At just after three o ‘clock this Saturday (8 October), horseracing will celebrate a new multi-million pound star in the shape of the winner of the Group 1 Dubai Dewhurst Stakes, the flagship race of Newmarket’s Future Champions Day. And the value of the successful horse is likely to be approaching the £10 million mark.
A leading agency Gordon-Watson Bloodstock, headed by Charles Gordon-Watson, knows exactly what constitutes a top-class racehorse, having purchased no less than nine Classic winners, including 2003 Derby hero Kris Kin.
They have researched the last 10 years of Dubai Dewhurst Stakes winners and identified four champion juveniles, providing an assessment of their worth at the moment of victory.
Stars such as the unbeaten Frankel and the brilliant miler Rock of Gibraltar are analysed, but intriguingly neither emerged as Gordon-Watson’s top-valued winner of the race. That honour falls to 2007 Dewhurst Stakes star New Approach (pictured).
Gordon-Watson, who is currently buying future stars at Tattersalls prestigious yearling sale in Newmarket, said: “New Approach was unbeaten coming into the race, having won on all four starts. He showed great tenacity to win that day and had the world at his feet – he would have been valued at around £12 million.”
He goes on to detail how, at his peak, the subsequent Derby and Champion Stakes winner would have been worth an estimated £20m.
“On his day, he was a horse with a touch of brilliance,” summed up Gordon-Watson.
And the bloodstock agent, like everyone else at Newmarket this Saturday, will be fascinated to see which one of the nine declared runners emerges with the lion’s share of the £317,000 total prize fund – and a significantly enhanced reputation.
Newmarket’s director of racing Michael Prosser said: “The Dubai Dewhurst Stakes is the defining race for any two-year-old that is good enough to line up in it. It invariably produces Europe’s leading juvenile for the season and, indeed, last year it was won by the joint top-rated racehorse of his generation, Frankel.
"Among those behind him was Dream Ahead, the other joint top-rated two-year-old of 2010 who has gone on to become Europe’s leading sprinter this season.
“The race is hugely important and prestigious. The winner is all but guaranteed a lucrative career as a future stallion and more immediately will almost certainly winter as the favourite of the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and possibly the Derby.”
Valuing the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes winners – by Charles Gordon-Watson (www.gordon-watson.com)
Rock Of Gibraltar 2001
Going into the Dewhurst Stakes, Rock Of Gibraltar had won five of his races including a Group 2 and a Group 1. It is rare to see a horse win the premier Group 1 for two-year-olds in France – the Grand Criterium (now called the Prix Jean-Luc Lagerdere) – and then be seen winning the top Group 1 for two-year- old colts in England just 13 days later. This showed that “The Rock”, as people had started to call him, was one of the best we had seen for a long time.
His pedigree was impressive as he was by one of the great stallions of the modern era in Danehill and was strong enough on the dam side. Even before the Dewhurst he was always going to be commercial at stud but on the day of the race he was probably worth around £6 million.
One of the big worries people had with Rock Of Gibraltar was that, as he had been such a good two-year-old, there were question-marks as to whether he would train on. However, he proved his doubters wrong and went on to become one of the best milers of recent times, racking up a further five Group 1 wins to prove that he was one of the very best we had seen. By the time he retired to stud his estimated value was £16 million.
Teofilo was one of those horses who always gave his best but never won by very far. Prior to the Dewhurst Stakes he had won all four of his starts including a Group One in Ireland. He won the Dewhurst by a ‘head’, which is probably about six inches in normal terms. His victory showed he had all the qualities to make one of the best racehorses, showing great guts to beat his old rival, Holy Roman Emperor.
At the time he looked a good stallion prospect as he was fabulous looking and was by the great Galileo. Galileo had won the Derby and many people expected Teofilo to follow in his father’s footsteps. After the Dewhurst he would be valued at around £10 million. However, injury prevented Teofilo from running again so no one really knows how good he may have become.
He was officially retired halfway through his three year old career, having not seen the racecourse since his heart-stopping Dewhurst win. His value had remained unchanged at £10 million.
New Approach 2007
New Approach seemed to have everything going for him; he was a fantastic racehorse and had a top-class pedigree, being by Galileo. He was unbeaten coming into the Dewhurst Stakes, having won all his four starts.
He showed great tenacity to win and many believed him to be one of the best horses they had seen for a long time. He had the world at his feet and would have been valued at around £12 million.
He went on to prove he was a very good horse, almost a great horse. He was second in two Guineas and one of the best winners of the Epsom Derby of recent times. He also won the Champion Stakes in breathtaking fashion. On his day he was a horse with a touch of brilliance. He would have retired to stud with a value around £20 million.
Frankel had looked something out of the ordinary in his three starts prior to the Dewhurst and confirmed that in the race.
He had won all his races in style – winning all of them by huge distances and looking like he was barely trying at the same time. He was surely one of the best anyone had ever seen and, at that stage, there was no doubt he would be a brilliant three-year-old. He was by the best stallion in Galileo and out of a wonderful mare from a prolific family. At the time of his Dewhurst win there was really no way to fault him and he probably had a value of around £10 million.
He has so far remained unbeaten in his three-year-old career and every time he has graced a racecourse this year he has looked brilliant. He is without doubt one of the greatest racehorses of modern times – there is something almost magical about him. He has almost got to the point where he is priceless, but to put a value on his head he would be around the £30-million mark.