Dubawi favourite for heavyweight showdown

Dubawi is favourite with the leading bookmakers to lower the colours of Rakti and Starcraft in what promises to be a mouth-watering renewal of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

Dubawi is favourite with the leading bookmakers to lower the colours of Rakti and Starcraft in what promises to be a mouth-watering renewal of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

The Irish 2000 Guineas winner put his elders in their place when beating French stars Whipper and Valixir in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville last month and the layers believe he will do it again.

William Hill make Godolphin’s colt 6-4 market leader for the Group One showpiece at Newmarket on Saturday, while Coral go 13-8 and Ladbrokes 2-1 following the confirmation stage for which 10 horses stood their ground.

“This is a top-class contest featuring arguably the three best milers in the world,” said Coral spokesman Simon Clare.

“Both Starcraft and Dubawi were brilliant when winning their respective Group Ones in France, while the enigmatic Rakti put up a breathtaking performance in the Lockinge back in May, and it has proved extremely tricky to split them in the betting.”

Godolphin are currently four-handed in the mile feature, sponsored by Barclays Bank plc, having also accepted with Layman and Council Member, as well as the six-year-old Blatant.

Rakti, winner 12 months ago at the QEII’s normal home of Ascot, has five Group One wins to his credit and has not been seen since being beating by Valixir at Royal Ascot at York.

Starcraft was half a length behind Rakti when third at York in his first race since joining Luca Cumani’s Newmarket stable from Australia.

The five-year-old bounced back from a disappointing run in the Coral-Eclipse to easily win the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp earlier this month when Whipper and Valixir were fourth and fifth respectively.

Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien can choose between 1000 Guineas winner Virginia Waters and the progressive four-year-old Mullins Bay.

Celebration Mile winner Chic and Sleeping Indian, successful in the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury last month, complete the five-day possibles.

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