Unbeaten Ten Sovereigns enters the picture for star-studded Dewhurst Stakes
A Dewhurst Stakes that already looked the hottest ticket in town received a further sprinkling of stardust on Monday when Middle Park winner Ten Sovereigns was revealed as a potential gatecrasher.
Saturday's Darley-supported Group 1 at Newmarket has long looked a potential barnstormer of a juvenile joust, with Too Darn Hot, Sangarius and Advertise having had the race on their agenda for some time, but the addition of Ten Sovereigns would send anticipation sky high.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien, who has no fewer than eight of the remaining dozen colts left in the Dewhurst after the five-day forfeits, expects to decide about Ten Sovereigns' participation within a couple of days.
O'Brien said: "Although we stated after his Middle Park win that Ten Sovereigns was probably finished for the season, he came out of the race very well and it's quite possible he will go to the Dewhurst. We're thinking about it, and a decision will be made probably on Wednesday."
O'Brien has sent out six winners of the Dewhurst, including the last three, with US Navy Flag completing the Middle Park-Dewhurst double last year.
US Navy Flag – who Ryan Moore rides in the Everest at Randwick on Saturday – was having his tenth run when successfully stepping up to seven furlongs for the first time at Newmarket last October, and Ten Sovereigns would also be having his first start over the trip should he head to the Rowley Mile for what would be his fourth run.
Such is Ballydoyle's weaponry that Ten Sovereigns was not the yard's shortest-priced Dewhurst contender on Monday, with National Stakes runner-up Anthony Van Dyck a general 5-1 shot, with Ten Sovereigns around the 7-1 mark.
"The plan is to run Anthony Van Dyck, while Christmas and [Royal Lodger winner] Mohawk are also possibles," said O'Brien.
Solario and Champagne Stakes winner Too Darn Hot – like Ten Sovereigns unbeaten after three runs – heads the betting at even money.
Flying Scotsman winner Sangarius, who is unbeaten after two runs, is a 3-1 chance, while Phoenix Stakes winner Advertise – another who would be trying seven furlongs for the first time – is 7-1. The only other British-trained contender is Stonehenge Stakes winner Kuwait Currency.
Martyn Meade, trainer of Advertise, said: “He's in perfect health. He's had a bit of a break since the Phoenix and is ready to come back in the Dewhurst.
“Whatever he's done at home since the Phoenix has been perfectly pleasing, he's had no issues at all, touch wood, and will be better and stronger than ever come Saturday.
“Unfortunately, the Dewhurst seems better and stronger than ever too – it’s a very hot race. It will certainly be no walk in the park but that doesn’t put us off.”
According to O'Brien, Southern France, who finished third behind stablemate Kew Gardens in the St Leger last month, is under consideration for the Dubai £500,000 Cesarewitch, also at Newmarket on Saturday.
"He's a possible at this stage and we'll decide in a day or two," said the trainer.
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