Dream Ahead silences critics in July Cup

Dream Ahead silenced the critics with a superb victory in the G1 July Cup at Newmarket on Saturday.

The David Simcock trained colt was always travelling smoothly for stand-in jockey Hayley Turner and swamped Bated Breath (Dansili) and Hitchens (Acclamation) to score by a half-length.

Dream Ahead was a G1 winner of the Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes last year but the international handicappers were ridiculed when they rated him the equal of Frankel on 126 in the European 2YO Rankings.

Frankel had thrashed Dream Ahead by seven lengths in the G1 Dewhurst Stakes but the handicappers had the last laugh when Dream Ahead swooped to victory on Saturday.

Dream Ahead (3c Diktat – Land of Dreams by Cadeaux Genereux) was racing second-up after an encouraging fifth behind Frankel in the G1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

“I’m relieved and really pleased that he has enhanced his reputation from last year,” Simcock said.  “Hayley was very confident going into the race – she’s got a very good strike rate for me and is a confident girl, so she deserves it.”

Dream Ahead’s sire Diktat (Warning) was G1 winner of the Prix Maurice de Gheest and Haydock Sprint Cup and began his stud career at Darley’s Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket.

Diktat was later relocated to Haras du Logis in Normandy before transferring to Darley’s stallion base in Japan.  In December 2009, he was repatriated to Europe to stand at Dehesa de Milagro in Spain.

Dream Ahead is a younger half-brother to Into The Dark (Rainbow Quest) who was a Listed winner at Newmarket and Ayr.  Their dam Land of Dreams has a 2yo Street Sense colt named Police Force.

Land of Dreams was top class winning the G2 Flying Childers at Doncaster and the G3 King George Stakes at Goodwood.  

But the knock on Diktat ensured Dream Ahead only made $11,000 at the 2009 Keeneland September yearling sale.  He was pin-hooked for the 2010 Doncaster 2YO Sale when Blandford Bloodstock bought him on behalf of Khalifa Dasmal for 36,000 pounds.

Australian raider Star Witness (Starcraft) started a 4-1 favourite in the July Cup but never looked likely to play a serious part and finished tenth.