Dominant can live up to his name
In the circumstances of a crazy-run Derby, the John Moore-trained Dominant was not able to live up to his billing for the classic but he has done enough to suggest he will be a force to reckon with in the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union Cup (2,200m) tonight.
It will be the first appearance at Happy Valley for both Dominant (Jeff Lloyd) and his stablemate Same World (Brett Prebble), but both imports should be assisted by the kinder surface and give Moore a powerful hand in the feature, an event he won last year with Packing Ok when it was run under a different title.
Completing the set for the Derby horses is the David Ferraris-trained Liberator (Tim Clark), who we can probably expect him to be right on the lead under his 117 pounds and prove the other major chance in the event.
The presence of Liberator and regulation front-runner Super Pistachio - runner-up in this in 2011 - should ensure there is competition for the front, at least at some stage of the event, and that will be more suitable for Dominant and Same World than the farcically-run Derby.
While Same World beat Dominant home in the Derby and meets him better at the weights, the way the classic was conducted left it as a poor guide to who beats whom subsequently. Both horses overraced in the slow pace, but the position Same World held in running was less disadvantageous than that held by Dominant and had a lot to do with their finishing positions.
Prior to the Derby, Dominant had been showing signs of getting back to his excellent British form with his second-up third in the Classic Cup after being held up for a run at a vital stage in the straight.
He found the line well there over 1,800m and promised to be back to his top for the Derby but that was a promise he was unable to keep, through no fault of his own.
Tonight, with gate one, he may well be behind Same World again in running, but with hopes of an even pace, possibly with some pressure going on the front end of the race from the back straight, Dominant may have the turn of foot to get over his very able stablemate.