Aidan O'Brien's Trophy hopes can be Somewhat spoilt
Friday 25 October 2013
The wet ground at Doncaster might be more suitable for jumpers, or even swimmers if it keeps on raining, but those entered for the Racing Post Trophy were signing up for a stamina test and none of the leading contenders in Britain's last Group One race of the season will fail because they run out of puff.
Aidan O'Brien has won this race seven times, including with two horses (High Chaparral and Camelot) who went on to win the Derby and he sends three stoutly-bred youngsters over this time, including Century, ridden by his son Joseph, and so presumably top of the Ballydoyle pecking order.
But although Century, who did not achieve anything out of the ordinary on his debut at the Curragh a fortnight ago, might be a star of the future, there are others in the line-up with stronger credentials on paper.
Kingston Hill, Pinzolo and Chief Barker are also unbeaten and all regarded as possible genuine Classic contenders next year by their connections. But they might all have to give best on this occasion to Somewhat (3.50 Doncaster). Mark Johnston's colt has looked very good, rather than exceptional, while winning two of his five races this year, but a high knee action has always promised better to come once he encounters a testing surface.
Altruistic, trained and ridden by Johnny Murtagh, is an outsider not to be dismissed lightly, but the man with the Midas touch probably has a better chance on an outside ride, Take Cover (3.15 Doncaster), a lightly-raced sprinter who seemed ideally suited by the minimum five furlongs when scoring decisively at York last time.
It is not often renowned French trainer André Fabre sends a horse to these shores, other than for a championship race, so we should perhaps take the hint when Galiway (2.20, Newbury) lines up under Olivier Peslier for the Horris Hill Stakes at Newbury.
Galiway won his maiden at Saint-Cloud with more authority than the narrow margin of victory suggests and may prove too strong for Piping Rock, the pick of Richard Hannon's three runners. This habitual front-runner had classic aspirations in the spring and though it did not work out for him at the highest level, he did display form good enough for this sort of challenge.
This is the time of year when the jumpers begin to take over centre stage and there are good-quality cards at both Chepstow and Aintree, where A P McCoy will be continuing his quest to complete a mind-boggling 4,000 career victories (at the rate he is going, he should make it some time next week).
I fancy him to get off to a winning start with Ifandbutwhynot (1.55 Aintree) for top northern Flat trainer David O'Meara, a link-up which really means business. Ifandbutwhynot, a progressive hurdler with a fine turn of foot, was in excellent form at this time last year and starts this campaign still on an attractive handicap mark.
Latest in Sport
Chelsea players allowed 20 minutes to celebrate, says Jose Mourinho after Capital One Cup victory
Liverpool vs Manchester City match report: Stunners from Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson sink Manuel Pellegrini's side
Arsenal 2 Everton 0 player ratings: Who scored highest at the Emirates?
Ireland 19 England 9 player ratings: Jonathan Sexton? Devin Toner? Alex Goode? Who was the star man in Dublin?
Chelsea vs Tottenham - Capital One Cup final match report: Captain John Terry inspires Blues triumph at Wembley Stadium
- 1 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 2 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 3 Dakota Johnson's 'It's only Isis' Saturday Night Live sketch sparks controversy
- 4 Robert Mugabe eats a zoo for 'obscene' 91st birthday party
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how Corporation is funded
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
£19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in South Kensington, this prestigi...
£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established managed services IT...
£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Advisor is r...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This well established construction equipment d...