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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Anticipation mounts as star juveniles prepare to do battle in Dewhurst Stakes

Champagne Stakes winner Too Darn Hot will put his unbeaten record on the line in the Dewhurst
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An understandably low-key start to the week after the fireworks of Arc day. Windsor and Pontefract put on punting marathons, with both tracks staging eight-race cards, while Tipperary and Stratford offer something for the jumps fan. Attention turns to Kempton's all-weather card in the evening, with a £30,000 optional claiming handicap the most valuable prize.

BHA to trial optional claiming handicaps in bid to tackle the 'twilight zone'

The five-day forfeit stage will tell us a bit more about who we can expect to line up in the Group 1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.


Most of the headlines will be generated from action in the sales ring rather than the racecourse as Book 1 of the prestigious Tattersalls October Yearling Sale commences. Expect fireworks to fly and millions to change hands on single lots.

On the course, Brighton, Catterick and Leicester provide the afternoon Flat action, with Galway hosting a jumps card. Newcastle races under lights on the all-weather in the evening.


All eyes at Tattersalls will be on Too Darn Hot's full-brother, who is due to go through the ring. The son of Dubawi and star mare Dar Re Mi is also a brother to the talented Lah Ti Dar and So Mi Dar.

Jumps racing returns to Ludlow after a summer hiatus, which is good news for trainers as the track is renowned for putting up good prize-money. A £21,000 3m handicap chase is the highlight.

There will be plenty of future clues on offer at Nottingham, with four races for two-year-olds scheduled, while there is a Listed race at Cork worth €45,000.

Southwell stages a jumps card in the afternoon before attention turns to a good-quality meeting at Kempton in the evening, where Cenotaph could bid to bring up an all-weather four-timer.

Brother to So Mi Dar heads exciting Watership Down Book 1 draft


It's the final day of Book 1 at Tattersalls. On day three last year Godolphin went to 4 million guineas – the second-highest price ever paid at the October Yearling Sale – to secure Gloam, a Galileo filly out of Dank.

Worcester is left to fly the jumps flag following Exeter's cancellation due to fast ground, while Ayr (afternoon) and Chelmsford (evening) race on the Flat.

Godolphin outgun Coolmore at 4 million gns for Galileo filly


The ITV cameras roll up at York and Newmarket, with seven races on free-to-air TV.

The pick of the action is the Group 1 bet365 Fillies' Mile, won last year in typically game style by Laurens, who has racked up four more wins at the highest level this season.

Watch Laurens battle to win the Fillies' Mile

The race has been nominated as a target for Pretty Pollyanna, who was beaten in the Cheveley Park but had impressed when bolting up in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes and Prix Morny.


This year's juveniles appear to be an exceptional crop and a few of the leading lights are set to clash in a Dewhurst for the ages. The Group 1 contest is often decisive when it comes to the battle for champion juvenile and that could be the case again, with unbeaten stars Too Darn Hot and Sangarius on a collision course.

Aidan O'Brien has won the last three Dewhursts and could be represented by Anthony Van Dyck, who was beaten by Quorto in the National Stakes but emerged with his reputation enhanced. Newmarket's high-class card also features the historic and ferociously competitive Cesarewitch


Jumps fans are in for a treat as Chepstow stages the second leg of its two-day meeting, featuring the Grade 2 Persian War Novices' Hurdle, won in the past by the likes of Reve De Sivola and Silviniaco Conti.

Fehily: King George hero Silviniaco Conti and I had some great days together

The jumps season has been going since May, but this high-quality meeting heralds the start of the 'proper' campaign, with the trainers starting to take the wraps off their big guns. 

If you are interested in this, you might also like:

Gosden: Epsom favourite Too Darn Hot may not be a Derby horse

Lloyd-Webber star is a Hot ticket after spectacular Champagne show

Leading Guineas hope Quorto finished for season as connections bypass Dewhurst


Unbeaten stars Too Darn Hot and Sangarius are on a collision course
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