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Future Champions Festival: Looking back at the Newmarket 2-year-old celebration

We've reached the turn of the seasons. The flat highlights fading, we're left only with a last hurrah at Ascot this Saturday. On the screens around Newmarket, Chepstow's jumping action beamed in. But in front of the stands, moments to treasure as turf racing heads to hibernation over the winter. Come April, these performances will unwrapped and re-evealuated: their by then 3-year-old protagonists sent out in pursuit of Classic crowns.

To what, for instance, is Ylang Ylang destined? And what of Inquisitively, who handed Kevin Phillipart de Foy victory in the Cornwallis? That was William Buick's first winning ride of the festival. He went on to take the Oh So Sharp (Dance Sequence), Maiden Fillies' Stakes (Devoted Queen), Autumn Stakes (Ancient Wisdom), Zetland (Arabian Crown) and Darley Stakes (Highland Avenue). All of which spelled good news for Godolphin, clasping back the winners after a damp year.

Against the dominance of Appleby and O'Brien, moments reserved for smaller yards too. Kieran Cotter took the Challenge Stakes with Matilda Picotte (Oisin Murphy aboard), and Saturday's Cesarewitch went the way of Emmet Mullins' The Shunter: a JP McManus charge who had James Doyle in the saddle. Doyle had seen success in another handicap the day before (aboard Alsakib), going half a length clear of Shadow Dance in the Old Rowley Cup.

It was, however, City Of Troy's weekend. The son of Justify stayed almost four lengths clear in the Dewhurst, defying stick to earn 'F' word comparisons. Is it second time lucky for Ballydoyle, as we think back to Auguste Rodin's Triple Crown hopes this time last year? Can City Of Troy prove a more reliable stable star? We must wait until next year to find out.


For 2024


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