Racing: World Domination faces tough return

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WORLD Domination makes his latest comeback in what looks an absolutely fascinating event for today’s Ambant Gala Stakes at Sandown.

One who has had the Newmarket work-watchers chattering even before he made his debut, the son of Empire Maker made a winning debut for Sir Henry Cecil and Khalid Abdullah on the same card as when Frankel landed the Greenham Stakes. He was then well-beaten in the Dante and King Edward VII Stakes and was not seen until last spring, but ran badly in a couple of further outings.

Connections have persevered and the owner’s racing manager, Teddy Grimthorpe, said: “World Domination has always been a horse Henry rated very highly. He’s coming back from some time off, and has had some problems but never anything major. His recent work has been good and this is very much a fact-finding mission about where we go next and how we play it.”

A second string to Abdullah’s bow is the John Gosden-trained three-year-old Excess Knowledge, who ran three times last season and makes his comeback here.

Alain de Royer-Dupre’s runners must always be respected when sent across from Chantilly and he has selected an interesting candidate in Mandour. Another who has clearly needed time, Mandour made his reappearance in beating last year’s 2,000 Guineas third Hermival in a conditions race at Longchamp and was then third himself to Maxios back at the same Parisian track in the Group One Prix d’Ispahan.

This year’s Guineas third, Van Der Neer, is also in the line-up for the Richard Hannon team, while Roger Varian’s old warrior Sri Putra, who was a close second to Twice Over in the Eclipse three years ago, is back at a track he loves.

At Perth yesterday Strobe, trained locally at Glenfarg by Lucy Normile, battled to a gutsy victory in the Northern Marine Underwriters Handicap Chase under Dougie Costello.

The 16-1 chance held on by half a length from Hawaii Klass with third placed Be My Deputy making it a one-two-three for Scottish trainers in the day’s feature race. Mrs Normile, whose father David Whitaker is the chairman of Britain’s most northerly racecourse, said: “Where better to have a nice winner than at your local track, which makes it all the more special. Strobe is a great work horse, but is a law unto himself when he goes to the races.”

Lucinda Russell and Peter Buchanan kept their supporters happy as Morning Time and Lord Of Drums combined for a 21-1 double.