EPSOM Derby ante-post favourite Foundation will head a small but select field of seven in tomorrow’s Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.
The unbeaten two-year-old, due to be ridden by Frankie Dettori, will attempt to make it four straight victories and hand his trainer John Gosden a first success in the last domestic Group One of the season.
Foundation, whose Highclere syndicate of owners includes Sir Alex Ferguson, confirmed his rich promise when winning the Group Two Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket on his last outing.
Aidan O’Brien will be triple-handed in his quest to win the race for the eighth time.
Spearheading his trio of runners is Royal Lodge runner-up Deauville, who will be joined on Town Moor by stablemates Johannes Vermeer and Port Douglas.
Today’s Doncaster action sees the ever-popular Hoof It look to retain his recent sparkle in the Racing Post/SIS Betting Shop Manager Handicap.
Mick Easterby’s charge, co-owned by golfer Lee Westwood and agent Chubby Chandler, ultimately paid the price for a stellar campaign in 2011 as he shot up the ratings following successes in a high-profile event at York and the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood.
Placing third in the Sprint Cup at Haydock that September hardly helped his handicap mark, which peaked at 119 but had been on the wane since as he endured a difficult time.
Winless in over four years, which were also punctuated with some injury issues, Hoof It returned to winning form off a mark of 91 at Doncaster’s Ladbrokes St Leger meeting, prompting a 7lb hike back up the weights.
Pitched into the Ayr Gold Cup, Hoof It was not disgraced in being beaten three lengths in eighth and a 2lb dip back down the weights is a plus here at a track he knows well.
n Cheltenham Festival hero The Druids Nephew is set to make his comeback over hurdles at Wetherby on Saturday week before another tilt at the Crabbies Grand National.
Neil Mulholland’s stable star was travelling best of all in this year’s Aintree race before overjumping the 25th fence and parting company with luckless jockey Aidan Coleman.
However, Mulholland, who served his own racing apprenticeship with Ferdy Murphy at West Witton, has high hopes for a horse who caught the imagination of racegoers when landing the three-mile Ultimate Business Solutions Handicap Chase at Cheltenham.
After the bet365 West Yorkshire Hurdle in which last year’s winner Cole Harden will be a notable absentee, Mulholland is considering having a crack at Newbury’s historic Hennessy Gold Cup.
“He has been great since he has come back in,” said Mulholland.
“He looks fantastic and his work has been very good.
“We have got half an eye on the Grand National again and he will probably head to the Hennessy, all being well, following Wetherby.”