THE RACING POST SATURDAY OCTOBER 8th 2011
RACING POST WEEK MONDAY OCTOBER 3rd to SUNDAY OCTOBER 9th 2011Please use this link for C4 Live Racing for today.
TODAY'S BIG TALKING POINT
STARS OF TOMORROW WALKING IN FOOTSTEPS OF GIANTS
JON LEES on time past and time future coming together at Newmarket
“NEWMARKET uses the past to define the future – and with some justification. Shorn of the Champion Stakes, it gives Britain’s most prestigious two-year-old race a platform of its own again and repackages it as the showpiece event of a new program designed to identify the stars of 2012. The track has put a second Group 1 race, the Emaar Middle Park Stakes, on the same card and given birth to what from today will be known as Future Champions Day.
“The Dewhurst reads like a future who’s who of the Classic scene of the last ten years and includes NEW APPROACH, SIR PERCY, SHAMARDAL and ROCK OF GIBRALTAR, while among the former winners of the Middle Park is subsequent sprint star OASES DREAM. If only Future Champions Day had started 12 months ago when FRANKEL captured the Dewhurst and DREAM AHEAD the Middle Park, because the horses that line up in today’s two races are walking in the footsteps of giants. While DREAM AHEAD very possibly bowed out with a career-high defeat of France’s darling GOLDIKOVA in last Sunday’s Prix de la Foret, to add to earlier victories in the July Cup, the 2,000 Guineas winner FRANKEL aims to complete another unbeaten campaign at Ascot next weekend where he is the undoubted star of the inaugural British Champions Day. “They are a near impossible double act to follow. FRANKEL beat Irish 2,000 Guineas winner RODERIC O’CONNOR in last years Dewhurst, while DREAM AHEAD slammed this season’s Jersey and Lennox Stakes winner STRONG SUIT, who is set to start favourite for today’s Burj Khalifa Challenge Stakes, in the Middle Park.
“Yet with the Rockfel Stakes, who’s former graduates include the 1,000 Guineas winners FINSCEAL BEO and SPECIOSA, and Autumn Stakes, remembered for having produced NASHWAN and NAYEF and in which MASKED MARVEL ran last year, there is plenty of potential for the unveiling of a future star. The question is who will emerge from today’s examinations? Setbacks to Richard Hannon’s HARBOUR WATCH and Roger Charlton’s TOP OFFER have deprived the Dewhurst of two of next year’s leading 2,000 Guineas fancies, opening the door to the likes of POWER or the unbeaten pair BRONTERRE and EKTIHAAM to secure winter favouritism should they win today. The Middle Park has become a sprinters’ production line, but a 16-strong field, the biggest for 20 years, is evidence the two races can operate side by side. It’s a new chapter for Newmarket but a concluding one for jockeys with this being the last major raceday before new whip rules come in on Monday.”