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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Anthony Van Dyck heads O'Brien team for Dewhurst as seven declared

Anthony Van Dyck: National Stakes runner-up heads Ballydoyle challenge
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Anthony Van Dyck will lead Aidan O'Brien's quest for a fourth consecutive Darley Dewhurst Stakes, with a field of seven declared for the Group 1 on Saturday.

Stablemate and Middle Park winner, Ten Sovereigns, was ruled out of the race on Wednesday, O'Brien still has a formidable team for the race, led by National Stakes runner-up Anthony Van Dyck.

Mohawk, who was successful over a mile at the track in the Royal Lodge last time out, and Christmas complete O'Brien's team.

The seven-furlong race promises a fantastic showdown on the Rowley Mile, with the unbeaten pair of Too Darn Hot and Sangarius in opposition. 

Phoenix Stakes winner Advertise tackles the trip for the first time for Martyn Meade, with the Richard Hannon-trained Kuwait Currency completing the field.

Connections had been considering stepping Ten Sovereigns up to seven furlongs for the first time at the weekend but trainer Aidan O'Brien said on Wednesday: "We thought about running him but he had three runs in a relatively short space of time [five weeks] and, in fairness to the horse, we've decided to leave him alone until next season."

O'Brien will also have the opportunity to win the Dubai £500,000 Cesarewitch for the first time, with Southern France allowed to take his chance.

O'Brien added: "It will be a big ask for a three-year-old but he'll have nice ground and we'll learn more about him with next year in mind. He stays well and is in good form."

Southern France is second-favourite at 10-1 for the 2m2f test, with Stratum the market leader for Willie Mullins. The Sir Mark Prescott-trained Melinoe was the last runner guaranteed a spot in the 34-runner field. Garbanzo and Dominting are the first and second reserves respectively.


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He had three runs in a relatively short space of time and, in fairness to the horse, we've decided to leave him alone until next season
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