David Ord blogs live from a cracking card at Newmarket where Too Darn Hot takes centre stage in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes.
All times BST
1347: Jon Gosden runs Waldstern: “We’ve always liked him and I expect him to be suited by these conditions – unlike Too Darn Hot.”
1345: Sky Bet are offering money back as a free bet if second here (maximum £20). I think Norway will chase his stablemate Sydney Opera House home.
1340: In the paddock for the Zetland – at ten furlongs the longest race for two-year-olds in the pattern. But before they head to post a going update from clerk of the course Michael Prosser. It is good to firm.
He said: “The course is in good order. There is a good cover and they made a nice print up the track yesterday. It is quicker than it was yesterday. It was dry overnight and the GoingStick reading reflects that: it was 8.0 compared to 7.7 yesterday.
“There are probably parts of the course – between the 2f and 3f, and 4f and 5f – which are always the areas that dry out, that are slightly quicker. Those areas are possibly just on the quicker side of Good to Firm.
“Last night we watered four furlongs out in the country as we thought it had tightened out on the Beacon Course, which is round the bend, up to the 1m6f marker. We put on 2mm, which was not the easiest piece of irrigation to undertake because it was blowing a gale at that stage, and that is part of the reason why we refrained from irrigating up the home straight, because it would have been extremely difficult to get it spread evenly and the amount we would want to. But as it is, I’m happy with the track.
“The breeze today is in the same sort of direction, but it is just starting to turn around, coming from the south, hence the warmth, and it is ridiculously warm for the time of year. We are not complaining, as we have been blessed with some gorgeous weather on this great raceday and it will probably peak at around 24C, although you can feel the breeze just strengthening a little. We will probably see gusts of around 30mph and it will diminish around 4pm onwards.”
1330: With all the non-runners in the finale I did just wonder if Forest Ranger could defy his penalty for Richard. We shall see.
1325: Couple of non-runners in the nursery but Baronnial Pride does go and Richard Fahey rates him one of his best chances of a winner today. Check out his column to find out why.
1320: The Dewhurst? Well check out my horse-by-horse guide below. Thanks too to those who replied simply with the word no to my Monday column which was headlined: David Ord: Too Darn Hot?
1315: So what of the rest of the card? Well Sydney Opera House looks a solid favourite for the opening Zetland Stakes. He’s into 6/4 now but will be hard to beat.
Persian King and Magna Grecia are two exciting prospects in the Autumn Stakes and it will be fascinating to see how they go but I just wonder if Massam is a spot of value at around 14/1. He’s won his last two for Mark Johnston, is teak-tough, has Silvestre de Sousa in the saddle and handles fast ground. He’ll ask a question or two of his flashier rivals.
1305: Just realised rather than my ramblings about team Mullins in the Ces you may be interested in what the trainer himself has to say about them. Well, here you go.
“Stratum was very unlucky in the Ebor. From a poor draw he got no luck in running and it just didn’t work out for him on the day. He was very impressive in Newbury the time before that and he’s working as well as he’s ever worked at the moment. Granted normal luck in running we’d be expecting him to bring home some sterling.”
“It was great to see Limini pick up a big handicap after hitting the crossbar twice in Galway, but to be honest, I was slightly disappointed that she could only beat Law Girl by a small margin. That performance would suggest that she doesn’t have much in hand over the handicapper, but it could be the extra couple of furlongs brings about a bit more improvement. Law Girl ran well behind Limini, she has a nice racing weight with less than 9st on her back she has an each-way chance.”
Limini wins at Leopardstown
“Uradel is intriguing. He got a fantastic ride from Aubrey (McMahon) to win in Galway and a mile and a half on quick ground at Bellewstown was much too sharp for him last time. Stepping back up in trip will help him and he’s probably the most unexposed of all of ours. Low Sun ran in the same race as Uradel at Bellewstown and again the trip and track on fast ground was too sharp. He’s really improved over hurdles and he’s a laid-back horse, which will suit him in a race like this.
“Whiskey Sour has been running well in similar races but probably isn’t that well handicapped, while Meri Devie has been hugely disappointing on the Flat and we don’t really know why. Her work at home is far superior to what she’s been showing on the track and her hurdles form is far superior to her Flat form. We’re going there hopeful and it wouldn’t surprise me if she ran well.”
1255: Low Sun has been a persistent whisper for this – and seemingly the pick of the Rich Ricci team – but I’ve backed Here And Now – and will be backing Stratum now too.
1250: I do think Here And Now is going to run a big race – and with eight places at Sky Bet I’m happy to take a chance on him each-way. But is Stratum becoming a bet? He’s out to 8/1 in places now and here’s a well handicapped horse who is going to relish the step up in trip. I thought he’d be shorter.
The fact he isn’t is due to the move for Southern France. I see why the money has come for him but this is a big ask for a three-year-old, especially one drawn 24. Look he might outclass them – but this normally falls to a battle-hardened gunslinger.
1240: Right time to talk Cesarewitch. We have all our pundits’ picks right here. Enjoy!
1235: Don’t forget to play the £50,000 ITV7. Completely free.
1225: Looks like the Linfoot talks are progressing well in Germany – line from the PA wire this morning:
The British Horseracing Authority is hoping that the European Union continues with the current method of transporting horses overseas even if there is a no-deal Brexit.
