All eyes this weekend will be on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot but it was the ‘Future’ ones that were the focus at Newmarket last Friday and Saturday. The two-day meeting was useful in drawing together the final strands of the season for two-year-olds.
The colts continue to look above average, most notably Too Darn Hot who overcome initial keenness and then a flat spot to power away from his rivals in the Dewhurst to cement his position as favourite for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas in May.
The placed horses, Advertise and Anthony Van Dyck, paid their own compliments to Calyx and Quarto - their conquerors earlier in the season - and it certainly looks as if the colts juvenile class of 2018 will help pass the cold winter months anticipating their returns.
_Too Darn Hot impressed in the Dewhurst _
The fillies pecking order looks a little less clear cut with Iridessa giving Joseph O’Brien his first UK Group One with a performance that looked more about stamina than speed.
Pretty Pollyanna ran better than I personally expected but lacks scope and on this will still have stamina doubts if aimed at the 1,000 Guineas.
The Irish-trained fillies look stronger with such as Just Wonderful and especially Skitter Scatter looking leading candidates.
In addition, Sergei Prokofiev and Ten Sovereigns also give Ireland the upper hand in the sprint division on the road to the Commonwealth Cup.
The other main feature over the past few days has been the rapid onset of autumn and the arrival of the long overdue rain, conditions that would be ideal for our ante-post selection Lord Glitters in the QEII but the waters have been muddied by the supplementing of Laurens and the potential participation of Roaring Lion, which would mean the field on the day could be much stronger than looked likely a month ago.
A nice mix between jumping and the Flat on Tuesday with the selections split accordingly.
This winner of an Irish point to point ran to a good level of form on his chasing debut when just losing out to Gordon Elliott’s Cubomania, who has since followed up on the Flat.
An uncomplicated front-runner, he should be able to put pressure on his rival’s jumping and looks a decent prospect for the season ahead.
Attacked his fences with rare gusto last time and at this sort of level that alone makes him of interest.
Couple it with Nico De Boinville taking over from an inexperienced amateur and he looks the one to beat, especially as his best form has so far come when given a break between his races.
Was a selection a couple of weeks ago having been identified as a potential improver moving into handicaps. Got a little caught on the wing that day with the race developing on the other side and the step up to the mile means he is worth another chance.
Looks the type that can run up a sequence for Chris Wall as he did well to overhaul a rival that got first run on him at Newcastle last time. He would have been closer but for meeting trouble the time before at Kempton and is one to follow, although he will require a decent tempo from his outside gate.