Being emotionless is a valuable but rare quality in the battle to beat the bookies but a horse of that name could help on Saturday at Newmarket. Emotionless runs in the Dewhurst Stakes at the HQ of Flat racing on a card that also features the second leg of the Autumn Double, namely the Cesarewitch. Bayan is a horse with the profile to win the last major handicap of the season at a working man’s price.
The Dewhurst is the most important race for two-year-olds in Europe and often identifies the champion juvenile. The outcome of the race run over seven furlongs has a significant influence on the betting for next season’s Classics for colts. The winter favourite for the 2,000 Guineas has emerged from this contest in the past. The race forms part of Newmarket’s Dubai Champions Festival which has created a buzz in the town.
Alongside the Fillies Mile scheduled for Friday the race has helped to create a mini festival that could be pivotal in establishing an unofficial juvenile championship. Newmarket’s regional director Amy Starkey has had a key role in promoting this initiative. Quoted in the Racing Post her ambitions for the concept are clear:
“We were keen the Dubai Fillies’ Mile and Dubai Dewhurst would be positioned as the most valuable two-year-old races in Europe and hopefully the winners of both races this week will go on to be champion two-year-olds. Newmarket this weekend can set the scene for the Guineas, the Oaks and the Derby betting next year.”
The Dewhurst has benefited from changes in the programme for Group 1 races in Europe and an increase in the prize fund by £100,000 up to half a million has attracted potentially the two best juvenile colts in training. At the time of writing Emotionless is the even money favourite and just ahead of Ait Force Blue in the betting. Its 12/1 bar so this truly looks like a two horse race, unlike the Cesarewitch in which the favourite is 6/1 and a dozen horses are priced at 20/1 or lower.
William Buick was all over the front page of the Racing Post on Thursday, talking up the chances of Emotionless but identifying the nature of the challenge. He rode the horse to victory at the St Leger meeting and liked the feel, saying: “He was very impressive at Doncaster. We all think a lot of him but also see him very much as a horse for next year and we’re also very aware he’s taking on a dual Group 1 winner for the first time.” Emotionless is slightly behind Air Force Blue in the betting for the 2016 2,000 Guineas but that could all change after Saturday’s race.
Air Force Blue won the Irish National Stakes and Aiden O’Brien his trainer knows the time of day when dealing with champion racehorses. The horse was second behind Buratino at Royal Ascot who was ridden by Buick that day so his thoughts on the relative ability of Emotionless and Air Force Blue would be interesting. This could be a race to savour and analyse for betting purposes on next year’s Classic rather than have a big bet. An each wager on Buratino could be a bet to nothing or a place only bet on Betfair can pay.
The Cesarewitch adds to the mix of a great day of Flat racing at Newmarket on Saturday. The race is a handicap for horses aged three and older and is run over two miles 2 furlongs. The race straddles two counties as it begins in Suffolk and ends in Cambridgeshire and the last eight furlongs are run over the Rowley Mile. Only Aaim To Prosper in 2010 and 2012 is a dual winner and the leading jockey and trainers go back many years. The winner was aged 11 in 2008 and eight years younger in 2009. Two of the last four winners were four-year-olds.
Bayan is aged six and carries just eight stones two pounds in the race. The horse is trained by Gordon Elliott, better known for preparing jumps horses for major National Hunt races in Ireland and in the UK. Bayan won a competitive handicap hurdle at Ascot last December and on Flat ratings looks a big price for the Cesarewitch. Any winnings from the race should be invested on the winner of the Dewhurst for the 2,000 Guineas next spring by which time Elliott’s Don Cossack will have won the Cheltenham Gold Cup.