Friday 9th October, 2.40pm, Newmarket
Race number three from Newmarket tomorrow is the Dubai Challenge Stakes, which is a Group 2 held over a distance of seven furlongs on the Rowley Mile.
There are ten runners set to line-up here and it’s a really competitive event. Three horses are locked together at the front of the market as Here Comes When, Markaz and Breton Rock can all be backed at 11/2.
Looking at Here Comes When to begin with, he has run some big races this season, but is yet to get his head in front and despite only losing by a head at Goodwood last time out, you could argue he was a little bit disappointing.
However, you can’t argue that some of the horse’s runs have been impressive this campaign and he’s sure to run another big race for Andrew Balding and Jim Crowley.
Markaz only found the excellent Limato too good at Doncaster last time out and a repeat of that performance could be good enough here.
He won on the July Course earlier in the summer and has run some big races this season. His one effort on Good to Soft ground this season was a little disappointing though and trainer Barry Hills might be hoping that conditions approve over at HQ.
Breton Rock was around a length behind Limato and Markaz last time out, so has a bit to find there, but should enjoy these conditions a little more than his market rival. He might just be the best bet of those at the top of the market for trainer David Simcock.
You then have Belardo at 7/1 and Roger Varian’s horse was a quite superb two-year-old, but has disappointed a little bit this season and might just be a horse who hasn’t improved from ages two to three.
Belardo has plenty of talent though and is a course and distance winner, so can’t be overlooked.
Ascription is at 8/1 for Hugo Palmer and Pat Smullen and this horse was a good second at Newbury last time out behind Hathal.
He was just two lengths behind Toormore at Goodwood before that and has the quality needed to go close here. He’s another who ha struggled to get his nose in front though and it’s over two years since the horse’s last win.
Richard Hannon has Coulstry here and was fifth at Doncaster behind Limato last time out.
He’s won some good races though and took the spoils on soft ground in France back in August, so should be find on this ground.
There might just be a little bit more to come from this four-year-old and the Hannon yard is in decent form at the moment.
Another 8/1 shot is So Beloved for Danny Tudhope and David O’Meara. He’ll have a good chance, as will 11/1 shot Cable Bay and the 16/1 outsider Shining Emerald.
Any of these horses could win this race and that’s why we’re siding with an EW bet on COULSTY here. It should be a cracking race.