Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card with five to follow on Saturday at Newmarket and Chepstow. View selections below
Future Champions Day from Newmarket and a Jump Jockeys Legends race from Chepstow are the weekend racing features and we start at HQ with the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes which sees the return of War Command who turned Royal Ascot’s Coventry Stakes into a procession back in June, but was subsequently beaten in the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh.
His latest win stepped up to 7f suggested all was not well on his penultimate start and trainer Aidan O’Brien blamed himself for not having the colt spot on; Ireland have saddled the winner of this contest six times in the last seven years and the only British winner during the period was none other than Frankel. His stablemate Friendship will ensure it is no muddling contest and I would be disappointed if War Command (3.10) met with defeat:
The home challenge is led by Godolphin’s Outstrip who won the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster with such authority last time and significant rain on Saturday would be a plus but as long as the ground is no worse than good I take War Command to maintain the excellent recent Irish record in the race.
Dewhurst Stakes: prices from BetVictor; EW ¼ 1 2:
War Command Evens
Only six will line up for the Dewhurst but thirteen to post in the other juvenile Group 1 the Middle Park led, again, by Aidan O’Brien’s Great White Eagle unbeaten in two starts including at the Curragh last time when jockey Joseph O’Brien did not have to resort to the whip in winning a Group 3 by a couple of lengths. The form doesn’t look anything special and he represents potential rather than form and with that in mind Sudirman (2.35) also trained in Ireland by David Wachman gets the nod.
The selection lowered the colours of War Command in the Phoenix Stakes before being put in his place by Richard Hannon’s Toormore up to 7f last time; he drops back a furlong today which should suit although he, too, may not want substantial rain to hit Newmarket between now and post time.
The Cesarewitch is the big betting race of the weekend with 34 lining up for the second leg of the autumn double; we are betting five places on the race at BetVictor and the nod goes to another Irish raider Domination (3.50) who looks as if he has been laid out for the race since scoring over C&D last September. The selection goes on any ground and has been running extremely well over hurdles of late; I would be disappointed if he were out of the five and at 15/2 with BetVictor must run well. Leg Spinner was the last Irish-trained winner of the race but Irish eyes could be smiling across the home of acing on Saturday.
Lightning Thunder (4.25) must run well in the Rockfel Stakes as she is unlikely to bump into anything as good as her recent conqueror Guineas’ favourite Miss France; there was a suggestion she was flattered to finish so close to the winner on that occasion but she is clearly going the right way.
Before racing at Chepstow there is a BetVictor sponsored jump legends flat race over 1m 7f and I am sweet on the chances of Adrian Maguire’s mount Seventh Sign at 3/1.
Most eyes will be on Balder Success in the BetVictor Novices’ Chase but I hope that Paul Nicholls’ saddles Easter Day (3.35); just short of top class over hurdles the selection will get 3 miles in time. Note the last two winners of this corresponding race have been Cue Card (2011) and Fingal Bay twelve months ago. I expect Evan Williams to have a good day on what should be a most informative card.