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Racing Post Trophy Stakes (Group 1)
The final domestic Group 1 of the flat season, it is a mile contest that has remarkably been won four years in a row by Andrea Atzini. It should be no surprise to anyone that the Ballydoyle juggernaut have had the winner of this contest seven times in the last twenty years so as with any of the juvenile Group races, they are entitled to plenty of respect. Read on for our free betting tips, predictions and analysis.
Aidan O’Brien as one would suspect is mob handed at this early stage of the entries, with Nelson looking to be the leading of his contenders. He has been brought along steadily this season in four outings, making a sizeable step forward each time he has raced. It was only a Group 3 that he won at Leopardstown in September, but given the way he cleared away from the field there, he looks a Group 1 horse in the making. He set off in front, running his rivals into the ground, relishing every inch of the stiff mile. His trainer afterwards nominated this race “He stays well and looks a Racing Post Trophy type horse” so he has to be given plenty of respect.
Already a winner at this track, Seahenge took the Champagne Stakes at the St Leger meeting back across the Irish Sea with him. He was no match for the classy Expert Eye at Glorious Goodwood, but back on a more conventional track, he left that running well behind. He needed the whole of the seven furlong trip on that occasion to get his head in front, looking as if he would appreciate the step up to this trip, despite the Dewhurst being mentioned in the aftermath. He coped fine with the good to soft ground on that occasion and while he wouldn’t want it deep, the ability to handle some cut is important at this time of the season.
The Acomb was one of the finishes of the season, with Wells Farhh Go just getting up in the final stride to beat James Garfield. That made it a perfect 2/2 in his career and while trainer Tim Easterby afterwards was quick to shut down any talk of a Group 1 as a juvenile, the temptation must be there to take in either this contest or the Royal Lodge. The runner-up gave the form a huge boost when quickening up in impressive fashion to land a solid looking edition of the Mill Reef Stakes, setting a new juvenile track record in the process. Given that this horse should relish the step up in trip to a mile, he is a hugely exciting prospect for the rest of this season and beyond.
Charlie Appleby has a number of smart juveniles, Masar probably the pick on this occasion following his Sandown win in the Solario Stakes. The way he came up the hill there, the impression he gives is that the further he goes, the stronger he will be. That probably wasn’t the greatest Group 3 ever run, but the runner-up is well regarded and he beat that two lengths, value for a little more at the line. His third to September and Nyaleti at Royal Ascot has taken a couple of knocks since, but they are both quicker than him, so for such a strong stayer as a juvenile to run them close was still a very smart run. He should still have plenty more in the tank.
Chilean took a massive step forward for Martyn Meade, winning a Listed race at Haydock last time out. That was over this trip on heavy ground, powering clear in the final furlong despite being a little keen in the early stages. He wasn’t entered in anything flashy at the time of winning that race so his entry in this contest now is a clear sign of intent from connections. Having coped well with heavy ground on that occasion, the ‘typical’ Doncaster ground at the back end of the season is going to be very much to his liking. He has three lengths to find with Wells Farhh Go on the bare form through Dee Ex Bee, but the suspicion is that he didn’t run to his best in the Acomb. Chilean is certainly an interesting each way contender if he turns up on the day.
One of the best bred horses in the field is a colt we have seen just the once so far, making a winning debut on the 10th of September, Elarqam. By Frankel out of the superstar Attraction, he was knocked down for 1.6 million guineas at the sales. It was a seven furlong contest at York where he made his debut, heavily punted into odds on, backers didn’t have a second of worry as he ran riot. The winning margin was almost four lengths, with another couple back to the third, an extra furlong will see him in a better light. He has got plenty of Group entries for the end of the season, so he should get his chance at a smart prize this autumn despite his inexperience.