Cheltenham festival winners Tops Cees and Detroit City wrote their names on the Cesarewitch’s roll of honour in recent years, along with other dual-purpose stayers like Heros Fatal, Distant Prospect, Contact Dancer and Leg Spinner. Nicky Henderson has twice tasted success in the second leg of the traditional autumn double, courtesy of Landing Light (2003) and Caracciola (2008), and Veiled looks sure to play a leading role. After winning a Class 1 hurdle at Cheltenham in April by five lengths, Veiled was twice successful when switched to the Flat in the summer, most notably when scooping the 2m 4f Ascot Stakes from 18 rivals at the royal meeting. Henderson turned to Eddie Ahern when successful with veteran Caracciola and he has snapped up his services for Veiled. The Lambourn handler also saddles Sentry Duty, who endured a troubled passage when sixth last year behind Aaim To Prosper, and he is well worth a saver under Johnny Murtagh.
On a star-studded card, POWER (3.10) can lift the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes for Aidan O’Brien. A winner of four of his five starts, including the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and the National Stakes at the Curragh from favourite Dragon Pulse, Power refuses to flinch when the chips are down and may outbattle Bronterre.
The Challenge Stakes could become a dogfight between Richard Hannon’s Strong Suit and Sir Henry Cecil’s CHACHAMAIDEE (2.05). Both hold obvious claims, with Chachamaidee’s second in the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes at HQ a potent piece of form. Strong Suit has also kept the best of company and had a bit in hand when accounting for Red Jazz in the Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.
At York, ELECTRA STAR (2.50) holds solid claims in the Better Odds at Coral Stakes. She didn’t have much racing room at a vital stage at Newmarket in a hot contest won by Dark Promise and has held her form well.
BANNOCK (3.25) flopped last Saturday when sent off favourite for Redcar’s £117,000 sales sprint, but he was drawn well away from the main action and deserves a chance to prove that effort all wrong.