3.00 Newmarket: Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes, 7f
Nostalgia is in the air with Sir Michael Stoute’s exciting colt Nostrum heading the betting market in a bid to land a first Juvenile Group 1 victory for the trainer in nearly two decades.
The son of Kingman has been exciting in his two career runs to date, especially when he followed up on a fine debut with his first Group success in excellent style over course and distance a fortnight ago.
He’s one of the more inexperienced colts in the field, though, and hasn’t set the world alight on speed ratings in those two runs. He’s short enough a price for me to happily take him on.
Much more experienced is the second colt running in the famous Juddmonte colours today: Chaldean. He’s got four runs and a hat-trick of wins to his name, including a visually impressive victory in the Champagne Stakes last month at Doncaster.
A late May colt by Frankel, he is somewhat surprisingly precocious, and is sure to improve again. A career best topspeed rating of 88 is slightly off-putting, given he had ample opportunity to run fast.
Naval Power is Godolphin’s sole chance today. Unbeaten in four starts, he steps up significantly in class, after two recent Listed victories. I can’t help but feel he may be outclassed over this trip against top-class opposition. His best topspeed of 81 is nowhere near good enough – normally; certainly not be fancied to win a Dewhurst.
Aiden O’Brien has won five of the last ten renewals of the Dewhurst. Therefore it’s a little odd when his sole entry Aesop’s Fables appears to be rather ignored in the betting.
Perhaps recency bias is at play here, given the son of No Nay Never disappointed as an odds-on shot in the National Stakes at the Curragh four weeks ago. There is plenty of reason to forgive him that performance, though.
Heavy ground was unlikely to have suited and the run may came too soon after his impressive victory in the Group 2 Futurity Stakes. That day in August Aesop’s Fables was ultra-impressive how he stormed home in the final furlong at the Curragh.
He ran to topspeed 97 and beat two solid stable mates easily. With better ground and more experience he looks open to significant improvement. of At given prices it seems a no brainer to back him, in my view.
From the three outsiders in the field, Royal Scotsman makes some appeal. He won the Coventry Stakes this summer, has experience on his side and could be a big runner if he is back to that sort of form. It’s not impossible that he can stretch out over the additional furlong as his dam won over 7 furlongs. The recent dip in form is worrying, though.
Hence, I’ll stick with Aesop’s Fables. Others may have sexier profiles, but his trainers record speaks for itself. I am prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt after the most recent disappointment – if solely judged on his first two career run, he looks a huge price to back.
10pts win – Aesop’s Fables @ 7/1