Racing: No time like present for Chapple-Hyam's juveniles: This week may tell if the young pretenders are the cream of a vintage crop or the best of a bad lot

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The Independent Online
LIKE devotees of vintage films and old architecture, there are those in racing who refuse to believe that modern times can compare with the past. Their voices are usually heard in the autumn when the year's performances are being dissected and usually say that standards, especially among two-year-olds, are slipping. This season is no different.

When the Dewhurst Stakes is run at Newmarket on Friday it will take a performance of supreme merit to raise the juveniles out of a perceived trough. Peter Chapple-Hyam hopes that display will be provided by Stonehatch and he also hopes the sport's annual nostalgia will abate.

'Stonehatch will run against all those other supposedly bad two-year-olds as long as the ground is not too soft,' the Manton trainer said yesterday. 'Last year's horses were supposed to be bad and this year's as well. In athletics, humans seem to be getting better, but there are people who think horses are getting worse.'

Chapple-Hyam does have a vested interest in promoting the cause of this campaign's two-year-olds, as he trains perhaps the most talented single group of them in the country. Even though he is shortly to lose Balanchine, Shepton Mallet, State Performer and Escarpment, who have been bought by Sheikh Mohammed to run in Dubai this winter, he can still call on such as Stonehatch, Colonel Collins, Turtle Island and Pencader.

And, perhaps most importantly of all, he can call on a horse who has done much more talking than running this year, Kalkabrino. The son of El Gran Senor has spent much of the season in the sick bay, emerging briefly to produce stunning work on the gallops. 'He's had the virus very badly all year, but I know he's very good,' Chapple-Hyam said.

'He's nearly ready and in another week he'll be spot on, but I might still run him in a maiden at Newmarket on Friday because the ground will be better there than anywhere else. Otherwise, it will be Doncaster or Newbury.'

The trainer believes Stonehatch and Colonel Collins, who returned a bad blood count after finishing second to Grand Lodge in the Somerville Tattersall Stakes at Newmarket earlier this month, are the colts most likely to develop into three-year-olds of some standing.

Grand Lodge himself is the ante-post favourite for the 2,000 Guineas, a position he is expected to strengthen in the Dewhurst. William Jarvis's colt was yesterday reduced to 9-4 (from 11-4) by Ladbrokes for Friday's race.

The other main event at Newmarket's three-day meeting is Saturday's Champion Stakes, which is sponsored by the Maktoum brothers and also likely to be won by them. When the first market was drawn up for the Group One race yesterday, Hamdan Al Maktoum's Muhtarram, the winner of the Irish equivalent at Leopardstown last month, was installed as favourite, with three horses belonging to the Sheikh's siblings underneath him.

Walter Swinburn has the choice between two of this quartet and is likely to select Hatoof in front of Ezzoud, who would then be left to Bruce Raymond.

DEWHURST STAKES (Newmarket, Friday): Ladbrokes: 9-4 Grand Lodge, 5-1 Polish Laughter & Redoubtable, 11-2 Stonehatch, 7-1 Psychobabble, 8-1 Alanees & Nicolotte; William Hill: 2-1 Grand Lodge, 9- 2 Stonehatch, 11-2 Psychobabble, 6-1 Nicolotte & Polish Laughter, 7-1 Redoubtable, 12-1 Mutakddim, 16-1 Alanees.

CHAMPION STAKES (Newmarket, Saturday): Ladbrokes: 7-4 Muhtarram, 3-1 Hatoof, 6-1 Ezzoud & Knifebox, 8-1 Dernier Empereur, 10-1 Alflora, 14-1 Dancing Bloom, 20-1 Tenby, 25-1 Revelation, 33-1 Bobzao; William Hill: 2-1 Muhtarram, 7-2 Hatoof, 5-1 Ezzoud, 13-2 Knifebox, 7-1 Dernier Empereur.

