Aidan O'Brien has yet again put himself at the top of the market for the 200 Guineas, with his two year old War Command winning the Group 1 Dubai Dewhurst Stakes on Future Champions Day Newmarket on Saturday.
The colt won it's fourth race out of five this season and it's second G1. The O'Brien trained horse is a general 11/1 shot for the first classic of the season in 2014.
However, it was no Guineas performance from him. With a furlong and a half out, O'Brien's son Joseph was struggling to get the horse going and it looked it could be a tight finish. The horse showed guts and in the end won fairly easily, by a length and a quarter.
Although it was no Guineas performance, you have to understand it was his fifth race of the season, with three being G1's and another was a G2.
There is now a long winter ahead and it'll be interesting to see how he matures in the coming months.
It may go up against stable-mate Australia in the 2000 Guineas, who is a general 8/1 chance and has been described by O'Brien as 'the best horse I've had.'
If Australia is not entered it still faces tough competition against the Richard Hannon trained Toormore, a horse that beat Suriman who War Command was behind in it's only loss. The Paul Cole trained Berkshire has too been a very impressive juvenile this season.
In the biggest race of the day, the Cesarewitch Handicap at Newmarket, it was for the second year in the run that a 66/1 won the race. Scatter Dice for Mark Johnson.
In it's 16th run of the season it landed the biggest race it has ever ran in and under an expert ride under Silvestre De Sousa came from the back of the field to comfortably win by three lengths. The filly clearly thrives off the longer distances and walked away with the £155,000 prize money.
In the other two Channel 4 televised races at Newmarket, 3/1 favourite Fiesolana in the G2 Dubai Challenge Stakes won well by two lengths and in the G1 Middle Park stakes was very much Kevin Ryan's race who trains the first two home.
Astaire with Neil Callan on board put in a gutsy performance to beat stable mate Hot Streak.
Over at York, in the Rockingham Listed Stakes, Roger Varian trained Mushir won again on only its second time out. The two year old could be one for look out for next weekend.
In an overlooked jumps card at Chepstow, Charlie Longsdon continued his breathe taking form with Killala Quay winning well. We saw a very good performance from Paul Nicholls trained Keltus.
The three year old could looks a very good jumper and could be in contention for the 2015 Supreme Novices Hurdle if he carries on to improve. In the 5.15, Hidden Identity for Tim Vaughan showed guts to get its nose in front of Easter Day and in the 5.45, Pete The Feat or Longsdon disappointed first time out after such a good season last year. It showed promise and will be one to follow in the next few months.
Over in Ireland in their version of the Cesarwitch, it was a stand out performance from Willie Mullins trained Call Me Bubbles.
He's been running constantly over the flat as he is getting prepared to go over hurdles in the winter. I really like the look of this horse. It's showed a lot of potential on the flat an hopefully covert its form when going over objects.
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