Leather looks tough enough to trade blows with Kingsbarns

Bolger's Derby hope has beating of inexperienced favourite in final Group One of British season

The writing would seem not only to be on the wall, but daubed in letters about eight feet tall. It takes a certain nerve, then, to propose the miniature script of the form book as a better guide to the final Group One race of the British season.

Kingsbarns arrives at Doncaster today as a heavily backed favourite to give Aidan O'Brien a seventh Racing Post Trophy. The easy winner of a mediocre Navan maiden just 17 days ago, he was supplemented on Monday – when O'Brien also left five original entries in the race. The fact that none of these was ultimately declared against him suggests that Kingsbarns, though a late developer, is considered an outstanding prospect at Ballydoyle. After all, even Camelot was escorted by a stablemate when likewise coming here straight off a maiden win last year.

O'Brien has so many elite middle-distance prospects in his care – five of the six he left in the race on Monday were by the phenomenal Galileo – that such an unequivocal show of faith must clearly count for plenty. Fast-tracked to the elite, however, Kingsbarns surely demands too giddy a leap of faith at short odds against rivals with some pretty serious runs on the board. Steeler, for one, progressed for the step up to this trip in the Royal Lodge Stakes. The runner-up, Artigiano, has since been dignified as the only Breeders' Cup candidate in Godolphin's entire European string; moreover at Santa Anita Artigiano will meet the only colt to have beaten Steeler since his debut, Dundonnell. One way or another, Steeler sets a solid standard, albeit he encounters easier ground this time.

Van Der Neer's stable has terrific juvenile depth, but he must prove his stamina today – just like his stablemate, Montiridge, at Newmarket a couple of weeks ago. That colt could not stem the rally of Trading Leather (3.05) and it could be a similar story today.

O'Brien's mentor, Jim Bolger, is unabashed in his hope that this son of Galileo's own breakthrough colt, Teofilo, is a Derby type for next season. After two promising spins in Ireland – including a maiden win at least as emphatic as the favourite's – Trading Leather proved too professional for several unbeaten rivals in what looked a very strong contest at Newmarket. In other words, he has all the hard-knocking hallmarks you associate with Bolger, who is already responsible for the season's leading two-year-old in Dawn Approach. He may yet end the day with the favourite for both the 2,000 Guineas and Derby.

Down at Newbury the appearance of Frankel's half-brother, Noble Mission, so soon after the champion's final race should suggest a reproof to those who permit themselves the glib certainty that they saw "the best ever" at Ascot last week. Though unnecessarily disguised under the sponsorship of Worthington, this race is cherished as the St Simon Stakes and so honoured an unbeaten champion of the 19th century, who won the Ascot Gold Cup and Goodwood Cup by 20 lengths apiece. Mathew Dawson, who saddled six Derby winners (two more than Sir Henry Cecil) declared: "I trained only one good horse in my life – St Simon." It would be nice to think that Frankel's name will remain more respected by future generations than that of St Simon, by Newbury.

It looks a suitably competitive race, anyhow, with Noble Mission himself tempting after his break. Fattsota (2.45) is suggested only on the basis that he enters this tougher grade as perhaps the most progressive in the field.

Some excellent sport at Aintree, meanwhile, testifies to the increasing momentum of the jumps season, the Betfred Monet's Garden Old Roan Chase being perhaps its best steeplechase to date. It may not conform to his name to hope that Wishfull Thinking (3.30) retains more ability than his rating, and this was the scene of his best performance in a disappointing campaign last time round.

After much speculation earlier in the week, Jamie Spencer was yesterday formally confirmed as retained jockey to Qatar's Sheikh Fahad and his brothers. He has signed a two-year contract from 1 January. Very experienced, in his physical prime and an intelligent team player, Spencer looks an ideal appointment for his ambitious young patrons.

Turf Account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Kittens (9.15 Wolverhampton)

Next Best

Code Of Honor (3.35 Doncaster)

Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
Al Pacino in ‘The Humbling’, as an ageing actor
filmHam among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
News
Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Mario Balotelli in action during his Liverpool debut
football ...but he can't get on the scoresheet in impressive debut
Environment
Pigeons have been found with traces of cocaine and painkillers in their system
environmentCan species be 'de-extincted'?
Arts and Entertainment
booksExclusive extract from Howard Jacobson’s acclaimed new novel
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
A Pilgrim’s Progress is described by its publisher as “the one-and-only definitive record” of David Hockney's life and works
people
Sport
Loic Remy signs for Chelsea
footballBlues wrap up deal on the eve of the transfer window
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Art
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth McGovern as Cora, Countess of Grantham and Richard E Grant as Simon Bricker
TV
Life and Style
Instagram daredevils get thousands of followers
techMeet the daredevil photographers redefining urban exploration with death-defying stunts
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard, nicknamed by the press as 'Dirty Diana'
TVDaughter says contestant was manipulated 'to boost ratings'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...

KS2 Teacher required from October

£90 - £120 per annum: Randstad Education Hull: Key Stage 2 Supply Teacher requ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Manchester - Computer Futures

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Computer Futures (an SThree br...

Maths Teacher

£85 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: randstad education require a ...

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor