1st 2 Crowded House 7/1
This year’s £216,000 Group One Racing Post Trophy (3.35pm) looks set to be another superb contest with 23 colts going forward for the mile-long contest, run at Doncaster on Saturday, October 25, following today’s five-day confirmation and supplementary stage.
The final Group One of the British flat season has a rich tradition in providing clues for future Classic success, with recent winners including subsequent Epsom Derby victors Authorized (2006), Motivator (2004) and High Chaparral (2001) as well as French 2,000 Guineas scorer American Post (2003) and Brian Boru (2002), who returned to Doncaster the following season to take the Ladbrokes St Leger.
This year’s line up is set to include Sri Putra, whose trainer Michael Jarvis saddled Beldale Flutter to Racing Post Trophy glory in 1980. The Oasis Dream colt won the Group Three Solario Stakes at Sandown at the end of August before finishing eighth on good to firm ground in the Tattersalls Timeform Million at Newmarket on his latest start on October 4.
Jarvis commented: “We’ve entered Sri Putra in the Racing Post Trophy and the race is a definite possibility. He also holds an entry in the Horris Hill Stakes at Newbury on the same day and we will make a decision nearer the time.
“The ground was too firm for him at Newmarket. It rode very fast on that day and he’s just not as effective over that sort of going. He needs some cut in the ground so we will look to see where the ground is more suitable for him.
“He’ll have no difficulty with a mile, being out of an In The Wings mare and he’s in good form at the moment.”
Peter Chapple-Hyam, himself no stranger to Racing Post Trophy glory having saddled Commander Collins (1998) and Authorized (2006) to victory in the race, is set to be represented this year by Gibb River, who finished a staying-on seventh on his only racecourse appearance in a competitive maiden at Newbury on September 20.
Graham Skeates, who is the racing manager for owners Favourites Racing, is aware of the task facing the son of Mr Greeley but hopes that the colt can run a good race as he attempts to emulate stablemate Authorized, who was the last maiden to triumph in the Racing Post Trophy.
Skeates said: “The plan is for Gibb River to run in the Racing Post Trophy. On the face of it, it looks as if we are tilting at windmills but he got left in the stalls at Newbury and he’s a far better horse than he showed there.
“Alan Munro felt that he was kept in the stalls a long time and he was left three lengths at the start. He made up a lot of ground from two and a half furlongs out and seven furlongs was on the sharp side for him. A mile at Doncaster will suit him well and we would be very happy if the ground had some cut in it.
“He’s a very big unfurnished horse who is only literally coming to hand now. We are confident that he will be a very good horse in time and Peter has always thought a lot of him. The trainer is very happy with him and is looking forward to seeing him run a nice race.
“He’s got bags of ability and he’s just taken such a long time to come to hand. Peter and I have spoken about his previous winners of the Racing Post Trophy and he thinks that, while he’s not another Authorized at the moment, he’s more than happy enough to let him take his chance on Saturday.”
Aidan O’Brien, who has enjoyed Racing Post Trophy success with Saratoga Springs (1997), Aristotle (1999), High Chaparral (2001) and Brian Boru (2002), could this year rely on 10-length Tipperary maiden scorer Freemantle, along with Indian Ocean and Drumbeat, who finished fourth and fifth in the Group One National Stakes.
The master of Ballydoyle has also left in Navan maiden winner Malibu Bay, Gowran Park maiden scorer Set Sail, as well as Masterofthehorse and Hail Caesar, who came home third and fifth in the Group Two Beresford Stakes.
A strong Irish challenge of nine is completed by the Jim Bolger-trained Gan Amhras, who beat Masterofthehorse in a Naas maiden before finishing second in the Goffs Million at the Curragh, and Beresford Stakes runner-up Mourayan, from the yard of John Oxx.
Brian Meehan has five colts remaining, headed by Crowded House, who was second in his latest appearance in the Tattersalls Timeform Million, and recent Newbury maiden winner Skanky Biscuit. The Manton-based trainer could also be represented by the unraced Hilbre Point, Whispering Angel and Roman Point, while his former employer Richard Hannon could run Midnight Cruiser and Group Two Superlative Stakes runner-up Weald Park.
Jukebox Jury could bid to follow up his victory in the Group Two Royal Lodge Stakes for trainer Mark Johnston, while Sir Michael Stoute may aim for a second Racing Post Trophy win, following Dilshaan’s success in 2000, with Yarmouth maiden scorer Marching Time.
The other entries remaining after Monday’s forfeit stage are the Bryan Smart-trained Courageous and Roman Glory, from the stable of George Moore. Red Spider, who was an impressive winner of a Kempton Park maiden on his racecourse debut, has been supplemented by trainer John Gosden at a cost of £17,500.
“The good to soft ground is mainly on the round course and the straight is currently on the easy side of good. We have had a little shower this morning and we are forecast anything up to four millimetres on Monday. Tuesday is set to be a reasonable day and Wednesday looks like being overcast.
“Rain is forecast for Thursday and I wouldn’t anticipate the ground drying out much before. I am expecting ground on the soft side of good for Friday’s racing.”
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