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Wednesday 1 November 2017

Racing Post Trophy Review

Champion trainer Aiden O’Brien made history on Saturday when he earned his 26th Group 1 victory of the season in the Racing Post Trophy. It broke a world record set by American Bobby Frankel in 2003 for the most top-level wins in a flat racing season. He equalled the record last weekend, when Hydrangea won at Ascot, and then Saxon Warrior romped to victory at Doncaster on Saturday to seal it. The win capped a glorious season for the Ballydoyle maestro, who has enjoyed an unprecedented level of success in 2017.

The Racing Post Trophy was a thriller thanks to a remarkable showing from third favourite Roaring Lion. Saxon Warrior, the 13/8 favourite, led the frontrunners for much of the race, but then 10/1 shot Roaring Lion lived up to his name, thundering through the crowd to seize the lead with a furlong to go. He looked unstoppable, but Saxon Warrior battled back in sensational style and nicked it by a neck

The Doncaster crowd erupted and O’Brien wheeled away in triumph. Another O’Brien-trained colt, The Pentagon, was third, and the Irish trainer will have plenty more chances to build on his 26 wins this season as we still have more than 20 G1 races to go before it draws to a close. If you click here for the latest spread betting markets, you will see O’Brien’s charges dominating several top races.

Saxon Warrior is emerging as the real star juvenile in an outrageously successful stable and is the outright favourite to win next year’s Derby, some four points ahead of the rest of the field. The two-year-old, a son of the great Japanese runner Deep Impact, has won all three career starts thus far and keeps improving with every race. He dominated his rivals on his debut in late August and then seized the Beresford Stakes in imposing fashion. When John Gosden’s Roaring Lion surged past him in the £200,000 Racing Post Trophy on Saturday he looked destined for minor honours at best, but he found reserves and claimed a pulsating victory.

We could see him again before the Derby as he is the 6/1 favourite for the 2000 Guineas. After Saturday’s win, jockey Ryan Moore said he would have no problem being a Guineas horse, while O’Brien noted that there is plenty of stamina in his pedigree. “He’s obviously a very good horse and what he did today was battle, he fought back,” said O’Brien. “He’s a very special horse, we think. He’s done everything we've asked of him and he's only been a baby. I’d say there's no doubt he'll be better on better ground.”

O’Brien first broke the world record in 2001, when he had 21 winners, but he was usurped by Frankel in the US two years later. He came close to breaking Frankel’s world record in 2008, but could only get to 23 – two short of equalling it. He may have given up hope of ever achieving the feat, but he has enjoyed a sensational 2017 season. It is certainly worth keeping an eye on his other runners in G1 races between now and the end of the season as he seeks to post an unbeatable world record.

But another one to look out for is Gosden’s Roaring Lion, who came so close to spoiling O’Brien’s day. He was unbeaten going into the race, having claimed the Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket last month by a neck from O’Brien’s Nelson, and he came within a whisker of winning the Racing Post Trophy. He displayed great pace and power and will surely trouble plenty more G1 races throughout his career. Gosden has enjoyed a fantastic resurgence this season and Roaring Lodge could well develop into one of the stars of his exciting stable.

Author bio

Martin Green is an experienced horse racing correspondent and tipster and has been covering the industry for many years.


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