Ancient Wisdom and Diego Velazquez face fascinating Doncaster clash

Saturday’s Kameko Futurity Trophy will evoke memories of yesteryear with Godolphin and Coolmore going head-to-head in the final Group One of the season, through Ancient Wisdom and Diego Velazquez.

The late 1990s and early 2000s saw endless clashes between the two superpowers, which arguably peaked in the summer of 2001 when Galileo and Fantastic Light served up two treats in the King George and Irish Champion Stakes, winning one each.

Godolphin paid €2,000,000 for Dubawi colt Ancient Wisdom, while Coolmore went to 2,400,000 guineas for Diego Velazquez

It cost connections £17,500 to supplement Autumn Stakes hero Ancient Wisdom into the contest earlier in the week, and Charlie Appleby is confident his youngster can take another step forward from that impressive Newmarket success.

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He said: “He won the Emirates Autumn Stakes in good style. He appreciated the ground and step up in trip. He has come out of the race very well and had an easy bit of work at Newmarket on Saturday where he showed his wellness.

“He has obviously done well for the break he had after Ascot, physically he has done very well from then until now.”

He added on the Godolphin website: “He showed at Newmarket that a mile on testing conditions suited him, so he ticks a few boxes in a race where stamina is going to play a part. It’s a competitive field and we are looking forward to seeing how he gets on.”

With Ryan Moore suspended Aidan O’Brien quickly snapped up the services of James Doyle, who has ridden two Group One winners for the stable this year through Warm Heart.

Speaking on news of his booking for Diego Velazquez, who is a son of Frankel, Doyle told Sky Sports Racing: “It’s very exciting and I’m looking forward to it.

“We haven’t seen much of him, but the two starts we have done he looks very progressive and warms to the task.

“I don’t think he’s encountered ground like we’ll have so we’ll just have to see.”

Roger Teal saddled Dancing Magic to finish fourth in this race 12 months ago and connections are represented by Dancing Gemini this time around, who takes the step up to Group One company following a taking success at the track in the Flying Scotsman Stakes.

That four-and-a-quarter-length triumph came on soft ground and although not enamoured by the thought of heavy ground for his talented colt, Teal is hoping his agile nature will help him deal with the testing conditions.

“We are very happy with him, he came out of the Flying Scotsman Stakes very well,” said Teal.

“He beat what was in front of him that day and he beat them in style, it was faster than the Group Two the next day. It was a good performance, he did it very convincingly.

Dancing Gemini winning the Flying Scotsman Stakes
Dancing Gemini winning the Flying Scotsman Stakes (Tim Goode/PA)

“It was pretty soft the day he won at Doncaster. It is not ideal for any horse, I don’t think any trainer would choose the conditions if they could. The way he travels, he is quite light on his feet so hopefully he doesn’t get bogged down too much.”

David Menuisier added a third Group One to his CV when Sunway claimed the Criterium International last weekend and bids to quickly add to his tally with Devil’s Point, who was third in the Solario Stakes at Sandown before racing at Saint-Cloud most recently.

He was not disgraced when an honourable fourth behind Criterium International runner-up Alcantor on that occasion and is one in the line-up set to relish the deep ground.

“He came out of the race at Saint-Cloud really well, the form of the race was franked in Group One Criterium International,” said Menuisier.

Devil’s Point in action at Sandown
Devil’s Point in action at Sandown (Adam Davy/PA)

“The ground was potentially not quite soft enough for us last time, so I would expect him to improve a few lengths on what he did in the Prix Thomas Bryon and he was an unlucky loser in the Solario Stakes at Sandown before that.

“The horse is top notch and with the softer ground this weekend hopefully he can run a really good race.”

John and Thady Gosden will rely on God’s Window who was likeable winner of a soft-ground maiden during the St Leger Festival and is now upped to the highest level for just his second start.

He will be ridden by Kieran Shoemark, who said: “He won his maiden nicely there on pretty soft ground on Leger day so the ground is not a concern.

“He definitely appreciates a cut in the ground but heavy ground is different altogether.

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“He gave me a good feel on his debut, I felt when I crossed the line he was only just getting going and he ran all the way to the bottom of the hill.

“Diego Velazquez was impressive last time, Ancient Wisdom was impressive in the Autumn Stakes so it’s a good race, as it should be.”

Less than a length back in second in that contest was Redhot Whisper with his trainer Ben Brookhouse planning this outing ever since finishing third at Leicester on debut.

God’s Window (right) and Redhot Whisper (left) have already clashed one at Doncaster
God’s Window (right) and Redhot Whisper (left) have already clashed one at Doncaster (Tim Goode/PA)

He said: “He came out of the race at Doncaster in good order, he seems to take to his racing really well.

“We aimed him at this race after running very well in his maiden, which was a very expensive maiden and he was beaten by a very smart horse. He was finishing off nicely that day and was giving away three pounds to the eventual winner.

“His preparation has gone very pleasingly, very straightforward to this point. We think he will see out the trip and will love the ground. We think he is still progressing.”

Deira Mile completes the field on his first start for Owen Burrows.

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