It’s the final Group One of the British season on Saturday as the Racing Post Trophy takes place at Doncaster and Aidan O’Brien saddles four as he aims to break that Bobby Frankel record.
He looks to have two really solid chances in Saxon Warrior and The Pentagon, too, so he could well walk away from Town Moor with an eighth Racing Post Trophy as well as the world record for Group One wins in a calendar year in the bag.
Jim Bolger’s Verbal Dexterity looks to be the main danger, while Andrea Atzeni is going for his fifth consecutive win in the race, all for different trainers, as he rides Martyn Meade’s Chilean.
He’s not without a chance, either, but Chilean does have to prove himself on this better ground after improving bundles last time when running away with a Listed contest on Haydock heavy.
A win for O’Brien or Atzeni would ensure the ITV cameras a special story, but if it doesn’t happen for the Sardinian jockey in the feature he could still enhance his brilliant Doncaster record in the supporting races, starting in the Listed Bet Through The Racing Post App Doncaster Stakes that opens the card at 1.45.
This race has a nice shape to it from a punting point of view, as the only piece of form that entitles Rebel Assault to be an 11/4 favourite is her Rockingham Stakes win at York last time.
She showed a good attitude that day, but that was her eighth run and the favourite, Shabaaby, was desperately disappointing so I’m not sure it’s form to put your faith in.
Staxton was third in that race, further evidence he hasn’t progressed from his Gimcrack fifth, and with those two in the top four in the betting I want to back something that has the potential to improve past them.
Mutaaqeb is a likely type following his debut win at Yarmouth, but at a bigger price I prefer the claims of that man Atzeni on Marco Botti’s SPEAK IN COLOURS at 8/1 generally.
Botti won this race a couple of years ago with Dhahmaan and he looks to have targeted it once again with this good-looking grey son of Excelebration, who hails from the family of the talented Tullius.
He improved from his highly-promising Nottingham debut when winning at Ascot last time, a race in which he displayed a smart turn of foot to defeat subsequent Goodwood winner Lady Dancealot.
There was talk of the Mill Reef Stakes after that, which he was entered in, but it looks a smart move to have waited for something lower-key and he has enormous scope for improvement.
He’s had 50 days off since his last run, was keen last time and I see no reason why he shouldn’t handle better ground. I certainly think he’s got the raw talent to have a say at this level and at 8/1 he looks a good bet to trouble those at the top of the market.
Later on the card Atzeni has another good chance aboard ATLETICO (14/1 General) in the Sun Bets Responsible Betting Handicap at 4.00.
This horse remains highly unexposed and I really like how he shaped at York last time after a few months off.
He had little chance as the groups merged, Silvestre de Sousa having to weave between horses, but he ran on promisingly enough to be beaten just over five lengths in eighth.
That’s no consolation if you were one of the punters that backed him into 5/1 favouritism that day, the fifth consecutive race for which he’s gone off market leader, but that just shows you the regard he’s held in.
I think he can start repaying that faith soon, though, and Saturday could well be the day. On his form at Windsor and Goodwood in the summer he’s got a live chance off his slightly reduced mark of 91 while he’s entitled to come on for that York run, his first for eight weeks.
Roger Varian, whose horses are still running well as they have done all season, has won this race before with Steps, and Just Glamorous should tow the far-side horses into this nicely.