Three unbeaten colts will do battle on Saturday afternoon in Newmarket's most mouth-watering Dewhurst Stakes clash for years.
Too Darn Hot, Sangarius and Ten Sovereigns feature at the top of the Dewhurst Stakes betting on a star-studded card for Newmarket’s Cesarewitch meeting.
Something will have to give on Saturday afternoon; two of our three unbeaten colts will have to record something other than a “1” next to their name. So who will it be? The favourite Too Darn Hot? Or can either of the others take him on to maintain their own unblemished record?
Held over the straight 7 furlongs of Newmarket’s Rowley Mile, the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes generally defines the champion two-year-old colt of Britain and Ireland each season, with many of the protagonists becoming contenders for the following year’s Classics: the 2,000 Guineas and Epsom Derby.
The £500,000 showpiece has produced no end of future stars, with Dawn Approach, Churchill, US Navy Flag and of course Frankel all making the top spot in just the last 10 years.
The top bookmakers clearly have the John Gosden-trained two-year-old Too Darn Hot as their Dewhurst Stakes market leader with even-money the best price available with Paddy Power, Black Type and William Hill.
The brother of Lah Ti Dar and So Mi Dar is certainly bred for the top and his progress remained on track when he claimed his third victory from as many starts by landing the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster last month with ease.
Understandably the son of Dubawi is the red-hot favourite to round off an unbeaten juvenile campaign on the Rowley Mile and cement his place as the ante-post favourite for next season’s 2000 Guineas - for which he is already no bigger than 4/1 with Black Type.
Aidan O’Brien’s Middle Park winner from a fortnight ago, Ten Sovereigns, is a surprise inclusion in the field given that O’Brien had mooted that another trip to Newmarket was unlikely for his No Nay Never colt.
Ladbrokes, Coral and BetVictor make him a 5/1 shot should he run but there have to be some niggling doubts about his actual participation.
Held in the highest regard at home, Sir Michael Stoute’s Sangarius looks like the most obvious choice to lower the colours of Too Darn Hot and the 3/1 available with Bet365 may look rather generous come Saturday.
The son of Kingman made a successful racecourse debut at Newmarket in August before stepping up to Listed class to win the Flying Scotsman Stakes at Doncaster. A general 10-1 (888Sport) shot for next year’s 2000 Guineas, his Classic credentials will be put on the line in this competitive heat.
Having swerved an engagement in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at ParisLongchamp last weekend, it appears it is all systems go for the Dewhurst for Aidan O’Brien’s Anthony Van Dyck.
Anthony Van Dyck, second in the National Stakes to Quorto last time out, appears to be the stable number one in this field and 6/1 with William Hill seems to be a fair each-way price for a horse from a stable that boasts six previous Dewhurst winners, including the last three.
Another horse to consider is the Martyn Meade-trained Advertise. Since being narrowly beaten by Calyx in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, the colt was an impressive winner of the July Stakes at Newmarket, then went on to Group One glory in the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh.
Advertise could well be the forgotten horse in this field with so much of the emphasis being around the unbeaten colts and the O’Brien runners and the 15/2 with Betfair will make plenty of appeal to punters looking to take on the favourite.
As well as holding two key aces with Ten Sovereigns and Anthony Van Dyck, the Ballydoyle trainer can also call on Cape Of Good Hope, Christmas, Mohawk, Sydney Opera House, Van Beethoven and Western Australia.
With eight runs and two wins under his belt, the Scat Daddy colt Van Beethoven looks ridiculously overpriced at 100/1 with Paddy Power and is a tempting proposition for an each-way bet - at this stage.
Fourth in the Norfolk Stakes, Van Beethoven dug deep for a hard-fought success in the Group Two GAIN Railway Stakes over six furlongs at the Curragh.
He was unable to trouble both Advertise and Too Darn Hot in two of this subsequent three runs but he wasn’t beaten that far by wither of them and he could quite easily make the frame at large odds.
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