The news that two behemoths of European Flat racing and breeding, Coolmore and Godolphin, have fallen out gives an added poignancy to the finale of the season. On Saturday Godolphin’s Dubawi does battle with Aidan O’Brien’s Mullins Bay in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, in what should be a penalty kick for Saeed bin Suroor, Sheikh Mohammed and Frankie Dettori.
Dubawi is the most talented product of the ill-fated Dubai Millennium and will take all the beating now the rain has softened the ground at Newmarket. His victory against Oratorio in the Irish 2,000 Guineas now looks like form from the very top drawer, since that horse has since accounted for his elders in fine style in both the Coral Eclipse and Irish Champion Stakes. Dubawi’s main rivals in the betting are older horses, Rakti and Starcraft.
Rakti is a bit of a head-banger as he showed last time out at York when he ruined his chance by storming down to the start having been spooked. But even if he behaves he would need to run up to his career best to account for Dubawi and at the age of six that may be asking too much. Earlier on the card, Ouija Board is a cut above the rest in the Princess Royal John Doyle Stakes. Last year’s Oaks heroine is being aimed at another Breeder’s Cup Filly & Mare and can put a disappointing start to the season behind her.
On Sunday Avonbridge is strongly fancied in the Diadem Stakes. Roger Charlton has given the horse plenty of chance to recover from an infection and he looks primed to take his place among the top rank of sprinters.
2.0 Newmarket: Ouija Board (win)
4.20 Newmarket: Dubawi (win)
Sunday 3.45 Newmarket: Avonbridge (win)