Doncaster Vertem Futurity Trophy Day Preview
Doncaster hosts the final Group 1 race of the British Flat season on Saturday afternoon, the Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes over a mile on Town Moor for the juveniles. It's part of an eight-race offering from Doncaster on Saturday that runs from 1.00pm-4.55pm and The Racing Post guides you down the finishing straight with their preview and analysis for Saturday's Vertem Futurity Trophy Day.
1.00 - virginbet.com Handicap Division 1 (7f)
Coco Bear and Deputy finished first and second in a 6f handicap at Leicester earlier in the month and both will be at ease back up over 7f so they make for an obvious starting point. There's a 5lb turnaround in favour of the runner-up but Coco Bear may still fare best as he was well on top last time.
Mossbrawn is another with claims. He has won 2-5 this season so far and showed himself well capable on soft ground when third of 20 at York this month in a similar event off this mark.
Conditions here may just be ideal for MASKED IDENTITY. He's some 5lb lower than when scoring at Newmarket on soft last summer for his previous trainer and he has shaped promisingly in all three starts for Mark Loughnane. He drops back in distance and can go well with Stefano Cherchi taking a very handy 3lb off his back.
Selection: Masked Identity
Next Best: Coco Bear
1.30 - Virgin Bet Nursery (7f)
Mark Johnston's filly Qipao has the best form and ran with credit when fifth in a German Group 3 last time but she has to give plenty weight to these rivals on her nursery bow.
The Dunkirk Lads, General Panic and WAY TO WIN are serious rivals, with slight preference for Marco Botti's colt. He was a little too keen at Chester last time and paid a tariff late on but his soft-ground Lingfield win over this trip in late July was emphatic. That form is not exactly standout but the handicapper has quickly eased him 3lb and that can be key with Ryan Moore now taking over in the plate.
General Panic ran a cracker last time at Newmarket in their £150k October Sales race and the manner in which he ran through the line bodes well for this increased journey.
Selection: Way To Win
Next Best: General Panic
2.05 - Scott Dobson Memorial Handicap (7f)
After leaving Ian Williams last year, WALHAAN has gone 0-4 this term for James Tate but there's been no shortage of promise in that sequence. Particularly in three runs since mid-August, he has gone close at Newbury and Ascot (twice) over a mile.
While he isn't seemingly crying out for a drop back in trip, it's worth recalling he put in a big effort over this 7f at Ascot last summer (second) and despite that trio of near misses recently, he's racing off a 1lb lower mark than that now with Ryan Moore keeping the seat after those two close calls at Ascot.
Front-running Godolphin inmate Mo'assess didn't quite last home over 1m2f at Newbury last month but his earlier form at a mile was hugely promising and it would be very dangerous to allow him dictate easily in front.
Fools Rush In had a close call at Musselburgh 11 days ago off this mark and Tom Dascombe's gelding has repeatedly shown himself to be at home with some give underfoot and is now 4lb better off for a neck defeat with Zip, so they join the likes of Cold Stare on the extended shortlist.
Next Best: Mo'assess
2.40 - Vertem Very Different Stockbrokers Handicap (1m4f)
The top pair on the racecard are Aaddeey and Rhythmic Intent. The former is back from a short break and fitted with a first-time tongue-tie by Simon & Ed Crisford. The trip looks fine and he's on a fair mark but his previous dalliances on soft going have been a touch underwhelming.
Rhythmic Intent has won on soft and arrives here having scored over 1m6½f at last month's St Leger Festival in the hands of Hollie Doyle. He's 3lb higher after that first win of the season and, while relatively consistent, he has yet to put together two wins in a row and now races from a career-high mark.
A chance is taken on KING OF THE SOUTH in what will be his first turf start. He was progressive last winter on the all-weather after joining William Knight and it's worth recalling he won off a layoff at Newcastle 11 months ago. The son of Kingman can be a player here if acting on this surface.
