The all conquering Aidan O’Brien, requires just a single further success at the top level to secure his place in the record books as the trainer of most Group1/Grade1 winners in a season, and looks to hold a strong hand in Britain’s Final Group1 of the season, The Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster on Saturday. He equalled the record last weekend, with the daughter of Galileo, Hydrangea, and another scion of the great sire, The Pentagon, looks to have plenty to recommend him on Saturday.
Like many O’Brien youngsters this year he was beaten on his introduction in June, (7f Curragh Soft) but looked a different animal five weeks later winning his maiden (7f Gd-fm) in good style, and progressed again last time at the end of July to take a Leopardstown Group3 (7f Good). His pedigree strongly suggests that a step up to a mile will bring further improvement as he is out of the Unfuwain mare Vadawina who won three of her four starts for French Maestro, Andre Fabre, including at Group1 level over 1m2 1/2f. None of her five previous offspring have been successful in a Group1, but half brother Vadamar has won at distances from 11f- 14f including at Group2 level, and was an honourable seventh, 4 1/2L behind Pour Moi in the 2011 Derby. Stamina shouldn’t be a problem and further improvement is the more likely outcome for the step up to a mile.
At the time of writing, O’Briens, Saxon Warrior heads the market, and this son of the outstanding Japanese stallion, Deep Impact, (winner of seven Group1’s and sire of over thirty individual Group1 winners) is unbeaten in his two outings. He is out of the outstanding Galileo mare, Maybe, who was undefeated in her five races as a 2yo in 2011, including the 1mile Group1 Moyglare Stakes and was awarded the title of Champion 2yo European Filly. Her 3yo career was less successful but nevertheless managed a third in the 1000Gns and a fifth in The Oaks. She has only produced the two foals to date and unlike his full brother, Pavlenko, who only managed a single success from ten starts, Saxon Warrior’s career has started on a much more positive note. Starting at odds of 8/1 on his debut, (7f yielding Aug 27 Curragh) he looked in trouble two furlongs out, but taken to the outside he fairly found his stride to lead a hundred yards out and went clear to win impressively by 3 1/4L. Four weeks later he again impressed when winning a Group2 over a mile at Naas by 2 1/2L from stable companion Delano Roosevelt on soft ground. Looks the one to beat!
Andrea Atzeni has ridden the last four winners of The Racing Post Trophy, and up and coming trainer, Martyn Meade, was quick to snap him up for his promising colt Chilean. A winner of two of his three starts, the son of Iffraaj was particularly impressive last time when winning a Listed race at Haydock (1m Heavy) by 3 1/2L and 1/2L from Learn By Heart and Dee Ex Bee. As the latter won next time out and then finished 3 1/2L behind the O’Brien trained Kew Gardens in The Zetland Stakes the form has a solid look to it and could get involved particularly if the ground gets testing.
Jim Bolger has never won The Racing Post Trophy but his son of Vocalised, Verbal Dexterity, seems to have plenty of the attributes required to give him a first. A winner of a Curragh maiden (7f Soft) on his racecourse debut in June, he was a good second to the very useful Beckford when dropped back to an inadequate six furlongs next time, and completely reversed the form ten weeks later in a Curragh Group1 (7f Sft-Hvy) winning by 3 1/2L from the same animal. By first season sire, Vocalised, who was best around seven furlongs, out of a mare who was only rated 68 the Bolger colt is certainly not bred on the Classic lines of some of the opposing “Blue Bloods” but the man is such a genius, it wouldn’t surprise to see him break his duck on Saturday.
Sir Michael Stoute has an interesting contender in his twice raced contender, Gabr. He is by another first season sire, Intello, a son of Galileo, who won the French Derby in 2013 and was crowned top French 3yo. He is out of the Group2 winning mare, Spacious and was expensively bought at 300,000gns. He showed plenty of promise on his debut in that very valuable York maiden (7f good) worth over £43,000 finishing second and he gained some further valuable experience five weeks ago when winning a minor contest over a mile at Yarmouth at odds of 4/9. He arrives on Saturday as something of an unknown quantity, but maiden winners, with ten success’s from the last forty renewals, have a respectable record and is worth considering.
Selection : Saxon Warrior
E.W. : Chilean