Dominating has climbed more than a stone in the ratings this summer and can continue on the upgrade by winning at Musselburgh on Friday evening.
The gelding is bred for stamina – his dam was runner-up in the German Oaks while his sire won the Irish Leger – and the step up to 2m tonight should be in his favour.
He was successful over a mile on his final start as a juvenile and although he disappointed on his reappearance at Goodwood in May and at York two weeks later, he bounced back to form when winning at Nottingham.
Sent off favourite on the Midlands track, he led inside the final quarter of a mile to score by four lengths.
Mark Johnston’s three-year-old followed up at Sandown despite a 5lbs hike and looked set to complete the hat-trick at Haydock last weekend when striking the front approaching the final furlong. However, he was headed and beaten a length and a half into second place in a red-hot competitive handicap.
Those races were all over a mile and three quarters against his own age group and he takes on older opposition for the first time in the Finest Collection of Racing on Racing UK Handicap (8.35) in which he gets a massive 17lbs allowance from his elders and so carries bottom weight.
Domination’s handicap mark is almost certain to go up again from Saturday, so this looks like a shrewd piece of placing by the Yorkshire trainer, who can make it a treble with Soldier in Action and Cape Bunting earlier on the card.
The latter made a successful debut at Newmarket last month and looks set to follow up in the British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes (6.35).
The filly is a half-sister to three winners that include Buratino, who won the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot for Johnston just a couple of years ago. She is clearly held in high regard by her trainer who has her entered in a top fillies event at York’s big meeting next month.
Soldier in Action was runner-up in a top class handicap ay Haydock last weekend and can go one better in the Tilecraft and Dimension Conditions Stakes (6.35). The four-year-old has six careers wins to his credit, including over hurdles and was successful over a mile and a half at the Epsom Derby meeting last month.
Ralphy Boy has nine victories on his CV with four of them on this track and he can make it five on the East Lothian circuit by taking the Never Miss a Race on Racing UK Handicap (8.00).
A confirmed front-runner, he led until the closing stages when a close third here in June and he ran well although only sixth at Thirsk recently. He again set much of the pace and although beaten over four lengths, weakened only in the last half furlong. This sharp circuit plays to his strengths.
Selections: 6.25 Cape Bunting; 6.55 Soldier in Action; 8.00 Ralphy Boy; 8.35 Dominating.