10th September 2015
Dubai Dewhurst Stakes
(Group 1) (Entire Colts & Fillies) (Class 1) (2yo) 7F
The Dewhurst is a race that has been dominated by the Irish over the past decade. Since 2005 they have won it on seven occasions, and Jim Bolger leads the way with five victories. Aidan O’Brien has won it twice and they are both represented in this year’s renewal.
Five favourites have won since 2005, and four double figure priced horses have struck in that period, including the Jim Bolger trained Parish Hall at 20/1 in 2011. Roger Varian took it last year with Belardo at 10/1. Conditions are currently described as good to soft but the forecast is good so the ground will dry out. Good ground looks likely.
A typically hardy Mark Johnston 2yo who has had 6 starts already this season, winning just once, his second start in a maiden at Newbury (6f good to firm). He is a son of Invincible Spirit, and there is plenty of black type on the dam side of his pedigree. His half-brother was placed at group 3 level also.
He ran a cracker last time behind Sanus Per Aquam, just fading in the final strides over course and distance on good to soft, just half a length behind the winner in third. It was a good effort, but the winner took a while to get organised in the final furlong, and he should confirm the form with Adventurous. Could run a big race at 40/1 with Johnston’s string back in good form, but likely to just fall short of the win.
AIR FORCE BLUE (O’BRIEN/MOORE)
Extremely well bred Ballydoyle colt whose dam is out of a full sister to American Champion filly Flanders. The son of War Front has made a big impression in his four starts so far, winning three of them, including two group 1s at the Curragh on his last two runs. He avenged his only defeat to Buratino in both of those successes.
However, the form of those wins have been let down slightly since. Herald The Dawn, runner up to Air Force Blue last time, was well beaten next time at Longchamp, and though he did beat Buratino it could be argued that the ground wasn’t ideal for the Johnston horse on either occasion.
The bookies have him priced up at 13/8, and if they are to be believed he only has the Godolphin horse to beat. I won’t be steaming in at those sort of odds though, even if he obviously has a good chance. It will be interesting to see if he drifts before the off.
Arrived at this track in August for his debut over this trip and was obviously well fancied as he was sent off at odds of 6/4. He won in the manner of a decent animal, and he reinforced that impression with an authoritative win in a Group 2 over the same trip at Doncaster, when Appleby revealed that Buick described him as ‘the real thing’ after his debut effort.
He is a son of the top class Shamardal and is a half-brother to dual group 2 winner and 2yo group 3 winner Etched. His dam won a group 1 too, so his pedigree is not in question. He is bred to be a Group 1 horse, and with the flood of money that has arrived for him during the week he is obviously expected to live up to his breeding and follow in his dam’s footsteps. He is a best price of
just 5/4 and is likely to go off even shorter. It will be exciting to see what he is capable of.
Intriguing contender who is the choice of Paul Hanagan from two Al Maktoum entries. This son of Teofilo has had just the two starts, and went down by a head over today’s trip at Sandown on debut. The horse that beat him that day, Cymric, was just edged out in a group 1 at Longchamp last time. He made amends at Leicester after a bit of a break, and he won in the manner of a smart horse.
He is well bred too, as one would expect and his dam is a half-sister to a 2yo group 3 winner. His sire Teofilo has proven time and again he is capable of producing top class horses, and Massaat could well be another one to add to the list. Hanagan declared himself ‘very impressed’ and described him as ‘something to look forward to’ after his win at Leicester, and at odds of 16/1 he may well surprise a few with a big run.
SANUS PER AQUAM (BOLGER/MANNING)
Jim Bolger doesn’t send runners to this meeting just to soak up the atmosphere, and in Sanus Per Aquam he has a real contender for this group 1 prize. He won his first two races, both over 7f on good/good to firm ground. The second win was very impressive, slamming subsequent group 2 scorer Port Douglas by nearly five lengths in a conditions event at Leopardstown.
Last time over course and distance (good to soft) he bagged the group 3 Tattersall Stakes by a nose from Tasleet. He seemed to take a while to get organised in the final furlong though and in my opinion he was value for more than the winning margin of a nose.
He is out of a half sister to Dawn Approach, so there is no question about his pedigree. He looks an absolutely massive price at 20/1 and given Bolger’s excellent record here he should not be discounted. Could easily give the front two something to think about and looks well overpriced.
This son of Big Bad Bob looks to be connection’s second string on jockey bookings, and Hanagan deserts him having ridden him on all three starts thus far. He won two of those, his only defeat coming on debut behind Justice Law. He took a listed heat at Doncaster last time (7f good). That form was let down badly by the runner up who was well beaten by Sanus Per Aquam on his next run.
He is nicely bred, and his dam is out of a half -sister to Irish/French 2000 Guineas winner Bachir. However, the fact that Hanagan abandons him combined with the question marks over his form means he is probably out of his depth in this contest. It is strange to see him priced up shorter than Massaat at 14/1, and he doesn’t appeal at that price.
TWIN SAILS (IVORY/WINSTON)
Looks pretty exposed already, but has been mostly consistent in his six runs to date. Ran well here over 6f behind Poet’s Prize, 3rd beaten a length. Won his first two and then went close in a group 3 at Goodwood (7f good to soft).
However, he looks to be punching above his weight here, and on all known form and figures he can’t win. It is racing though, and anything can happen, but his odds of 66/1 say it all about his chances. One for another day and best watched.
According to the bookies this is a straight match between Air Force Blue (13/8) and Emotionless (5/4). There seems to be a lot of confidence behind the Godolphin horse, and his price has shortened in recent days. They are both very short though, and there are a couple at bigger odds that could well be up to this sort of level.
Massaat is a fascinating contender for Hanagan and Hills, and his current odds of 16/1 look way too big. It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest to see him run well. However, the odds of 20/1 about Sanus Per Aquam are huge given Bolger’s record in the race, and there looked like there was a lot more to come from this smart colt on his last run. If he progresses again he will be bang there at the
finish and he is the each way selection for the Dewhurst. Emotionless and Massaat complete the shortlist.
SANUS PER AQUAM (20/1) E/W