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Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Four things we learned from the weekend

Withhold: easy winner of the Cesarewitch under Silvestre de Sousa
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Golden rail on the Rowley Mile

When the action switched back to the Rowley Mile at Newmarket, the stands' rail was the place to be for the autumn highlights. By the time of the Cesarewitch it had become obvious those running closest to the crowds had an advantage.

So it was to Silvestre de Sousa and James Doyle's credit they tacked over early in the big betting heat, and their decisions were vindicated with Withhold [De Sousa] beating London Prize [Doyle].

Given this was also a trend at the Cambridgeshire meeting, it will be interesting to see what happens at the track's remaining three fixtures this season.

2,000 Guineas picture is muddy

Although this is a bit of an oxymoron in a what we learned piece, the Dewhurst posed more questions than answers.

The winner of the race was always likely to assume favouritism for next season's 2,000 Guineas, but Expert Eye's no-show coupled with victory from US Navy Flag meant confusion reigned.

Aidan O'Brien's winner is favourite in some lists, but stablemate Gustav Klimt, who will not be seen again this year due to injury, is the market leader with other firms.

At this juncture, it is not unfair to wonder if we have even seen the winner of the first Classic of next season yet.

Bravo Burke

The quality among the juvenile ranks at Karl Burke's this season will have been a source of envy to many.

Havana Grey, Unfortunately and Laurens have all made their mark this season, and Fillies' Mile winner Laurens could prove to be a genuine Classics contender.

Burke mentioned the Prix de Diane as a possible target next year, which suggests she could be one for the Oaks rather than the 1,000 Guineas, but regardless, it should be an exciting winter for the yard, and next year's crop of two-year-olds have a lot to live up to.

Bentley ready for next step

So much has already happened in Harry Bentley's career that it is easy to forget he is only 25.

He is a multiple champion jockey in Qatar, was signed as a retained rider for Qatar Racing, has ridden a pair of Group 1s on Limato, lost the ride on the horse, then the partnership was reunited earlier in the season.

The pair were back in the winner's circle following a Group 2 win at Newmarket, and after a Listed win on Chain Of Daisies, Bentley has 59 winners for the season, matching last season's tally.

He is beautifully positioned to record a new season-best number of winners, and would have to be in the reckoning for any of Flat racing's bigger retained roles should they become available.

He would have to be in the reckoning for any of Flat racing's bigger retained roles should they become available
E.W. Terms
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