Saturday’s Racing Post Trophy, the last domestic Group 1 of the season, features a small but select field of seven runners for the one mile contest won this century by subsequent Epsom Derby winners High Chaparral, Motivator, Authorized and Camelot along with a number of other high-class performers including St Leger winner Bryan Boru and multiple Group 1 scorer St Nicholas Abbey.
Of those six horses mentioned four belonged to the powerful Ballydoyle stable of Aidan O’Brien who will attempt to win the race for an eighth time on Saturday, still two short of the record held by Sir Henry Cecil of ten successes achieved between 1969 and 1993, the last being that of King’s Theatre who went on to finish second behind Erhaab in the 1994 Derby before going on to win Ascot’s King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes the following month.
The Irish trainer’s main hope seems to rest with the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes runner-up Deauville ( 7-2 with bet365, Ladbrokes and William Hill ) although the Galileo colt will need to turn around the three quarters of a length defeat handed out by the John Gosden-trained Foundation in the Newmarket Group 2 race who has been all the rage since the betting opened on Monday, having been backed in from a top price 7-4 to the standout 11-10 now available with Coral.
Ballydoyle’s supposed second-string is Leopardstown Group 3 winner Johannes Vermeer ( 9-1 Stan James ) who has since gone on to run a respectable fourth in Longchamp’s prestigious Grand Criterium on Arc day while their entry is completed by narrow Beresford Stakes winner Port Douglas, a general 20-1 chance with most bookmakers. The Richard Hannon runner Tony Curtis, impressive winner of a Salisbury Listed race most recently, is as short as 7-1 with William Hill but otherwise available at 9-1 with several firms, one point less than the 10-1 on offer with Stan James and Ladbrokes about Hugo Palmer’s Haydock maiden scorer Mengli Khan. Outsider of the septet at 40-1 is Marcel from the Peter Chapple-Hyam stable who takes a huge step up in class but is well regarded.