O’Brien team out in force at Newmarket’s Future Champions day
Aidan O’Brien will have a much clearer idea of the classic potential of his colts after Saturday’s Newmarket card. War Command (Dewhurst), Great White Eagle (Middle Park) and Oklahoma City (Autumn Stakes) all have winning chances.
Joseph O’Brien, fresh from setting a new record for winning rides in a flat turf season in Ireland, first teams up with Darwin in the opening Challenge Stakes at 2.05. The American import disappointed last time out when only third at the Curragh but is expected to appreciate the drop back to seven furlongs here.
Godolphin’s Lockwood has been tough and consistent this season and will probably give him most to do. Ayr Gold Cup Highland Colori deservedly gets a step up in grade whilst Fiesolana has been a revelation in Ireland this season.
Great White Eagle is unbeaten in two starts but faces a much stiffer test in the Middle Park Stakes at 2.35. Sudirman claimed the scalp of War Command earlier in the season before chasing home Toormore at the Curragh.
Speedy Cornwallis winner Hot Streak turns out again quickly but may find this six furlongs stretching his stamina. Mill Reef Stakes winner Supplicant and Gimcrack winner Astaire are others with chances in a high class renewal.
War Command clashes with Godolphin’s Outstrip in a small but select field for the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes at 3.10 whilst Oklahoma City bids to top up last week’s gains in the Autumn Stakes at 4.55. He stuck on well to claim the valuable Tattersalls Millions race last weekend.
O’Brien’s busy day is rounded off by Afonso De Sousa in the closing Darley Stakes at 5.25. The son of Henrythenavigator finished third at Dundalk recently behind Parish Hall and should strip fitter here.
The big betting race on the card is the Cesarewitch Handicap at 3.50 where Ireland’s hopes rest with Domination. He has won his last two hurdles races easily and is proven over course and distance.
Selections: 2.05 Darwin, 2.35 Sudirman, 3.10 War Command (nb), 3.50 Domination, 4.25 Lightning Thunder (NAP), 4.55 Oklahoma City, 5.25 French Navy