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Last Updated: 11/05/11 9:41pm
World Domination: Pleasing Cecil at home
Henry Cecil is pleased with World Domination as he prepares the colt for Thursday's mouthwatering totesport Dante Stakes at York.
The Khalid Abdullah-owned colt impressed in a Newbury maiden, justifying the positive rumours which had been gently emerging from Cecil's stable from as early as last summer.
But it will be a major step up from a maiden to taking on other smart colts like Seville and Carlton House in what is usually the strongest of the recognised trials.
"I am happy with him," said Cecil.
"He has just recovered from a bruised foot but I'm pleased with his work at home.
"It's asking a lot of him for the second race of his life to be the Dante but we'll know a lot more afterwards."Like World Domination, Carlton House takes a big step up in class having been so impressive in another Newbury maiden, but his success was back in October.
Victory on the Knavesmire would propel the horse into the public domain as he is owned by the Queen and would surely head the betting for Epsom next month.
Her Majesty's racing manager, John Warren, reports his recent homework to have been very encouraging.
"Ryan Moore rode him a bit of work a couple of weeks ago and he was very impressed by the amount of speed the horse had," Warren told At The Races.
"One assumed he was going to be an automatic mile and a half horse, but I think they were particularly pleased with the amount of speed the horse showed.
"The horse has got such a good temperament, I should hope that a mile and a half would be no problem. We're not taking it for granted, though.
"Henry Cecil's horse has a bit to prove as well, so while you could call it a mini-Derby, there are still enough horses in this field who are on the learning curve. That is what makes the Dante such a special trial.
"It's a very fair track and they usually start galloping a long way out. It won't be a tactical affair and I think they'll go a nice pace as everyone wants to get their horses to a position where they know what they're dealing with.
"There is a good, long straight to wind a horse up nicely and it should set them all up very well. We'll all learn a lot from it.
"The betting for the Derby will be firmly in place after the Dante. The Queen has had horses for so long and winning the Derby is not something she would concern herself about."
The betting suggests the only other serious challenger for top honours is the Aidan O'Brien-trained Seville.
The master of Ballydoyle is aiming for a third successive Dante triumph following the victories of Black Bear Island and Cape Blanco and Racing Post Trophy runner-up Seville has obvious claims with Christophe Soumillon in the plate.
"Seville is a lovely laid-back horse. He was always a Derby type horse," said O'Brien.
"We were never going to go another route with him. He's in good form, he's just ready to start and I'm looking forward to seeing him run."
Marcus Tregoning's Yaseer chased home Carlton House last season and showed he had trained on with an excellent third in the Craven Stakes at Newmarket on his return.
Speaking on his website www.marcustregoningracing.co.uk, the trainer said: "Yaseer has been working well since the Craven and is likely to be well suited by the step up to a mile and a quarter.
"The family generally stay well and he should give a good account of himself in this higher grade."
Pisco Sour showed some decent form last season, but his trainer Hughie Morrison does not have any great expectations for Thursday.
"We had several plans and this is the last-stop saloon really given the ground has been so firm," said the Summerdown handler.
"It wouldn't have been the plan to start off in a Dante to be quite honest, but we're running out of options and hopefully we might get some decent ground at York.
"He won over a mile on soft ground as a two-year-old, so you'd hope the distance wouldn't be a problem. His full-brother gets two miles standing on his head over hurdles!
"We realise we're probably aiming a bit high, but at least we'll know where we're going afterwards.
"On the basic form we have every right to be there. We're rated two pounds higher than World Domination and I'm sure we'll beat him by two lengths," the trainer quipped.
"We're realistic really, but I'm glad we put him in."
The six-runner field is completed by the Michael Dods-trained Ashva.