Aidan O’Brien searches for third consecutive Vertem Futurity Trophy
Master of Ballydoyle Aidan O’Brien is hoping to become the first trainer ever to win three Vertem Futurity Trophies (Formely Racing Post Trophy) in-a-row. Also, if he’s successful on Saturday he will equal the late Sir Henry Cecil’s all-time record of 10 Vertem Futurity Trophies.
O’Brien has a very strong hand in the race with five out of the six runners in the field which includes the two at the top of the market, Mogul and Innisfree.
The market leader, Mogul, won the Group 2 Champion Juvenile Stakes at Leopardstown impressively after staying on strongly to hold off his rivals and win by one and a quarter lengths.
🏇Japan's full brother MOGUL wins the G2 Champions Juvenile Stakes nicely at Leopardstown…pic.twitter.com/YoLEK6I597
— Sporting Life (@SportingLife) September 14, 2019
O’Brien’s next best chance to take Saturday’s big prize is Innisfree who won the Beresford Stakes at the Curragh last time. The Galileo colt came out the victor by just a neck after a thrilling battle with Dermot Weld’s Shekdem. It was an incredible 19th Beresford Stakes win for Aidan O’Brien. The race has illustrious roll of honour including previous winners – St Nicholas Abbey, Saxon Warrior and Japan so there’s every chance Innisfree can go on to be a star.
O’Brien told Sporting Life, “Innisfree travels well. We always thought he was a Classic horse and he’s been working nice since the Beresford. We thought this would be the logical race for him.”
“Mogul has been progressing with every run – they are both smart colts. They are still on the upgrade and when they are doing that you don’t know who is going to progress the most.”
Innisfree adds his name to an illustrious roll of honour which includes St Nicholas Abbey, Saxon Warrior and Japan by providing Aidan O'Brien with a 19th victory in the G2 Beresford Stakes @curraghrace pic.twitter.com/QJf67v5vDv
— Horse Racing Ireland (@HRIRacing) September 29, 2019
The sole challenger to the Aidan O’Brien contingent is Kameko with newly-crowned Champion Jockey Oisin Murphy on board. Kameko has come second by a nose in his last two races which includes The Group 2 Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes and Group 3 Solario Stakes. He’ll be hoping to turn his luck around at Doncaster and with the hugely talented jockey Oisin Murphy in the saddle, Kameko will have every chance.
Royal Dornoch provided the finish of the day as the outsider stunned Kameko to claim the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes crown 🏆 pic.twitter.com/EPEntRonf4
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) September 28, 2019
Andrew Balding told Sporting Life “Obviously the ground is very much a concern, they are going to get an awful lot of rain. Having said that, there are suggestions in his pedigree that he could handle it. I think it’s more than likely he’ll run. I’m very happy with him and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Oisin Murphy said, “I possibly rode him a bit wrong at Newmarket in the Royal Lodge and he over-raced. I’m not sure how I’m going to approach it tactically on Saturday just yet, but I’ll be concentrating on getting him to relax as he has a very good kick.
“I possibly should have won this race on Roaring Lion two years ago when he was narrowly beaten by Saxon Warrior, so it would be nice to right that wrong at some stage.
“It would be great if Kameko can do it and he is actually by the same sire as Roaring Lion in Kitten’s Joy. He looks great in his coat and we’re very happy with him.”