Our Juvenile expert reveals his fancies at the Dubai Future Champions Festival at Newmarket on Friday and Saturday, live on Racing TV.
Selection: Good American.
This Group Three for fillies looks highly competitive. Kevin Philippart De Foy has had a good season with his juveniles and Cotail Glory filly Pearl Glory represents him here.
She won her first two starts, over six furlongs, by the narrowest of margins when getting up late each time before finishing a good second when upped to listed class in the Dick Poole Stakes last time out.
On that occasion she endured a troubled passage before finishing off her race strongly. This step up to seven furlongs looks sure to suit.
Perfect News confuses me. On her penultimate start, in the aforementioned Dick Poole, she didn’t look an assured stayer, yet on her last start she stayed on well to win at this course over this trip. However, that was in a nursery and she will need to step up again to win this.
Good American has only had the one start but created a big impression when running out a very easy winner in a six-furlong maiden.
She’s from a very smart family - her dam was a Group Two winner in Germany - and drying ground would aid her cause. Juveniles from the Ralph Beckett yard usually improve plenty from their debut, too.
The other unexposed filly in the field is Gifted Gold, from the Karl Burke yard.
She made a winning debut over seven furlongs at Newcastle in a race that has produced a few subsequent winners. She will have to prove as effective on a likely quicker surface.
A tricky betting race, and the tentative selection is GOOD AMERICAN.
Selection: Majestic Glory.
A race that might well provide a few clues for next year’s Classics. The unbeaten Inspiral has been installed as the short-priced favourite and its easy to see why, given she’s not yet been fully tested to win all three starts, including her last start at Group Two level, although that was a very substandard race for the level.
The Gosden yard have highlighted this as her target since she won at Sandown in July and she may well be a class above this field.
Concert Hall represents the all powerful Coolmore operation and is a filly that appears to be improving with each start. That said, her win last time out came against a five-raced maiden and a filly who appears exposed at a mark of 104. This is tougher and while the extra furlong will suit, I’m passing her over.
Mise En Scene charged home to win a seven-furlong Group Three on her last start at Goodwood. The extra furlong and stiffer track look sure to play to her strengths and she must surely go close.
Throughout the duration of this column I have often mentioned being prepared to forgive one below par performance. The selection, MAJESTIC GLORY, requires just that.
She had been displaying a very progressive profile when upped in trip, prior to disappointing in the Group Two Rockfel Stakes. That run was on the fastest ground she had encountered and, having broken slowly, she was never able to land a blow.
I’m confident she’s much better than that and will appreciate going up in trip. At a double-figure price, she represents each-way value.
Godolphin, who are doubly represented in it, sponsor this Group Three over ten furlongs.
The top three in the market - Hafit, Goldspur and Bluegrass are all lightly raced and open to any amount of improvement as they step up in trip.
Preference, however, is for UNCONQUERABLE who, with six starts under his belt, is seemingly the most exposed. With that experience comes a battle-hardened nature, and the hope is he puts that to good use over a trip that could bring out a bit more improvement, given he has stayed on well in each of his starts over seven and eight furlongs.
Selection: United Nations.
The much talked about Coroebus heads the market for what looks like a relatively weak contest.
He looked high class on his last start over course and distance when finishing second, having been unable to sustain his effort after bursting clear of the field at the two-furlong pole.
I fully expect him to be ridden more conservatively this time and he also gets dropped in grade.
He is by some distance the most likely winner, but his price reflects that, and he undoubtedly had a hard race only two weeks ago. I’d be worried that it may have left his mark.
For that reason, I’m keen to oppose him with the thoroughly unexposed UNITED NATIONS . Aidan O’Brien has had to be patient with his two-year old’s this season but they’re hitting top gear at the right time.
He was an easy winner on his only start over seven furlongs at Naas and the third, Herring Island, won on Wednesday. Given his sire, it’s a virtual certainty he will improve for this longer trip and I think he can give Coroebus a fright.
Selection: Berkshire Shadow.
The Group One highlight on Dubai Future Champions Weekend, with yet another short-priced Godolphin favourite.
Native Trail put up a mighty performance last time, slamming the previously unbeaten Point Lonsdale by over three lengths.
Bayside Boy is hard to assess - he’s won two from three, but the form looks circumspect, after Masekela was well beaten on his last start. He has a place chance, but it would be disappointing if he were to be good enough to win this.
Straight Answer is another unbeaten Ger Lyons-trained two-year old to arrive with a big reputation. His bare form doesn’t appear to amount to much and I think he could be exposed at this level.
Dubawi Legend was reported to have scoped badly after his last run, so better can be expected, yet the form of his seemingly impressive debut win is yet to be franked, so he isn’t for me.
For the selection, I’m returning to an old favourite in BERKSHIRE SHADOW as his run last time was too bad to be true, and I’ve happily put a line through it.
Prior to that, he finished what appeared, at the time, a disappointing second on heavy ground at Goodwood. Time has shown that it wasn’t such a bad effort after all as the winner, Angel Bleu, won a Group One in France last weekend.
Andrew Balding looks to have freshened him up and I expect him to return to the form of his Royal Ascot win.
Aidan O’Brien won the Cheveley Park with Tenebrism, who arrived at Newmarket with just one run behind her, and a near six-month break to overcome.
He is attempting the same trick here with Glounthaune. He beat a decent yardstick in Castle Star when making a winning debut at the Curragh in April, and only a brave person would discount him.
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