Great White hope set to soar for O’Brien

Unbeaten juvenile heads into the Middle Park Stakes as the favourite to go on and become a Derby winner

It is billed as Future Champions Day, so the very least we should expect at Newmarket this afternoon is that the Middle Park Stakes and the Dewhurst Stakes, two of the most important juvenile events in the calendar, will reveal one or two bound for the very top, perhaps even a Derby winner.

As always on such big occasions, Aidan O’Brien’s horses are centre stage and this will be a day when Great White Eagle (Middle Park) and War Command (Dewhurst) either reinforce their already lofty reputations or return to Ireland with bubbles burst.

Of the 19 involved in the two contests, only Great White Eagle (2.35 Newmarket) is unbeaten and therefore is perhaps on the strongest footing to go on to become a true champion. He has not beaten much of note yet, but has been so impressive doing so that he is already just 10-1 for next year’s 2,000 Guineas and nothing less than another victory will  satisfy all at Ballydoyle.

War Command will be an even stronger favourite after wide-margin wins at Royal Ascot and the Curragh, but he disappointed in between times and, though it is still too early to tell for sure, maybe is not a future champion after all, despite quotes of 12-1 for the 2,000 Guineas and 16-1 for the Derby.

If there is a chink in his armour, it is likely to be exposed by Godolphin’s Outstrip (3.10 Newmarket), a colt already boasting smart form and  getting better with every run.

You would not think the draw would matter much in a race of two and a quarter miles with just one turn in it, but there was quite a severe shake-up in the Cesarewitch betting market on Thursday when punters discovered which horses had drawn the “lucky” low numbers and which had been left high and dry.

It was probably an overreaction. Yes, those drawn low have enjoyed disproportional success in recent years, but there have been significant exceptions, notably when Frankie Dettori, drawn 36 of 36 on Never Can Tell two years ago, thought, “To hell with it, I’m going this way” and proceeded to plough a lone furrow on the wide outside to a famous victory. Which just goes to show you never can tell.

So fans of Lady Cecil’s Ebor winner and long-time ante-post favourite, Tiger Cliff (drawn 30), should not be dismayed unduly and a draw of 22  certainly will not put me off having a couple of quid each-way on Broxbourne (3.50 Newmarket), who has drifted out to around 25-1.

Mark Johnston’s tough-as-teak mare has really come good in the second half of the season and appealed very much as a prospective Cesarewitch winner when hunting down a big field over an even longer distance than this at Goodwood in July.

Broxbourne was not at her best last time out over this course and distance and there is the possibility she may have lost her edge, but I think it more likely that the race just failed to pan out for her. She needs a strong pace and an extreme test of stamina to bring out the best in her and should be in her element this afternoon.

Let’s face it, this is not a race for nailing your colours to just one mast and a saver is definitely in order. The lightly raced Pallasator, promising on his  return to action at Haydock and trained by Sir Mark Prescott – a man with a golden reputation for solving the big handicap puzzles – ticks a lot of boxes. This has not, however, been the luckiest of races for the colourful baronet down the years; five beaten favourites, five stabs to the heart.

Baccarat (3.30 York) is on a retrieval mission in the Coral Sprint Trophy Handicap after failing to land a huge gamble in the Ayr Gold Cup last month. The draw really was a big issue in Scotland, with those unable to secure a position near to the stands rail at a clear disadvantage; Baccarat did well to finish as close as he did from out in the middle of the track.

Trainer Richard Fahey believes Baccarat will one day make the grade in Group company and in the meantime he is well worth another chance off what is still a very workable handicap mark.

Countrywide Flame, runner-up in last year’s Cesarewitch and third in the Champion Hurdle in March, has been found to have a stress fracture which rules him out of the jumps season. “We’ll bring him back next Flat season and try to win the Cesarewitch,” said his trainer, John Quinn.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Technical Support Analyst

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading indepen...

Recruitment Genius: Linux Systems Administrator

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Systems Administrator is requ...

Recruitment Genius: ICT Infrastructure Manager

£27000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Edinburgh city centre Scho...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250...

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'