Aidan O’Brien will break legendary American trainer Bobby Frankel’s world record of 25 Group 1 wins in a calendar year if the Master of Ballydoyle saddles the winner of Saturday’s Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.
O’Brien suggested on Monday that both Saxon Warrior and The Pentagon, who head the market at 10/1 for the 2018 Derby with BetVictor, would be aimed at the final British Gp 1 of the flat season and it would be a brave man who suggests he will not beat the record in south Yorkshire. Only the brilliant filly Enable prevented O’Brien from saddling the winners of all ten classics in Britain and Ireland in 2017 and his brilliance is only matched by his consistency.
The star of the show this afternoon is Alan King’s Yanworth (4.50) who makes his chase debut at Exeter in the Beginners’ Chase over an extended two miles. The selection was only beaten once last term when a disappointing favourite in the Champion Hurdle but showed his true colours when landing the Liverpool hurdle at Aintree back in April when stepped up to three miles.
The JP McManus owned seven-year-old is an exciting chasing recruit and the combination of a stiff track and forecast soft ground should make this a good starting point. The Philip Hobbs’ trained frontrunner Sternrubin will guarantee a true test and one I expect Yanworth to pass. Barry Geraghty comes over from Ireland to ride the horse who is 8/1 with BetVictor for both the RSA and JLT Novices’ Chase in March.
The Aintree Bumper winner Lalor (2.50) makes his hurdling debut for local trainer Richard Woollacott who, at the time of writing, has saddled two winners from his last three runners. The selection went off 33/1 at the Grand National Meeting but there didn’t appear to be any fluke about the result. The selection is not bred for the winter game but he is tough and genuine and certainly has an engine. Of the rest, Onefortheroadtom cost six figures after winning a Bumper in Ireland but may need more of a test of stamina to be seen at his best.
Sutter’s Mill (3.50) is taken to go one better than when runner up at Warwick last time for Evan Williams and conditional Mitchell Bastyan who is good value for his 7lbs claim. The selection has been raised 3lbs for that effort but that looks fair and he is open to further improvement. The same sentiment applies to winning point-to-pointer Forgetthesmalltalk and a market move for the Alan King-trained runner would be worth noting.
At Yarmouth Celestin’s has finished runner up in both starts to date and must go close in the mile maiden for 2-y-o fillies’ but Hourglass (2.00) is bred to be useful and Andrea Atzeni is a significant booking for the Marco Botti-trained debutante.
I thought Big Sigh (3.30) was good value for his win at Haydock last time and a 5lbs rise might not prevent him doubling up in the 12f handicap for Ismail Mohammed. Hajaam is seeking his fourth win on the spin and looks a worthy favourite but he will do well to give 10lbs to the selection who has looked a different animal since stepping up in trip.
One of these days, everything is going to fall right for Perla Blanca who remains well treated but a draw in stall fourteen means she is overlooked at Kempton this evening. Of more interest from a punting perspective is Abel Tasman (9.15) who looked an unlucky loser over this evening’s C&D last time from his wide draw. No such problems tonight from stall five and I will be very disappointed if he doesn’t go very close with the excellent Richard Kingscote again in the plate.