Clearly he’s the new David Davis.
1210: And what about Advertise? He’s only been beaten once, when second to Calyx in the Coventry at Royal Ascot, and landed the Group One Phoenix Stakes last time. No wonder trainer Martyn Meade is looking forward to this afternoon’s race.
“It was always the plan to wait for the Dewhurst after the Phoenix, I just thought the little break would do him good. He’d had four runs anyway, he couldn’t have had a better preparation as far as I’m concerned. It’s all gone according to plan – apart from the entries of the other good horses, that’s the annoying bit!
“I don’t know if he’s going there as the forgotten horse, he certainly hasn’t been forgotten in my book. It’s quite extraordinary that he barely gets talked about, because he won the Newmarket race (July Stakes) pretty easily and if he’d been drawn on the same side as Calyx and known he had to race against him he may have beaten him, too. I think he’s a bit undervalued at the moment, personally, but there we go.”
Advertise (left) wins the July Stakes at Newmarket
1200: Quorto goes into the Dewhurst as the top-rated two-year-old of 2018. Sadly he’s not there to test the mettle of Too Darn Hot – that must wait until next spring. However the form of his National Stakes win is represented by runner-up Anthony Van Dyk.
His trainer Aidan O’Brien also runs Mohawk and Christmas and he said: ” Anthony Van Dyk has been in good form since the Curragh. We’ve been happy with him since then. We think he is getting better and progressing with every run. We think he has come forward nicely from the Curragh. Mohawk is in good form. He’s back to seven again, but he came out of the last run well and he likes a nice bit of ground. Christmas a solid horse and he’s been in good form since the last day, too.”
Quorto wins the National Stakes from Anthony Van Dyk
1152: Always a tinge of sadness when the curtain goes down on York’s season…been another cracking one on the Knavesmire. The Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival a particularly strong one. We’ll be raising a welcoming glass of very reasonably priced champagne at the Dante Meeting 2019 before we know it though.
1150: Oli Bell fancies Sangarius to turn over the favourite. Newmarket was abuzz about a sparkling piece of work he did last week. Lord Grimthorpe is racing manager to owner Prince Khalid Abdullah.
“He’s picked a bad year to be a good two-year-old! Everything he has done has been progressive. He’s a nice, scopey horse, with a very good temperament. He looks quite like Kingman from that point of view. Sir Michael is pleased with him.
“He exudes a very pleasant attitude when he is talking about him. We’ve always thought he had good potential. He’s probably progressed quicker than we originally expected, so Sir Michael is happy enough for him to take his chance in the Dewhurst.”
Sangarius stretches clear under Ryan Moore at Doncaster
1145: All eyes on Too Darn Hot in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes – a reminder of what John Gosden had to say on the eve of his acid test this afternoon.
“He has gone from winning a maiden to winning a Group Three and Group Two last time out. He’s a quick learner and is more precocious than the rest of the family, but it is a big jump.
“I am not surprised that he came to hand quickly, because he is a very active, joyful horse, who has always been on the front foot and he just presented himself. He’s a happy, cheerful horse, which is helpful as they let you know when they are bouncing. He’s a lot like So Mi Dar and he’s got a great turn of foot, but I’m not convinced that he will stay more than a mile and a quarter next year.”
Too Darn Hot storms clear in the Champagne
1140: Really sad news coming out of Australia – commiserations to all connected with Hamada who was developing into a very promising stayer.
1125: Don’t want to turn this into the Oli Bell show – he has enough of them – but his Cesarewitch fancy – Uber Cool – is the best-backed horse of the day with Sky Bet.
He is 14/1 from 25s and still strong each-way with the eight places. All the Newmarket movers are listed below:
13:50 – Sydney Opera House 13/8 from 5/2
15:00 – Too Darn Hot 10/11 from 1/1
15:40 – Southern France 4/1 from 8/1, Uber Cool 14/1 from 25/1 & Low Sun 8/1 from 11/1
16:15 – Barristan The Bold 5/1 from 8/1 (10p Rule 4)
16:50 – Different League 5/2 from 7/2
1120: Whoops…forgot to mention. Mixed fortunes for the British and Irish raiders in Australia this morning. Hurrahh – Benbatl leads home a Godolphin one-two in the Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes…
…but US Navy Flag gets bogged down on the ground as Redzel wins a second Everest.
1115: No Ben Linfoot today – he’s currently hammering the final nail into the Brexit negotiations’ coffin on a five-day stag do in Germany. But Oli Bell is in da house with his Yankee. He expects Aidan O’Brien to get us all off to a flier this afternoon but he’s not with the Ballydoyle maestro in the Darley Dewhurst.
1105: Get in touch with your own thoughts on today’s action – email email@example.com or tweet @sportinglife. We’ve bundles of preview material for this afternoon’s action which I’ll get you across.
1100: Good morning and welcome to Future Champions Day at Newmarket where we race on ground which is good to firm following a dry night. It’s a blustery morning and we have a few non-runners.
My nap of the day, Happy Power, is out of the nursery which is a shame. He’d have won…Matt Brocklebank’s fancy Kadar is out of the Autumn Stakes which means the pride of Sporting Goole – Richard Mann – is the last tipster standing in our Podcast best bets. Check them all out below.
Related horse racing links