Dubai: Red-hot Godolphin will be looking to maintain the momentum when they send out several top contenders, led by the exciting Pinatubo, in this weekend’s Dubai Future Champions Festival at Newmarket Racecourse in the UK.
Following victories by Earthlight in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes and Victor Ludorum in the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère, Godolphin are the team to follow as Newmarket hosts its final high-profile event of the year.
The quality of racing over the two days is unparalleled with seven Group 1 races and the £500,000 Emirates Cesarewitch Handicap, one of British racing’s most thrilling events which is traditionally contested by as many as 34 horses.
Saturday is all about the Darley Dewhurst Stakes, the most prestigious race for juvenile horses.
A prodigious two-year-old son of top Darley stallion, Shamardal, Pinatubo was last seen romping home to a nine-length winner of the Group 1 Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at The Curragh in Ireland.
That performance earned him a rating of 128, a higher figure than the great Frankel achieved as a juvenile, and made him the hot favourite for next year’s English 2,000 Guineas.
His trainer. Charlie Appleby, described his unbeaten colt as ‘the best two-year-old I’ve trained’.
Dubai Future Champions Festival is supported by Dubai and Godolphin, the stable created by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Friday hosts Autumn Ladies day where the feature race is the Group 1 Fillies Mile and is supported by the Group 3 Godolphin Lifetime Care Oh So Sharp Stakes for two-year-olds.
Godolphin’s managing director Hugh Anderson said: “Shamardal has had an extraordinary season so far.
“Blue Point’s Royal Ascot successes were remarkable and of course Castle Lady took the French 1,000 Guineas, too.
But surely his greatest achievement has been to have sired two-year-olds of the quality of Pinatubo, Earthlight and Victor Ludorum.
“We look forward to the Dewhurst and then 2020 with great relish and optimism.”
Commenting on the weather forecast for the weekend Michael Prosser, Newmarket’s Clerk of the Course, said: “There’s a chance of rain at any point this week but not necessarily of any major consequence.
It will also be breezy throughout the week which could help dry the ground should we be fortunate enough to miss showers.”