With Dubai Future Champions weekend coming up in just over a week, with racing taking place on the 13th and 14th of October, we’ve gone through the current entries in order to bring you a guide of the most likely contenders over the two days.
Predictions for Dubai Future Champions
Taking centre stage on Future Champions weekend are two Group 1 races for two-year-olds; the Fillies’ Mile, and the seven-furlong Dewhurst Stakes. These are the main races to be watching in order to pick out the likely champions of the next few seasons’ racing. Two-year-olds, even top-quality ones, are only just embarking on their racing careers, and often do their best work in later seasons.
Dark Horses to Watch Out For:
At this stage in their careers, two-year-olds – who are still learning their jobs and growing – can improve rapidly and unexpectedly.
As such, a couple to look out for in the Fillies’ Mile could be Finsceal Luas and Content, while Ballymount Boy and Mountain Bear could surprise in the Dewhurst.
Day 1 – Dubai Future Champion Tips
Dubai Future Champions Festival Day 1
The Fillies’ Mile
Although runners in the Fillies’ Mile are still subject to declarations, a few particularly impressive fillies stand out.
Aidan O’Brien’s Opera Singer has been outstanding in her last couple of outings, winning both a Group 3 and Group 1 of this distance by a combined 11½ lengths. A very consistent filly, she should have little in her way here.
Ambiente Amigo, who has also won her last two outings by a combined 13½, steps up in grade significantly but, having won so well on both of those occasions, clearly has the quality to thrive in Group 1 company and should be in the mix.
The Oh So Sharp Stakes:
Tips will be available for this race shortly.
Tips will be available for this race shortly.
Charlie Hills’ Mutasaabeq really comes into his own at Newmarket, having won all but one of his five starts at the Cambridgeshire track. He steps down in trip here from one mile, but has to be taken very seriously at his favourite track.
John and Thady Gosden’s Audience has been consistent this term, winning once over course and distance and placing twice from four starts. Like Mutasaabeq, he goes very well at Newmarket and have never finished outside of the first three here, so should be in line to repeat previous winning form.
Day 2 – Dubai Future Champion Tips
Future Champions Festival Day 2
The Dewhurst is one of the most widely discussed races of the Flat season, where some of the best quality two-year-old colts of the summer go head-to-head to decide who is really best.
Aidan O’Brien sends a typically strong contingent into the race with the unbeaten trio of City Of Troy, Diego Velazquez and Henry Longfellow, all of whom have gone totally uncontested in all their races this season so far, winning easily on each occasion. All proven over this distance, at this level and going on any ground, it could be a battle to the finish line between the three.
Rookie trainer Ollie Sangster’s Per Contra – also unbeaten in both career starts, albeit at a lower level, could give the O’Brien three something to think about, however, as could Simon and Ed Crisford’s Vandeek, who has won all four of his starts this season, and who steps up in trip here having won two Group 1s, including the Middle Park Stakes at this track. Although winning by lesser margins than the Ballydoyle colts, he should make his presence duly felt here.
Tips will be available for this race shortly
The Cesarewitch can often bring up some unexpected results, and tends to have a large field which can stir things up itself. Two miles and two furlongs long, this is a real test of stamina and can attract horses who run primarily over jumps in addition to Flat horses.
Gordon Elliott’s Pied Piper is one of these National Hunt horses. Although originally useful on the Flat for John and Thady Gosden, he has thrived over hurdles and is rarely seen outside of the first three. Having placed in his reappearance over two miles and one furlong at Killarney in August, he should be able to improve on that run and be ready to strike here.
Andrew Balding’s Grand Providence, a course and distance winner last time, goes on any ground so should be able to handle whatever the unpredictable October weather brings, so having never finished outside of the first three in eight starts, has to be considered.
Key factors to consider when betting on the Dubai Future Champions
A horse’s form is often the best way to judge how well it might run in a race. Recent wins and places are always a good sign, but also keep in mind improving form, where a horse might have – for example – come sixth on its first run of the season, then fourth the next time out, and then third the time after that. If improving in the same fashion again, they could be on track for a win at a bargain price.
It’s always worth considering who the ‘hot-list’ jockeys are and noting who they’re riding. A jockey in good form can enhance the chances of their ride, and trainers will often put their first jockey on their best chance in the race if they have multiple runners.
Like with jockeys, ‘hot-list’ trainers are important to note. A trainer who is having lots of success should, in theory, be sending a high percentage of their horses into races with a good chance, which could be due to a change in feed, general health at their yard, staff or exercise regime.
Always take time to think about factors affecting the racecourse itself. Newmarket is an undulating track with a straight course, except in races a mile and a half or longer, which include a right-hand turn, and an uphill finish.
Does your selection have proven ability up similar hills, like at Hamilton and Ascot, or do they prefer the flatter tracks at courses like York and Newbury?
Weather affects the going, which affects horses chances. If rain is due, the chances of firm-ground-preferring horses are lessened, while if a hot spell is forecast, soft-ground specialists may find the ground to quick for their liking.
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