BLUE GOES FOR GOLD AS RACING RETURNS TO THE ROWLEY MILE
The Newmarket Gold Season opens with a return to the Rowley Mile Course for a seven-race card headed by the Heath Court Hotel Cesarewitch Trial, featuring last Sunday’s runaway Ffos Las winner Blue Laureate.
He might not be the most consistent of handicappers, but if it’s possible to reproduce that seven-length success over the extra two furlongs he ought to be hard to beat under a penalty. Another positive is that he will be ridden once again by the excellent Cieren Fallon, who is currently well on top in the battle to be champion apprentice.
Charles Kingsley - runner-up last week at Doncaster - and Land Of Oz, successful in five of his last six starts, will be doing their best to make sure Blue Laureate won’t have it all his own way.
There are also two handicaps just for fillies, the first of them over a mile and featuring John Gosden’s fast improving Nazeef. The second is over a mile and a half, plus the Heath Court Hotel Amateur Riders’ Cambridgeshire, the once-a-year opportunity for the unpaid ranks to enjoy galloping up the track’s unique straight nine furlongs.
GOLD SEASON MAGNET CAN DRAW IN TALENT AND CROWDS FOR NEWMARKET
Master trainer Gosden has described the new Newmarket Gold Season as “a massive magnet worldwide” and there’s no question it’s a huge four weeks, not only for the racecourse but also for the nearby Tattersalls Sales complex and the town itself.
Five Group 1 races will be run on the Rowley Mile in that period, and four of them are historic championship deciders for two-year-olds - the Juddmonte-sponsored Cheveley Park and Middle Park Stakes, both on September 28th, the bet365 Fillies’ Mile on October 11th and the Darley Dewhurst Stakes on October 12th.
The Dewhurst has been won in the last decade by Frankel, Dawn Approach, Churchill and Too Darn Hot, and this year it could be on the agenda for the brilliant Pinatubo.
The fifth Group 1 is the 1m Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes, which will be run on October 5th and is for top-class fillies aged three and over.
The Autumn Double, comprising the bet365 Cambridgeshire on September 28th and the Dubai Cesarewitch on October 12th, also falls within the Newmarket Gold Season, so it’s an exceptional month of sport.
HOPEFUL OWNERS BIDDING FOR SUCCESS AT TATTERSALLS
The Gold Season action at Tattersalls promises to be almost as exciting as the racing judging, if the astronomical sums that have changed hands lately on the other side of the Atlantic are anything to go by.
An eye-watering $8.2 million was paid at Keeneland in the US for a superbly bred yearling daughter of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.
Tattersalls stage Europe’s largest sale of yearlings, with the October Yearling Sales divided into Books 1, 2, 3 and 4.
The creme de la creme are offered mainly in Book 1, which will be held on October 8th to 10th. Expect fireworks … not to mention some big cheques to be written.
NEWMARKET’S LEADING TRAINERS THROW OPEN THEIR DOORS ON OPEN WEEKEND
This is a massive weekend for Newmarket, for as well as Saturday’s racing on the Rowley Mile this is Sir Henry Cecil Open Weekend, when many of the town’s trainers will be opening their doors to celebrate the life of the genius who trained Frankel, and also to raise money for local charities.
Sunday starts on Warren Hill gallops, where it is hoped that fans will see superstars Enable and Stradivarius put through their paces between 8am and 9am.
Sir Mark Prescott will then open his doors to the public for the first time, when parties of 15 to 20 at a time will be accommodated on guided tours led by himself, assistant William Butler or head man Colin Nutter.
Prescott will be joined by 20 of the town’s other trainers - most of them rather more used to this kind of thing - including Amy Murphy, Hugo Palmer, Richard Spencer, David Simcock, George Scott, James Fanshawe, George Boughey, David Lanigan and Charlie Fellowes.
Fellowes is the event’s chairman and will be showing off his newly acquired Bedford House Stables for the first time since Luca Cumani moved on.
All yards are scheduled to be open from 9am – 12.30pm. Godolphin Lifetime Care will also take part in this year’s Open Weekend and open the doors to Craven House, where ex-racehorses on show will include Dubai World Cup winners African Story and Prince Bishop and Ascot Gold Cup winners Colour Vision and Papineau.
NATIONAL STUD AND JOCKEY CLUB ROOMS AMONG OTHER VENUES WORTH VISITING THIS WEEKEND
It’s not only the sport’s leading trainers who are worth paying a visit over the weekend.
There will be access and tours available to Newmarket’s key equine sites over the two days, among them the Newmarket Equine Hospital, British Racing School, Longholes, Tattersalls Bloodstock Auctioneers, the National Stud, Jockey Club Rooms, and also the National Horseracing Museum at Palace House.
Peter O’Sullevan House, the Injured Jockeys Fund’s third rehabilitation and fitness centre which is not due for official opening until next month, will also be open from 9am to 1pm on Saturday.
Celebrity competitors in Sunday afternoon’s Clipper Logistics Show Jumping include last year’s winner Ryan Moore, and 2019 Champion elect Oisin Murphy.
Full details, including a schedule of events, can be found at www.thehenrycecilopenweekend.co.uk