It does not boast the most valuable races this weekend, but the Dubai Duty Free double-bill at Newbury is likely to be the most informative. Godolphin's recent run of two-year-old winners has already seen the markets ahead of next year's Classic races adjusted accordingly and the Group Two Mill Reef Stakes for two-year-olds tomorrow is likely to produce further candidates, possibly from another Dubai-based source, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, for Classic honours.
Unbeaten in four runs, Dick Turpin, the Richard Hannon-trained winner of the Group Two Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood in July and the Tattersalls Ireland Sale Stakes at Fairyhouse last month, heads the juvenile cast. After his August win on soft ground proved his versatility, the Arakan colt has been viewed as a strong contender for the 2,000 Guineas next spring. His trainer's son and assistant, Richard Hannon Jnr, said the horse would be aimed at a Group One next, with the Dewhurst Stakes and the Racing Post Trophy in October both mentioned.
Dick Turpin could still appear in either of those contests, with connections leaning towards a possible clash with Sheikh Hamdan's Arcano, another colt seen as an excellent prospect for the 2,000 Guineas, in the Dewhurst. In the shorter term, however, Dick Turpin seems certain to take in another Group Two on his way to Group One company. He is likely to find competition from another of Sheikh Hamdan's runners, Awzaan. Winner of his two runs to date, a maiden and a conditions stakes, Awzaan, trained by Mark Johnston, is less exposed to quality competition than Dick Turpin, but nevertheless won a good contest last time out at Newmarket in July, beating a field of nine winners in a fast-run race.
Sheikh Hamdan is also likely to be represented by Haadeeth, trained by Marcus Tregoning, who dead-heated in his maiden at Kempton last month. The already gelded son of Oasis Dream, a half-brother to Arcano, showed his mettle when battling to stay in the race when challenged by Andrew Balding's Brick Red 100 yards from the post. Today's Arc Trial throws up some interesting clashes, including the Group Two Princess of Wales Blue Square Stakes-winning Doctor Fremantle, trained by Sir Michael Stoute and ridden by Ryan Moore, who will be looking to deal an equally hard blow to Campanologist from Godolphin's yard.