the very top.
It seems that improving colts steal the glory in their second season but, if strong enough to win the Fillies Mile, you can expect filly form to remain solid and show its strength in the big arena.
EARLY BIRDS SWOOPING ON ALFRED
1.30 Nottingham Early nap on Wednesday with Alfred Boucher in the opener at Nottingham.
The Henry Candy trained runner ran a fine race here on debut when very much in need of the run and the followed up with a half length second at Newbury last time out in what may turn out to be a decent maiden.
My man in the long grass still has him very much on his radar and he can see off the challenge of Mohaather who was another Newbury runner-up in the other division of the race that Alfred was second in.
The race should be fought out between the pair but Swindler has probably achieved the most and helps make the market.
2.20 Southwell The Dubai Way was a prolific winner last season and looks set to make a winning reappearance for BETDAQ’s brand ambassador Harry Whittington.
The six-year-old switches to fences for the first time but has always looked a chaser in the making and is sure to have been well prepared for this. We we know he can handle the bigger fences as he is also a point to point winner.
It’s hard to know what Mcgroarty achieved when winning at Huntingdon six days ago as two of the key players were fallers and he runs under a penalty for that success. This looks a better grade.
7.10 Kempton A terrifically competitive seven furlong handicap but I thought the top weight Redgrave had chances of running a big race off top weight.
He was a beaten favourite on soft ground at Chester last time out but had previously won over course and distance and had a big chance of hitting a place at least on a mark of just 2lb higher.
Several of his rivals are out of form and I’ll go for WIN 20 in both the win and place markets on BETDAQ.
DAQMAN’S BETS (staked to win 20 points, including place bet)
BET 7.1pts win (nap) ALFRED BOUCHER (1.30 Nottingham)ottingham
BET 6.6pts win THE DUBAI WAY (2.20 Southwell)
BET 4.2pts win and 12.6pts place (WIN 20) REDGRAVE (7.10 Kempton)
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