Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes (Doncaster) Betting Tips & Preview – Saturday 27th October 2018

We have plenty of quality action on offer up and down the country this coming Saturday on the day that Cheltenham opens its doors for the latest National Hunt season. It is to the flat to which we turn for the highest class – and most valuable – contest of the day though with the race formerly known as the Racing Post Trophy.

A competitive renewal once again, with a number of eye-catching pedigrees on show. This has been a good race for the market leader over the years though and it will be the jolly who carries our cash this year.

Top Tips

Magna Grecia to win @ 13/8

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Race Info

1m is the trip for this Group 1 contest, set to be run on good to soft going this year and offering £200,000 in total prize money.

GoingDistanceGradePrize MoneyRunnersEW Terms
Good to Soft 1m Group 1 £200,000 11 runners 1/5 1-3

Recent Winners

This has been an excellent race for favourite backers in recent years, with seven of the past 10 coming home in front for a level stakes profit of 10.16pts.

There are few – if any – jockeys who ride this Town Moor course so well as Andrea Atzeni, and nowhere has he exhibited his prowess more than in this race, with the Sardinian recording four wins, for four different trainers, in the past five years. Atzeni will be aboard outsider Raakib Alhawa this year, although he won on 33/1 shot Marcel in 2015.

YearWinnerSPTrainerJockey
2017 Saxon Warrior 13/8 Aidan O’Brien Ryan Moore
2016 Rivet 11/4 William Haggas Andrea Atzeni
2015 Marcel 33/1 Peter Chapple-Hyam Andrea Atzeni
2014 Elm Park 13/8 Andrew Balding Andrea Atzeni
2013 Kingston Hill 7/2 Roger Varian Andrea Atzeni

Analysis: Aidan At It Again on Town Moor

A look at the list of previous winners here is enough to show us that this contest can regularly prove to be a pointer of big things to come. 2009 hero St Nicholas Abbey went on to win a further five career Group 1s. 2011 winner Camelot landed both the 2000 Guineas and the Derby, 2013 champ Kingston Hill the St. Leger and last year’s victor Saxon Warrior claimed 2000 Guineas gold.

We once again have a field of the very best two year olds from either side of the Irish Sea set to go to post, with connections no doubt hopeful they can follow in the hoofprints of their illustrious forebearers.

Magna Magic For O’Brien?

With eight total wins in this race Aidan O’Brien is just two behind Sir Henry Cecil in the all-time list and will be strongly represented once again this year. Leading the charge for team Ballydoyle is the current favourite for the race, Magna Grecia. It’s pretty rare to see one win so easily as this one did on debut at Naas – with runners from the yard often coming on for their first run – and hopes were therefore high headed into the Autumn Stakes at Newmarket.

This son of Invincible Spirit couldn’t quite master the French raider, Persian King that day, but time may show there was no disgrace in that, and he was comfortably clear of the rest. Bringing a solid level of form to the table with the likelihood of more to come on just his third career start, it’s easy to see why he has proved popular in the market.

Turgenev To Turn On The Style?

John Gosden has certainly made plenty of headlines already this season, including on Champions Day last weekend, but has surprisingly never won this race. There must be a fair chance he will put that right this season though with his Dubawi colt, Turgenev.

Routing the opposition to break his duck on the all-weather at Newcastle two starts back, he then showed he could do it on turf too when winning comfortably under a penalty at Newmarket. This does demand more, but it’s hard not to have been impressed by those recent displays. On the downside he was beaten comfortably on debut at this track on good to soft ground.

Spain To Reign?

Another for the shortlist is the Charles Hills runner, Phoenix Of Spain. An impressive winner of the Group 3 Acomb Stakes at York two starts back, he could then manage only second in a Group 2 last time out. When we consider that the horse he was second too was a certain Too Darn Hot, and that he was only beaten under two lengths at the line, he seems well worth his place in this line up. Likely to be suited should this turn into a true test at the trip, his cause will likely be aided by the slower ground here and he looks set to go well.

Final Verdict: Magna Grecia To Win

Phoenix Of Spain looks a solid each way option at around the 5/1 mark, but he found one too good last time out and the suspicion is that he may do so once again here.

The one to be on is the improving Magna Grecia. Persian King seems to be held in the highest of regard by those close to the horse and was expected to hack up by a few good judges last time out. The fact that Magna Grecia got to within a neck of him at the line augurs well for his chances.

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