It’s all about the future this weekend at Newmarket with the next crop of promising two-year-olds strutting their stuff, while there’s one of the most competitive handicaps of the season, the Cesarewitch to enjoy as well.
It’s shaping up to be another fantastic meeting on the Rowley Mile and here are the thoughts of our horse racing betting expert on the action.
Autumn Stakes (Saturday)
You just have to look back through the recent role of honour to see the calibre of horse that usually takes the Group 3 Autumn Stakes.
The likes of Kingston Hill, Best Solution, Ghaiyyath and most recently Persian King have all been victorious in this one-mile contest showing it takes a good one to win it.
Charlie Appleby looks to hold a strong hand with both Al Suhail and impressive Goodwood winner Volkan Star, but I’m prepared to take on the Godolphin pair with Roger Varian’s Molatham at 7/2 with Grosvenorsport.com.
The son of Night Of Thunder was just touched off by Mums Tipple on debut and we all saw the strength of that form when the victor was a seriously impressive winner at York on his next start.
He’s been victorious on both starts since that defeat at Ascot and the form of his win in the Flying Scotsman Stakes at Doncaster looks solid with the runner-up Wichita winning the Group Three Tattersalls Stakes by seven lengths. That colt lines up in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes, so is clearly well-regarded and based on that Molatham must go close here.
Dewhurst Stakes (Saturday)
In the aforementioned Dewhurst Stakes, Pinatubo looks sure to go off a very warm favourite.
The unbeaten two-year-old has been ultra-impressive this season and his latest win, a nine-length demolition job in the Group One National Stakes at the Curragh, showed he’s arguably the best two-year-old in Europe at the moment.
Unsurprisingly then he’s the 1/3 favourite and it’s hard to see anything laying a glove on him.
Before going any further, the result of this race could largely be dictated by the weather.
At the time of writing, the heavens look set to open and the likelihood is that the ground will be on the soft side come the off.
Likely favourite Buildmeupbuttercup must go well given his trainer’s record in the race, while he’s shown his liking for these staying handicaps before with a strong showing in the Ascot Stakes at Royal Ascot.
He’s surely a likely contender, but I fancy another trainer renowned for his jumps horses to emerge victorious.
Alan King was successful with Grumeti in 2015 and I like the chances of his Coeur De Lion this time around.
The six-year-old has become a regular in these two-mile plus handicaps and he rarely runs a bad race in them. In fact, he’s only finished out of the first three once in five starts this term. He finished down the field in the race 12 months ago, but he’s a better horse this year and at just a one-pound higher mark, I think he’ll go close.