Well, that’s almost it for another turf flat campaign as the curtain comes down on the 2018 season at Doncaster this Saturday.
We’ve a mixed card that sees three of their seven races live on ITV Racing, but the standout contest is the Group One Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes……….the old Racing Post Trophy to seasoned racing fans.
So, this one-mile contest for two-year-olds might have a new title, but still has the same feel as recent years with heavyweight yards like Aidan O’Brien, who has won the prize on eight occasions, and John Gosden having leading entries. It’s also a race that top jockey Andrea Atzeni has made the race his own in recent years, winning four of the last five renewals. This year he’s been booked to ride the David Simcock-trained Raakib Alhawa.
You can get more help finding the winner of the Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes on our ITV tips page
Plus, to help pin-point the best winning profile of the 2018 Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes we are on-hand with some key trends and statistics.
We hope they help you find the winner, but if you fancy a horse we’ve not featured below then simply apply these stats to that runner.
- 14 of the last 16 winners had won one or two races previously
- 13 of the last 16 winners finished in the top two last time out
- 13 of the last 16 winners raced within the last four weeks
- 11 of the last 16 winners won last time out
- 11 of the last 16 winners were sent off as favourite
- 11 of the last 16 winners had raced at least twice before
- 10 of the last 16 winners had won over a mile before
Trends – Key Runners
Magna Grecia ✅✅✅❌✅✅❌
Phoenix Of Spain✅✅❌❌❌✅❌
Great Scot ❌✅❌✅❌✅✅
Magna Grecia has been well-supported all week and as a result looks the likely favourite, which could be deemed his first plus – eleven of the last sixteen renewals went to the market leader. His trainer, Aidan O’Brien, also knows what’s required in this race – having won it eight times – while of our seven key trends he only fails on two. They are not winning last time out and not yet being successful over a mile. However, last time out he was only just touched-off in Group Three level in the Autumn Stakes (one mile) so there is little doubt he gets the trip, but those against him might still question that performance as it was in a lower grade. You also feel the much softer ground this time will be more in his favour, while let’s not forget he’s only had two career runs so should have more to offer. With the sustained support this week he’s clearly come out of that last race very well and looks to be heading into the race as the main O’Brien hope – with eight successes for the yard in the race then it’s hard to ignore his chance.
The John Gosden camp will be looking to cap-off what’s already been another fantastic season in this final Group One of the campaign with Turgenev. Surprisingly, it’s a race the yard is yet to win but after two easy victories this two-year-old colt looks to have a big say of putting that right. He’s two-from-two over this mile trip too and Frankie Dettori is an obvious plus in the saddle – the pocket Italian will be looking for this third win in this race. Of the main runners he also ticks all-bar-one of our seven trends. The only one he falls down on is that he’s unlikely to be sent off favourite – but, you never know, that might change. Yes, the form of his latest win has taken a few knocks, but he couldn’t have been more impressive that day and was also eased down. Winning form over this trip is already in the bag and despite this being a big step up in grade he’s clearly held in high regard to make the leap up. Add in that the Gosden camp boast an impressive 24% strike-rate with their juveniles at the track then it would be a shock if he’s not making his presence felt.
Phoenix Of Spain certainly enters calculations too after running the very useful Too Darn Hot to just under two lengths last time out in the Group Two Champagne Stakes at Doncaster. The winner has since franked the form by winning the Dewhurst Stakes a few weeks ago so to get as close as he did to that horse suggests he’s worth a crack at this level. However, the trends suggest he’s got a few questions to answer as he falls down on four of our seven stats. If you add in that the Charles Hills team are only four-from-forty-three (9%) with their juveniles at the course, then his knockers might also cling to this.
Away from the main players, the value hunters may look to the Tom Dascombe-trained Great Scot as an alternative. This colt has won three of his four starts, including a Listed contest at Haydock last time out on heavy ground. Conditions are unlikely to get as bad as that day, but he’s also won on much quicker surfaces to suggest he’ll be fine no matter what the weather does. The trends give him a mixed chance though, as with four runs some may feel he’s a tad exposed, but on the plus side he’s got winning form over this mile trip and heads here in tip-top order after that recent win. Of those at a bigger price then he looks interesting.
Every Doncaster race covered live on ITV can be found on our Doncaster racing tips page, with runner by runner previews for each contest.