----------------------------------------------------------------- THE CESAREWITCH - ANTE-POST ODDS ----------------------------------------------------------------- Horse, trainer & weight Coral Hills Ladbroke Stanley Tote Hasten To Add Mark Prescott 7st 13lb 4-1 7-2 4-1 7-2 9-2 My Patriarch J Dunlop 9st. . . . . . 9-1 9-1 8-1 10-1 10-1 Balasani M Pipe 9st 8lb. . . . . . . 10-1 10-1 10-1 10-1 11-1 Irish Stamp J Pearce 7st 12lb. . . . 12-1 10-1 12-1 12-1 10-1 Ritto B Hills 7st 9lb. . . . . . . . 10-1 10-1 12-1 12-1 12-1 Aahsaylad J White 8st 12lb. . . . . 14-1 14-1 12-1 12-1 12-1 Sun Grebe J Dunlop 7st 10lb. . . . . 16-1 25-1 14-1 20-1 25-1 Jack Button Bob Jones 9st 10lb. . . 16-1 33-1 25-1 20-1 28-1 Green Lane R Akehurst 8st 5lb. . . . 16-1 20-1 16-1 16-1 25-1 Provence P W Harris 8st 3lb. . . . . 16-1 20-1 25-1 20-1 25-1 Tilty R Hannon 7st 3lb . . . . . . . 16-1 25-1 20-1 25-1 28-1 Bold Resolution C Cyzer 8st 3lb. . . 25-1 33-1 33-1 33-1 25-1 Bardolph P Cole 7st 13lb . . . . . . 25-1 33-1 40-1 25-1 33-1 Fivetoseven S Norton 7st 8lb . . . . 25-1 33-1 25-1 33-1 33-1 Doyce R Williams 7st 10lb. . . . . . 33-1 40-1 40-1 33-1 33-1 Iota Mrs J Cecil 8st 2lb. . . . . . 33-1 40-1 50-1 33-1 33-1 Quick Ransom M Johnston 9st 5lb. . . 33-1 20-1 25-1 -- 28-1 Rodeo Star N Tinkler 8st 4lb. . . . 33-1 33-1 33-1 33-1 28-1 Island Blade R Akehurst 7st 5lb. . . 33-1 40-1 33-1 -- 33-1 Miss Pin Up Pat Mitchell 8st 3lb . . 33-1 40-1 50-1 40-1 33-1 Rosina Mae Lord Huntingdon 8st 7lb . 33-1 33-1 33-1 33-1 33-1 Encore Une Fois M Johnston 8st 9lb . 33-1 50-1 40-1 40-1 40-1 Chakalak S Dow 8st 3lb. . . . . . . 33-1 40-1 50-1 -- 40-1 Free Mover N Graham 8st 8lb. . . . . 33-1 40-1 50-1 40-1 40-1 Grey Power Mrs M Reveley 8st 3lb . . 33-1 33-1 40-1 33-1 40-1 Maamur M Pipe 7st 10lb. . . . . . . 33-1 33-1 25-1 33-1 40-1 Mardood P Leach 7st 8lb. . . . . . . 33-1 40-1 33-1 33-1 40-1 My Desire Mrs M Reveley 8st 10lb . . 33-1 50-1 33-1 -- 40-1 Popsi's Legacy M Haynes 7st 2lb. . . 40-1 33-1 66-1 33-1 40-1 Top Spin J Jenkins 8st 2lb . . . . . 33-1 66-1 50-1 -- 50-1 Sword Master Bob Jones 8st 3lb . . . 40-1 50-1 50-1 -- 50-1 Go South J Jenkins 7st. . . . . . . 50-1 66-1 66-1 -- 66-1 Legion Of Honour M Haughton 7st 6lb. 50-1 50-1 100-1 -- 50-1 Allmosa T J Naughton 7st 5lb . . . . 50-1 100-1 66-1 -- 40-1 Rolling The Bones M Naughton 6st9lb 150-1 150-1 200-1 -- 150-1 Touching Times R Rowe 6st 2lb. . . 200-1 200-1 200-1 -- 200-1 ----------------------------------------------------------------- Race to be run over 2 miles 2 furlongs at Newmarket on Saturday, 16 October. Above five-day field is subject to withdrawals. Ante-post stakes on non-runners are forfeited if bets are made prior to overnight declarations next Friday. Minimum weight to be carried: 7st 7lb. -----------------------------------------------------------------

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