With a record of seven wins in Doncaster’s Group 1 Racing Post Trophy and responsible for five of the ten horses left in contention for the 2015 renewal this Saturday the Ballydoyle stable of Aidan O’Brien could be regarded as having a stanglehold on the one mile contest once again, but not as far as punters are concerned as, after opening up as big as 7-4 in the ante-post market on Monday, the John Gosden-trained Foundation has been backed to the exclusion of everything else and is now as short as 4-5 with Ladbrokes to keep his unbeaten record this weekend on Town Moor.
A best price 11-10 with Sky Bet and William Hill now, the son of Zoffany currently heads the betting for the 2016 Investec Derby, with the 16-1 available with Ladbrokes and Betfair Sportsbook the top quote for the ‘Blue Riband’ of the turf next June, following the Highclere Thoroughbred colt’s impressive victory in Newmarket’s Group 2 Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes last month when getting the better of the Ballydoyle runner Deauville by three quarters of a length, form which is expected to be confirmed if the weight of money for the favourite is anything to go by.
The mount of a rejuvenated Frankie Dettori, who partnered Authorize to victory in 2006 at Doncaster before going on claim his first Derby the following year, ran out a cosy winner at Newmarket after showing great promise when landing his first two races at Haydock, and Harry Herbert, operations manager for the syndicate of owners which includes Sir Alex Ferguson, is excited by the talented prospect, saying: He’s been very impressive in all three starts but, as Frankie said, it was only last time at Newmarket that he learned how to race, as previously he was going through the motions. John is very happy with him. All the reports are positive and the horse worked well on Saturday.”
Apart from Deauville (7-2 Coral), O’Brien also has other options in the shape of Black Sea (25-1), Johannes Vermeer (7-1 Coral), Port Douglas (16-1) and Shogun (14-1 Paddy Power) to ensure Foundation does not have all of his own way in one of the most significant of all juvenile Derby trials while other possible contenders are Peter Chapple-Hyam’s Newcastle maiden winner Marcel (40-1), Hugo Palmer’s impressive Nottingham scorer Mengli Khan (14-1 Sportingbet), Royal Reserve (40-1) and the Richard Hannon-trained Salisbury Listed winner Tony Curtis (10-1 Betfred and Betvictor).