Magna to marvel at Don­caster

Nuneaton Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE -

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 crown­ho­ 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.

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