Saturday afternoon’s meeting at Doncaster features the final Group 1 race of the British season, the Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes over a mile for two-year-olds.
The last three winners have all gone on to claim the following season’s 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, so all eyes will be on Town Moor come 2.55pm.
Our tipster looks ahead to the concluding Group 1 of a very different Flat season and is predicting a win for Ireland.
Doncaster 2.55 – Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes 2020 odds
Odds are correct at the time of publication and are subject to change. Odds courtesy of bet365.
Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes betting tips 2020
Odds correct at time of publishing and subject to change.
Doncaster: Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes tips
O’Brien bids for record win
Aidan O’Brien has chosen Wembley in his bid for a record-equalling 10th victory in the Vertem Futurity Trophy, with nine horses declared for the race at Doncaster.
The Ballydoyle supremo had seven entries at the confirmation stage but that was trimmed to the minimum on Thursday morning when the declarations appeared.
Saxon Warrior and Magna Grecia gave the trainer wins prior to Kameko scoring last year, when the race was rerouted to Newcastle – an historic first British Group 1 on an artificial surface. All three of those have gone on to land the opening Classic of the following season at Newmarket.
Wembley has won only a Roscommon maiden from six races but has finished second in the National Stakes and the Dewhurst, both Group 1 races, on his last two starts. Ryan Moore rides and the Galileo colt is top-rated.
One Ruler, a smooth winner of the Autumn Stakes at Newmarket last time out, will try to give Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby a first win in this race and is jostling for favouritism alongside Wembley. Both are taken on however.
O’Brien and Marquand in their happy place
Joseph O’Brien had to call on Tom Marquand last month after a Covid-related jockey change was demanded for his St Leger hopeful Galileo Chrome, and it paid off handsomely when they edged out Berkshire Rocco to take the final British Classic of the season.
Marquand has enjoyed a month to remember since, with plenty of winners and, of course, an unforgettable Champions Day at Ascot last weekend that included the Champion Stakes on Addeybb.
The trainer/jockey combo will attempt to make further gains here with State Of Rest, third here last month over 7f in the Champagne Stakes (7f, good).
Marquand rode him that afternoon and looking back on the race it’s easy to suggest that his mount was the meat in the sandwich when Albasheer and Chindit came to make their challenges late on. State Of Rest was there alongside the former but, when Richard Hannon’s colt arrived, he was briefly short of daylight between rivals.
Chindit was a good winner and State Of Rest certainly lost no ground in the closing stages. With a clearer run – or at least a less claustrophobic one at the crucial stage – who knows what he might have done? He was inching closer to Albasheer in the final strides and should relish a mile.
On the strength of Chindit and Albasheer’s Dewhurst runs, he has something to find with Wembley but that pair may not have shown their best at Newmarket on the day and State Of Rest is a solid player with further improvement likely.
Cobh an each-way player
Cobh is another with form behind Chindit, having chased him home over 7f at Ascot in July in the Listed Pat Eddery Stakes. He backed that up by winning in the same grade at Salisbury in August and last month finished third, two lengths off New Mandate, in the Group 2 Royal Lodge at Newmarket.
Clive Cox’s son of Kodi Bear had to make the running that afternoon and perhaps wasn’t ideally suited in that scenario for the first time.
He is proven at the mile trip from his earlier Salisbury success and is one of the more likely contenders at a price here for Adam Kirby. He is also a soft-ground winner already and so shouldn’t be inconvenienced by the forecast conditions. In a field of nine, he’s a solid each-way contender.
Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes winners of the last 10 years
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