The bustle of traders setting up an antiques fair at Newmarket racecourse yesterday morning helped Raven's Pass warm up for his clash with New Approach and Rio De La Plata in Saturday's Dewhurst Stakes. The colt's workout over six furlongs of the Rowley Mile was preceded by a circuit of the pre-parade ring and both parts of the exercise left connections delighted.
Raven's Pass, last seen when trouncing subsequent winner City Leader in the Solario Stakes, eased clear of useful three-year-old handicapper Transcend without being asked a serious question. "He hasn't raced for a while," said his trainer, John Gosden, "so it was all just to give him a feel for being back on a track."
Jimmy Fortune, in the saddle yesterday, added: "I was very happy. He's very laid back and there are not many who get past that lead horse at home."
The Dewhurst Stakes was also confirmed yesterday as the target for the Champagne Stakes winner, McCartney, trained by Mark Johnston for Sheikh Mohammed, who also owns Rio De La Plata and has a half-share in New Approach.
DEWHURST STAKES (Newmarket, Saturday): William Hill: 7-4 New Approach (from 13-8), 3-1 Rio De La Plata, 3-1 Raven's Pass (from 100-30), 8-1 Fast Company (from 10-1), 10-1 McCartney, 12-1 Moynahan, 14-1 Luck Money, 20-1 Bruges, 25-1 Sir Gerry, 33-1 Hatta Fort.
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