Saturday Preview – Pinatubo To Put Classic Claims To Test In Dewhurst

It’s Cesarewitch day at Newmarket where Oisin Murphy looks to have a big chance on the improving Ranch Hand. We are also being treated to see leading two-year-old Pinatubo in the Dewhurst. Huraiz could spring a surprise in the Rockingham Stakes and Aidan O’Brien’s Persia can continue to improve in the Autumn Stakes.


Zetland Stakes

The well-bred Volkan Star progressed nicely from debut to win impressively at Goodwood. He looks like a very exciting prospect and will take some beating.

John Gosden’s Miss Yoda has won well on both starts to date and the stoutly bred German colt should appreciate the extra distance. Mythical showed vast improvement to win easily Gowran Park and if he shows the same level of improvement again then he’ll win.

Others of interest include Max Vega and Tell Me All.

Selection: Volkan Star

Autumn Stakes

Al Suhail finished a close third in the Solario last time out, having won his maiden in fine style prior to that. This represents leading form and he must go close.

Another with leading form is Molatham who won the listed Flying Scotsman at Doncaster most recently. He’s only raced on good to firm thus far but his dam’s sire is Pivotal which gives hope that he’ll handle soft ground.

Military March won nicely on debut over seven at Newmarket and could just be anything. The formidable pair of Ryan Moore and Aidan O’Brien team up with Persia who won well on soft at Galway and like most in here is open to progress.

Selection: Persia

Dewhurst Stakes

Aidan O’Brien runs four in an attempt to beat Pinatubo, with Ryan siding with Wichita. He looks like a type to improve with racing and ran away with a course and distance Group 3 most recently.

In truth, it’s a one-horse race with the biggest rated two-year-old Pinatubo looking near impossible to beat. He looks like the second coming with many comparing him to Frankel and after a nine length victory in the National Stakes perhaps the talk is well-founded.

Positive (Right)

The one that’s worth an each-way interest is Positive who won the Solario last time out and only defeat this far came behind the fav in the Vintage Stakes.

Selection: Positive – E/W

Cesarewitch Stakes

Willie Mullins’ has enlisted the services of Frankie Dettori on Buildmeupbuttercup who finished runner-up in the Ascot Stakes and Petingo Handicap on the level this season. The form of her latest run has received a boost and she must go close.

Land Of Oz has won six of his last seven starts with his only defeat coming in the Melrose at York. That was his only run-up in class and now rocks up here off an eleven-pound higher mark. I think that’ll be enough to stop him here.

One of the ante-post gambles on the race has been Ranch Hand who ran well in the Racebets Derby Trial earlier in the year and won well at Haydock last month. Oisin takes the ride here and he’ll be the fancy of many.

Tony Martin has won this race in the past and seems to have a live chance with Mr Everest who took the November Handicap last season and has been lined up for this race for some time.

Selection: Ranch Hand


Rockingham Stakes

The promising Lampang missed the break on debut before recovering well and followed this up with a scintillating performance at Ripon. He’s an exciting sort and will take all the beating.


On paper, it’s a one-horse race but it can’t be forgotten that Huraiz brings Group-placed form into the race. He should at the very least hit the frame.

Another of interest is Cobra Eye from the John Quinn yard, which does very well with their two-year-olds. He improved from his debut second to win snugly at Goodwood and once again might nick a place.

Selection: Huraiz – E/W

Smart Money Handicap

Harrovian has yet to finish out of fist three in six starts and first-time blinkers seemed to improve John Gosden’s charge again. He looks likely to start favourite but I’ll look elsewhere in a search for the winner.

Johnny Drama has looked like a good acquisition for King Power with fine runs at Goodwood and York. I was slightly disappointed with him at Newbury and he may lack a bit of class.

Forest Ranger

The classy Forest Ranger seems to reserve his best form for Chester but also ran well in the Earl Of Sefton earlier in the season behind Zabeel Prince. He needs to put a poor run at Ayr behind him but if doing so, I can see him taking this.

Selection: Forest Ranger

Sprint Trophy

This is an open-looking sprint handicap with the consistent Aplomb high on the list of potential winners. William Haggas’ charge has gone up a total of 18-pounds this season and surely there are better-handicapped horses in here.

Danzeno has had a fruitful campaign, winning twice and being placed five times in some leading handicaps. A mark of 105 looks fair based on what he’s achieved but like he fav, there are more unexposed types which may be tough to beat.

Richard Fahey’s George Bowen started the season off a ten-pound higher mark and wasn’t beaten far in the Ayr Gold Cup most recently. The former course and distance winner has the assistance of Paul Hanagan and could surprise a few people here.

Selection: George Bowen – E/W


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