Dewhurst Stakes runner-by-runner guide

By Tom Peacock@tompeacock
Sat 14 Oct 2017

Tom Peacock runs the rule over the runners in Saturday's Darley Dewhurst Stakes and comes up with a big-priced each-way alternative to the hot favourite Expert Eye.

Cardsharp

Trainer: Mark Johnston

Jockey: James Doyle

Odds: 28-1

The Moet and Chandon July Festival - Ladies Day - Newmarket Races

Been a particularly hardy performer even for a stable which regularly provides such types, running 10 times so far and winning the Group Two July Stakes.

Beginning to look as if he is being found out by the very best, with a decent third in the Middle Park lately, and while he should stay the extra furlong, his pedigree and running style does not suggest he is going to all the be better for it.

Emaraaty

Trainer: John Gosden

Jockey: Jim Crowley

Odds: 5-1

Joint sales-topper at Tattersalls last year due to exceptional breeding; the colt is by Dubawi out of Zee Zee Top and therefore a member of a cherished Meon Valley Stud dynasty.

Has already matched that with potential, with a highly eye-catching debut fourth followed by an effortless maiden win at Newbury.

Interesting that John Gosden has elected to head straight for the Dewhurst, even though it is such a marked step up in class.

Expert Eye

Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute

Jockey: Andrea Atzeni

Odds: 4-7

The horse that has been on everyone’s lips since his wide-margin win in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood, a performance which was surely the most impressive by a two-year-old this season.

Must be a slight concern that he missed a possible outing in the National Stakes with a dirty scope but Sir Michael Stoute sounded confident when interviewed earlier this week, adding that there would be “no excuses”.

Timeform rate him at 130p, the highest in the seven-furlong contest.

Great Prospector:

Trainer: Richard Fahey

Jockey: Paul Hanagan

Odds: 40-1

Quite speedily bred but has already proved himself over seven furlongs with a close third behind Gustav Klimt in the Superlative Stakes before not being beaten far in two big sales races.

None of that form, through, is enough to see him being closely involved here.

Mendelssohn

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

Jockey: Wayne Lordan

Odds: 80-1

Half-brother to the outstanding US dirt mare Beholder, but she had a bit of an attitude in her early days and so does he, judged upon the way he wandered across the track in winning his Curragh maiden.

Dropped away disappointingly on softer ground at Doncaster and while the drying surface will be more suitable, he just seems a colt to be watching rather than backing at this stage.

Seahenge:

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

Jockey: Donnacha O'Brien

Odds: 14-1

William Hill St. Leger Festival - Day Four - Doncaster Racecourse Seahenge bids to become the first Champagne Stakes winner to prevail in the Dewhurst since Distant Music in 1999 (PA)

Not terribly popular in the betting when making a winning debut at Naas and beaten hands-down by Expert Eye at Goodwood.

Discarded by Ryan Moore when bouncing back with a victory in the Champagne Stakes, and while that can often end up being a decent race, he has a fair bit more to find to upset the leading protagonists.

Theobald

Trainer: Jim Bolger

Jockey: Kevin Manning

Odds: 50-1

Had very much looked the second string to Verbal Dexterity before his stablemate was declared a non-runner. Two Group Three seconds in the summer demonstrated a fine level of ability but he was well-beaten in another lately and hard to see him being good enough to figure.

Jim Bolger has won ythe Dewhurst five times.

Threeandfourpence

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

Jockey: Seamie Heffernan

Odds: 66-1

The least exposed of the Ballydoyle quartet and in some ways, much the most interesting and not ruled out of causing an upset.

A full-brother to Evie Stockwell’s Cheveley Park winner Brave Anna and Breeders’ Cup hero Hit It A Bomb, this son of War Front has looked more of a slow-burner in getting off the mark at the second attempt in a Fairyhouse maiden but, going on his sibling’s achievements, his most productive spell should be at two.

The drying ground will be very much in his favour.

U S Navy Flag:

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

Jockey: Ryan Moore

Odds: 8-1

The Cambridgeshire Meeting - Day Three - Newmarket Racecourse

Took him five goes to break his duck but has since thrived in what has now become a typical way in which O’Brien campaigns his more precocious juveniles.

There did not seem a huge surprise from the camp when he broke through at the top level in the Middle Park and quicker ground will help even more.

That race appeared considerably weaker than this, however, and might have been the time for this flag to fly at its highest.

Racinguk.com verdict:

A look down the roll of honour of previous Dewhurst winners tells you all you need to know about the race’s reputation as a champion maker and it is pleasing to see yet another renewal which sets the pulse racing.

The field contains Britain’s two most exciting two-year-olds and deciding between the nascent ability of EXPERT EYE and EMARAATY is a difficult task.

While the latter is the bigger price, the former has achieved more to date in running away with a Vintage Stakes which has produced several subsequent Group winners and Expert Eye gets the vote.

A small each-way investment on THREEANDFOURPENCE, who does not have the form in the book but certainly has the breeding and the potential, is the low-risk, fun option.

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