Selection: King Of The South
Next Best: Rhythmic Intent
3.15 - Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes (Group 1, 1m)
Aidan O'Brien bids to equal the record of Sir Henry Cecil by winning the concluding British Group 1 of the season for the tenth time and the Ballydoyle supremo is hard to oppose with LUXEMBOURG.
A son of 2011 winner Camelot, he made a confident winning start at Killarney in July and was then very impressive in the Group 2 Beresford Stakes (1m, good) at the Curragh last month, coming right away from his rivals under a hands and heel ride from Seamie Heffernan. He is already favourite for next summer's Epsom Derby and has strong claims of signing off for the winter with a Group 1 success.
This is however expected to be a tough test as Dewhurst third Bayside Boy and Royal Lodge winner Royal Patronage are no mugs themselves. The former, trained by Roger Varian, just about got up over 7f to take the unbeaten record of Reach For The Moon in last month's Champagne Stakes at this track and his subsequent Newmarket effort was another indication he's going to appreciate this extra furlong.
Mark Johnston's colt meanwhile completed a hat-trick of recent wins when landing his own Group 2 at HQ on the same day Luxembourg was impressing in Ireland. He rather mugged Coroebus there, after Charlie Appleby's charge seemed to have the race in safe keeping, but that rival has since franked the form by landing a Group 3 in straightforward fashion.
Next Best: Bayside Boy
3.50 - Virgin Bet Doncaster Stakes (Listed, 6f)
Once-raced winners Deodar, Gold Medal and Parisiac come into this with scope for plenty improvement and are respected, in that order. Ralph Beckett's already gelded son of Bated Breath showed a willing attitude to snare the prize in a three-way dive for the line at Newbury (6f, good to soft) last month though will surely need to step forward a decent chunk if he's going to lower the colour of FLAMING RIB now.
Tom Dascombe's Ribchester colt boasts a wealth of experience in comparison to some of these and has won 4-8 starts, including his last three. He came up well short in one previous attempt in this grade, but that was in the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot and this looks much more attainable. He likes to race handy and made every yard in impressive fashion at Chester four weeks ago. He's the one they all must catch.
Selection: Flaming Rib
Next Best: Deodar
4.20 - Virgin Bet Handicap (5f)
A wide open sprint handicap. Dakota Gold carries top-weight for Michael Dods and Connor Beasley and is running out of time to bag a calendar-year win for the sixth successive time. He is a soft-ground Listed winner over C&D and comes with his chance but hasn't quite been seeing his races out as previously and perhaps time is catching up now.
Raasel is on a winning sequence of three and has Adam Farragher's claims to offset the bulk of his latest ratings-rise, while the likes of Illusionist, Boundless Power and Zargun arrive in winning form and must fancy their chances of further success.
INDIAN SOUNDS deserves a change in fortune for the Paul Midgley team. He's had near misses here, at Haydock, Pontefract and Musselburgh this term. Most recently, he was denied a nose up in Scotland by the thriving Roulston Scar. Racing from the same mark, Ben Robinson's partner should once again be in the firing line.
Selection: Indian Sounds
Next Best: Zargun
4.55 - virginbet.com Handicap Division 2 (7f)
Canoodled got up late over this trip at Newmarket earlier in the month for a second win of the season and has plenty going for her on ground that will suit from just 3lb higher. Ed Walker's filly has her claims once more in a competitive finale.
Thrave has twice run well here over 7f/1m in lesser contests and cannot be crossed off hastily with Erika Parkinson taking off 7lb, while Areehaa is proving consistent in defeat since leaving Sir Michael Stoute to join Gary Moore. She's run well in better races from higher marks and now gets Ryan Moore's assistance with the yard in scintillating recent form.
JACK DANIEL couldn't give away a penalty at Newcastle three weeks ago, finishing third having made the running, but the Equiano colt had previously shown a fine attitude when making a winning bow at Redcar in August over this trip. An opening mark of 74 could be within his grasp.
Selection: Jack Daniel
Next Best: Areehaa