Irish challenger Domination holds watertight claims of winning the Betfred Cesarewitch at Newmarket today
Difficult to pick too many holes in Charles Byrnes’ tough stayer in one of the most sought-after handicaps of the season
Trainer Aidan O’Brien and his son Joseph will be bidding for Dewhurst glory with War Command at Newmarket.
Irish challenger Domination holds watertight claims of winning the Betfred Cesarewitch at Newmarket today on a star-studded card.
Charles Byrnes’ tough stayer is hardly a value selection, but it is difficult to pick too many holes in his profile in one of the most sought-after handicaps of the season.
The six-year-old gelding won the Cesarewitch trial by four and a half length over course and distance in 2012, but missed the big one last term as the ground went against him.
There are no fears on that score this time, though, as conditions are likely to be ideal. Domination needs a brisk surface to be at his best – a point best illustrated by his excellent summer form, which has seen him win two races over hurdles at Cork and a tight two-mile handicap at the Curragh.
He also ran a mighty race at Galway in June when he went down by a head to Edeymi. The son of Motivator is clearly in excellent heart, but, just as importantly, he is the right age to suggest there is even more to come.
War Command, a compatriot of Domination, can make as big a splash in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes. Aidan O’Brien’s colt responded quite superbly following his Phoenix Stakes reverse by claiming the Group Two Futurity by a yawning three lengths.
The Royal Ascot-winning son of War Front is already pretty experienced for one so young, which is always a good thing in the Dewhurst, and can further bolster his Classic credentials in what does not look a top-notch renewal of the great race.
O’Brien’s highly-regarded Great White Eagle is the only unbeaten runner in the Middle Park Stakes after winning a Curragh Group Three without coming off the bridle last time. O’Brien last won this two years ago with Crusade, who went on to finish sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. “We are happy with him, he’s in good order. He’s only had the two runs but I have been happy with his work since (the Curragh),” said the Ballydoyle handler.
However, the Group One looks particularly muddling this season, but Brown Sugar should at least run honourably for the Richard Hannon team. Hannon’s two-year-old was supplemented for the Group One over six furlongs following a string of stout summer efforts, which included two Group Three triumphs and a solid show in the Prix Morny.