Horse racing: Dante warm up awaits Cecil hope Domination

Henry Cecil. PIC: PA
Henry Cecil. PIC: PA
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TRAINER Henry Cecil has revealed World Domination will test his Derby credentials in the totesport Dante Stakes at York on Thursday week rather than Lingfield on Saturday.

The three-year-old had been the subject of positive reports from work watchers for some time and certainly impressed on his belated racecourse debut at Newbury.

He is second only to his brilliant Guineas-winning stablemate Frankel in the betting for Epsom and connections will find out whether he is up to running in the Classic when he goes to the Knavesmire on May 12.

“Time will tell. He’s only had one race and was laid up last year,” said Cecil.

“Hopefully all going well he’ll run at York, but it’s only the second race of his life and it’s asking a lot.

“Whatever he does at York, he’s going to improve from it and it will do him a lot of good.

“If he ran respectably, it could still put him in the Derby picture, or if I don’t think he’s up to it, he could go to Royal Ascot for the King Edward VII Stakes.

“We’ll just feel our way. I’m not rushing him and I’m not going to make him do something he can’t do.”

The Lingfield Derby Trial had been mentioned as a possible option but Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, confirmed York was the plan.

“I would think he’ll head to York for the Dante. He won’t run at Lingfield,” said Grimthorpe.

“He’s fine and his next run will tell us a lot more. He’s obviously only had one run in his life and stepping up from a maiden to the best Classic trial is going to be a big ask, but we’ll see what happens.”

Cecil has also confirmed Frankel’s next race will be either the Investec Derby at Epsom or Royal Ascot’s St James’s Palace Stakes.

Plenty was expected of the unbeaten colt in Saturday’s Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, but even his most ardent supporters could not have dared dream of the scintillating performance he produced.

Totally ignoring expected pacemaker Rerouted, Tom Queally soon sent Frankel to the lead and he galloped his Classic rivals into the ground to secure a famous win.


In the immediate aftermath Cecil suggested the totesport Dante Stakes at York on Thursday week would be under consideration as his next race, but that now appears highly unlikely.

Connections now face a decision whether to step the colt up in distance for a tilt at further Classic glory, or stick to a mile at the Royal meeting.

Cecil insists the final call will be down to Frankel’s owner, Prince Khalid Abdullah.

“The final decision will be the Prince’s so we’ll discuss it with him and we’ll try to work out the best thing for the horse,” said Cecil.

“To start with I don’t think there’s any chance of him running in the July Cup, so you can scrap that one!

“I think eventually, when he gets a bit stronger, there’s every chance he’ll get a mile and a quarter.

“Whether he’ll get further than that, time will tell.

“The Dante will probably come too close anyway, so I’m not going to test him in the Dante to see if he gets the Derby trip.

“I think the Dante is unlikely. He’s not definitely not (going to run), but it’s not my first thought.

“The two options are he’ll either go for the St James’s Palace or the Derby. “There’s no point guessing and we want to get it right, but people who want to back him for the Derby want to sit, because he’s not definitely going to be a Derby runner.

“We haven’t decided and nothing has been confirmed yet, but I wouldn’t personally back him for the Derby.”

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