Dubai Poet looked the class(ic) act on a star-studded Newbury ‘Super-Saturday’ programme and this Roger Varian-trained Lope De Vega colt became first on my short list for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket next May; he slammed our nap, Gaius, by five and a half lengths but frenetic betting told us something was afoot.
Gaius was easy to bet at 5/1, why? definitely because jockey Andrea Atzeni was extremely bullish about Dubai Poet, subject of colossal wagers at the Berkshire venue where he made an eye-catching ‘quiet’ debut last month. So many trainers seem loath to play their trump cards first-up!
‘Early doors’ Gaius, as expected, set a strong pace and was still at the helm until ‘Captain’ Atzeni steered his mount into another gear approaching the final furlong and stormed clear with Andrea intent on teaching Dubai Poet the rudiments of horse-racing. It was a grand, somewhat vexing, sight in the closing stages but Gaius remains on my list to follow, along with third and fourth, Brilliant Blue and newcomer, Zoom, a stable-companion of the runner-up!
First thought was did Gaius stay but this was immediately dismissed after computing the race-time yesterday; all the juvenile classics for colts in the next few months will be at the mercy of Dubai Poet; exciting ‘times!’
Follow the form, avidly!
Another week kicks-off this afternoon with seemingly moderate fare at Hamilton and Leicester where, incidentally, some famous two-year-olds have been introduced; thrice-raced Carbon has been ‘chalked up’ favourite for the eight-runner Novice Stakes over seven furlongs of a ‘good to firm’ surface and represents Varian and Atzeni!
On my time-handicap Carbon, recently second over course and distance, is the one to beat, and selected, despite claims of previous first time out Godolphin-owned winner Mythical Dancer.
Matvei Platov is the only form danger to likely short-priced favourite Commandment in the Maiden Stakes over six furlongs of ‘good to firm’ Hamilton but I’m aware my prognostication could be extremely wide of the mark; Mark Johnston and Kevin Ryan field well-bred newcomers!
Both have raced twice but on actual time-figures Richard Fahey’s charge comes out much better, is he being prepared for a nursery is in the back of a mind which houses suspicious thoughts where juvenile handicaps are concerned.
Don’t miss Van Meegeren at Warwick jumps fixture.
Selections, Leicester, 1.30 Carbon (e.w); Hamilton, 1.45 Matvei Platov (e.w); Warwick, 1.50 Van Meegeren.
Jeffrey Ross, horse-racing correspondent for WMN since 1983 when winning the most prestigious racing journalist award, Sporting Life Naps Table, before winning it a record number of six times collectively in the Racing Post, the current ‘trade’ paper, including 2019