HORSE RACING FIXTURES AND RESULTS
HORSE RACING FEATURE
Racing Post Trophy 2016: Chance taken on outsider of three
Adam Brookes previews the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster on Saturday, giving you his best bet.
The Racing Post Trophy is one of my favourite races. It’s an event which can really strengthen classic claims (see Authorized, Camelot, Kingston Hill) or see them dissolved in about 1m 40secs (Septimus, Eagle Mountain, Curtain Call). My earliest Racing Post Trophy memory is Ballydoyle’s Aristotle winning under a fifty-two-year-old George Duffield in 1999, a ride that served as a precursor to Duffield’s power-packed display on the same connections’ Giant’s Causeway in the following summer’s Coral-Eclipse Stakes. Aristotle was Aidan O’Brien’s second Racing Post Trophy winner after Saratoga Springs two years earlier, and he’s since added five more to his CV, including the aforementioned Camelot and his fellow subsequent classic winners High Chaparral and Brian Boru.
With six (all of them by Galileo) of the 17 entries for the latest renewal, including the top two in the market in Group 2 Beresford Stakes one-two Capri and Yucatan, O’Brien looks in a good position to go one step closer to Sir Henry Cecil’s record of 10 wins. Capri is the short-priced favourite after winning all three starts (tongue tied) since his debut, including a Tipperary listed race and the six-runner Beresford on soft ground at the Curragh. Capri once again gave the impression there is a bigger performance in him when beating Yucatan by three-quarters of a length in the Beresford, though there’s clearly not much between the pair, and Yucatan did concede first run to a degree and was forced to deliver his challenge on the unfavoured inside that day. Therefore, it’s Yucatan who offers better value at 5/1 against Capri at 5/4 for Saturday’s race.
While O’Brien also has Royal Lodge second and fifth, The Anvil and Douglas Macarthur, and Tuesday's maiden winner Sir John Lavery among the entries, he’s said Capri and Yucatan will likely be joined by Finn McCool only. Finn McCool might have taken four goes to get off the mark, doing so back over a mile on soft ground at Navan this month, but he’s an interesting horse in his own right. The fact he made his debut (11/10 but ran very green) in the same Leopardsown maiden won by Order of St George and Fascinating Rock in recent years, and then contested the Group 1 National Stakes really catches the eye, especially as he wasn’t used as a pacemaker for Churchill (Lancaster Bomber fulfilled that role) in the latter race, albeit eventually finishing last. Maybe it’s just taken a while for the penny to drop with him—he’s a brother to last year’s unlucky Gold Cup runner-up Kingfisher out of a mare who took 10 goes to shed her maiden tag before going on to win a listed race for Aidan O’Brien—and, while he’ll need to take a big leap forward here, that could well be on the cards.