ARKET stages its historic Champions’ Day for the very last time tomorrow as from next year the Champion Stakes will be held at Ascot almost a month earlier. Although some have argued that this is racing doing away with tradition, I’m firmly in the progressive camp and I’m sure it will provide the British flat season with the perfect climax.
Now, this year’s renewal doesn’t look the strongest of affairs and I fancy the French to land it for the third time in five years with VISION D’ETAT at 9/2 with Paddy Power. He has been sidelined for virtually the entire campaign having picked up an injury in Dubai. However, Eric Libaud’s colt looked back to his best on his eagerly awaited reappearance at Deauville in August and comes here a fresh horse.
A cracking day’s racing gets underway with the Victor Chandler Challenge Stakes at 1.50pm which looks at the mercy of the Godolphin trained DELEGATOR at around 11/4. The Dewhurst Stakes is arguably the most eagerly awaited race of the season, let alone the weekend. Frankel has already been hailed as the best two-year-old Henry Cecil has ever trained and was a facile winner of the Royal Lodge at Ascot. Dream Ahead matched that performance with a stunning win in the Middle Park Stakes, but the best bet in the race looks to be Godolphin’s SAAMIDD. He was very impressive in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster and at 5/1 he looks an each-way bet to nothing.
Sentry Duty and Red Cadeaux both look the ideal types for the Cesarewitch, but Irish raider UNIVERSAL TRUTH could be potentially thrown in at the bottom of the weights. Marcus Tregoning’s RUMOUSH looks terrific value at around 10/1 in the Pride Stakes to end a frustrating season on a high. The daughter of Rahy was impressive on her seasonal reappearance here in April, but has had no luck since then.
Looking at today’s action and I’ll be backing John Gosden’s ultra consistent TAZEEZ to land the Darley Stakes (3.30pm). He hasn’t been out of the first three in his last five starts and is already a three-time course winner.
TAZEEZ 3.30pm Newmarket (today)
DELEGATOR 1.50pm Newmarket (Sat)
SAAMIDD e/w 2.25pm Newmarket (Sat)
VISION D’ETAT 3.00pm Newmarket (Sat)
UNIVERSAL TRUTH e/w 3.40pm Newmarket (Sat)
RUMOUSH e/w 4.50pm Newmarket (Sat)