Trainer Aidan O’Brien has the favorite for the Racing Post Trophy (Eng-I) in Coolmore and partners’ visually impressive debut winner Kingsbarns, who takes a huge step up in class in Great Britain’s final group I race of the season Oct. 27 at Doncaster.
The Galileo colt easily won first time out Oct. 10 at Navan after O’Brien’s son Joseph settled him off the early pace in the one-mile maiden race. He picked up two furlongs out and scored by seven lengths, though showing some immaturity.
“He traveled very well, but he didn't have a clue what to do when he hit the front," Joseph O’Brien told England’s Press Association after the race, but added that he thinks the colt is top-class nevertheless. "He didn't even know how to canter back after the race, and I had to trot him back.”
Kingsbarns apparently has pleased Aidan O’Brien in his subsequent training, prompting the trainer to remove Juddmonte Beresford Stakes (Eng-II) winner Battle of Marengo and five others from consideration for the Racing Post Trophy. He supplemented Kingsbarns Oct. 22 to the one-mile race at a cost of $28,202 (£17,500).
Also supplemented was Saeed Manana’s unbeaten Van Der Neer. The Dutch Art colt impressed Richard Hughes in his second start with a 1 3/4-length win Oct. 16 in a conditions race at Leicester while geared down at the finish. That prompted the jockey to suggest to trainer Richard Hannon that Van Der Neer be tried at the highest level in the Racing Post Trophy.
"I really liked this colt when he won first time out at Yarmouth (Sept. 20), and, though we had a tail-wind helping us here at Leicester, you have to be impressed with the way he quickened,” Hughes said on Hannon’s website. “He found three lengths in five strides."
Trainer Jim Bolger has the 7-to-2 second-favorite in the seven-horse field in homebred Trading Leather. The Teofilo cot has two wins and a second from three starts, his lone loss coming in his career debut when second to Battle of Marengo in the Icon Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Trial Stakes Sept. 8 at Leopardstown.
Trading Leather comes in off a three-quarter length win over previously unbeaten Montiridge in the one-mile Autumn Stakes (Eng-III) Oct. 13 at Newmarket. In contention from the start, he was challenged late by Montiridge but dug in resolutely nearing the finish line to prevail.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum’s Steeler comes into the race with back-to-back stakes wins, including his record-setting victory over Artigiano in the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (Eng-II) Sept. 29 at Newmarket. The Raven's Pass colt was timed 1:35.60, the fastest time ever for a 2-year-old at the Suffolk racecourse.
The field is completed by Galileo EBF Futurity Stakes (Eng-II) winner First Cornerstone (by Hurricane Run) and third-place finisher Birdman (Danehill Dancer), and Sir Patrick Moore (Astronomer Royal), who is stakes-placed in France.