Racing: Oratorio can bring down curtain on trainers' title race

For those who attend the blasted heath there are three Group races not even on television. The screened events include the race which gives horses a stitch, the Cesarewitch, as well as two Group Ones which could provide horse-of-the-year honours.

It is also likely to be a day which provides a human champion. Such is the prize-money sloshing around that victory in any of the main races for either Sir Michael Stoute or Aidan O'Brien could determine who will win the trainers' title.

The two men collide in the Champion Stakes itself, in which Stoute saddles three runners, while O'Brien is represented by a colt probably better than all three of the Freemason Lodge horses put together.

Oratorio (next best 3.10) is the name of the beast trying to give the Ballydoyle trainer his second success in this contest following Rock Of Gibraltar four years ago on ground which has already proved to his liking. The Irish Champion Stakes winner has a fair number ranged against him, including four French musketeers, but he is one of the few who arrives with this race specifically in mind. Others are dragging their satchels from examinations at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe meeting. It was in the Arc itself that Motivator, a horse twice defeated by Oratorio this season, ran such a creditable race. All the indicators point to Kieren Fallon's mount.

O'Brien has such a stranglehold on the 2006 2,000 Guineas that the first colts' Classic is probably unconscious. The great dilemma the Co Tipperary trainer faces today is whether to pitch into the Dewhurst Stakes the first or second ante-post favourite for the gallop up the Rowley Mile.

The suggestion seems to be, with the rains having visited Suffolk, that George Washington will be saved for another, dryer, day and Horatio Nelson will be asked to step into the breach. As his name implies, the latter is very close to hardy, and he exhibited his toughness when running away from Opera Cape in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère on Arc day. Expect a similar forecast this time around.

"My horse goes into the race in good form, but it looks as if Aidan O'Brien has all the aces in the pack," Sylvester Kirk, Opera Cape's trainer, said. "When you take him on it's a bit like being stuck in the trenches. You're waiting for his army to reload and then see what they come at you with.

"In all honesty, Horatio Nelson beat us fairly and squarely in Paris last time. That makes you think Opera Cape might have a better chance if they run George Washington as we've not come up against him before. Then you hear he is supposed to be even better than Horatio Nelson.

"Opera Cape has come out of his run well and deserves his chance in another Group One. He won't mind if there's a bit of rain."

There is a sense of the passing of the seasons in the Cesarewitch as prominent parts are played by National Hunt trainers who have both tasted success in the grand old slog.

Nicky Henderson, who won the yomp two years ago with Landing Light, is represented by the favourite, Afrad, while Martin Pipe, the 15-times champion jumps trainer and twice winner of this race with Heros Fatal in 2000 and Miss Fara two years later, sends out three runners.

Almost ridiculously for a race which unravels over 2m2f, the draw is of particular significance in the Cesarewitch. No horse drawn lower than 17 has won in the last six years. Almost half the field can be discounted before battle commences.

The draw has been kind to Afrad, but the value about him has drained away as he trades around the 5-1 mark. It is better to get involved with a horse four times that price and one which has the beating of Afrad on one line of form.

SWIFT SAILOR (nap 3.45), unlike this meeting itself, does not do exactly what it says on his tin. He is not as fleet-footed as his name suggests. But he is a doughty stayer, who signalled the good times were back when collecting a conditions race at Pontefract last time. The four-year-old is in form, has a good draw and will relish the ground. That is more than enough.

Richard Edmondson

Nap: Swift Sailor (Newmarket 3.45)

NB: Oratorio

(Newmarket 3.10)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

Application Support Analyst (SQL, Incident Management, SLAs)

£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Embedded Software / Firmware Engineer

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...

Developer - WinForms, C#

£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform