The Dewhurst Stakes is the traditional end-of-term championship contest for 2YO colts at Newmarket and we fancy Frankie Dettori to make it three wins in five years.
The Group 1 contest over seven-furlongs has attracted a strong field of seven runners to Headquarters and perhaps Dettori and the Andrew Balding-trained Chaldean are going to be underestimated.
Unbeaten trio bound for Newmarket showpiece
The Dewhurst market is spearheaded by Nostrum for Sir Michael Stoute in the Juddmonte colours.
The Kingman colt has won both starts so far, a Sandown maiden in July and the Group 3 Tattersalls Stakes over this C&D last month. He fended off Royal Ascot winner Holloway Boy in good style that day and commands his rise in class now, albeit his price adequately reflects his chance.
Isaac Shelby won the Superlative Stakes on the July Course here in the summer for Brian Meehan. The son of 2000 Guineas winner Night Of Thunder found plenty for pressure on just his second start, but that form has taken a few knocks since and, as such, his rivals today have achieved more.
Of the three unbeaten contenders 7/2 Naval Power is perhaps most interesting for Charlie Appleby and William Buick.
He’s got more experience than the other pair, with four wins already, and his Haydock Listed win over a mile five weeks ago is potentially worth upgrading.
The Teofilo colt was trapped on the running rail for what seemed an eternity in the home straight, Buick forced to delay his challenge waiting for a gap.
When it did come, Naval Power pushed through it in admirable fashion and put his rivals to the sword in a matter of strides despite conceding a 3lb penalty for his previous Ascot Listed win.
His yard has won this race twice in the last three years and having already proved himself over a mile is no bad thing coming into a Dewhurst.
National Stakes pair with plenty to prove
Victory for 13/2 Aesop’s Fables would give Aidan O’Brien a record-equalling eighth Dewhurst win – all achieved since Rock Of Gibraltar bagged the prize in 2001.
His No Nay Never colt won the Group 2 Futurity Stakes at the Curragh in August on second start, but was only fourth of six last month in the Group 1 National Stakes over the same 7f C&D on soft ground.
Perhaps conditions weren’t to his pleasing, but he needs a big bounce-back now returning to forecast good ground, while the same is true of Simon & Ed Crisford’s Marbaan – last of six at the Curragh, but perhaps better judged on his Group 2 Vintage Stakes win at Glorious Goodwood previously.
He did move well in Ireland last time to a point, before failing to pick up on soft going and perhaps odds of 22/1 are dismissive now based on the Goodwood form, especially with Betfred’s concession of three each-way places in this seven-runner contest.
Champagne moment for Frankie
CHALDEAN won last month’s Champagne Stakes at Doncaster (7f, soft) in good style under a front-running ride from Dettori and odds of 7/2 might underestimate him now.
His previous wins at Newbury and York were attained under more patient tactics, so he’s certainly not a one-trick pony, but that straightforward attitude he displayed on Town Moor could be very useful here, particularly if his astute rider sees a game of cat and mouse unfolding.
The Frankel colt should improve again when he goes up in trip, so will be tactically versatile in regards to how this plays out.
Dettori has won two of the last four Dewhurst renewals and can complete a hat-trick here while handing trainer Andrew Balding – whose father Ian saddled three winners including the great Mill Reef – his first win in this Newmarket showpiece.