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Darley Dewhurst Stakes Preview


Such has been the dominance of PINATUBO in the top juvenile races this summer that the Godolphin-owned colt is going to start at prohibitive odds for a race that traditionally casts a large bearing on the following year’s 2,000 Guineas.

Run over the final seven furlongs of the Guineas Mile, it’s past winners include such Titans as Nijinsky, Mill Reef, El Gran Senor and Frankel. It is the most significant British Group 1 for two-year-olds.

PINATUBO, trained by Charlie Appleby, is a 2-5 shot with Hollywoodbets and rightly so. Since opening his account on his Wolverhampton debut he is unbeaten in five starts and the history book tells us you need to have experience on your side to win a Dewhurst. And furthermore, six of the last nine market leaders have obliged.

What stamped Pinatubo as something out of the ordinary was the way he pulverised his foes in the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh. The form was held up when the runner-up Armory finished third in a Longchamp Group 1 behind Victor Ludorum.

While it would be stretching things to say the manner of that Curragh triumph reminded one of Frankel, it was the best performance by a juvenile we’ve seen in years.

Coolmore often fields it’s best youngster in this and their decision to supplement WICHITA into the race was wholly predictable. He looked a different horse when spread eagling his field in the Group 3 Tattersalls Stakes over this course and distance and on that evidence is the clear danger to the favourite.

Aidan O’Brien first won the Dewhurst with Rock Of Gibraltar who went on to win the 2,000 Guineas, as did Churchill in 2016.

But adage that when you throw mud at a wall some of it will stick can certainly be aimed at Aidan O’Brien’s fielding of three more of the nine-strong contingent, with YEAR OF THE TIGER hopelessly outclassed.

ARIZONA cannot be written off as easily as he landed the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, but there’s a small matter of him having to find over nine lengths with Pinatubo from the National Stakes.

O’Brien speaks highly of MONARCH OF EGYPT but after being a springer in the market this colt finished last of 8 to Earthlight in the Middle Park Stakes and makes a very quick return to the track.

POSITIVE has been aimed at this since scraping home in Sandown’s Solario Stakes and although no match for Pinatubo at Glorious Goodwood makes some appeal as a value outsider who possibly can finish in the first four.

Prediction – Darley Dewhurst Stakes

1st – Pinatubo

2nd – Monarch Of Egypt

3rd – Wichita

4th – Positive

5th – Arizona

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