A brilliant days racing and a taste of what is to come later in the season.
1.40 Newbury (9 runners)
Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise
Stakes (Group 3) (Registered As The John Porter Stakes) 1m4f (2640 yards)
RACE SUMMARY : Impossible to see past Defoe here, 3 from 3 at the track, twice returning from a decent break, twice on soft ground and won this race last year. He went on last season to win in Group 2 Company with his only defeats since 2016 coming in Group 1 Company. Young Rascal who carries a 3lbs (2 lengths) penalty improved no end last year with his only defeat coming in the Epsom Derby, winning here 3 times all at this level and also goes well fresh. The forecast looks pretty obvious and I would be surprised if any other runner can get involved. The one I have played for third in a mixed tri-cast is Aspertar who looks best early in the season for a trainer whose top level runners have generally operated at a 28% strike rate and he may well outrun his odds.
SELECTION : Defoe
DANGER : Young Rascal
2.10 Newbury (15 runners)
Dubai Duty Free Stakes (Fillies
Group 3) (Registered As The Fred Darling Stakes) 7f (1540 yards)
I have gone for So Perfect here, generally A O’Brien runners are best avoided early season especially with his UK runners but she was only beaten a combined total of just over a length in 2 Group 1 contests last season and she won on debut this time last year.
2.40 Newbury (8 runners)
Watership Down Stud Greenham Stakes (Group 3), 7f (1540 yards)
This was a race Richard Hannon senior used to target with his early season three-year olds and it looks a similar story for Richard Hannon junior who fields 3 of the now 8 runners. I don’t think we will see any future stars coming out of today’s race and this looks best left to the stats. Silvestre De Sousa has a great record for R Hannon generally in lesser races but the thing that stands out to me is his 28.57% strike rate when riding for the trainer when he has multiple runners in a race.