Five horses to look out for at Dubai Future Champions Festival

Thu 12 Oct 2017

Oliver Brett picks out five horses to keep an eye out for during the two days of the Dubai Future Champions Festival at Newmarket, which starts on Friday and is live in HD on Racing UK.

Sound And Silence - 1.50 Friday, Newmarket Academy Godolphin Beacon Project Cornwallis Stakes:

Charlie Appleby has been in exceptional form this past fortnight with a 42% strike-rate, while he is running at 39% with his two-year-olds this calendar year in Britain.

Those two stats make Sound And Silence a leading prospect in Friday's Cornwallis Stakes, even though he is the only horse in the race who has to carry a penalty.

The extra 3lb in William Buick's saddlecloth are there due to the Exceed And Excel colt's comfortable win in the Prix Eclipse in France last month.

Although that performance was on heavy ground he could hardly have produced a better performance.

Sound And Silence had previously won Listed races on sound surfaces at York and Royal Ascot and returns to the scene of his success on debut back in April.

Massaat - 3.00 Friday, Godolphin Stud And Stable Staff Awards Challenge Stakes:

Owen Burrows seems to have some talented but delicate horses at his disposal in Lambourn and a case in point is Massaat, a four-year-old colt who has had just eight starts in a stop-and-start career that included a 12 months absence from August last year.

Massaat had to be treated for two separate incidents involving chipped bones but shrugged off the inconvenience to win after his long hiatus when taking the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury.

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He next took on Ribchester at the highest level in a decent Prix du Moulin at Chantilly, and it was no disgrace to be third behind that highly talented horse.

He returns to what is probably his favoured seven-furlong trip and, although he has to give 3lb to hot favourite Limato (among others), there must be suspicions now that the latter is a fading force.

Happily - 3.35 Friday, Dubai Fillies' Mile:

Unless something peculiar happens, Aidan O'Brien is on course to match the late Sir Henry Cecil's record of six wins in the Dubai Fillies' Mile as he has the front three in the market for the Group One race.

The claims of September, however, who is winless in two attempts since Royal Ascot, and Magical, who was a disappointing fourth of seven in Chantilly last time out, are cloaked in doubt.

Which leaves Happily, hunting her third Group One after successes in the Moyglare Stud Stakes and the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, as the obvious pick.

Happily is a full sister to dual Guineas winner Gleneagles and is adaptable when it comes to ground.

She must be a very hardy sort too: this will be her seventh start in all and she will have had just 12 days to recover from her Chantilly exploits.

Assuming she shows no ill-effects from what was a fairly tough race against colts, she should be able to take her career earnings past £700,000 by winning at Newmarket.

It's hard to believe Ryan Moore would have lost too much sleep picking Happily over the other two Coolmore fillies.

Emaraaty - 3.00 Saturday, Darley Dewhurst Stakes:

The hype surrounding the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Expert Eye in this famous race for leading juvenile colts has meant one or two very good horses have not been accorded the respect that they perhaps deserve.

One of those was Group One winner Verbal Dexterity, who is now out due to a poor scope. The other is John Gosden's Emaraaty, who may even give Expert Eye more than just a fright.

A Dubawi half-brother to Izzi Top, who Gosden trained to plenty of notable successes, Emaraaty has been shortened up recently for next year's Derby by some firms and is no bigger than 25-1 for the Epsom Classic.

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The bare form of what he has achieved - off the mark at the second attempt in a minor novice race - hardly sets the heart aflutter.

But Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum stumped up 2.6 million guineas for Emaraaty and his racing manager Angus Gold said recently: "He’s a very quick colt with great potential."

Timeform rate him at 113p, which is behind Expert Eye on 130p, U S Navy Flag on 128, Seahenge on 127p, Cardsharp on 122 and Theobald on 114.

We will all find out this weekend where he is on the learning curve.

London Prize - 3.40 Saturday, Betfred Cesarewitch Handicap:

2017 Betfred Northumberland Plate Day - Newcastle Races London Prize showcased his versatility with a game win at Newcastle in July (PA)

This Ian Williams-trained six-year-old has won a bumper, two races over hurdles (including the Imperial Cup) and four times on the Flat, the most recent of those successes coming on Newcastle's all-weather surface.

He is clearly hugely talented and adaptable and yet also massively unexposed on the level. He he has made just seven starts on the Flat in all.

Indeed, he was rated just 84 when easily winning at Goodwood in June over two miles. London Prize goes into the Cesarewitch on 95 now, though having been kept out of the limelight since July 1 he should still have a bit of wriggle room with the handicapper.

Arguably, the most significant question-mark surrounding his chances would be stamina, an odd thing to say about a successful hurdler, but he has never been campaigned beyond two miles and half a furlong. James Doyle has the ride on a horse who is best ridden close to the pace.

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