Racing commentator Simon Holt is keen to take on the big-race favourites on Saturday, with Anthony Van Dyck fancied in the Dewhurst and a 40/1 shot put forward in the Cesarewitch.
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Saturday's Group One Darley Dewhurst Stakes, the most prestigious two-year-old race run in Britain, looks a vintage renewal in which ANTHONY VAN DYCK may have the most solid form.
Aidan O'Brien's highly-regarded son of Galileo won a Group Three and a Group Two at Leopardstown and The Curragh before running an excellent race in the Group One National Stakes last time, when going down by just over a length to the smart Godolphin juvenile Quorto with four-and-a-half lengths back to his re-opposing stable companion Christmas in third and another near two lengths back to Mohawk - who has subsequently won the Royal Lodge Stakes.
On his previous start at The Curragh, Anthony Van Dyck had again beaten Christmas and Mohawk but with less daylight between them suggesting his latest run was another step forward.
At this stage, the National Stakes form has greater substance than the winning efforts of Too Darn Hot and Sangarius even though both have been very impressive.
Too Darn Hot, a full brother to St Leger runner-up Lah Ti Dar, has showcased his excellent acceleration to win all three starts so far, on the latest occasion beating Acomb Stakes winner Phoenix Of Spain in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster. That form was let down slightly when the O'Brien-trained Cardini could finish only fifth of seven in a Group Three next time, though the Doncaster fifth Bye Bye Hong Kong turned the tables to finish second in that race.
Arthur Kitt, no match for Too Darn Hot in the Solario Stakes at Sandown in early September, has since finished fifth behind Mohawk in the Royal Lodge.
Visually, Too Darn Hot has looked very good indeed but he will start short enough here.
Sangarius, a lovely son of Kingman, has also put in some taking performances so far at Newmarket (July Course) and Doncaster though Dubai Dominion, runner-up on the latter occasion, has since been well beaten in France while the Newmarket runner-up, Bangkok, has not developed in two starts since.
Again, Sangarius has won with a lot of style but there is a doubt about the substance of his form.
The other major contender in a fascinating contest is Advertise who, since chasing home the impressive Calyx at Royal Ascot in June, has won both the July Stakes and the Phoenix Stakes, latterly beating O'Brien's So Perfect, a close third to Fairyland in the Cheveley Park Stakes here a fortnight ago.
As ever, a massive field is set to go to post for the Dubai £500,000 Cesarewitch Handicap which has been won by a string of jumps trainers including Martin Pipe, Nicky Henderson, Alan King and Philip Hobbs in recent years.
In this year's renewal, Willie Mullins is certainly giving himself every chance of joining the club with seven contenders but maybe Paul Nicholls can provide a big-priced answer with CLIFFS OF DOVER.
A very useful, free-going horse over hurdles, the son of Canford Cliffs was ridden with more restraint at Newbury last month and I was taken with the way he was staying on in sixth place behind Just In Time, The Glasgowwarrior (third) and Speedo Boy (fifth).
While the change of tactics worked to a degree there, one suspects he might go forward a bit more this time from stall four on the inside in a race which looks sure to be run at a good pace with recent Cesarewitch Trial winner Stars Over The Sea again likely to set a target.
Cliffs Of Dover remains well handicapped on the Flat off a mark of 87 compared to 140 over hurdles considering there is normally around 35-40lb difference in the two codes and rates the each-way value.
Of the Mullins contingent, race-favourite Stratum must have a solid chance if enjoying better luck than in the Sky Bet Ebor, in which he was travelling well on the inside only to be completely blocked off.
The five-year-old, who races in the colours of last year's winning owner Tony Bloom, had earlier won in great style at Newbury and was also a decent third to stable-companion Lagostovegas at Royal Ascot (Whiskey Sour fifth, Coeur De Lion sixth, Kloud Gate seventh, Cleonte ninth).
Mullins runs Whiskey Sour again along with the successful jumpers Limini, Low Sun, Uradel, Law Girl and Meri Devi. All should stay well.
Two others I like against the field are the St Leger third Southern France, a horse who looks made for the race albeit forced to run off a mark of 107, and Here And Now who pulled right away from his rivals at York (2m) in August and then looked unsuited by a more muddling Listed race at Chester where he again stayed on well.
Posted at 1615 BST on 12/10/18.