ONE CALL INSURANCE CHAMPAGNE STAKES (GROUP 2) (COLTS & GELDINGS) (CLASS 1) (2yo) Good, Good to Firm in places 7f
Dundonnel comes into today’s renewal of the Group 2 Champagne Stakes on the back of a straightforward win in the Group 3 Acomb Stakes at York last time and although in the last 10 years only Poet’s Voice has gone on to take Group 1 honours after taking this race, Dundonnell does look likely to make the transition to Group 1 level.
He made his debut at Newmarket in Soft ground in mid July and went on the finish in 3rd place. This was a particularly good effort considering that in the soft going his was positioning away from the faster ground on the rail was a real disadvantage and gave the distinct impression that he was a useful horse in the making. His confirmed this in no uncertain terms when he absolutely routed his field at Lingfield on his next start, beating Van Persie by 12 lengths. He tracked the leaders before taking the lead well over a furlong out and when he was shaken up he stormed clear.
His last run in the Acomb showed what real potential he possesses as the race was not run to suit at all. The race was run at a muddling pace when the field went quickly to start with, then the pace slowed before picking up again towards the end of the race. Dundonnell ultimately won the race and looked to have a fair bit more in hand than the ¾ length victory would suggest. He probably got to the front to soon as he led from over 2 furlongs out and his inexperience counted against him as he was idling in front. However, he was still full of running at the end of the race and took some pulling up showing that he had plenty in reserve.
He runs over 7 furlongs again today, the trip won over at York and as Roger Charlton his trainer thinks that he needs faster ground the fact that Doncaster is drying out and is now Good to Firm in places will suit Dundonnell. James Doyle rides him again today, as he has on all three of his starts to date and he will have learned plenty about his mount at York.
Looking at the opposition, Dundonnell should be good enough to win this with a repeat of the form he showed to win at York, which is the best form on offer. However, he is likely to have improved for his York success and if his jockey can get him settles a little better he will take all of the beating. He has an entry for the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy back here at the end of October and will take high rank in the betting if he is successful today.