O’Brien eyes eighth Trophy win

Trainer Aidan O'Brien (Picture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire).
Trainer Aidan O'Brien (Picture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire).
0
Have your say

AIDAN O’Brien is responsible for five of the 10 juveniles confirmed for Saturday’s Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.

The master of Ballydoyle has saddled seven previous winners of the end-of-season Group One, with High Chaparral (2001), St Nicholas Abbey (2009) and Camelot (2011) among those on the roll of honour for the team.

This year’s potential runners include Beresford Stakes scorer Port Douglas, impressive Curragh maiden winner Black Sea and Royal Lodge runner-up Deauville. Johannes Vermeer and Shogun, fourth and sixth respectively in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp earlier this month, complete the squad.

The home team is headed by John Gosden’s unbeaten colt Foundation, three-quarters of a length ahead of Deauville in the Royal Lodge in late September.

Mengli Khan is an interesting contender for one of the sport’s brightest young trainers Hugo Palmer after impressing on his second start at Nottingham a fortnight ago.

Peter Chapple-Hyam, who won the Racing Post Trophy with subsequent Derby hero Authorized in 2006, could run Marcel, not seen since scoring at Newcastle in late August. William Muir’s Royal Reserve and the Richard Hannon-trained Tony Curtis complete the possibles.

Pontefract’s season-ending meeting saw Thanksfortellingme take his unbeaten record to three with a clear-cut success in the totepool ebfstallions.com Silver Tankard Stakes.

After scoring at Goodwood and Epsom, the son of Notnowcato took the step up to Listed company in his stride as he disposed of what looked a decent field in good style.

Trained by Ladbrokes St Leger-winning trainer Ralph Beckett, the gelding was never off the pace set by Beast Mode, who had finished a respectable fifth in the Royal Lodge Stakes on his previous start.

The 13-8 favourite got on top inside the final furlong to beat that rival by three-quarters of a length, with Percy Street the same distance away in third.

“I would think that will be it for the year for him now,” said owner Richard Roberts, who also owns Niceofyoutotellme, who is a half-brother to Irish Derby winner Jack Hobbs

Jump jockey Richard Johnson says he has no intention of hanging up his riding boots if he wins an elusive championship this season.

The perennial runner-up to the now retired AP McCoy, Johnson rode his 100th winner of the 2015-16 campaign at Wincanton last Friday and is the man to catch.

Writing in his blog for Betway, he said: “If there is a landmark I’m aiming at, I suppose it must be 200 winners as I’ve never ridden that many in a campaign before.

“If I can hit that mark, which would incidentally take me through the 3,000 winner mark, too, then there’s a very good chance I’ll be crowned champion.

“Looking beyond that, people have asked me whether I’ll quit if I do secure the championship and the answer to that is no.

“I’ve genuinely no intention of hanging up my riding boots if I’m lucky enough to be crowned champion. I ride for great people, feel in great shape and as long as I’m still enjoying what I do, I’m going to carry on riding.

“AP showed us all how important it is to go out and dominate from the front if you want to be crowned champion jockey and creating a small buffer of 30 to 40 winners is an important part of that. Not only is that little gulf demoralising for those chasing me, it also provides me with a little cushion should there be any mishaps.”

Emotionless is on the road to recovery having undergone surgery on a knee injury following his disappointing run in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.

Having won on his debut and impressed in the At The Races Champagne Stakes at Doncaster, Godolphin’s big hope crossed the line in last place.

Hopes are high for a full recovery for the Charlie Appleby-trained colt. Godolphin’s John Ferguson said: “He’s had the operation and all is fine. He just needs some box-rest now and he will be a nice horse for next year.”