Magna to marvel at Doncaster
MAGNA GRECIA can continue Aidan O’Brien’s dominance of the Vertem Futurity Trophy by taking the final Group One race of the domestic season at Doncaster.
O’Brien has captured this prestigious prize eight times, with such future stars as High Chaparral, Camelot and Saxon Warrior last year to be just two behind the record set by the late Sir Henry Cecil.
As usual, the Ballydoyle trainer had plenty to choose from to represent him - and Magna Grecia looks the pick of the bunch.
The Invincible Spirit colt is the type of late maturing horse that fits the bill for the Town Moor showpiece, with one eye very much on next year.
Magna Grecia made his debut only four weeks ago over seven furlongs at Navan, where he won in tidy fashion.
He had his second start two weeks later and stepped up considerably on his first effort. However, he lost out by a neck to the more experienced French raider Persian King in the Group Three Autumn Stakes.
He stayed the mile well enough that day and, with plenty of improvement to come, he can go into his winter quarters as a possible Classic contender for 2019.
Beat Le Bon could not quite peg back Summer Daydream in the Redcar Two Year Old Trophy, but Richard Hannon’s youngster can make amends by defying top weight to open his account in the Scott Dobson Memorial Nursery Handicap.
Ripp Orf, trained by David Elsworth, can gain compensation for missing the cut in the Balmoral Handicap at Ascot on Champions Day last weekend with victory in the crownhotel-bawtry.com Optional Claiming Handicap.
Young Rascal got back on track with a hard-fought victory over seasoned campaigner Mirage Dancer at Newbury, and can follow up back at the same track in the Teddington Royal British Legion Stakes.