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2018 Dewhurst Stakes tips – 7/1 chance the value bet in Newmarket’s historic Group One

Jonathan Vine 12 Oct 2018
A view of the finishing line in the Dewhurst Stakes.

Our expert has written his preview for this year’s Dewhurst Stakes and provides readers with his ante-post tips for Newmarket on Saturday 13th October.

There are few races for two-year-olds around the world that can match the history and prestige of the Dewhurst Stakes. First staged at Newmarket in 1875, the first four winners of the Dewhurst went on to win Classics the following season. Since then, some of the greatest flat racers have ended their juvenile campaigns by taking victory in the Dewhurst, with the names of Ormonde, Grundy, Nijinsky, Mill Reef and Frankel standing out on the staggering roll of honour.

Only seven horses remain in the running after the final stage of declarations, but this year's Dewhurst is shaping up to be a cracking renewal and our expert thinks he's found the bet which offers the best value.

2018 Dewhurst Stakes Preview

Sitting atop the ante-post betting is Too Darn Hot (Evens BetVictor), who enforced his burgeoning reputation with a superb victory in the Champagne Stakes last month. John Gosden’s colt was pushed into 4/11 favouritism for that Group Two, having comfortably seen off a modest field in the Segaro Stakes. Cardini attempted to stretch the field out, but with three furlongs to travel, Frankie Dettori finally unleashed his mount.

What followed was an eye-popping burst of pace and power. Too Darn Hot flicked on the afterburners, turning a five lengths deficit into a three-length advantage in the space of 300 yards, with Dettori even allowing his mount to ease down in the final strides before the line. This will be a first outing in Group One company for Too Darn Hot, but that was the performance of a future Classic winner and Gosden’s colt certainly deserves his current price.

Too Darn Hot (left) beating Phoenix Of Spain (second right) in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster.

The same can’t be said for Sangarius (3/1 Coral) who sits closest to Too Darn Hot in the betting, despite only running in a maiden and a Listed race. Sir Michael Stoute’s unbeaten colt made a good impression on his most recent run, comfortably beating a rival rated 102 in a Listed contest during the St Leger Festival. He does, however, give away a significant amount in terms of racecourse experience and Stoute – synonymous for helping horses improve as they get older – hasn’t got the greatest record in this juvenile race, saddling his only winner back in 1986.

Aidan O’Brien, by contrast, has enjoyed a wonderful run of results in the Dewhurst. The Ballydoyle maestro has lifted the trophy five times in the last nine years, saddling the first four horses past the post in last year’s renewal and O'Brien currently trains eight of the 12 entrans left in the betting after the seven-day declaration stage.

After Ten Sovereigns was put away for next season, Anthony Van Dyck (5/2 Ladbrokes) will spearhead the Ballydoyle assault. His run of three-straight victories was ended by Quorto in the National Stakes, but Anthony Van Dyck ran well to push Charlie Appleby’s Guineas contender in that Group One and brings Group Two winning form with him to Newmarket.

Christmas (25/1 BetVictor) will join Anthony Van Dyck in the Dewhurst, having finished behind his stablemate in the Futurity and National Stakes. Mohawk (22/1 Coral) also makes the final cut for the Dewhurst, having beaten two of his stablemates to the Royal Lodge Stakes here at Newmarket two weeks ago.

Several horses in recent years have followed a victory at the Curragh with victory in the Dewhurst and Martyn Meade will be hopeful that Advertise (7/1 William Hill) can continue that particular trend. The July Stakes winner locked horns with three of Aidan O’Brien’s best juveniles in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes, but was strong enough to see off So Perfect in the final furlong to claim a maiden Group One. 

Frankie Dettori pushing Advertise (near) to victory in The Arqana July Stakes here at Newmarket.

Richard Hannon's Kuwait Currency (25/1 BetVictor) rounds off the field, having scored in Listed races on their most recent runs. If the ground comes up softer than good on the day, He would offer a touch more value, but I'd prefer to look towards the upper end of the betting to find a winner in this year's Dewhurst.

Too Darn Hot is the most obvious winner of this race, but at a shade better than even-money, the favourite offers little in the way of value. Aidan O’Brien’s record in the Dewhurst is likely to see both Anthony Van Dyck heavily backed, but of those currently sitting on single-figure prices, ADVERTISE is the one who tickles my taste buds.

After finishing a good runner-up to the hugely impressive Calyx in the Coventry Stakes, Frankie Dettori had to expend very little energy in pushing Advertise to July Stakes glory. Martyn Meade’s charge then had to repel challenges from Sergei Prokofiev, The Irish Rover and So Perfect in the Keeneland Phoenix, but the way the son of Showcasing stuck to his task and powered through the line was mightily impressive.

So Perfect boosted that form, somewhat, when running on well to finish third in the Cheveley Park Stakes last weekend. Advertise is the only entrant who brings Group One winning experience into the Dewhurst and I’m hopeful that the step up in trip could bring about further improvement.

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2018 Dewhurst Stakes tips – 7/1 chance the value bet in Newmarket’s historic Group One

Our expert has written his preview for this year’s Dewhurst Stakes and provides readers with his ante-post tips for Newmarket on Saturday 13th October.

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