The final British Group 1 event of the season, the Racing Post Trophy for two-year-olds’ takes place in Doncaster this Saturday and Jim Bolger should continue his terrific campaign by saddling Gan Amhras to land this coveted one-mile contest.
Gan Amhras, a son of the mighty Galileo, posted a truly performance on his most recent by finishing second to Soul City in the Parknasilla Hotel Goffs (C & G) Million at The Curragh in late September. Gan Amhras was ultimately beaten a half-length with his stable companion Intense Focus a further one length adrift in third spot. Intense Focus however then went on to finish third in the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Lonchamp on ‘Arc’ day (October 5th) before winning last weekend’s Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket to provide Bolger with his third consecutive success in the Darley-sponsored event following on from Teofilo in 2006 and New Approach last year.
Gan Amhras, an authoritative winner of a one-mile maiden at Naas in July, it can be argued is a potentially classier individual than Intense Focus. Gan Amhras therefore is taken to win the Racing Post Trophy and in all probability, Red Spider is the one most likely to chase him home.
The main supporting race at Doncaster is the racingpost.com Stakes and it should pay to row in behind Enderby Spirit, who is trained by the in-form Bryan Smart whilst Dark Mischief is another with definite prospects in this six furlong contest.
Haajes is marginally preferred to Tony The Tap in the coral.co.uk Handicap and First Avenue is put forward to score from Voice Coach in the Richard (Boney) James Hone Memorial Handicap.
Newbury and Aintree
There’s also live racing action from both Newbury and Aintree on Saturday.
At Newbury, Christophe Soumillon is an interesting booking for Evasive in the Group 3 Mountgrange Stud Stakes. Evasive is already a maiden winner for Sir Michael Stoute and he’s likely to have most to fear here from Michael Jarvis’ Sri Putra.
Saeed Bin Suroor’s Eastern Anthem should benefit from Ted Durcan’s assistance by showing a clean pair of heels to Buccellati in the Group 3 intercasino.co.uk St Simon Stakes and Portodora should atone for a slightly disappointing sixth-placed effort on the all-weather last time by disposing of Medici Pearl in the E B F Inkerman London Fillies’ Handicap.
Meanwhile, Cool Operator looks the part in the intercasino.co.uk Molyneux Novices’ Chase at Aintree.
Cool Operator, a gelding that won a maiden at the Curraghmore point-to-point meeting last year, has already been successful over fences for Howard Johnson and the five-year-old is taken to continue on his merry way here at the expense of Poquelin.
Khachaturian should continue his rich vein of form for handler Donald McCain by outpointing Irish Legend in the intercasino.co.uk Handicap Hurdle and Out The Black looks likely to dispose of Aleron in the Intercasino.co.uk Veterans’ Handicap Chase.
There’s plenty of domestic action over the bank holiday weekend with racing at both Wexford and Naas on Saturday. Wexford will once again be the venue for racing enthusiasts on Sunday whilst there’s also a meeting in Galway down for decision.
At Wexford’s Saturday fixture, the Michael Wnters-trained Annagh Lady looks the part in the Slaney Horse Feeds Mares Hurdle.
Annagh Lady got off the mark on the racetrack by winning a bumper at this same venue last season whilst on her most recent start, she destroyed the opposition in a two-mile beginners chase at Tralee on October 1st. Clearly a progressive mare that also captured a two mile one furlong Tralee maiden hurdle in May, Annagh Lady should attain her fourth track success here by getting the better of Conker Nails.
Henry de Bromhead’s Shadow Of The Wind is put forward to triumph from Paddy Deane in the Bettyville Park Maiden Hurdle and last Sunday’s authoritative Kilsheelan point-to-point winner Square Sphere has Ella Wason to beat in the Value Centre Mares (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race.
The Woodlands Park 100 Brown Lad Handicap Hurdle occupies centre stage at Naas and it should pay to row in behind Heavenly Blues.
On his most recent start, the German-bred six-year-old finished an excellent third to Colm Murphy’s star mare Megans Joy in a Grade 2 Hurdle at Tipperary in early-October, ultimately beaten some four and a half lengths altogether. Heavenly Blues is highly unlikely to encounter anything of Megans Joy’s calibre here and he’s recommended to return to the coveted number one slot from seasonal debutant Here Comes Sally.
Sigma Lifestyle should supplement his recent Kilbeggan maiden hurdle success by dispensing with Glenquest in the I.N.H. Stallion Owners European Breeders Fund Novice Hurdle and Warhead is likely to see off Little Barney in the Thoroughbred County (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race.
At Wexford on Sunday, Glenquin Castle holds definite prospects in the I.N.H. Stallion Owners European Breeders Fund Novice Hurdle.
The Andrew McNamara-trained eight-year-old, already a 106-rated performer over flights, performed more than respectably on his most recent outing when finishing a fine fifth to Alpha Ridge in a two mile five furlong listed novice hurdle at Limerick on October 12th. A reproduction of that effort should see Glenquin Castle repelling Mick The Man here.
Gentleman Jeff and Smoking Aces are a likely pair in the New Ross Maiden Hurdle and Supreme Plan can avenge a luckless ninth-placed effort at Punchestown last week by shrugging off Fairwood Bob in the Spawell (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race.
Galway meanwhile stage a mixed card on Sunday and Forpadytheplaster is a most interesting entry in the Grade 3 Hartmann Jewellers Ballybrit Novice Chase.
The Tom Cooper-trained gelding was a top-class novice hurdler last season that ran possibly one of his best races in defeat when finishing a fine fourth to compatriot Fiveforthree (trained by Willie Mullins) in the Grade 1 Ballymore Properties Novice Hurdle over three miles at the Cheltenham festival.
Forpadytheplasterer also made a winning start to his career in a bumper at this same meeting 12 months ago and the son of Moscow Society is likely to possess too many aces for Holly Tree.
Paul Nolan’s Mudslinger is likely to eclipse Silverhand in the www.galwaynews.ie Handicap Hurdle and Checkpointcharlie is clearly the one for the ‘getting-out stakes’ in the T V O’Brien Memorial (Pro/Am) Flat Race.