Red-hot field ready for Dewhurst Stakes

Saturday’s Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket is being billed as the defining juvenile event of the year in England.  The equivalent of our own Golden Slipper, the Group 1 Dewhurst brings together outstanding colts Frankel (4/6 favourite), Dream Ahead (7/2) and Saamidd (11/2).

Frankel (2c Galileo – Kind by Danehill) is trained Henry Cecil for Juddmonte Farms owner Khalid Abdulla.  He is unbeaten in three starts and is coming off an effortless 10 length victory in the G2 Royal Lodge Stakes at Ascot.  He has garnered a massive reputation and the usually reticent Cecil has described him as his best two-year-old for more than 30 years.

Dream Ahead (2c Diktat — Land Of Dreams by Cadeaux Genereux) returns to Newmarket and steps up a furlong after a stunning nine-length success in the G1 Middle Park Stakes on October 1.  He is also unbeaten in three starts having won the G1 Prix Morny at Deauville second-up in August.

David Simcock trains Dream Ahead for Khalifa Dasmal and he reported the colt had come through a crucial workout Wednesday morning in perfect order. 

“He went grand and he did what he was asked,” Simcock said.  “It looks like it’s all systems go for Saturday and we’re really looking forward to the race.”

Saamidd (2c Street Cry – Aryaamm by Galileo) is raced by Sheikh Mohammed and he romped home in the G2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster last month.  

Saamidd, which is Arabic for Pegasus, was much too good for Approve (Oasis Dream) who was coming off a G2 victory in the Gimcrack Stakes at York.  His dam hails from the family of Sadler’s Wells G1 winners Barathea and Gossamer.

“He’s such a beautiful individual,” jockey Frankie Dettori noted.  “He’s got a high cruising speed and a kick and is something to look forward to.”

Frankel will start in the red but Dettori is more fearful of Dream Ahead.  “Frankel has been good on the eye but Dream Ahead is the one with the form and he looked special in the Middle Park,” Dettori told UK Racing Post.  “He will be tough to beat.”

Not surprisingly with three such high-class colts taking each other on, the supporting cast is relatively thin on the ground, with a field of just six runners expected to go to the post.  Aidan O’Brien will send Curragh maiden winner Roderic O’Connor (Galileo) around as the only Ballydoyle representative.   

The most notable absentee is Ed Dunlop’s Native Khan (Azamour) who will be reserved for the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.  “We have decided to opt out of what looks a very strong Dewhurst,” Dunlop said.  “They say never be afraid of one horse, but it seems that there are three to be wary of in Saturday’s race.”

Trainer Michael Jarvis was also wavering with Elzaam who was a beaten favourite in the G2 July Stakes last time out.  The Redoute’s Choice colt is owned by Sheikh Hamdan.  “The Dewhurst looks a very hot race,” Jarvis said.  “He could run the race of his life and still finish fifth.”

The Dewhurst is timed to start at 12.25 (AEST) on Sunday morning.